the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Tag: nonsense

The Dating Life

(taken down the block from my mother’s apartment building)

“How much?” I asked the woman in the tight shorts standing on the corner. She seemed the perfect partner to help me complete my humiliation.

“Ten dollars for a blowjob, twenty-five for sexual intercourse, and two hundred and fifty dollars to sit around your apartment for a hour and talk about your marriage.”

I pulled out a wad of bills.

“Here’s two hundred and fifty dollars for the conversation.”

She was surprised, and looked at me with pity.

“You know what? I’ll throw the blowjob in for five dollars.”

I had left my keys on my dresser earlier, so I had to ring the doorbell to my mom’s place when I returned with the hooker. My mother answered. She was opening a box of Entenmann’s cake. She was surprised to see me with a women.

“Hi, Mom. This is… uh, Clarissa?”

“Clitrissa,” stated the hooker.

“Clitrissa,” I repeated for my mother. “She’s a hooker from the neighborhood.”

My mother didn’t blink. That’s the best thing about getting older. At a certain point, you’ve seen it ALL and nothing seems that weird.

“I was about to have a piece of cake,” said my mother, politely. “Would you like to join us?”

My mother, always the perfect hostess.

“Sure,” said Clitrissa.

The three of us — me, my mother, and the hooker in the tight shorts — headed into the kitchen. As we passed the living room, Clitrissa noticed that a sitcom was playing on the twenty year old RCA TV.

“Two and Half Men! I love that show.” cried Clitrissa.

“It’s my favorite,” said my mother.

“Charlie Sheen cracks me up,” Clitrissa laughed.

My mother lead the giggling hooker to the couch.

“Sit down” instructed my mother. “The show just started. Let me catch you up to speed. The two brothers just had a fight and the nebbishy one — not Charlie Sheen — is thinking of moving, and you know…”

Within minutes, we were all plopped on the couch, in front of the TV, individual TV stands propped at our knees, munching on the Entenmann’s cake.

After “Two and a Half Men,” My mother and the hooker turned on the DVD to watch the episode of “Glee,” from earlier in the week. It was another favorite of both my mother and the hooker.

But I was getting impatient. I don’t usually complain about service in restaurants or at the dry cleaners, but in this instance, I wasn’t getting anywhere near what I paid for.

I slid my TV tray to the side, and forced a fake cough, hoping to catch Clitrissa’s attention, but apparently Clitrissa was a huge “Gleek,” and had seen every episode of the show.

I finally spoke up.

“Uh, Clitrissa, don’t you think we should get started before it gets too late.”

“Oh, yeah, right. Uh, but I’m really enjoying this Glee. Rachel’s going to sing in a minute. Do you mind if I give you your blowjob during the commercial?”

I almost spit out my cake.

“I’m not going to have you give me a blowjob with my mother sitting right here.”

My mother agreed that it was a bad idea, especially since she usually fast forwards through the commercials with the DVR, which would mean that she would have to give me a very fast blowjob.

But my mother is as accommodating as she is a good hostess.

“I guess we could pause the show, you can do whatever you have to do, and I’ll go finish making my brisket for dinner tomorrow.”

Clitrissa and I acknowledged this as the best plan of action. My mother headed into the kitchen. Clitrissa took off her ratty boots and made herself comfortable on the couch.

This was exactly what I needed. To reach rock bottom. To be humiliated. To expose myself to the cheapest whore, a person only interested in my money. It’s better this way. Love is all an illusion. Relationships are impossible. Better to live like the wild animals that we really are, only caring about our immediate gratifications and our beastly yearnings.

“What would you like to do first, the blowjob or talk about your wife?” she asked.

“Let’s talk about my wife,” I said.

Clitrissa sighed, a bored expression on her face. She was apparently more of a doer than a talker.

“Ok, go ahead,” she said, lying back against the pillow. “Don’t worry if you see me closing my eyes. That means I’m listening very carefully.”

I have long considered myself a storyteller, but this was one of the hardest stories to retell. It was the story of my marriage to Sophia.

“To tell you the full story of my marriage, I will need to go back in time. To a happier time. It was our wedding day. I wore my first tuxedo. It was black and regal. And she was like a beautiful Queen, in a flowing white dress…”

Two and half hours later, the story had shifted gears. It was now filled with romantic drama. My mother had gone to bed, leaving us to our privacy.

“The next stop on our honeymoon was Sevilla. We didn’t really like Sevilla that much. We went to a touristy flamenco show, thinking it was going to be very authentic, but instead the dancers were an elderly couple, one of whom had a leg brace. Later that night, Sophia got a pebble in her shoe, and a blister, and I spend two hours trying to find a pharmacy that was open at night… and there wasn’t a CVS in sight…”

Clitrissa had her eyes closed tightly, and was breathing rhythmically. I could only assume she was listening to my story very carefully. And she was an excellent listener, not interrupting my speaking flow even once.

