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I Figure Less than Greek

Feb. 12, 2014
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I’m Art Kumbalek and man oh man manischewitz what a world, ain’a? So how ’bout this for a headline I saw the other day somewheres: “Water could be flowing on Mars now.” What the fock. The story says “researchers have found clues that water could be flowing in the present, at least during warm seasons.”

Hey, California? You need water? I know where you can find it. All we need to do is build enough spaceships to take all the Californicators to the Red Planet, and once they’re there, they can do whatever the fock they want. Sure, catching a Dodgers game would be damn difficult, but what the fock, at least you’ll have water, and from the Martian photos I’ve seen, traffic congestion shouldn’t be a problem.

Then the federal government could rent out a vacant California to Mexico at a hefty price, which would pay for the spaceships plus create a budget surplus to boot. Everybody wins. And why I’m not sitting in the White House on account of grand ideas like this—hey, you tell me.

And then I’ll tell you that since another Super Sunday has come and gone, the next holiday we got coming up the jock is this St. Valentine’s Day—the day for lovers, most of whom will soon be losers. Which reminds me that I’m heading towards 30 years of mulling the malarkey for you’s in this newspaper. You newcomers know me as the thought-invoking brain-inducing essayist on this back page whose words harmonize the tenor of our times, or something like that. But a lot of you’s don’t realize that I started at this rag as the Shepherd’s advice-to-the-lovelorn columnist. Don’t believe me? Then try this on for size, a blast from those glorious salad days of years past:

Hey, Dickweed:

I’ve been having this problem of hearing voices in my head. For example, just the other night I’m in bed lying next to a certain female, and a voice inside my head says, “Relax...you’re not the first doctor to sleep with one of his patients.” But then a few minutes later, I hear another voice reminding me, “Robert, you’re a veterinarian for crying out loud.” Can you please make these voices stop?

—Doctor Doolittle

So listen up, pally. Hearing voices can be a bitch, I tell you, ’cause who the heck knows where that kind of nutbag stuff may lead, ain’a? In far, far too many cases of voice-hearing I’ve heard about over the years, seems one day some guy’s hearing voices, the next day he’s out carving up Cub Scouts, I kid you not. I’m no expert when it comes to hearing, but I got two words for you: Ear focking plugs. OK, maybe that’s three words, so sue me.

But Robert, before you get the earplugs please allow my voice to remind you that no matter what one’s profession may be, remember that one is allowed to have a personal life. From your letter, I can only assume that yours includes a sexual attraction to—perhaps even preference for—another species. In this conservative Christian voodoo age that can make a regular guy feel like he ought to get fried at the stake just for checking out the latest bra ad from JCPenney, I admire the courage inherent in the matter-of-fact manner in which you describe your problem—that is, you understand that your problem is not the fact that you’re boning a Doberman, or sheep or even a goddamn chimpanzee for all I know, no sir that’s not your problem. Your problem is simply only with these voices you hear. Good.

Man oh manischewitz, I know that I for one don’t think I could take the raised eyebrows the New Puritans would give me if I showed up at a cocktail party or after-hours business function and my date was a focking barnyard animal. And you must remember this: If you ever begin to feel blue from any kind of harassment like that, I can only suggest patience.

Remember that medical science makes a bunch of breakthroughs every day, even as I speak. It may seem like only yesterday when, in fact, it wasn’t, that it seemed really unusual and focking weird that guys could go to Sweden and come back gals. So hey, stick to your peccadilloes Robert ’cause one day doctors will perfect the species-change operation and then Robert can be Rover and everybody’ll say big focking deal. Now roll over and play dead ’cause I got one more paragraph and it’s got nothing to do with you ’cause it’s for the normal people.

So with the Valentine’s Day and all, good luck and God speed with your love and romance. And as tradition here dictates, let me remind you what the famous Greek philosopher Anonymous said about that: “The ideal relationship can only be achieved when one partner is blind, and the other is deaf,” ’cause I’m Art Kumbalek and I told you so.


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