the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Month: July 2005 (Page 2 of 4)

Lies and Lying


Lies and lying has been a theme for me this week, whether it is "lying" on my blog or "lying" to a salesman in a mattress store.   I notice that many bloggers involved in online dating also write a lot about "lying," particularly about daters who lie on their online profiles.  Hilary recently wrote about a date she had where the man wasn’t as tall or had as much hair as his online profile had indicated.  I also hear of online daters posting photos of themselves from ten years ago.

I’m no Mr. Morality.  I’ve lied as much as anyone.  Recently, I went on a job interview at a major movie studio to work in their "internet" division.  A friend advised me not to mention my writing because human resources will be afraid that I’ll be running around passing out scripts rather than working (which is probably true).  So, I fudged a little on my resume.  I didn’t feel very guilty about it.

The difference between my lie and lying on your online profile is that I was pretty sure I would get away with it.   That’s not the case with going out on a date.   If your online profile says you are 33 years old, 6’2", with a full head of hair, and it attracts someone of the opposite sex, eventually you’re going to have to meet this woman in person — and then they are clearly going to see that you are 53 years old, 5’6" and bald. 

So why lie?  Do you really think that "just getting into the front door" applies to dating?

When I start online dating, I’m going to take the opposite route.  I’m not going to say how wonderful I am.    This will just ultimately lead to a woman’s disappointment.   Instead, I’m going to try to make myself look as bad as possible, so after the date, the woman will say to herself, "You know what — he wasn’t as bad as I thought."

I understand human psychology. 

Think about movies.  When a studio goes all out promoting a movie, aren’t you inevitably disappointed with the actual film?  I don’t need to see "The Fantastic Four."  Whenever a movie has tie-ins with a burger chain, I know the movie will suck.   It’s always those unassuming movies like "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" that surprise you and win your heart.

In preparation for my online dating career, here’s a glimpse of what my profile will eventually look like:

  • I am 6 feet tall, which I know is a big plus for you women.  But I frequently slouch, making me look much shorter.
  • I am thin, but I noticed that I gained weight when I was living with Sophia.  If I ever get married again, assume that I will get fatter.
  • I still have my hair, but it is thinning a bit and I’m also getting grayer.  My father has a bald spot in back, so I can assume the same thing will happen to me in a few years.
  • I attended an Ivy League college, but it wasn’t one of the really prestigious schools like Harvard or Yale.  
  • I have friends who are successful doctors, lawyers, and movie directors.  I am none of the above.
  • I’m smart, but I know plenty of people smarter.  I can do the Los Angeles Times Sunday crossword puzzle, but I can never finish the New York Tmes Sunday puzzle.
  • I’ve been married once, and it was a rocky marriage.  My wife says everything was my fault, and she is probably right.  I would definitely get married again, but really — why would anyone want to marry me?

Sophia knows me best of all.  Let’s bring her in for a final personal recommendation.

Neil and financial security:  (Sophia laughs for 2 minutes)

Neil in the bedroom:  Sophia says, "He falls asleep after sex.  Sometimes, I fall asleep during sex."

Here’s my current photo.


Date me!  You’ll see that I’m not as bad as you thought!

Now isn’t that better than lying?

My First Wife


I’ve written a lot about my marriage to Sophia, and our separation.   But I was married and separated once before — for about fifteen minutes.  Here’s the story:

When I first moved to Los Angeles, I needed to buy a bed.  I didn’t realize that buying a bed was so complicated, with all the Sealys and Sertas and all the different foams and coils.  To make thing worse, the mattress industry makes it impossible to price match.  The Serta "Fenway Park" is only called this at Sears. The exact same mattress at 1-800-Mattress is called the Serta "New Yorker."  The mattress industry is the most consumer-unfriendly industry in the country, one notch below car dealerships.   Mattress stores also take their cue from car dealerships, with aggressive salespeople out to sell you more bed than you really need.

I read about some discount mattress store in the Valley and drove out there to check out the mattresses.   After trying out some beds, some flashy salesman tried to sell me this Serta mattress that was on sale.  It actually felt pretty good — it was comfortable and firm, but not too firm.   I didn’t yet know how difficult it was to price match, so I promised myself that I would "shop around" before I bought anything in the store.  The salesman pressed me hard to buy it NOW.  He offered me 300 dollars off, then 400 dollars off, then as I stared to leave, 500 dollars off if I bought it right NOW.   I’m not very good with salespeople or aggressive people, so I started to get nervous.  I needed to come up with a solution that would keep him off my back, without losing the bed. 