“But as life continued, as in any relationship, things changed. Events changed us. We changed ourselves. We were brought together by happiness and generosity. Sophia threw me a giant surprise birthday party online. We were burdened by tragedy. My father died. There were health issues. Breast cancer surgeries. There was dinners and concerts. There was separations and reunions and dancing. There were more deaths in the family. There were laughs and trips and wild weekend trips to Bakersfield. My entire blog has been one long memoir of a crazy marriage, of two people bound together by love and holy matrimony, two lovers never quite sure if their personalities meshed in the way absolutely necessary for two people to live together without killing each other. There was always more chaos than comfort in this marriage, which made for good blog fodder, but a tremendous amount of real life stress…”

Clitrissa snored, and it finally hit me that she was fast asleep. Money down the drain, I thought. I didn’t even get a fast blowjob during the fast-forwarding of Glee on the DVR.

But as most of you know, I’m a pretty decent guy, and Clitrissa looked sleepy, so I covered her with a blanket, and went into my bedroom.

I called Sophia on the phone.

“How ya doing?” I asked her.


“Did you turn in the filing papers for divorce yet?”


“So, what are you waiting for?” I wondered.

“Not waiting for anything. Today’s Sunday. You want the courts to stay open just for you?”

“You’re gonna do it tomorrow?”

“Maybe. But I have a dentist’s appointment.”

Despite our tentativeness on the phone, we had signed the papers on the day that I left town. I wanted to make some sort of ceremony for us, but we ran out of time. We were busy the previous day cleaning out the garage before I left to make parking the cars easier. We had both just taken showers, and we signed the papers, both naked, much like Adam and Eve might have after the infamous “apple incident.”

Sophia and I were both tired of this on-again and off-again life. I hated ping-ponging back and forth from NY and LA. We had discussed getting “filing papers” for at least three years. If you are a long time reader of this blog, you know that we considered ourselves “separated, but living together” for as long as five years ago! Last week, after years of avoidance, she brought the papers home. I was slightly pissed because I wanted to be the one who brought them home; it would make me sound more decisive when I later tell this story. But then again, I can always change the details when I tell the story in the future.

The last year has been such a hard one for Sophia and me. Both her parents died, one after another. This changed things, especially for her, but for me too. I can’t exactly say in what way. Perhaps it reminded us that life is short, too short to play around with a happiness that only hovers around the 61% percentile.

We are now in a six month transition period. I’m in New York again for a few months, plotting my course. I have a lot of writing that I am behind on. The past year took an enormous toll on my creative output. It is hard to write when real life is much more dramatic than anything you are putting onto the page.

During the travails of the year, I was asked often, “Did the turmoil of her parents’ illness and dying bring you together?” In many ways, it did. But it also broke us apart. The last year has not inspired much romance.

It is time to start dating other people.

“So, have you started dating yet?” I asked Sophia, still on the phone.

“No, but I will start soon.”

“Good for you!”

“How about you?”

“There’s a woman with me right now on the living room couch.”

“There is? You’re with a woman right now at your mother’s place? Isn’t your mother THERE?”

“My mother’s an adult. She’s hip. She even read Sidney Sheldon back in the 1970s.”

“Where did you meet this woman?”

“She’s a hooker. Her name is Clitrissa.”

“I see. So, you paid her to sit with you and talk about “relationships?”

“F*ck no. Well, yeah. But also, for a blowjob.”

“Why didn’t you go for the full sex?”

“It would be another twenty dollars.”

“Why are you always so cheap with yourself?”

“Maybe because I’m still paying for half YOUR apartment.”

“That’s just an excuse. You still should have gone for the full sex. It was the same with the airplane. Just because they charge you another twenty five dollars a suitcase on Virgin America, doesn’t mean you can’t take two bags. You need to treat yourself better.”

“What is this lecture about? Do you really want to talk about this now?”

“You’re the one who called me!” she yelled back.

She was getting my goat, as usual.

“Can’t we just talk about something safe for once? Something that won’t tick either of us off?”

“Like what?” she asked.

“Did you see this week’s Glee yet?”


The next morning, my mother served Clitrissa breakfast (challah french toast!), and she went back to the street corner to go to work. I never did get a blowjob, which is probably better since I didn’t really know her that well..

It was the start of my new dating life.

