the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

The Barber of Flushing

I hate the first of the month because that means it is time for the “first of the month” morning chat with the other several hundred members of the MPBG (Male Personal Bloggers Group).  Every month, it is the same thing — bickering over who is using an unfair advantage in gaining attention from the female bloggers.  After all, aren’t tits and ass the reason we male bloggers blog? 

Tensions were strong this month.  The summer months are gone and women are wearing more clothing while walking in the streets, so the frustration levels were super-high.    As expected, the men split into two camps, the Daddybloggers and the non-Daddybloggers.  Kapgar, a talented male blogger without children, immediately went into attack mode. 

“Why is it OK for Daddybloggers to exploit their cute children to win favor with the hot women.  This gives you a major advantage!”

Kapgar was especially angry because LAST MONTH, many of the same Daddybloggers voted down his own proposal of posting photos all of our private parts on a group post for all the women to judge.

“What are you all afraid of?”  he cried. “When is it time for ME to get the big advantage?” 

Buddha on the Road and Cog backed Kapgar and broke ranks with the others in the “We Love Women With Big Butts” sub-committe.  The arguing became so heated, that at one point, they even threatened to expose “daddyblogger” Black Hockey Jesus‘s real identity — a single, unmarried male librarian in Wichita, who just uses stock footage for his “children” so women will feel safe showing him their breast-feeding photos.  He was not the only recipient of the fury of the mob.  Dave at Blogography was accused by Kevin of Always Home and Uncool of unfairly meeting too many females in person, giving him unearned “privileges.”  Brandon and Backpacking Dad had their usual argument over who was “the best-looking Dad.”   Bookfraud insisted that that he was the most literate male blogger becaue he read Proust in French and The Gentleman Savant said, “Bullocks!” which is odd since he isn’t British.    Slightly Mordant accused Karl of being a male blogwhore and a sell-out for attending BlogHer.   NYC Watchdog and Avitable had heated words because only one of them made it into “The Hottest Blogger Calender.”  Caveat Emptor mocked Jon over at Ransom Note Typography for his recent “attempt” to write “sensitive blog posts” as a lame attempt to win over the NPR babes.  Shiny and Palinode argued over the virtues of the breasts belonging to American vs. Canadian women, with Palinode touting scientific research at the University of Toronto that said by drinking Canadian beer,  the nipples of Canadian women gained a far greater perkiness.  Be the Boy, always a strong defender of our country, disagreed, saying that he has felt up women from four different countries, including one from Europe, and that the nipples of American women always stand the proudest.  Conservative blogger TRO received boos from male Obama supporters when he claimed that Republican women gave better oral sex.  However, after he told Whit some amazing stories about his time at the Republican convention, Redacted immediately decided to switch sides and vote for McCain.  I accused Rattling the Kettle, Arjewtino, and Dad Gone Mad of selfishly trying to woo Jewish women and shiksas who like Jewish men away from my blog.   Cynical Dad, Dad Talk, Mitch McDad and Sci-Fi Dad all insisted that they had the “Dad” in their name trademarked first.  Billy Mernit from Living the Romantic Comedy wondered why Headbang8 and OkayCity were even blogging.   Others chimed in.

“You’re both gay,” said Michael Blowhard of 2 Blowhards.  “If you’re not out to see a woman naked, what’s the point of wasting your time blogging.  Go to the movies instead?”

Perhaps the most anger was directed at me, trying to “Jon Stewart” my blog.  Clearly, most men have noticed what women have written about the popular political-oriented comedian/talk show host. 

“I want to marry him.”

“I heart Jon Stewart.”

“I would sleep with him anytime… anywhere.”

Those are inspiring words, so much so that last week, I dumped my usual nonsense blog posts to change my blog into one of “political humor.”

“How dare you try to go Jon Stewart on us?” cried Danny from Jew Eat Yet, wanting to keep the political Jewish blogger label for himself.  “Don’t you have enough women reading your blog?”

As we all know, there are never enough. 

“But don’t worry, Danny.  Or the rest of you.” I replied.  “Sure, I am guilty of trying to go Jon Stewart and steal female readers from your lame blogs.   But is it my fault that I know exactly what a woman wants?   But alas, my political humor fell flat.  Sometimes, a man has to live within his limitations.”

The mood changed, as the others saw that I was hurting.  While male bloggers can be competitive, when one of us in need — the others join forces, like Marines in ‘Nam — protecting each other.

“Talk to us,” said Jon at Ransom Note Typography, continuing with his “sensitive shtick.”

The other men gathered around the flickering lights of their monitors as I told my story.