Me:  "I really like the bed, but I don’t want to buy it without my wife trying it first."

Salesman:  "Oh… Of course.  Of course." 

I noticed that he was wearing a wedding ring, so he knew how fickle women were.   Of course, I was not married.  I wasn’t wearing a wedding ring, but I guess he either didn’t notice or maybe he thought I was just some guy who didn’t wear one.  I did not have a girlfriend.  I actually knew few women. 

I left the store, feeling pretty satisfied with my little white lie.   I called up my friend in New York, who just bought a new bed.   He told me that this salesman was offering me was a terrific deal.  I went back to the mattress store and told him that I wanted to buy the bed.

Salesman:   "What about your wife?"

Me:   "Oh, she said it was fine.  If I like it, she’ll like it."

Salesman:  "It doesn’t work that way.  She really needs to come try it herself."

Me:  "It’s really OK.  She totally trusts me."

Salesman:   "How long have you been married?"

Me:  "Six months."

Salesman:  "You need to bring her here."

Me:  "It’s really not important that I do that."

Salesman:  "I’m telling you, for the sake of your marriage, you need to bring her here."

This salesperson, who a few minutes ago was aggressively selling me a bed, was now aggressively selling me marital advice.

Me:  "Fine."

I was stuck in my own lie.

I drove for a half hour, back to my apartment.   I knocked on the door of my next door neighbor, Nadine, and asked her if she could be my wife for an hour.  If she did this, I would buy her lunch.  She was an actress (an out of work actress) and thought the idea was funny.  It was like she was going to be in her own sitcom episode.

I went back to the mattress store with Nadine.  We climbed onto the bed together, to try out the Serta mattress that was on sale.  She said it was very comfortable, and a great price.  As we stretched out on the bed, our legs accidentally touched.  I thought about how pretty Nadine was.  She had a good sense of humor.  She was adventurous.  I visualized us, one day, being on this bed together, making love in my apartment.

Nadine:  "You know, I really could use a new bed.  Maybe I’ll buy one, too."

Me:   "You can’t buy a bed here.  We’re supposed to be married."

Nadine:   "What does he give a shit?  We’re paying him money."

Me:   "But I told him we were married.  Why are we buying two beds?  I’ll look like a lying idiot."

Nadine:  "You think he really cares?"

Nadine and I ended up having our first marital spat while lying on this Serta bed in the mattress store.  Eventually, I caved in — as all husband do with their wives.   We ordered two mattresses, one for each of our apartments.

As we ordered the mattresses, the salesman looked at us, confused.

Salesman:  "You mean you live in two different apartments, right next to each other?"

Me:  "We’re separated."

A few weeks later, I could hear Nadine next door having sex with her new boyfriend on her new Serta mattress.

Dark Side of the Manischewitz


What ever happened to asking Uncle Lenny to shoot some video at your bar mitzvah? 

Boulevard Video is the most glitzy Los Angeles video production company I’ve ever seen — to do your son’s bar mitzvah!   Will there soon be an Oscar category for best cinematography in a bar or bat mitzvah? 

Check out their cool (but weird) bar mitzvah highlight music video with the Pink Floyd-like soundtrack. (via Joshua Newman)

Blogging Etiquette Errors

(by the way, what are these cats DOING on this book cover?)

I’d like to take a moment to talk about some blogging lessons learned:

1)   I need to better "signal" to my readers when I say something that isn’t exactly true.   It was nice of some of you to ask how my "date" went, but it was just a joke from the last post.  I also didn’t receive an package from Anna Kournikova.   I was especially surprised that someone thought I actually slept with Tom Cruise.  I have an overactive imagination and to me — all these things are true, but not in what some may call "reality."  I don’t want to become a "boy who cried wolf."  Sometimes, I do write about real things.  There is an actual Sophia — I think.  My mother did say "bolo" instead of "blog."  Should I put a little "kosher" sign next to each true statement in order to avoid confusion?

2)   I need to be careful when writing comments.   A very nice blogger deleted my comment and sent me a stern email after I wrote a joke about Japanese men.   Now, I know for a fact that Japanese men would be the ones who would find this joke the funniest, but I understand the sensitivity.  And by the way, some of my best friends are Japanese men — at least those that aren’t perverts.

3)   I need to be more careful when choosing names of fake characters.   In my post about the Coney Island hot-dog eating contest, I made up a Norwegian contestant named Holm Andresen.  I knew someone in college named Andresen and "Lord of the Rings" was on the television at the time, which stars Ian Holm as Bilbo Baggins — so I used the name "Holm." 

