the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Those Were the Days



A typical middle-class Queens neighborhood.   We hear a piano playing and two voices singing an old song:

“Boy the way Glen Miller played
Songs that made the hit parade.
Guys like us we had it made,
Those were the days.”


Neil and his Penis are singing together at the piano.

“And you knew who you were then,
Girls were girls and men were men,
Mister we could use a man
Like Herbert Hoover again.

Didn’t need no welfare state,
Everybody pulled his weight.
Gee our old LaSalle ran great.
Those were the days.”

After they finish singing, Neil sighs wistfully.

Neil:  “Being back in New York certainly makes me nostalgic for the old days.  Handball in Flushing Meadows Park, flipping baseball cards, playing the game of “Life” in my room with my friend Rob.

Penis:  “Being here makes me nostalgic, too.”

Neil:  “Really?  I didn’t figure you as a sentimental type.”

Penis:  “Sure.  I had youthful dreams like everyone else.”

Neil:  “Like what?”

Penis:  “Well, like you actually f***ing someone before you turned ** years of age?”

Neil:  “I’m sorry about that.  I was shy.”

Penis:  So, I had to suffer?   You should have let me do all the talking.”

Neil:  Penis, I really don’t want to get into this conversation again.” 

Penis:  “I’m still upset about Debbie Rosenzweig.” 

Neil:  “Not Debbie again.”

Penis:  Clearly she wanted to f***k you after that concert — what was that band’s name?  They were my favorite — ”

Neil:  “The Talking Heads.”

Penis:  “Right…  she practically had her hand down your pants.”

Neil:  “Debbie was my friend.”

Penis:  “Exactly!  And she wanted to get more friendly!”

Neil:  “I didn’t want to ruin things with us.”

Penis:  “Jeez, they should revoke your license to be a man.”

Neil:  “Aw, c’mon, Penis.  we’ve had some good times together.   I’ve probably spent more time playing with you than all of my friends combined.”

Penis:  “I guess we have had some good times.  And It’s nice being back in the old stomping ground of Flushing, New York.”

Neil:  “But the neighborhood looks so different.  The Greek deli — gone.  The Garden Bakery, with those amazing onion rolls — out of business.  All my friends — moved away.  I guess time really does march on. ”

Penis:  “I miss the old days myself.”

Neil:  “Yeah?  In what way?”

Penis:  “For one thing, being a Penis used to be a lot more prestigious.  I remember when a girl would go crazy when I would make my appearance in the bedroom — proud and strong, like a U.S. Marine.  Now every woman has some sort of exotic vibrator at home with more controls than a Tivo.  How can I ever compete?” 

Neil:  “C’mon, women will always have a place for a Penis.”

Penis:  “Are you so sure about that?  I hear there’s a new vibrator coming out with a docking station for the woman’s iPod.”

Neil:  “Wow, I didn’t realize you were as insecure as I am.”

Penis:  “Sometimes I worry that my Glory Days are gone.   I remember when the C**k was King.     Now it’s all about cunnilingus.  It’s the fault of that damn ‘Sex and the City’!  Now, every woman wants the tongue.  What are we — men or puppy dogs?  It’s like the c**k has become a second class citizen.  Soon they won’t even call you “Citizen of the Month” anymore.”

Neil:  “I guess we both need to adjust to the times.”

Penis:  “Adust?  Me?  No, I’m gonna keep on f***ing MY WAY until I’m ninety years old.  I’m even hoping to get a little action here during this NY trip. 

Neil:  “You do realize that Sophia’s here.”

Penis:  “I know.  And I applaud you for renting that romantic lake-side cabin in the Berkshires next week.  Finally, you’re doing something smart.”

Neil:  “Uh, maybe I forgot to tell you… but my mother to going with us.”

Penis:  “Please.  Shoot me now.”


  1. TWM

    I really like Penis — in a plutonic kind of way of course.

  2. The Retropolitan

    Don’t shoot your penis, Neil. You’ll only end up regretting it.

  3. The Retropolitan

    Oh, and welcome back to New York.

  4. Neil

    TWM –

    Plutonic? —

    “plutonic – of igneous rock that has solidified beneath the earth’s surface; granite or diorite or gabbro”

    Were you trying to make a “rock hard” joke?

  5. treespotter

    I’m so glad mine is mute

  6. Jessica

    Neil, I love your penis.

  7. Kevin

    You and your penis are capable of reminiscing about Herbert Hoover? Damn. That’s one old school c**k you got there, Neil.

  8. Margaret

    I’m worried about your penis, self doubt leads to performance anxiety, which leads to penis not being exactly plutonic.

  9. Jenni

    I think you’re on to something with this whole talking penis thing. However, I do have one question. Does it get weird at night when you’re alone, in your bed…nobody’s watching and you start to…you know. And then you remember that earlier that day you wrote a blog about your member sitting at the piano with you Archy Bunker style? Isn’t that a little awkward?

    Just wondering.

  10. Dagny

    Poor penis. Perhaps he should have joined Bloggers with Biceps so he could build up his confidence.

  11. TWM


    I wish I could say I was making a play on words, but the fact is I meant platonic. Still the Freudian overtones are enough to make me consider therapy.

    I really should not comment when I haven’t hade my morning coffee yet.

  12. TWM

    Or is it undertone? I need a “stiff” drink I think.

    See, that one I meant.

  13. ms. sizzle

    the bit where you tell your penis you’ve played with him more than any of you other friends? i love that part.

  14. Caitlinator

    Welcome to the ‘hood. I’ll wave to you from the 7 train in J-Heights.

  15. Brooke

    Neil, may I just assure you – and your penis – that cock will never become a second class citizen.

