the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Last Night’s Prayer


Dear Lord,

Thank you, Lord, for my health and the health of my family and friends.  Thank you for the Earth and its abundance.  Thank you for creating the blogosphere and the bloggers who have bid in the charity auction, especially the generous person who pledged $105 dollars in order to be wined and dined by me, even when I admitted I haven’t been on a normal date in years.  

Of course, V-day is a worthy cause, Lord, because it is all about women and without women, men would still be stuck in the Garden of Eden picking their noses and belching.

I don’t want to sound ungrateful, Lord, but I’m not totally satisfied with the $105 dollar bid.  I have two very expensive university degrees and have actually read James Joyce’s Ullysses from beginning to end.  I took a semester of Latin in college (well, it was mostly because some girl I liked was in the class, but at least I attended some of the classes).  I know a few card tricks and I am well-known for my fine retelling of “knock-knock” jokes.  That alone should be worth another ten bucks. 

Is $115 dollars too much to ask?

Your friend, Neil

Update from Neil — This just in:   An actual testimony to my character from an unbiased individual:

“Neil is extremely charming.   He is the perfect dinner companion.  I would recommend him to anyone!” — Elaine Kramer, Flushing, NY


  1. Bice

    Maybe you could get a quote from the cute kid and the dog in the picture to go along with the one from Mom. Who wouldn’t cough up some more coin for a triple-header quote-fest like that?

  2. Janet

    I was thinking about this today, auctioning people for this like diners and dances I mean, mostly because I was pursuing the screenplay of Gone With the Wind and was especially amused by the charity ball, but also because this was the time of year when our town would auction off the basketball team for the Valentine’s Day dance.

    When I was a senior in high school, there was a boy on the basketball team that was wildly handsome and who always seemed to be around to help me walk when especially drunk or conspire against all the others when playing Apples to Apples on weeknights.

    I took with me my entire paycheck ($125.00) to the auction. He was one of the last of the team to be auctioned off, giving me plenty of time to get nervous.

    He was up. A girl started the bidding at ten and another topped her at twenty. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t speak or stand. I wanted him but I couldn’t bid on him.

    25. Going… going… I had 125 fucking dollars in my hand and I was shaking with frustration. I was too afraid to stand.

    Gone. Prince charming had been sold for twenty-five dollars. He looked over at me and I wanted to run away to Canada or something. He must have hated me something terrible then.

    I haven’t spoken to him for ages, but I hear that he is still wildly handsome and frequently helps girls home when they are too drunk to walk.

  3. Fitena

    A man was praying when he heard God’s voice.
    Man: God, what’s a million years to you?
    God: A second!
    Man: God, what’s a million dollars to you?
    God: A Penny!
    Man: God, may I have a penny please?
    God: Yes, one second!


  4. better safe than sorry

    with references like that, i’m sure you’ll surpass $150.00!

  5. V-Grrrl

    You’ve read Ullysses? You took a semester of Latin? My gosh, Neil, the English majors in the blogosphere are so hot now that they’re fanning themselves.

    Do you promise NOT to talk about James Joyce during a date? That would make people pay more in Southern California. ; D

    Buy a date with Neil Kramer, no Cliff Notes required!

  6. tamarika

    Hm … this poses a problem for me. If I answer your prayer, am I God? or Lord? Although that does wonders for my self-esteem. And let me tell you, Neil, I have never been on a “normal date.” So I just can’t wait to normalize with you, baby!

  7. Jazz

    I think i might have to move to California.

  8. sarah

    I do love that picture/forward thing..saw that before!
    Good luck with the auction!

  9. Danny

    Well, at $120 you’re still fetching double what your closest competitor is bringing in. I can’t look at that website anymore because I identify too strongly with those losers guys who are still at $5.00. How were the contestants chosen? Why do some of them not even have blogs? It’s all too painful. What next–an online opportunity for some of us to be chosen last for the gym class basketball team again?

  10. justrun

    Maybe you should have your “date” save that extra $10 so she can spring for dessert at the Olive Garden?? 🙂

  11. jenny

    You’re such a stud, Neil. You’re blowing away the competition in this auction!

  12. Booda Baby

    I thought it’d big fun to have you up in Santa Barbara for a double date since you were willing – ooh and the film festival’s around the corner!, but it’s because I live in SB that the auction JUST got too rich for me.