“My first attempt this week was with this post about the first 08′ Presidential election debate.  The aim of the humor was to mock McCain for not showing up at the University of Mississippi.   For days earlier, I had seen that many hotties had shown outrage at this and hated McCain, so I figured, what better way to show that I am as sexy as Jon Stewart than writing a funny, anti-McCain political post?

And what happened?  Right after I published it, McCain SHOWED UP for the debate — making the post irrelevant.

Irrelevant Political Humor Posts – 1
Hot Babes – 0

The second piece of political humor was written just yesterday.  For this post, I made up an imaginary online “luxury products” company, the point being to poke fun at the failing economy, especially all the evil Wall Street “fatcats.”  If figured I would get a few bras from this one.  Unfortunately, the post didn’t win over many people, and worse, I got two emails asking me if this company was REAL, proving that the writing was just plain confusing.  I’m sure it would have been funny if it were on The Daily Show.

Irrelevant Political Humor Posts – 2
Hot Babes – 0

My biggest failure at political humor happened last Thursday night.  It was such a non-event, that I never even published the actual post.

Some backstory:

Last week, I noticed on the news that some women were asking for Sarah Palin’s eyeglasses in stores and her hairstyle at salons.  Women were bringing in a photo of Sarah Palin into their salon and asking for “the Sarah Palin.”  I found this amusing and wrote a couple of messages on Twitter about what it would be like to choose our President based on his hairstyle.  At some point in the conversation, I went to a Presidential Portrait website to look at past presidents, and decided that the president with the best hair EVAH was Andrew Jackson.  I made this comment on Twitter, adding a link to the Presidential portrait:

“Imagine if you went into Supercuts with this portrait and asked for the Andrew Jackson.  What would happen?”

I immediately received messages from several female bloggers telling me that I should do this.

“That is hilarious!”

“That is so Jon Stewart.”

“I would sleep with you anytime… anywhere — if you did that.”

Actually, no one made that last comment, but I imagined that someone was thinking it.

The truth is, I needed a haircut.  The next day was my mother’s retirement, and my mother refused to be seen with me and my mop hair.  I was also meeting Finn and PoppyCede for lunch later that day, and I wanted to look sharp.

But did I have enough guts to actually do this hilarious stunt? 

Why do men always have to go on great adventures, like Jason and the Argonauts, just to win favor from beautiful women?  It’s not fair!  I procrastinated until five o’clock. 

“Be a man,” said my Penis.

I obeyed. I had to.  I printed out a color scan of Andrew Jackson on the Brother All-in-One that I bought for my mother (and which she still has no idea how to use) and left the house, my wild hair blowing in the Flushing wind.

I did not have enough time to take the bus to the nearest Supercuts.  This gave me only two options in my neighborhood — the salon where my mother goes, run by two Russian women, or the old-fashioned Tony’s Barber Shop down the block, a local institution, one of those macho places with the old Italian barber, the twirling barber shop pole, and the combs inside floating in that mysterious blue liquid.

I have memories of bad haircuts at Tony’s as a child, so I took the choice of going to the salon.  At least I could say hello and goodbye in Russian.

This “salon” used to be across the street from their current location, but they were forced to move recently by their evil landlord.  The salon took over a failing newstand/card store.  However, the newstand had one profitable side business — they sold Lotto tickets.  The salon owners made a deal with the former owners, who had a permit to sell the tickets.  The salon would give them a space for selling Lotto tickets in the front, and they would split the profits.

Clever, huh?  Except, this arrangement created and atmosphere of being in a salon located in a subway station.  As I sat there, waiting for my turn with the stylist, two drunk old men stood in front of me scratching off their “Win Five” tickets with their keys.  The door opened and closed every other second, as some new loser came in to buy his ticket.  I felt claustrophobic by my surroundings and ran out of the salon.  I decided to visit Tony before he closed for the night.  I walked the block to the shop and saw the familiar sign and twirling pole.

Unfortunately, Tony died years ago.  The barber shop was now run by three Russian guys (perhaps the husbands of the Russian women at the salon?)

The minute I walked in, Yan jumped up.  There were no customers at the time.  The three guys were just sitting around, chatting.

“Sit.  Sit.”  he said.

“Thank you.  Spasiba (thank you in Russian).”  I answered.

“You Russian?!”

“No, my zhena.  She’s from Odessa.”

He looked at his friends and they laughed.  I have no idea why they laughed.  Was he saying something about women from Odessa?  Was this something I should have learned years ago?

“How you want hair?”

OK, the moment had arrived.  I held the scan of Andrew Jackson in a large folder on my lap.  Was I a Man or Scared Mouse.

“Do it.  Do it,” said my Penis.  “Show those Russians what real American men are made of!”

I wish I had some vodka to drink to calm my nerves.

“I’d like to keep my hair long.”

“Just a little off?”