A few days later, I get an email from — B. Holm Andresen. 

He wants to know, "Who am I and why did I say he was in Coney Island eating hotdogs?" 

Fortunately, everything turned out OK.  B. Holm is a really cool artist living in London, and we emailed each other back and forth a couple of times.  He even helped me create a new fake Norwegian name.  If you’re going to London, check out his exhibit.

Are there any other blogging rules I need to learn, like not going to your site ten times a day so I look like a stalker in your stats?    

Hip and Unhip Cartoon Icons

I was talking with the uber-talented Pauly D about which cartoon character was the most annoying, and my first pick was Donald Duck.


Is Donald Duck funny? Absolutely not. Is he a stupid duck with a speech impediment? Yes.

Ironically, the first writing job I had when I moved to Los Angeles was writing for a Donald Duck cartoon. In case you didn’t know this, the Disney Company is very aggressive about the copyrights of their signature characters. They once got a second grader from Topeka, Kansas imprisoned for 20 years when she was caught drawing a likeness of Minnie Mouse on her schoolbook cover. (that’s a joke, Disney lawyers)

Because of their strong hold on their characters, Disney doesn’t just let you write for Donald Duck. They first give you what seemed at the time to be a 600 page “Bible” — a book of what Donald Duck could and could not say. Now, If you know anything about Donald Duck, he doesn’t really talk. He quacks in a high pitch voice about two and a half octaves higher than anyone can comfortably hear without damage to the ears. Until I read “the Donald Duck Bible,” I didn’t know that some quacks are allowed, and others verboten. For instance, he can quack something like “Aargh,” but he would never be allowed to say “Oy.”

And you still think Jews run Hollywood.

Donald Duck wasn’t the star of the show. The “demographic” effect of the growing youth culture had now changed cartoons forever. It was assumed that kids didn’t want to see adult cartoon characters anymore. They wanted to see other runts like themselves. So, no more Bugs Bunny. Now, it was Baby Bugs. No more Donald Duck as the star. Now it was his three obnoxious nephews, Huey, Dewey, and Louie. To make things worse, Huey, Dewey, and Louie were “updated” to be more current. They were now three hip-hopping rap dudes/ducks with their hats on backwards.

You can see the irony here. Disney is so worried about someone messing with their precious characters, but they themselves were dressing the nephews in the latest fad — one that would be old hat in two years. If breakdancing was in today, would Mickey be breakdancing down Main Street in Disneyland? Probably.

One cartoon character I always liked was the advertising icon, Charlie the Tuna.


Now that tuna was hip — always with the beret and sunglasses! He didn’t have to fake it, like Huey, Dewey, and Louie. I was sad to learn that Charlie’s creator, advertising copywriter Tom Rogers, died recently in Charlottesville, Va. He was 87.

Starkist’s website does not have one mention of the man who pretty much made their company a success. I think we should boycott Starkist until they mention copywriter Tom Rogers on their website. Until then, I’m only eating Bumble Bee.

I’m glad they never changed Charlie the Tuna. I wish they never changed the Brawny Man.


I know the old Brawny Man looked a little like a 70’s porno star, but the new guy is just way too clean-cut. When I use my Brawny paper towel, I want to think of that big ‘ol lumberjack guy chopping down that tree with his big ol’ hands. The new Brawny guy looks like he just walked off the “Queer Guy” set. This new “sensitive” guy never chopped down a tree in his life. I bet you he gets his hands manicured. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s even an environmentalist who doesn’t even believe in chopping down trees. Today, I was in my local “99 cent” store and I saw a whole pile of the new Brawny paper towels. That’s right, Brawny paper towels in the “99 cent” store! ‘Nuff said.

Sometimes, it is necessary to update a icon. Betty Crocker has been selling cake mixes to housewives since 1936.

(Betty Crocker in 1936)

Life magazine recently posted several of the various “Betty Crocker”s, to show how Betty has changed through the decades — to match the image of what is considered a “modern woman.”

(Betty in 1955)

(Betty in 1965)

(Betty in 1969)

(Betty in 1972)

(Betty in 1980)

(Betty in 1986)

(Betty today)

As a guy, my preference has to be the 1986 Betty Crocker. She has a “devil-may-care” attitude in her eyes. She’s the only Betty Crocker that I can visualize having sex with her assistant chef, banging against the Masterchef Oven while she waits for the angel food cake to finish baking.