Truth Quotient: 8%

Need to Sleep

Writing on the iPhone is so personal. I am in bed. I am thinking about you, but I don’t know you. I hold you in my hands as I type. My thumb slides over and around your tender keys, hoping to create letters and words that please you, that connect us across the wide rivers and snowy mountains that separate us. I want you to feel that we met for a purpose. Once, I came to this exact location to be a storyteller, a humorist. Those days are long gone. I am now aimless, but learning how to approach the difficult journey. But that’s tomorrow. Always procrastinating. Tonight I need to sleep. I need to close my eyes. Maybe I will dream about you, dear friend. I imagine your lips taste sweet.

How Social Media is Ruining My Plans

For four years, I have been writing jokes about BlogHer, fantasizing about my dream to go to the conference and finally use my blogging popularity for some legitimate purpose — getting some hot action from some starry-eyed female fan.  For twelve months a year, I work hard on my writing, and I deserve to be compensated somehow. Unfortunately, every year something happens that screws up my chance to attend the conference.  Last year, was an infamous case involving a free ticket from JCPenney/Dockers which went sour.

This year, I have a ticket to BlogHer.  I have a new haircut.  I have bought new shoes.  I have flirted with all sorts of attractive women online.  I have made lists of women in my google reader categorized by DEFINITELY WILL DO ME, POSSIBLY WILL DO ME, and DO NOT READ OR COMMENT.  Today, I was goofing around on Twitter, trying to ease some of the excitment building inside of me with only a month left to go, when I came face to face with the enemy. And it was Twitter itself, Facebook — social media in general.

Let me explain.  Pundits and marketers are wild over social media. President Obama was able to rally large groups of supporters by using social media.   A movie on YouTube can get a million hits within days.  When a tragedy hits, online citizens worldwide can come together in support and organization.

But do we really want information spread so quickly ALL THE TIME?  Do we want our lives to go viral, even the bad things?  The very thought of being in the middle of 1000 gossipy female bloggers has given me pause over my plans of “getting it on” with some hot babe in her hotel room.

For years, I have been writing about my amazing sexual prowess, I have written about giving women orgasms by merely looking their way.  In post after post, I give oral sex for three hours straight and entertain woman with a penis that sings, dances, and tells borscht belt Yiddish jokes.

The truth is, I have been with one woman, Sophia, for over a decade, and even that has had its ups and downs in the bedroom.  If opportunity would arise, it might take a few tries before I get back into the groove, much like the Tin Man needs Dorothy to squirt some oil onto his joints before he could tap dance again.

But now I worry more about my reputation than actually getting laid.  If I did get lucky, and I wasn’t very good, how long would it take before this information would spread across the blogosphere?  Can you imagine how this would hurt my street cred?

“Hey, isn’t that Neilochka, the blogger/premature ejaculator?”

Let’s do a little social media experiment here. 

Ms. Sizzle and V-grrrl are long time blogging friends of mine who don’t read each other’s blogs.  As a trial run for BlogHer, I want to see how long it will take for news about my performance in the sack to go from blogger to blogger, from Ms. Sizzle to V-grrrl.

Remember, just to be scientific about this — Ms. Sizzle is attending BlogHer in Chicago.  V-grrrl is not.  Ms. Sizzle lives in Seattle.  V-grrl lives in Virginia.  They do not know each other.

Here is the scenario.  It is July, 2009.  Chicago.  BlogHer.  Ms. Sizzle and I are at a party Saturday night, both of us drinking too much.  I “accidentally” spill some wine on her skirt, and then accompany her to her hotel room to “change” while her roommates are downstairs.  I compliment her beautiful glasses, and before we know it, we are in bed together, throwing the Harry met Sally “friends shouldn’t do this” rule to the wind.

Three seconds later, it is over.

“Oops, sorry it was so quick,” I say, sheepishly.  “It must be the jetlag — you know, being in a different time zone.”

“Sure, sure, I understand,” she says with a warm smile, lying through her teeth, like most women do. “It was great.  You were wonderful!”

“Really?” I say, my ego stoked.  “I knew it!  I really know how to please a woman sexually!  I tell myself that all the time.”

I look down at my penis.

“You hear that buddy?!  We rawk!”

“Excuse me,” she says politely, as she heads for the bathroom.

Once in the bathroom, Ms. Sizzle, quickly takes out her blackberry out from inside her pocketbook and sends a text message to Kris from Not a Girl, Not Yet a Wino, who is her roommate in the hotel.  She is partying downstairs.

MsSizzle:  I just slept with Neilochka!

theWino:  Oh my god!  How was it?

MsSizzle:  Awful.  They’re gonna have to change Superman’s motto from “faster than a shooting bullet to Neilochka f**king style!”  It’s taking me longer to write this text message than for him to finish.

theWino:  Holy shit!  Who knew?  I always fancied him a total stud.