“Yes, make it something like this…”

I took out the scan from the envelope and showed him the photo of our 7th President.”

“OK!  Will do.”

“That’s it?  “OK!  Will do”?”  I said to myself.  “Shit!  This is not funny or interesting.  He didn’t even ask me a question.  Jon Stewart would have made this funny.  This is going to be one crappy post.   Maybe I am not the first to show him this portrait of Andrew Jackson?”

I showed him the scan again.

“This is Andrew Jackson.”

Yan laughed.  He showed the portrait to the others.

“Andrew Jackson,” he said.  “A white Andrew Jackson.”

They all chuckled.

“I don’t like Andrew Jackson.  I am Jew.  He doesn’t like Jews.  He calls us “Hymietown.”

“No, no, no.  That’s Jesse Jackson.  This is Andrew Jackson.  The President.”


There was silence for a second.  Yan shrugged.

“I like Michael Jackson,” said on of Yan’s friends.  “Beat it!  B-E-A-T I-T!”

Yan gave me my haircut, which ended up looking exactly like every other haircut I ever got at Tony’s Barber Shop when I was a child.   He cut it shorter than I asked.   It looked nothing like the “Andrew Jackson.”

Irrelevant Political Humor Posts – 3
Hot Babes – 0


  1. Danny

    Wow. EXCELLENT stream-of-consciousness all-over-the-map post, I love it! And thank you for finally acknowledging your many male readers, even though it’s still in the context of scoring hot babes. My only fear is that some of the women and girlfriends of these guys won’t know you made up the “We Love Women With Big Butts” sub-committee and you will have caused several major fights across the country!

  2. will betheboy

    I have never been so proud to be linked in a post.

  3. scott

    I feel stupid because I thought at least 75% of these bloggers were women.

    I’d like to note that I’m only opposed to posting pictures of my penis on the web because of the long upload and download times and because people always complain about all the scrolling.

    Thanks for the link.

    Hello, Neil.

  4. paintergirl

    Doesn’t John Kerry look like Andrew Jackson? Why didn’t that work again? Oh yeah, I forgot. Everyone was jealous of him windsurfing.
    Cheers Neil-great crazy post.

  5. V-Grrrl

    Wow Neil, I’ve been eager to meet hot male bloggers. Thanks for the links! Be back later–or not.

  6. Astrogirl

    As one of the aforementioned shiksas who like Jewish men, I do everything I can for my favorite Jewish, NY-native, alternative-living writers. But I’m only one shiksa – I can only do so much. I talk up your blog to my shiksa friends; I mention your blog on my blog (which has a fairly high ratio of shiksa-to-non-shiksa visitors). All this I do for you. The rest is up to you.

    A gezunt ahf dein kop!

    PS I like the haircut.

  7. kris

    Maybe you got the Shirley Jackson?

  8. Backpacking Dad

    I am so much better looking than Brandon. He’s not even fully chromatic!

    Who am I kidding? Dude has a picture of a flower up on his blog right now. He wins.

    Speaking of pictures: where is the picture of you with your too-short Jesse Jackson cut?

  9. Neil

    Backpacking Dad — here’s the best one of the bad haircut right now —

  10. brandon

    in a fight between two guys over who is better looking, everyone loses.

    unlike a similar fight between two girls, where everyone wins. especially if jello and an inflatable pool is involved.

  11. Twenty Four At Heart

    Republican women give head? I thought all of us female Democrats had a monopoly on oral sex ….?

  12. Ginger

    Heya, Scott…’Sup? 😉

    Oh, and nice post, Neil.

  13. Fancy

    As usual, very funny stuff. Anyway, maybe you wouldn’t have had the bushy eyebrows to pull that style off.

  14. ingrid

    too back they didn’t give you the andrew jackson. it’s hot.

    but *where* i ask myself, *where is the picture of the haircut that resulted from this pondering?*

    it makes me sad.

  15. kapgar

    You’re trying to get me lynched by the Daddy Blogger Mafia, aren’t you?

    And I think that was Karl who suggested the naked body part bit. Sounds right up his alley. 😉

  16. Chris

    I really enjoyed this. Scott’s comment made me laugh out loud. Your hair looked very nice in the photo with your mother, but no, it wasn’t the Andrew Jackson.

    Still laughing at Scott…you too.

  17. All Adither

    I do have a bit of a crush on Dad Gone Mad. In a totally married-woman, non stalkerish, non Jewish way. I think it’s because he refers to his significant other as Hot Wife. Who wouldn’t have a crush on a guy who does that?

  18. Poppy

    You got a haircut for us?

    Wow. I guess I should feel bad I haven’t had one since August.