Betty today looks like a boring assistant manager at Bank of America, someone who might go on a date with the new Brawny man after meeting him on

Sue Me


(Sue Me by Frank Loesser — Guys and Dolls)

Call a lawyer and sue me,
Sue me
What can you do me,
I love you.
Give a holler and hate me
Hate me
Go ahead, hate me!

The best years of my life, I was a fool to give you you

Alright, already, I’m just a no-goodnick!
Alright, already, it’s true.
So new.
So sue me, sue me
What can you do me?
I love you.

Every few weeks, Sophia or I bring up "divorce." 

"Isn’t it time already to do it?" one of us will ask.

We both are procrastinators, making things worse.   We still haven’t handed in last year’s taxes.   Or maybe it’s love?  Do we still love each other so much that we forget all the fights we had during our marriage?  Where am I going to find a woman who’s as beautiful, smart, and funny as Sophia?  A woman who is so way over my head?   A woman whose biggest fault is that she votes Republican?   I know for many of you, that alone is grounds for divorce.

Divorce seems so final, so drastic.

After the coolest wedding ceremony imaginable (we had a swing band, a klezmer band, and a belly dancer), we went on our honeymoon to Spain.  That’s where our troubles began.   My trip was that of a sightseer — Madrid, Cordoba, Grenada, Toledo.  Sophia was already a world traveller.  She liked to sit at cafes and drink coffee. 

Me:  The Prado opens at nine.  I really want to see the Goyas.

Sophia:  Relax.  Enjoy your coffee.  We’ll get there.  (to waiter bringing pastries)  Gracias, Senor. 

We were married a week and we were already seeing that we weren’t exactly compatible.

Our hotel in Madrid was pretty bad.  I asked for a "matrimonial" bed.  We got two single beds, each bolted to the floor.  We looked over Plaza de Mayor.   We didn’t realize that the Spanish don’t even start partying in the streets until 2AM. 

But we made it through seven years, even though I was less than the ideal husband.  

Today, Sophia asked me to to deliver some translation paperwork to the main court downtown for her job.  

Me:  Is that where you get divorce papers? 

Sophia:  I don’t know.

Me:  Should I get them? 

Sophia:  I don’t know.

Me:  I’ll look on Google if that’s where you get them.

Sophia:  Fine.  If that’s what you want.

Sophia has gone on a couple of dates.   I haven’t dated in years.   Is this what I really want?  Do I really want to be a loser like the rest of you, going on all these crappy online dates?

I have to admit, meeting a new woman sounds very exciting to me.  Can my readers please stop complaining about your miserable dating lives?   You’re making it difficult for me to make any decisions. 

Isn’t it fun meeting all types of new people?

I watched this new reality show "Hooking Up" last week for educational purposes — so I’ll learn modern dating techniques.  The one thing that really stuck out for me is that when each couple met for the first time, they kissed each other on the cheek.   All the couples kissed when they first met.

I never kiss a woman when I first meet her.   I always shake her hand.   Is this going to spell trouble for me?  Will the woman think I’m a cold fish?  Will the woman dismiss me immediately, thinking I’m probably bad in bed?

Sophia already knows I’m bad in bed — and still kept me around for several years.  Do I really want to get a divorce and start this all over again?

Five is a Crowd


Before leaving yesterday, I already knew what it would be like to drive around Orange County searching for the Irvine Barclay Theater with Sophia and my parents.  Sophia would tell me to drive faster.  My mother would tell me to drive slower.  My father would question the route that I’m taking.  To solve the problem, I invited another person into the car – the Mapopolis’ GPS woman.

I bought the GPS card and connected it to the Dell Axim.  I downloaded Mapopolis’ California maps from their website.  I bought some wireless contraption at Radio Shack that broadcast the Axim’s sound on some FM station in the car.  I was impressed with myself and my geeky skills.

It seemed like a perfect solution, until I discovered that Mapopolis woman was as much a “backseat driver” as everybody else.  Worse, she spoke in this annoying robotic voice that was difficult to understand:

GPS:   In fif-te-en fe-et, make a le-ft on Ex-it twen-ty three.

Me:    Exit 23?

GPS:   10 feet…  

A FM Spanish station started breaking in on the GPS frequency.

Radio:  (singing) Aquí me ven.  Es hora de recuperar…

Mom:   Are they singing the directions now?  Sophia, you’re a translator, what did they say?

Sophia:   Mom, it’s Marc Anthony… and I don’t translate every language in the universe.

