the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Sanford and Stanford

Sanford:  Hi, I’m Redd Foxx.

Stanford:  And I’m Wille Garson.

Sanford:  Together we play Sanford and Stanford, on the new hit CBS comedy of the same name.

Stanford:  And if you have no idea what we are talking about, you apparently didn’t read Neilochka’s last post, which has been up there for at least five days. 

Sanford:  Yeah, what’s your problem?  Why didn’t you read it, you sucka?  How would you like one across yo’ lip??!

Stanford:  Ha Ha, Redd.  Remember, non-violence is the answer.  Unless, we are fighting for a table at Hugo’s in West Hollywood for Sunday brunch!

Sanford:  That was one lame fruitcake joke, Stanford. 

Stanford:  On our show, the two of us are constantly battling as I attempt to transform Fred’s old junkyard into a trendy B&B for the gay, lesbian and transgender community. 

Sanford:  Transgender?  What the hell is that?!

Stanford:  (whispers something in his ear)

Sanford:  Holy…!  (grabbing his chest)  Oh, this is the big one! You hear that, Elizabeth?! I’m coming to join you, honey!”

Stanford:  Ooh boy, and I thought only gay men were drama queens!

Sanford:  As you can see, on Sanford and Stanford, we play it up for laughs.  But today, as part of CBS Cares, we’d like to talk to you about something that is not funny at all — an issue that is heating up America during this election year.

Stanford:  We are speaking about “Can Male and Female Bloggers Ever Be Friends?”

Sanford:  And Stanford and I both agree — the answer is “Yes”.

OK, this is Neilochka.  I am interrupting this post for three reasons.

1)  It is not that funny.
2)  I cannot come up with a good ending.
3)  I am worried that readers born after 1980 have never heard of Sanford and Son, and will think of me as an old fart who doesn’t know what LOL means.

The point of this post is to say that I met Astrogirl from Notes From the Bunker this weekend.  We had a great time together.  We had pizza at my favorite Queens pizzeria, Valentino’s.  We saw art at the Frick Collection.

We then went to a cool exhibit on Chinese Propaganda at the Asia Society. 

We ate sushi and I got slightly drunk on sake.  Oh, and yeah, she is married, so it was all safe.  There was no action other than her letting me see her tattoo on her back.

But Astrogirl was also nice enough to give me hints on some “do”s and “don’t”s for when I actually go on a REAL date.

For example, don’t make a woman self-conscious about food.  I’ve met quite a few female bloggers for lunch and I am always fascinated by what they order — and don’t order.  I’m always wondering — are some women afraid of being seen eating a sandwich or finishing everything on the plate?  Is it a rule for the woman to fake insecurity about ordering dessert?  Do women really want a “side salad” when the man orders a six foot hero?  Should the man order a boring salad too, just to show comraderie?  Finally, while it might seem like a compliment to tell a classy dame like Astrogirl that, “You are ordering two slices of pizza?! I love that you’re doing that.  I hate when women only order a salad and never finish it.  You clearly have no phobia about eating!  I knew I was going to like you in person!” she probably is going to overlook the accolades and just think that you are calling her a pig.

Sanford:  I know my sister-in-law Esther can swallow a whole franchise of Domino’s in one night.

Esther:  You shut up Fred, you fish-eyed heathen!

Sanford:  Oh no, Esther, where the hell do you come from?  You scared me.  You are so ugly, I could stick your face in some pizza dough and it would scare away the tomato sauce.

Stanford:  Come on, you two.  I hate when people fight.  Unless of course if it is a party at David Geffen’s home and we both show up wearing the same outfit!

Sanford:  Stanford, you big dummy!

Neilochka:  Boy, this Sanford and Stanford idea is as unfunny as a SNL skit! 

(By the way, don’t worry, Astrogirl, I’m also gonna tell my readers that you are like size -4 so other women can hate you as one of those skinny bitches who can eat two slices of pizza without even worrying about it).


  1. Lis Garrett

    My husband and I went on a business lunch meeting yesterday, and I was a little miffed that he felt secure enough to order an awesome looking cheeseburger while I ate a Cobb salad (tasty as it was). However, I knew that I would be doing the majority of the talking, and I didn’t want beef chunks falling out my mouth or grease dribbling down my chin. If I were on a date, though, I’d totally pig out. But that’s just me. Why should I hide the fact I like to eat a good meal AND have the dessert to follow?

  2. always home and uncool

    Fred Sanford references are timeless. God Bless “Nick at Nite.”

    (Uh, that’s a cable TV channel. No antenna required. It’s a crazy brave new world, Neil.)

