Sweet Little Sixteen
I’m Art Kumbalek and man oh manischewitz what a world, ain’a? So listen, first, a message to our young men struck with the March Madness out there on the hardwood in the Apple this weekend: “GO BADGERS,” you betcha.
Second: If you’re still hungover from St. Patty’s Day Week-and-a-focking-Half, here’s a little story that may make you feel better:
Mary O’Reilly, in tears, goes up to Father O’Grady after his Sunday morning service. He says, “So what’s bothering you, Mary my dear?” She says, “Oh, Father, I’ve got terrible news. My husband John passed away last night.”
The priest says, “Oh, Mary, that’s terrible. Tell me, did he have any last requests?” She says, “That he did, Father.” The priest says, “Pray tell, what did he ask, Mary?”
“He said, ‘Please Mary, put the damn gun down.’” Ba-ding!
And, for some gosh darn reason this old-school tune is gosh darn stuck in my head as I walk this land with broken dreams while I have visions of many things—like money’s happiness is just an illusion, filled with sadness and confusion. And I wonder, what becomes of those broken hearted, who had dough that’s now departed? Fock if I know. Never had any to be departed from; so you tell me.
Anyways, when times are tough I know I’m off to the Uptowner tavern/charm school for a nice cocktail, except they shan’t yet be open at today’s early hour. So first, I’ll plant my dupa over by my favorite open-daily 23-hours and 59-minutes restaurant for a relaxingly light-on-the-pocketbook repast. Come along if you care but you leave the tip. Let’s get going.
Bea: Hey there Artie, nice to see you. What’s your pleasure?
Art: Hey Bea, how ’bout a nice cup of the blackest, thickest and cheapest cup of whatever you’re calling plain-old American coffee today. And by “old,” I mean to say if it is brewed any time after yesterday noon, it’s too fresh. I want a cup of the kind of coffee that in a road construction emergency, you could use to patch a faulty abutment; coffee that any online wimp-ass under the age of 30 would keel over dead from the heady aroma; a cup of coffee, Bea, that if somebody from OSHA was nosing around, you’d be fined for storing said coffee in an unsealed vessel. You got anything like that?
Bea: Coming right up, Artie. Mind if I put my safety gear on first?
Art: No problem, Bea. I’m not going anywhere, what the fock.
Bea: There you go, Artie. So what do you hear, what do you know.
Art: For cripes sakes, I know it’s only a couple, three weeks ’til Easter Sunday and I still haven’t given up anything for Lent. That can’t be good, so they say. How ’bout you Bea, you give up anything for Lent this year?
Bea: If I keep working the hours I’ve been working to make ends meet, I’ll be giving up the ghost, and there won’t be anything holy about it.
Art: God bless you, Bea. I’ve come to feel the same way about quitting something for the Lenten season the same way I feel about quitting something for the New Year’s resolutions.
Bea: How’s that?
Art: Winners never quit; and quitters never win. I’m a winner, ain’a Bea?
Bea: Yes you are, Artie. A winner.
Art: Darn tootin’. You see, Bea, some years ago around the start of a Lent, I got struck down by one of those epiphanies. There I was, all stuck on what I ought to deny myself for the next 40 days or so. Was I going to give up that third pack of smokes of the day, give up the fifth cocktail, cut down on the lavish tips at the gentleman’s club? And then it hit me—I would give up giving up. Give up giving-up anything. And especially give up anything I learned religiously during my glorious grade-school days spent at Our Lady in Pain ’Cause You Kids Are Going Straight to Hell But Not Soon Enough. No ma’am, I then and there decided to LIVE LIKE YOU MEAN IT.
Bea: Hold on Artie, live like “who”?
Art: Live like “you.”
Bea: Live like me? You’d want to live like me?
Art: Why not? I’d like to live like you do, and I mean it.
Bea: Oh my. I think I understand what you’re saying, Artie. It’s just that the use of the second person singular or plural pronoun “you” dipsy-doodling with your nominative or objective case can get a gal like me a bit flustered, and I mean it.
Art: God bless you, Bea. Perhaps best we save further dipsy-doodling for another time, so I guess I better run. But thanks for the coffee and for letting me bend your ear there, Bea—utiful. See you next time.
Bea: My pleasure, Artie. Always nice getting talked at by you. Take care.
(OK, off to the Uptowner where you’ll cover my bar tab and I mean it, ’cause I’m Art Kumbalek and I told you so.)