Me:   Is Euclid Street —  Exit 23?

Sophia:   It must be.

Mom:   Why would she call it Exit 23 if it’s Euclid Street?

Me:   It must be the official name of the street.

Mom:   That’s crazy.  In New York, a street has one name and that’s it.

Dad:   That’s not true.  Isn’t 7th Avenue also the Avenue of the Americas?

Mom:   But the GPA wouldn’t call it that in New York.   No one does.    Only tourists. 

Radio:   Mentiras…   Vivir sin mentiras

Mom:    Sophia, what did he sing? 

Sophia turns to me and rolls her eyes.

Mom:   OK, OK, you don’t translate Spanish.

Sophia:  It’s about love, Mom.   And it’s GPS, not GPA! 

Dad:    You see, Neil?   She still calls her Mom.  There’s hope yet!

Mom:   OK, GPS, GPA, same difference.

Sophia:   And how do you know about GPS in New York?  You don’t have a GPS or a car.

Mom:  I just know.  The GPA… GPS in New York are much more simpler.

Sophia:   Neil, could you please drive a little faster?  You drive like an old woman.

Me:   I’m trying to listen to this robot…  Sophia, could you stop singing with the song?

Radio:  Amar sin mentiras.   Quiero amar sin mentiras….

Mom:   Go slow, Neil.   Better to play it safe.

Sophia:   Mom, you never drove a car in your life.  I promise you, it’s dangerous to go too slow.

GPS:   W-rong di-rec-tion!  Turn a-round!  Turn a-round!  Make a left and re-turn to Ex-it twen-ty three

Me:   I missed it.

Mom:   Hah, Sophia!  You need to go slow!

Dad:   Euclid was Exit 23.  She wasn’t lying.

Sophia:   The GPS doesn’t lie.  It gets its data from a government satellite.

Mom:   Data-shmata.  There’s a lot about the government you don’t know about, Sophia.

GPS:   In one foot, make a right turn…

Me:   Over here?

Sophia:   That’s a Mobil station.

GPS:   W-rong di-rec-tion!  Turn a-round.  Turn a-round!  Go back to Ex-it twen-ty three… 

Radio:   Aquí me ven.  Tratando de limpiar los restos…

Dad:    Next time, let’s take a cab…  Or let Sophia drive. 

Mom:  You’re going to put it on your bolo, aren’t you?

Sophia:  Bolo, you mean – blog?

Mom:  What’s a blog?

Dad:  This song is marvelous!

What’s So Wrong With Dating Short Men?


You can say a lot of bad things about how men are judgmental about women, but you can’t say that a man judges a woman by her height.  You’ll never see a man thinking to himself:

 “Oh, wow.  She just took off her clothes and is beckoning to me to come into her bedroom.  She wants me to stay over and have sex with her tonight.  Dammit.  If only she wasn’t three inches shorter than me!  Better I just go home and watch “The Real Gilligan’s Island” on my Tivo.”

What is it with women and their obsession with a man’s height?  I don’t think I’ve read one “dating blog” where a woman didn’t complain about one of her date’s height.

“He was too short…”

“He definitely lied about his height in his Jdate profile…”

“If I wanted a midget, I would have fucked someone in the circus…”

What’s the big deal with you women?  Haven’t you ever heard the saying, “The best things come in small packages?”  Why do you really need a taller man?  It’s all in your head.  If you need to get something from the top of the refrigerator — that’s why they invented a step stool.

I’m not exactly sure why our culture considers it “better” for the man to be taller than the woman.  I looked it up on Google, thinking it may be related to our hunting and gathering days.  I didn’t find anything.

And wouldn’t it better if a hunter was shorter?  Who’s going to more easily hide behind that rock — Tattoo from Fantasy Island or basketball star Yao Ming?

Hollywood hasn’t help things for shorter men.  Even when a male star is short (and many of them are), they need to find a love interest that’s even shorter.  Every once in a while, I see a female celebrity shopping in a Beverly Hills supermarket or drinking a coffee in Starbucks.  It’s shocking to see how tiny they are.  I think in real life, Jennifer Aniston is like 3 feet tall!

One of my best friends from New York is a fairly short guy.  He’s married now, with two beautiful children.  His wife is taller than him, and she’s never complained.


In fact, when I see this picture of Gary Coleman, I think it would be great to be his height.  Never again would a woman say to me, “My eyes are right here, not down there.”

Parents Visit L.A.


My parents are in town and staying with me in my one bedroom apartment — so you can imagine how much fun that is.  They are real New Yorkers who don’t drive, so I’m also their limo driver. 