  3. anna

    Your reflections on women and eating remind me of a guy friend of mine who said, when I complained of being cold while wearing a dress, “Oh, I always thought women had some kind of special thing where their legs didn’t get cold, and that’s why they could wear dresses even in the winter.”


  4. Kate

    Obviously I watched way too many reruns growing up (and was born before 1980) since I find the Sanford and Son references HI-larious. I also like the CBS Cares spot.

    I don’t mind people pointing out that I eat a lot (I do), but I can’t claim to be completely without insecurity. My husband has always claimed to prefer the more voluptuous types (which sadly – I’m not) to the skinny ones (again – I’m not – I’m a forgettable in-between). So whenever he compliments me on how I’ve “been looking really good lately,” my first reaction is to say “oh great – I’m getting fat!” Maybe I just shouldn’t eat so much.

  5. patois

    Funnier than an SNL skit, that one. Now, excuse me while I go eat my regular breakfast of eggs, toast, bacon and pancakes.

  6. Baroness von Bloggenschtern

    I would SO watch “Sanford and Stanford” – a veritable melting pot of American mores
    and cultures, where checked flannel meets Grey Flannel, where ‘fro meets man-ho, where…

    OK, I don’t have an ending, either.

    Or pizza. Sh*t.

  7. an9ie

    Is it just me, or does the chick in the Frick collection painting have a “Hey there, big boys!” kind of look in her eye?

  8. Finn

    O-K, so what did you think of what I had for lunch when we met? Hmmm?

  9. somechileanwoman

    I was born in 1980 and have not heard of Sanford and Son, but I still think post is hilarious! Oh yeah, and LOL.

  10. John

    True, not that funny…creative though! Work with it, Neilochka. : )

    Julio: Buenas Noches Meester Sanford!

    Sanford: Yeah, Buenas Nachos to you too.

  11. Meredith

    Don’t EVER comment on what people eat. My boyfriend’s mother always comments on what I don’t eat, like I’m some kind of freak. Can I help it if her food is gross and I’m merely trying to spare her my spit-up on her fancy table cloth?

    When I’m not forced to eat her food I generally pig out. But again, I don’t think I’d want that pointed out to me either. It’s nice to know, though, that you can appreciate a woman who enjoys a really good meal.

    And the only things you shouldn’t eat on a date are BBQ ribs and/or corn on the cob. Especially on a first date. Trust me.

  12. Danny

    “Sanford and Stanford”–way better than an SNL skit! But please don’t start worrying about people born after 1980–if you start changing your posts to cater to the youth of America, I’m bolting! Not that I’m necessarily part of your desired demographic. ARE a lot of your readers born after 1980? Oy.

    That sounds like a great date! And while I get what you mean when you say, “she is married, so it was all safe,” some people would say that means exactly the opposite!

    I think Astrogirl is dead-on with her advice about commenting on a woman’s food choices, even if you think you’re complimenting them. Don’t do it! Next you’ll be answering honestly when they ask you if they look fat in something. And then you’ll never date again, platonic or otherwise.

    But to answer one question: NO, in my opinion, you should never order a side salad just because who you’re with orders one. That would strike me as the height of wussiness and also bring too much attention to the woman’s obvious eating disorder.

  13. Neil

    Finn — if I remember correctly, you ordered macaroni and cheese and gulped down the entire thing.

  14. balou

    Maybe you’re on to a new weight loss system for women? Spend all meals eating out with people you feel self-conscious around.

  15. chris

    I remain a skeptic. I think it’s very difficult – not impossible – to have a bonafide MUTUALLY platonic relationship between married and or single men and women. I’m simply saying it’s likely that one person in the relationship might fantasize about romance or sex (NOT platonic love by definition) – even if it’s only a small percentage of the time.

    Not impossible though. I think rare.

  16. Neil

    Chris — Finally, an honest person!

  17. margalit

    When I was a kid we used to spend a LOT of time in Vegas because my dad’s friend owned the casino and we got top service all for free. One weekend when we were visiting, Redd Foxx was performing at Caesars where we stayed. There were signs all over the damn hotel advertising him, and in the elevators as well.

    We were in the elevator going to or from the casino, when Redd Foxx got on with a couple of men. The elevator operator said to my parents, this is Mr Redd Foxx, who is performing at the hotel.

    My father said, and this is a direct quote, “Oh, and what do you do sir?”

    When we stopped laughing hysterically, Foxx said he was a comedian.

    True Story. And one my father NEVER lived down.

  18. margalit

    Part 2. I eat in restaurants. I like food. I’m not a size 4 and I never will be, but I’ve lost 70 lbs and I still eat in restaurants. I do not get that ‘pick at your salad’ type of mentality.