MsSizzle:  I know.  Me too!  But he’s still a friend.  So, please don’t tell anyone downstairs or Twitter about this to anyone or put this on Facebook or IM with anyone about it.  OK?

theWino:  Of course not.  I’m a woman.  Women don’t gossip!

OK, now here is the experimental part —

Remember the game, “Telephone?”

Who would theWino immediately tell about Ms. Sizzle and me, and how many degrees of separation would it be before V-grrrl received the information that I sucked in the sack via a DM on Twitter by someone else?

I say, it would take one hour.

The Power of Social Media.  Screwing Up Sex Plans since 2008.

Do Over

When people ask me if I blog to grow as a writer, I say no.  Blogging makes me a WORSE writer, since I spend most of my time pandering to the unwashed mob.  Do I blog for the friendships that I make along the way?  Don’t make me laugh. Have you read my new “hate blog” — “My Golden Nuggets,” where I parody the most popular mommybloggers, like Mother Jones, Mother Earth, and Mother Theresa.  No, I blog for one reason only — it enables me to step into my giant time machine equipped with all of the latest time machine accoutrements, and go back one day in time, allowing me to re-ask that same girl from yesterday if she wants to go see Pal Joey with me tonight, even though I just returned from the show.   But, this time no more “I just happened to have an extra ticket… and maybe, perhaps, if you don’t have anything else doing…”

This time, I’m doing it right.  Into the time machine — back a day —

Neil:  “Hiya, Susan.”

Susan:  “Hey, Neilochka!  What’s up?”

Neil:  “I was walking down 54th Street today, and I saw that a revival of Rogers and Hart “Pal Joey” was playing, and I said to myself, “You know, I bet Susan would really like to see this, even though I only met you once, so I bought two tickets — without even calling you first — for tomorrow night.  I’ll pick you up at seven.  What’s your address?”

Susan:  “Wow, you bought tickets because you thought of ME?!”

Neil:  “Sure, baby.”

Susan:  “It’s not like you had an extra ticket because your mother had to go somewhere, like to a funeral?”

Neil:  “Of course not.  Broadway musicals always make me think of you, because the very thought of seeing you again makes me want to sing and dance.”

Susan:  “Aww, that is soooo sweet.  I love contrived, dishonest sweet talking.  All women do.”

Neil:  “So, do we have a date?”

Susan:  “I appreciate the offer, but I already have plans.  I’m going out with this handsome and very wealthy internet mogul who has invited me to a black tie gala at the Museum of Natural History to “Save the African Black-Tailed Raccoon.”  U2 is going to be there to give us a private concert.”

Neil:  “Did I mention that there is a Subway sandwich place across the street from the theater, so we can grab some sandwiches before the show?”

Susan:  “It’s very tempting, but…”

Neil:  “Susan, let me ask you something.  And be honest with me.  When was the last time you had a really good orgasm?”

Susan:  “Uh…let me think.  About two weeks ago, when I was home alone in bed, reading the last chapter of “Twilight.””

Neil:  “I’ll pick you up at seven.  Wear something short, with high heels.”

Susan:  “OK.”

Neil:  (offscreen):  “This post is moronic,”

Neil’s Penis:  (offscreen):  “Just shut up and play along.   Think of this post as damage control for your reputation.   Like Motrin pulling that ad.”

Neil:  (offscreen):  “No one’s gonna buy what I am saying!  There’s no such thing as a time machine either.”

Neil’s Penis:  (offscreen)  “Aw man, you underestimate the power of new media.  People believe anything!”

Neil:  (offscreen)  “Shouldn’t I at least say something about the musical I saw.  There must be someone out there who is curious to hear uh…”

Neil’s Penis:  (offscreen)  “…uh, yeah, right.   Danny from Jew Eat Yet.  He’s about the only one you know who gives a shit about a revival of Pal Joey.”

Neil:  (to Danny at Jew Eat Yet)  “Danny, it was OK… it had some problems, although Martha Plimpton had a surprisingly good voice.  But the show seems old.”

Neil’s Penis:  (offscreen)  “Frankly, I don’t see why anyone would pay 70 bucks for a show that doesn’t have at least one semi-nude sex scene!  You can just stay home and watch HBO!”

Neil:  (offscreen)  “Can I stop writing this post so I can go to sleep?”

Neil’s Penis (offscreen)  “Oh, tell them that one more thing about tonight.”

Neil:  “Oh yeah, right.  On the way to the theater, I passed the Ziegfeld, where they were having the New York premiere of Australia.  And I briefly saw Hugh Jackman’s arm as he walked down the red carpet.”

Neil’s Penis: “And does he have the world’s sexiest male arm?”

Neil:  “It really wasn’t that much better than mine.”

Neil’s Penis:  “Good, I like to hear that.  Confidence!  Women like that.”