What’s been the highlight of my mother’s first day?  Going to Target!  I didn’t realize there are no Targets in Manhattan.  Suckers! 

My mother’s review of Target:

Mom:  It really is much nicer than K-Mart.

In between discussions about Sophia, saving money, and the lack of grandchildren, I showed my parents what’s really important in my life — my blog.  You can imagine how excited they were with all the money-making potential of blogging — none. 

Dad:  What should I read first?

Me:  On the side, you can see my most popular posts.

Dad:  Posts?

Me:  Items.  Articles.  Just click on a link.

Dad:  Huh?

Mom:  Let me show him.  I’m an expert with the computer from work.

She clicks on a link.   They start reading.  After a moment, my father shows a look of concern.

Dad:  You didn’t really sleep with Tom Cruise?

Me:  If only! 


Me:   Of course not.  It was a joke.  That whole thing with Rob Thom… oh, forget it.  It’s just a joke.

Dad:  Hmm.

My mother clicks on another link.

Mom:  This naked Batman is funny.

Dad:  Is that really Batman’s penis?

Me:  Batman is a cartoon character.

Mom:  That’s some penis.

Me:  Yes, Mom.

Mom:  Before I dated your father, I dated Sol "X."  Remember him?  His penis was like a…

Me:   Mom, I don’t really want to…

Dad:   (surprised)  I didn’t know you dated Sol.

Mom:   Just once.

Me:  And you saw his penis on the first date?

Mom:  Ha ha ha.  His penis was like…

Me:  (cutting her off)  Do you like the blog?

Dad:  Why is it called a blog?

Me:  Web log.

Dad:  So why not just call it that?   I like web log better.

Me:  I’ll relay your message to the authorities.

Mom:   Who’s this Brooke?

Me:  I don’t know.

Mom:  Is she nice?

Me:  I don’t know.  Some woman from Florida.

Mom:  She must be Jewish.

Me:   I have no idea.   Why do you think so?

Mom:  She’s from Florida.  Everyone’s Jewish in Florida.  Or Cuban. 

Me:  What about Jeb Bush?

Mom:  OK, maybe one.

Dad:  I think OJ Simpson lives in Florida now.  He’s not Jewish. 

Mom:  Thank God.   (after a moment)   Maybe Rita knows Brooke.  Does she live near Fort Lauderdale?

Me:   Mom, don’t be ridiculous.

Mom:   Now, I’m joking.   You have no sense of humor.

This weekend, I’m going away with my parents — and Sophia, my separated wife who hasn’t given my parents any grandchildren. 

I’ll report back…  if I make it through it…

Do your parents/family read your blog?

Life is a Cabaret

Sophia knows that I like cabaret, so she took me to this benefit where twenty of the top cabaret singers were going to perform.  We weren’t surprised to learn that much of the audience consisted of gay men, because we knew that gay men enjoyed this type of music.  It also wasn’t a big deal that most of the performers were gay.  We were surprised that the program consisted of romantic duets.

Then the singing began.  Romantic, emotional songs — sung by two men.  Sophia started to giggle.  I elbowed her, hoping that the three well-dressed gentlemen drinking chardonnay next to me didn’t hear.

One of the songs was from the 1970’s — I think it might have been a duet originally sung with Roberta Flack —

Male Singer 1:  "I want to wake up in your arms…"

Male Singer 2:  "I want to wake up in your arms…"

Male singer 1 & 2:  "…Together…"

Sophia had to force herself to not laugh, and ended up making all these gurgling sounds.  I leaned over to her:

"Sophia, act mature."

There was one duet after the other.  Sophia spent most of the concert biting her tongue and rolling her eyes.  I have to admit — I was getting embarrassed.

Finally, the last two singers came on stage for their duet.  One of the singers was a popular male cabaret singer.  The other was a special guest — a member of a well-known theater group that puts on musicals for deaf people. 

The began their romantic duet, the popular singer with his sexy baritone voice, and the special guest using his sign language.

If you know the famous "Chuckles the Clown" episode on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, you’ll know where this is going…

The baritone sang about love.  The duet partner signed back in a very expressive manner.  I understood that this was a wonderful thing to do — involving the deaf in music — but it was also the most ridiculous thing I ever witnessed.    Two men singing to each other.  One man deaf.

I laughed out loud.  And laughed.  And people looked my way, shaking their heads at my rudeness.  And I couldn’t stop myself.  I ran out, still guffawing.

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