  19. anymommy

    You made me laugh today and it was not a particularly good day! And, I give the crush to BPD for his latest, sweet love story post.

  20. Lis Garrett


    Thanks so much! I desperately needed a good laugh tonight. 😉

  21. palinode

    Until I read your post, Neil, I had assumed that I was a woman – a hairy, ugly woman. Thank you for putting me in the company of manly man bloggers.

  22. teahouseblossom

    Wow, your discussions with the other male bloggers reminded me of some I’ve seen on The View. And I have always thought that Andrew Jackson was a total fox.

  23. Jennifer H

    You’re better off, Neil. Andrew Jackson had to spend half his presidential salary on Bumble & Bumble hair product.

    ‘Course, it was worth it, for the hot babes in corsets, I suspect.

  24. NYCWD


    Which one of us didn’t make it into the calendar? I hope I don’t show up for nothing…

    I think next month I’m going into my barber with a scan of Ben Franklin and getting that cut. It’ll be distinguished… and a lightning rod for ridicule BUT how better to honor the Founding Fathers?

  25. AnnieH(the other Annie)

    Did you at least get white highlights put in your bushy eyebrows??

    I am soooooo relieved you and your Penis are still on speaking terms. Makes all right with the world.

  26. always home and uncool

    Dave at Blogography and I have come to an agreement. He promised to send me all the “videos.”

  27. Anissa@Hope4Peyton

    I would absolutely vote you the “So like Jon Stewart that you must immediately give up the panties” award if you did a whole series of conversations between you and your penis.

    The Penis Manalogues.

  28. headbang8

    Gay male bloggers. We don’t chase tail. Tail chases us.

  29. Backpacking Dad

    Your haircut looks like a sagging shelf full of binders. Fire your stylist.

  30. better safe than sorry

    i think i need to pick up some beer this weekend;)

  31. John

    Wait! What now?

    Every male blogger in the country thanks you for the shout-out Neil. : ) All hundred of us. Oh and,

    “aren’t tits and ass the reason we male bloggers blog?”


  32. churlita

    Wow. this is the linkiest post I’ve ever read. I’m jealous. I’m way too lazy to post that many links – even to get laid.

  33. peachy

    my boyfriend gets his haircut at a little Russian run place in Chelsea for 10 bucks. i’m telling you, make the trek over, maybe they’ll appreciate your humor there.

  34. cog


    We decided =not= to post our penis pictures?

    um… be right back.

  35. G. Savant

    “Bullocks”! Ha! Back to my bubbles and squeek, then! Tally-ho!

  36. Dagny

    I am torn. Some days I think that Danny wins in the category of “So like Jon Stewart that you must immediately give up the panties.” Other days it’s you. What’s a shiksa to do? (Ummm. That was a rhetorical question. Really.) And that means a lot. I’m still in recovering from when Jon Stewart got married. Now I cling to the hope that he will see the errors of his ways.

    Oh, and I think that next time you should ask for the Moe.

  37. (S)wine

    Good stuff. Got here from Brandon’s blog.

  38. here today, gone tomorrow

    Delurking to say, “Bravo!” for one of the funniest posts I’ve ever read. Surely this will get you some!

  39. Annie

    I too love Jon Stewart and I don’t even have TV, but you are second in line :-).
    Great post Neil

  40. Sonja

    I came over to see if you were Crest or Colgate and got way more than I bargained for! Hilarious!! I’ll have to go back and check out all the links. And as for the Andrew do – I told you – you’d need extensions! Especially in the eyebrow arena!!

  41. Whit

    I slept with Jon Stewart. I was better.

  42. Mik

    Hilarious, but it isn’t odd saying “Bullocks” if he isn’t British, Brits would say “Bollocks!” Two total different things 🙂

  43. Omyword! Did I Say That?

    Maybe you should have asked for a Sarah Palin. It involves a lot of teasing, but I think your pals here supply enough of that for you.

    Your penis can talk?
    Can I see that?

    Maybe that’s why you’re in my feed reader. I’ve forgotten.

    Love and sexual fantasies from a female blogger fan (who is too old to use your penis, but would be happy to listen to it).

  44. Middle-Aged-Woman

    “The Gentleman Savant said, “Bullocks!” which is odd since he isn’t British.”

    It’s exceedingly odd, since a Brit would say “Bollocks.” Unless he was swearing about the female co-star of Keanu Reeves in the film Speed.

  45. Neil

    OK, OK, so I screwed up with the Bollocks.

  46. Sarcastic Mom

    Just tell them all that your penis typed the part about the bollocks. 😉

  47. vodkamom

    and what did your penis have to say about the cut? huh? He probably lied like the rest of us do and said he liked it.

  48. Karl

    Wow, I had no idea I was in the middle of some brouhaha.

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