A Five Minute Long Wild Sex Comedy

— starring Neil, Sophia, Neil’s Mom, several half-naked girls from Queens, and introducing Moondog, as Neil’s surfer dude buddy.



Neil and Moondog have just finished hanging ten at Redondo and are now chilling at Don Carlos’, the sweetest joint in town for fish tacos. Hot girls in bikinis are constantly walking by. All the girls seem to know Neilochka (his surfer name) and Moondog.

Neil: “I think it is time, Moondog. I’m gonna find me my own place and move out.”

Moondog: “About time, dude. My ear was burning like the hot sand hearing this every week after week… for three years…”

Neil: “Maybe I’ll first go to New York for a few weeks cause I still don’t have any digs. Just feeling as down as GeekDude without his Red Bull. I’m feeling major wipeout over my babe.”

Moondog: “Sure, man. We’re all bummed about you and Sophia. But maybe it’s time to move on. Time to ride the next big wave. Definitely go to New York for a trip.”

Neil: “Yeah, I can go see some of that, what do you call it, art. At that museum from that movie. That museum rocks. They got the stuff from the posters… but they’re real!”

Moondog: “Hell no, forget the old dead white dudes. You need to get over Sophia. You got to start schtupping everything is sight. There’s some pretty hot skirt over there in New York.”

Neil: “Sweet. But can’t I do the same here in LA?”

Neil looks over at a buxom beauty in a tight bikini as she rollerblades by, her breasts a bouncin’!

Moondog: “Dude, surfer dudes like us are a dime a dozen at the SoCal surf and turf. In Gotham City, we’re exotic. They hear your LA accent and your Hollywood style, and they’re already getting wet from the tide. It’s time for you to get on that plane, and shine off your own Big Apple hidden away down there…”

Neil: “And where do I meet this chicks? I don’t have the Benjamins for those Samanthas and Mirandas.”

Moondog: “LOL, dude. NYC is P***y Grand Central. They’re everywhere. East side, west side, all around town! Just look at a map of Manhattan. It’s shaped like a giant breast with the nipple pointing out to Brooklyn.”

Neil: “That’s no nipple. That’s the Brooklyn Bridge.”

Moondog: “I’ve felt up two girls from Brooklyn and there must be something in the water there because Brooklyn nipples could slice a pizza pie. No wonder the Dodgers had to move to LA. They couldn’t concentrate on the game. All those Brooklyn nipples.”

Neil: “Well, I won’t be in Brooklyn. I’ll be in Queens. And I’ll be staying with my mother. That’s not a very good spot for a little romance.”

Moondog: “Hey, I met your mother. She’s cool. The babes won’t even know she’s there. But be strong. This is for you… to live it up… don’t call Sophia… for anything…”



Neil is making passionate love to Freya Aaronson, the once Orthodox, now Reform, Jewish girl he loved in high school but never looked his way, but is now a an assistant editor at Random House and currently submitting her fiction to the New Yorker Magazine.

Freya: “F**k me, Neilochka! F**k me, Neilochka! F**k me, Neilochka! F**k me harder, Neilochka! Nothing could feel as good as you f**king me, Neilochka… maybe except getting published in the New Yorker! F**k me, Neilochka!”

Neil: “Could you just be a little quieter? My mother is sleeping next door. She has to go to work tomorrow early.”

Freya: “F**k me, Neilochka! F**k me, Neilochka! Wasn’t your mother written about in the New Yorker because she’s been working forever at Farrar, Straus, and Giroux? Would she mind if I left behind a few of my stories, Neilochka? They’re perfect for the New Yorker. F**k me, Neilochka! Your mother is amazing. F**k me, Neilochka!”


Neil is in bed, being ridden by Yvonne, the flirtatious black girl from the local stationary store, a brainy grad student at Fordham. The bed is pounding against the wall.

Yvonne: (as she rides him) “Oh my god, dinner was amazing, Neilochka. So good. And my friends consider me a foodie! I can’t believe your mother’s secret ingredient for her brisket is… ketchup. I never would have guessed. How long does she cook the brisket for? It was so tender. So soft.”

Neil: “Can we talk about this later? A conversation about soft, tender meat is not something a man wants to hear when…”

Yvonne: “Do you think she would mind if we went for seconds of the brisket? I can’t stop thinking about it! That brisket was so good. I need to get the recipe. Will she be serving this brisket for Passover?”

Neil: “Passover was last week.”

Yvonne: “Too bad. Try to come fast so we can go have some more brisket.”


Neil is in bed with the petite Emily Ning, a divorced mommyblogger. She lives on the third floor of the same building as Neil’s mother. She works in PR for a Hong Kong-based bank downtown. She is an ardent blogger and loves reading Citizen of the Month. She is giving oral sex to Neil.