    And I have, over the years, had MANY men friends that were nothing other than friends. I do think women and men can be friends without sexual tension. But it depends on the people and on whether or not they are sex obsessed. Me, I could take it or leave it at this point in my life, so being a friend with a male is just like being friends with a female. I don’t want to have sex with either of them. 🙂

  19. Dagny

    You know me. I like food. And yeah, occasionally I get to hear, “You’re not really going to eat all of that, are you?” Something about folks believing that a chick who wears a size four or smaller must survive solely on diet sodas and salads. (I absolutely hate diet soda by the way.)

    A couple of weeks ago, we had a lunchtime bbq at work. I tried to keep up with one of the guys but had to stop after two cheeseburgers and a hot dog. With some potato salad and chips.

    Bottom line, don’t really like the commentary on what I am or am not eating. Especially on a date.

    Oh, and Chris is totally right. At some point someone is usually fantasizing in what is supposed to be a platonic relationship.

  20. Meredith

    What is so wrong with sexual tension? Personally I think it adds zest to any friendship. Acting on things is an entirely different matter, but oh how I love to flirt and be flirted with.

  21. deidre

    I didn’t realise there was a stigma about what girls should eat on dates until 2 years ago (that’s how hip I am, dawg). But being the pickiest eater ever, whatever I order is overshadowed by the things I can’t or won’t eat.

  22. Jillian

    TWO slices of pizza??? That’s too much!???! What kind of world IS this?!?!??

  23. andi

    I’ve heard of it, but never seen it. Blame it on my lack of cable as a child. Damn rural living.

  24. better safe than sorry

    i have a single male friend that i have lunch with once a week, i always have a salad and he always picks on me because that’s what i have. i always point out to him that i’m also having water. he’s like a brother to me, can’t imagine ever flirting with him, but he does flirt with me. and he always gets a smack from me when he does.

  25. teahouseblossom

    That is my FAVORITE painting in the Frick Collection. I love how the audioguide describes it, too..the girl is “kind of plain.”

    And I read somewhere that Willie Garson is actually straight. Could it be??

  26. Astrogirl

    I must admit, I’m a bit trepidatious (so a word, even if spellcheck says no: to leave a comment on Neil’s blog, amongst all his obvious admirers. But I do feel the driving need to…”clarify” a couple of points:

    1. The word “slightly” is a subjective measure of Neil’s level of sobriety. An impartial observer would more accurately have used the word “blindingly”. When one cannot even hold oneself upright, and requires the assistance of someone a full 12 inches shorter, and a good 50 pounds lighter, to keep from falling in the gutter, well…let’s just say we passed “slightly” about 10 minutes (and three embarrassing childhood revelations) into the meal.

    2. No, I don’t have any problem with eating like a healthy human being. At least, I don’t when my companion refrains from asking me several thousand times why I am not eating my pizza crusts. I consider myself lucky that I didn’t leave with an eating disorder.

    3. Technically you’re correct, there was no action (being a lady in the true sense of the word, I’ll refrain from going into detail on the game of grab-ass you tried to play as we walked to the car after dinner; I’m chalking that one up to the sake). However, I do believe that checking my ass out 9 times in a ten-minute period would probably be considered the equivalent of an engagement proposal in some cultures.

    4. Does your choice of a relatively conservative piece of art from the Frick, as opposed to, say, one of the nudes, mean you’re trying to get away from your reputation as a man perpetually on the prowl (Exhibit A: The talking penis posts.)? If so, kudos to you.

    5. I find it fascinatingly revealing that you left out the LGBT Social that was going on at the Asian Museum while we were there. Also revealing that you were the one who suggested the Asian Museum to begin with. I’m just sayin.

    Despite (because of?) all that, though, a lovely evening. I’m also glad I could help you work past your physical affection phobia. And y’all can take THAT any way you like it.

  27. Fear and Parenting in Las Vegas

    Priceless! I am SO going to DVR this next season and watch it six months later when I’m at home with the stomach flu.

  28. churlita

    I love to eat and I wouldn’t worry about eating too much on a date. If the guy wants one of those girls who pretend they don’t eat, we probably wouldn’t be happy together, Better to weed them out right away.

  29. morton

    actually, it was funnier than an SNL skit.

    Now I’m horny….

  30. Christine

    I was having dinner with a friend not too long ago and she was like that with me…the whole not eating thing. It was horrible. I was shoveling in the food while she picked at it.

    I feel for you guys.

  31. Juli Ryan

    I live to eat, but when I am anxious, I just can’t eat. I’m surprised that you were “grabby”. I don’t imagine you that way!

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