    It’s good of you to sell your body for such a great cause. No, important cause. Something bigger than ‘important’ and better than ’cause’. That.

  13. Alissa

    Yes, that is a completely unbiased opinion from Flushing, NY. But really, mother’s always do know best don’t they?

  14. Megan

    Honey, I’d pay $500 to go bowling with you. You could whisper sweet nothings in Latin in my ear…

  15. Karl

    Leave it to you to whine when you’re easily making the most money of anyone else on the block. Most of those guys have only $5 or $10. And there’s, what, still another 24 hours?

  16. plain jane

    Not only are you extremely clever, you have the wittiest commenters in the blogosphere.

  17. V-Grrrl

    Danny’s comment gave me the biggest laugh of my entire week. Amen to Plain Jane.

    And I’m happy to see that nice Jewish boys with glasses can still finish first–even in LA!

  18. mckay

    LOL if you were this clever in your wooing of the lovely sophia no wonder she married you!

    *fanning myself with a paperback copy of the misanthrope*

  19. fringes

    I know you’re trying to up the bidding since it’s for charity. But you’re way ahead of everyone else. I’d bid $150 to get you to stop complaining if I lived in the LA area.

  20. ms. sizzle

    it’s not about the money, neil. wait, uh, yes it is. but the money doesn’t dictate your popularity. that’s what i mean to say!

  21. Girl in Latin Class

    Hi, this is Giselle. I sat in front of you in Latin class in college. All semester I was waiting for you to ask me out, but you seemed so shy at the time. If only! I would definitely bid on you for this charity auction, maybe even leave my husband and move to California for the opportunity, but I don’t feel right about abandoning my three children. But I have thought about it. I’m so glad that you still remember me!

    Have you told everyone about your nickname in college: Mr. Darcy!

  22. Non-Highlighted Heather

    Man whore.

  23. Neil

    Danny — My saving grace is that I wasn’t picked last for the school basketball team because I was tall. But since I couldn’t do anything, I was told to just stand there with my hands up to block the ball.

    I did skip gym with my friend Barry, though, when it was time to climb the ropes. No way in a million years was I going to climb some rope.

    Megan — the only Latin I could still whisper in your ear is something like “I came, I saw, I conquered,” which for some reason, sounds like really sexy if said on a date.

  24. tamarika

    Have just been listening to a song, “Maria Lisboa,” while on the treadmill and for some reason it reminded me of Sophia, even though I totally don’t know her. Nor do I totally know you, Neilochka. Which leads me to ask: When I win this bid, can Sophia come along with you for our date?

  25. Churlita

    Say, you’re pretty good at this sales and marketing stuff. Have you considered changing your career path?

  26. Neil

    Tamarika — That might cost you more. I did suggest to Sophia that she dress up like a waitress and serve us cocktails on the patio before dinner, but she didn’t go for the idea.

    My biggest fear of having Sophia being there is that you might like her MORE than me. Also, she has this habit of jumping in when I’m telling a story and finishing it, making it sound funnier and getting all the laughs, while I sit there biting my lip. So, I probably will be more fun on my own. It will also be difficult for us to make out in my car if Sophia is sitting in the back seat.

    But maybe I can have her show up later in a guest appearance.

    Churlita — Like any salesman knows — if you have a great product, it sells itself!

  27. tamarika

    I have a lot to think … mull over … now. It will cost more, I might like Sophia more, she is funnier, the back seat, you biting your lip.

    I think I will sit back, drift into the background, and mull …

  28. sandra

    “my mommy thinks I’m pretty!”

  29. notcarrie

    As an update, we now have Neil at $125 and second place is SomeGuyInDC at $110! I believe that’s called COMPETITION, my friends.

  30. notcarrie

    I can’t even get my updates in fast enough before someone else bids on Neil.

  31. s@bd

    Maybe if you were as cute as the kid in the picture …?

  32. Neil

    Hey, I threw a cute dog in there too! That’s worth another five bucks.

  33. paperback writer

    Neil – The next two guys are prompting their readers to step it up. Shouldn’t you be stepping it up too? I mean, they’re calling you names! Okay, not really. But as a reader of your’s, I would rather have you outbid everyone than have someone else.

    Just saying.

  34. Lux Lisbon

    Ullysses was on my to read list until my dad told me it was one of the worst books ever (it was found among another famous writer’s things after his death, half read, seemingly abandoned. pages were still stuck together from its production).