Emily: “Do you like how that feels? Do you like that? Am I making you dizzy? You didn’t expect me to know how to do that, did you? How about if I use BOTH hands on your?”


to show that Emily not only giving oral sex, but is also throwing punches in the boxing ring on Neil’s Wii-connected TV, and talking to her opponent, another mommyblogger, via cell phone.

Emily: (into phone) “You didn’t expect to go right, left, did you? You’re going down!”

Emily continues on with her oral sex, looking bored, then leans over to her laptop and sends a quick message to her opponent via Twitter.

Emily: “Knockout, sucker!!”


Neil’s head is between the thighs of Anna Castro, his long-time friend from elementary school, who he has liked ever since they danced the Tarantella together at the fourth grade dance festival. Anna is lying in the bed, her legs apart, waiting impatiently for Neil to take some action. Now, Neil is on the phone, looking frantic:

Neil: (into phone) “I know what I said, Sophia. I said I wouldn’t call you. But I’m telling you… it’s not in the right place with her. I can’t find the spot. Yes, I have my glasses on. Isn’t it in the same place on every woman?… You don’t have to be sarcastic! I didn’t complain when you called me with that stupid computer problem about Photoshop Elements… Yes, she’s nice… It’s none of your business… OK, her name is Anna. .. Yes, the one from the fourth grade dance festival. .. No, I didn’t step on her feet… Yes… yes… Yes, I’m taking the damn cholesterol medicine… Listen, I didn’t call you to chat…”

Neil’s mother opens then door to Neil’s room, carrying a tray of Oreo cookies and low-fat milk.

Neil’s Mother: “Would anyone like a snack?”

Anna quickly jumps out of bed.

Anna: “Thank God. Yes!”

Neil’s Mother: “I’m watching “Dancing with the Stars” on Tivo, Anna. Would you like to join me?”

Anna: “Absolutely!”

Anna exits with Neil’s mother.



Neil and Moondog are chilling at Don Carlos’, chowing on fish tacos and drinking Coronas. Moondog is shaking his head in disbelief.

Moondog: “Dude… never tell this story to… anyone.”

The End

You Can’t Spell Happiness without Penis


There’s an old showbiz adage — “Dying is easy, comedy is hard.” Look how easy it was for me yesterday to write about being miserable. All I had to do was throw some Leonard Cohen or Beck lyrics up on the screen and everyone is crying a river.

But comedy requires work.

Today, I received an email from someone in the PR department of Conde Nast. I don’t know her, but just from her name, I visualize her as extremely attractive, single, ambitious, brunette, Jewish, with knowing eyes — someone like Sophia, but who’s not kicking me out.

Anyway, back to reality. This lovely PR person wrote to me wondering if I was interested in writing a post about an article in their current Details magazine. The article is very creatively titled “Is Being Well Hung the Key to Happiness?” She titled her email “Hung = Happiness.” The Economist this magazine is not.

Here’s the opening of the article:

Is Being Well Hung the Key to Happiness?
Some guys never seem to worry. The reason for that is probably in their pants.

Things were not looking good for Josh (not his real name). He had lost all the money he’d made as a day trader. To make matters worse, his longtime girlfriend walked out on him, taking all the furniture and whatever else she could carry. By any measure, it was rock bottom. But when Josh’s friends mobilized the rescue crew, they were astounded: Josh appeared to be totally unfazed.

“He didn’t care!” says Josh’s best friend, Steve (not his real name), a 35-year-old hedge-fund manager who worked with him on Wall Street. “He shrugged it off. It would have killed a lesser man.” But Steve knew his friend’s nonchalance wasn’t due to some elaborate form of self-hypnosis or handfuls of Wellbutrin. Josh owed his composure to something far simpler: nine inches of the most primal form of self-assurance known to man.

“If it weren’t for his cock, he’d be a hobo riding the trains around the country,” Steve says. “It’s opened doors for him. Rich women put him up at their apartments. We have friends who have more money than him and are more successful than him, but they all say, ‘I want to come back as this guy.’ Secretly, we all want to be him.”

Clearly the PR department of Conde Nast did their research and knew exactly who on the blogosphere who be interested in this new “scientific” research. (I can’t believe the hoity-toity Huffington Post wrote about this important scientific discovery too!) It really didn’t matter that I had never opened a copy of Details magazine in my life.

At first, I had no interest in writing about this post. After all, the PR department sent it to me because they WANT me to write about it, and as Sophia would love to tell you, I’m passive-aggressive. Therapy has changed me, and as proof of that, I’m actually going to go against the grain and agree to help out this lovely and good-willed woman from Conde Nast.