  16. Alison

    I don’t know. Seeing cute Edith Bunker there, singing the song in my head, then reading “INT. QUEENS LIVING ROOM – DAY
    Neil and his Penis are singing together at the piano.” just MADE MY MORNING. I haven’t laughed out loud like that since, oh, yesterday. 🙂

    And thank you, thank you, Neil, for providing that one line of the song that I could never understand. Gee, our old La Salle ran great. Who knew?

  17. Paris Parfait

    It seems your trip to the old neighbourhood is inspiring some interesting memories – thanks for the update! As ever, you’re hilarious! 🙂

  18. girlgoyle

    You can assure penis that no vibrator (docking station or not) will ever be able to replace a capable cock. So, on the trip to the cabin, i’d leave the gun at home cuz a dead cock can’t crow for sure.

  19. Blonde Vigilante

    I would trade all my vibrating toys for one that’s real fleshy and alive.

  20. e.

    Penis: Clearly she wanted to f***k you after that concert — what was that band’s name? They were my favorite — ”

    Neil: “The Talking Heads.”

    Genius. Made my morning. Probably my afternoon, too, since morning is almost over.

  21. tiff

    Oy, Neil….your Mother? What a good son you are.

  22. modigli

    I always wondered what the hell those lyrics were! Thanks for the translation, Neil. And your penis is back! Must be something about being back home that got him talking again.

    BTW, did you REALLY see the TAlking Heads live?! You are so cool! 🙂

  23. Elisabeth

    I’ve always loved your penis, but now that I know that he’s a Talking Heads fan, I love him even more.
    And about his qualms about cunnilingus, tell him that team work is really in these days. Diversity is also a good buzzword to use to convince him that it’s all good, after all.

  24. akaky

    Oy, Neil, your Mother…?! You got the always lovely Sophia to go with you to a cabin in the woods and you’re bringing your mother, for chrissakes? What kind of dumbass schmendrick are you? If I were your penis I’d sue you for divorce and try to hook up with one of those transgendered gals trying to be guys; they appreciate penises and what they can do for your social life.

  25. Manic Mom

    Ahhh! The Penis is back! I cracked up at the reference to The Talking Heads! LOL

  26. ACG

    Don’t worry Penis, no matter what they come out with the real deal will never be replaced.

  27. Melissa

    If the cock can choose pussy or mouth why is it a crime for the pussy to choose cock or mouth?

  28. Jill

    Dear Neil’s Penis,
    I stand proudly with rest of Neil. I, too, have been oblivious, and it has cost my private parts dearly. I still hear it as Neil hears it from you. It is a noble siblinghood that we belong to, one that you could not possibly understand, as penises don’t seem to comprehend insecurity and caution. Well, certainly not such proud penises as yourself. Good day to you.

  29. treespotter

    i’m finding this discussion very amusing. am i normal?

    my penis remain quiet.

    is that normal?
    do i need help?

  30. jackt

    Your wanker sure likes to cuss!

  31. Sandra

    The fact that Penis’ favorite band is the Talking Heads is so far beyond double-entendre fabulous that I’m not even sure what to say. So I’ll say, simply: BRAVO!

  32. AWE

    Penis be careful, I heard a bunch of d**ks hang out up there.

  33. Jacynth

    You said penis.

  34. introspectre

    Have I mentioned that I love you?

    And any time your penis wants to guest blog over my way, you/he can just let me know, ok sweetheart?


  35. anne arkham

    Vibrators, fingers, tongues, lips, thighs, etc. are always good, but penises have their place,too.

  36. jules

    Here here Anne!
    But Neil, seriously…you need at least ONE night alone with Sophia.

  37. ashbloem

    The Talking Heads! BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    You and your penis are quite the pair. Which, I suppose, is a good thing.

  38. schrodinger

    …more time playing with you…
    I hate you for making me laugh so hard I got OJ up my nose.

  39. chantel

    You do realize there is no, “Mom” in “gettin’ some”?

  40. Nance

    Which one of you worked the pedals?

  41. Pearl

    Why not just leave your mark NOW, in Queens? You do all the talking, let some female’s fingers do the walking. You’ll be in such extended bliss, you won’t even notice Neil’s mom.

    Besides, she’ll be too busy always telling Neil to be nice to Sophia ’cause technically Sophia’s still his wife… and blog editor!

  42. cruisin-mom

    awww Neil, your penis really moved me.

  43. femme_despoir

    No, worries, Penis. This gal will always prefer the real thing to vibrating plastic.

  44. Fitèna

    “Jeez, they should revoke your license to be a man.” (?) lol! This is good! 🙂


  45. Dustin

    My offer for Pizza at Kornet’s still stands. You know where to find me. 🙂

  46. Roberta

    …women will always have a place for a Penis.

    I am impressed that your penis (I can safely assume the starring penis in these little scenarios is yours?) knows that LaSalle lyric.

  47. Lou P.

    Did you intentionally pick a screencap with a cigar in Archie Bunker’s mouth for symbolic purposes?

  48. kristen

    I think I’ve enjoyed the comments almost as much as I’ve enjoyed this post.

  49. rachh

    It is just fantastic Neil.
    Made me laugh so hard

  50. Painterbeachgirl

    VIBRATOR WITH DOCKING STATION FOR IPOD!!! WOOOO HOOOO! Oh lordy, I have to pick myself up off the floor, I am having spasms!

  51. Neil

    Painterbeachgirl — Exactly what that product is supposed to do for you! Thanks for the review.

  52. Stefanie

    You have one smart dick!

  53. The Retropolitan

    I thought that said “DICKING STATION.” I’ve been corrupted.

  54. Miss Syl

    Shouldn’t PETA close you down for cruelty to trouser snakes?

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