    I salute you MR. ULLYSSES READING MAN!

  35. cruisin-mom

    Neil, you have more bids than anyone, and you’re at $135. Sheeesh, I should’ve met you for free when I had the chance.

  36. bookfraud

    i think we should just skip all this $150 or $200 nonsense and get right to the point: neil will go on a date and hold the world hostage unless they bid one million dollars.

  37. Neil

    Cruisin — Sorry, you had your chance when I was a nobody. Today, I’m installing an ATM machine in my pants for all future blogger meet-ups.

  38. The Retropolitan

    Neil…! You’ve been…outbid?!?

  39. notcarrie

    SomeGuyInDC is now beating Neil at $155.

  40. deezee

    An ATM machine in your pants? I never give money to those things, but they give out a lot, so cool. I’ll be sure to make plans with you soon.

    Side note: this whole auction thing got me thinking about the next great online dating site (you can run it Neil.) Hosts profiles. Prospective dates bid. Winner gets date. Hosting site gets cut. Datee gets rest.

    Oh wait. That’s pimping and prostitution. Damn. It sounded so good for a minute.

  41. Neil

    Oh no, I just looked at the site of the guy in D.C. getting more money than me. Have you seen how white his teeth are? And listen to this —

    “Having spent years working in homeless shelters and progressive politics –”

    He’s like a cross between Al Gore and Mother Theresa!

    What am I supposed to do?

    It’s time to take out the big guns.

    For $156 dollars, I will put out. AND I will include a free, brand-new copy of Thomas Friedman’s best-selling “The World is Flat.”

  42. V-Grrrl

    So Danny, are you going to have your wife bid on Brian as a random act of kindness?

  43. mckay

    neil, are you adding up all these promises to be given to the winner?

    this is getting so exciting!

    now that the competition is heating up you may have to post another dance video.

  44. Killer

    105? Do you have to pay for dinner? If you were buying dinner I would have forked over more than that. After the cost of meal, dessert, movie, the flowers you would bring me, etc. It would end up being a good deal for me.

  45. tamarika

    Neil, don’t panic.

  46. Neil

    Absolutely, Killer. Don’t forget the rental of the bowling shoes. It’s a bargain.

    Tamarika –You’re right. It’s all for a good cause. It isn’t a popularity contest. It’s not my “worth.” I know my real “worth” every time I look at the beautiful little kittens I rescued from that fire in Brentwood and I’m now trying to find a good home.

    That’s all the “worth” I need. And if that’s not worth another 10 bucks to you to add to your bid, so be it.

  47. EEK

    There’s still plenty of time.

  48. tamarika

    If I could stop laughing maybe I would bid those extra $10. Did you check your status, by the way … ?

  49. Neil

    Thank you, Mystery Date! But you’ll have to excuse me for a while because Sophia is forcing me to shut off the computer, because, and I quote, “Your head is getting a little too big, Mr. 165 Dollar Man, and I need you to get me some tampons from the pharmacy.”

  50. Akaky

    I’ve read Ulysses from Stately plump Buck Mulligan all the to yes I said yes and frankly I wouldnt pay $105 for a date with me, but I’m funny that way, I guess.

  51. Akaky

    …and pardon me for asking, but is that dog praying or taking a crap?

  52. Tatyana

    Akaky: I would pay, more than $105.

  53. Miriam

    Akaky: I would pay for a date with you, and Neil could come along. I would even buy dinner. But the logistics would be hard–you in NY, Neil in LA, and me in poor little Delaware.

    By the way, did you ever visit the Martello Tower where Stately Buck Mulligan lived for awhile? If you have, we could discuss it on our date, and tell Neil all about it. Unless he’s been there too.

  54. Brooke

    You are a shameless hussy.

  55. plain jane

    Neil, you have nothing to worry about, “Some Guy in DC” only has 5 bids and you have 14. Probably his mother is bidding on him.

    Maybe Sophia could bid on a bachelor and you could double date.

  56. Becky

    Neil, if only I had a trip to LA planned, I’d be bidding away.

  57. margaret

    could someone cough up some frequent flier miles so I can go to LA and go on a date with Neil? I’d like to bid on him but he’s so far away!

  58. Spinning Girl

    Wow, if I only had $105.01

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