But, here’s my dilemma. I want to say something funny about the article, but I’m stuck between two vastly different comedic “gags.” This is what makes comedy so difficult. Follow along as I mull over my options. Consider this a “Master’s Class” in Comedy.

Gag #1 —

“Happiness = Hung? I think the scientists at Details Magazine better go back into the lab. I think my sleeping in the car last week being miserable clearly refutes their findings!”

Now, I’m the first one to admit that this joke is a dud. However, it serves a vital purpose. Think about the context of the joke. What important piece of real-life information am I subtly adding to the joke? Here’s another hint — soon I may be re-joining the dating pool. Have you figured it out yet? Can you see why I might want to let this less-than-stellar joke remain?

Imagine, mommybloggers across North America, emailing and twittering each other this afternoon, “Did you read Neilochka’s blog today? It wasn’t very funny, but tell me if I’m wrong — in the subtext of the joke, wasn’t he insinuating that he is… well… uh… well… really…well…?

Gag #2 —

“Happiness = Hung? I see! Now I understand why I was miserable sleeping in the car that night!”

That is a much funnier punchline. It is a double whammy. I end up sleeping in the car and blaming it on my own… shortcomings. Of course, it also sends a message out to the world that may end up hurting me in a few months when I make my first appearance at BlogHer.

Imagine, I’m waiting on line to get my BlogHer badge, one of the few men amidst hundreds of horny housewives.

Mommyblogger #1 (not her real name):  “Isn’t that Neilochka? He’s even better looking in person. And so tall!”

Mommyblogger #2:  “Uh, yeah. But did you ever read that post he wrote in February about Details Magazine…”

Mommyblogger #1:  “No, send me the link.”

Mommyblogger #2:  “You NEED to read it. It says so much about him. I’ll send you the link in tinyURL.”

Mommyblogger #1:  “Huh? Why in tinyURL?”

Mommyblogger #2:  “Read his post. Then you’ll understand.”

Clearly, you can see the dilemma I have here. Go with the joke that has the subliminal message that drives women crazy or go fo the funnier line that doesn’t get me laid at BlogHer. This is exactly why comedy is underappreciated. Funny movies never win the Oscars or any serious awards. I don’t mean artsy-funny movies like Juno. I mean the crap that I’m going to write. But they really should. Men expose their souls through comedy!

My Penis just hit me on the leg.

Neil’s Penis:  “What the f**king kind of post is this, Neilochka?  Are your cracking up over this Sophia thing?  Stop moping around and be happy!  Remember Bobby what’s his face’s song– Don’t worry, be happy!”

Neil:  “And what should I be happy about?  I think soon I’m going to be moving out of the house… again!”

My Penis clears his throat, reminding me about that dumb Happiness = Hung article in Details magazine.

Neil’s Penis:  “You’re happy, right?”

Neil:  “Oh, right… right… I’m happy…. very happy indeed.  Don’t worry about me anymore, Mom.  Everything is great.  I’m happy.”

Neil’s Penis:  “Exactly! Woo-hoo!  Nothing can get us down!”

Neil:  “Thank you, Dad, for your excellent genes!”

Neil’s Penis:  “That’s right.  You can learn something about PR from Conde Nast.  Self-promotion is important.  Party!  Party!  Happy! Happy!  Joy!  Joy!”

Neil and Neil’s Penis: (singing together) “We are Family…!”

Thank you Conde Nast and Details Magazine for reminding me that I have so much to be happy about!

The Best Blog of 2008


As you may know, now is the season when all the “Best Blog” Awards are handed out. There are several of these competitions currently running. It is of the utmost importance that you vote for me for “The Best Blog of 2008” in every single one of them. I thank you. I really do consider you all as my personal friends. It would mean so much to me if I were considered “the best of the best.” If I was able to win one of these contests, I would finally be able to hang out with the really big-time bloggers, and not the bunch of losers that I usually… uh, let me rephrase that. I love you. Some of you have fine blogs. Of course, none of them are the caliber of the really cool bloggers such as… I mean, most of you are happy enough just blabbing on and on and on about your boring… cute children. But that’s water under the bridge. You’re nice people. Well, except for a few of the assholes I met last year in Portland. That said, I know you care. Or at least you’re very insecure. No, I think of every one of my blogging friends as an equal. Except for the two bloggers who actually know Dooce personally. They’re special. Well, one of them is. The other one took me off her blogroll. But that’s OK. She’s probably been busy. She’s pretty important in some circles. Although, I do see she comments a lot on the blogs of her friends. Oooh, her friends. You know, maybe she’s been commenting on my blog all this time, but it’s being caught as spam, and I never notice that she’s been commenting. Yeah, maybe. Well, whatever. She’s probably busy. Things will be different soon. Soon, I’ll be “The Best Blog of 2008.” Then, she’ll be reading me again. Yes sir. Good-bye losers. Hello, Dooce. Or whoever Dooce is this year. Is Pioneer Woman this year’s Dooce? Hey — maybe I can be this year’s Dooce? Eh, I doubt it. But what am I complaining about? I have all the really hot babes coming to this blog. That’s something impressive, right? I mean, even if the three female bloggers I actually slept with this year have been as exciting as gefilte fish in the sack. Well, one of them was doped up on 100mg of Prozac, so I can understand her problem. No woman can have a decent orgasm when she’s on that stuff, no matter what position I use with her. But that was my fault for getting involved with her. I totally misunderstood her when she said she was bipolar. I thought she was talking about some kinky sex thing. Live and learn.

Well, like I said — I love you all! And thank you.

(OK, OK, just in case you’re new: Truth factor 0%. Come on, seriously! Do you really think I would let the female blogger go without an orgasm? Even one on Prozac?)

(OK, OK, it is 2AM, Sophia is sleeping. I can write whatever I want, dammit!)

The Secret


“Thou shalt not covet your neighbor’s house” spoke God, and a lightening bolt hit the table and ingrained the tenth commandment in stone for eternity. Moses, his hair turned white from being in the presence of God, shook in fear.

“But how will I get the chosen people to follow these commandments, Lord? I am but one small man. And the chosen people are a stiff-necked group of nudniks who are always arguing with one another. Couldn’t you have chosen a group that was more mellow, like the Amish? Surely the Israelites will not believe that I actually chatted with YOU.”

“Don’t worry, Moses. The answer is simple. Change them each $29.95 to learn the “secret” commandments and before you know it, you’ll be on Oprah and they’ll be standing on line to buy The Commandments on DVD.”

Recently, I’ve read a couple of bloggers talking about “The Secret,” some sort of new Age self-help book/video/audiotape/budding industry that was talked about on Oprah. Oprah speaks, people listen.

Now, I should admit that I have not seen this DVD or read the book, so I have very little to say about the content of this material. It might be inspirational. It might make me a changed man. But — the thing that annoys me about this “Secret” is the way it is being marketed. First of all, I was immediately turned off by their flashy, overproduced website. On the website, there is a lot of talk about “secret membership” and your choice of watching the video online for five bucks or buying the DVD for thirty dollars.

To me, the subtext says: inaccessibility. Why use Flash technology? Why do I have to download a special video codec from Vividas just to watch the trailer? And frankly — WHY should I pay for something so astounding? If this Secret really will change the world, shouldn’t this information be shouted out from rooftops everywhere? Shouldn’t it be freely spread throughout the world in order to make it a better place?

Rhonda Byrne

I’m not against someone making money. But the editor, Rhonda Byrne, former producer of “What’s Cooking” and “The World’s Greatest TV Commercials,” admits that she is just revealing a secret that has already been with us for centuries, albeit only for the elite.

The Secret is released to the world! This ground-breaking feature length movie presentation reveals The Great Secret of the universe. It has been passed throughout the ages, traveling through centuries… to reach you and humankind.

This is The Secret to everything – the secret to unlimited joy, health, money, relationships, love, youth: everything you have ever wanted.

In this astonishing program are ALL the resources you will ever need to understand and live The Secret. For the first time in history, the world’s leading scientists, authors, and philosophers will reveal The Secret that utterly transformed the lives of every person who ever knew it… Plato, Newton, Carnegie, Beethoven, Shakespeare, Einstein.

Now, if this is all true, then HOLY S**T, that is some cool stuff. Someone should be GIVING away this information for free. Don’t worry, Ms. Byrne. You will not starve for all your hard work if you give away this information for free. After everyone has unlimited happiness and money, I’m sure you will be handsomely rewarded. But to make people buy a DVD to learn this amazing secret is simply immoral. It is like Moses charging for the Ten Commandments. It is like Jonas Salk discovering the cure for polio and only sharing it with his friends.

What’s with this selfishness, Ms. Byrne? Shouldn’t this information be offered to poor people for free? What about those without internet access? Or those without DVD players? Shouldn’t the United Nations be in on this?

Of course, I am just taking what you say at FACE VALUE — that this information of the Secret with bring in a “New Era for Humankind.” I would hate to think that all this is just cheesy marketing gimmick used to package the idea of “mind over matter,” a concept that has been around since Philosophy 101 in college.

I also notice that you include Henry Ford on your list of great visionary leaders who knew “The Secret.”

Henry Ford

He certainly was an innovator, but considering that he was a nasty guy, an anti-Semite, and a Nazi sympathizer, I seriously doubt that “the Secret” alone will make this a better world.

A Year Ago on Citizen of the Month: Know Thyself… Very Little

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