Big Man on Rumpus
I'm Art Kumbalek and man oh man manischewitz what a world, ain'a? So, what's to say, from me this terrible Tuesday, May 8. Yeah yeah, I just got back from voting, and boy-oh are my thumb and index finger tired, I kid you not. I don't know if they still put lead in a pencil, but every time I darken a ballot, lo, these days, I feel like I got some kind of poisoning, what the fock.
(Natch', my name was not to be found in the Vote-For-Governor category. I'm thinking I really ought to investigate declaration-deadlines in the future.)
And then I heard that Maurice Sendak, crusty creator of “children's” books, is no longer with us—he who said this: I cry a lot because I miss people. They die and I can't stop them. They leave me and I love them more.
You betcha, Mo. And wherever it is you go to now as you step into your private boat and wave goodbye, I hope you find your supper waiting, and that it is still hot. And a howdy-do to all the kids already there.
So, no essay this week. I got to go somewheres and do some thinking, and where I do my best thinking is over by The Uptowner tavern/charm school, situated on that legendary corner of Hysteric Center Street & Humboldt Boulevard just west of the river, where today is always at least a day before tomorrow and yesterday may very well be today, and where self-medication sure beats the cost of the prescription variety. Come along if you feel like it, but you buy the first round. Let's get going.
Emil: Fock you. All I'm saying is that if the mankind got evolved from monkeys and apes, why do we still have the monkeys and apes?
Herbie: Scientific research.
Emil: Ridiculous. How can they stick the chimpanzee away in a laboratory when they really belong on TV where they could entertain and amuse a nation of all races and creeds like they did years ago, when the shows would have a chimp in a bellboy's outfit, wearing roller skates and smoking a cigar?
Julius: Abso-focking-lutely. They ought to experiment on house cats instead of chimps, and they can start with the wife's. The only trick that focking piece of fur can do is crap in my slippers.
Little Jimmy Iodine: You's guys hear Leo Brzscziewiczynsky passed?
Little Jimmy Iodine: Leo. Leo Brzscziewiczynsky.
Herbie: You got to be jerking my beefaroni. I thought “Brzscziewiczynsky” had two “e's” in it, what the fock.
Little Jimmy: You're thinking of Stan Brzescziewiczynsky. He's still with us.
Ernie: So what happened to Leo? He never drank a day in his life.
Julius: That was his problem right there. I just read about a study says when you pound a couple, three ounces of booze daily 'round the clock, you can avoid keeling over from the Big One.
Emil: I've said that for years. The more you drink, the longer you live. I spit on the tomb of the teetotaling knobshine.
Herbie: I never listen to the bullshit testimonials from geriatric geezers who say the reason they're so old is 'cause they never touched a drop, and then before you know it, they go just like that at 95. Cripes, if they knew their way around a bottle like they do a load of crap, they'd live to a hundred and focking twenty-five, the focksticks.
Ray: Speaking of focksticks…
Little Jimmy: Hey, Artie! Over here.
Art: Hey gents, what do you know, what do you hear.
Ray: Look. It's Mr. Governor. How'd that campaign go, besides down the toilet?
Art: Maybe it wouldn't be down the crapper if you guys had figured how I could raise some dough like I asked you.
Ray: How 'bout this idea for you, Artie: Get a focking job and raise your own goddamn money instead of being a panhandling pain-in-the-butt like all those other politicians.
Little Jimmy: I heard Leo Brzscziewiczynsky passed away.
Art: I thought “Brzscziewiczynsky” had three “y's” in it. What the fock happened?
Little Jimmy: Here's what I know. I called Leo's widow to express my sympathies. Leo was getting elderly but good, plus he never drank a day in his life.
Art: Goddamn it, that's his problem right there.
Little Jimmy: So the widow says Leo had a heart attack last Sunday morning whilst they were having the hootchie-cootchie.
Ray: Laying the Polish pipe at his age—god bless him, but that's just asking for trouble when you're that old, I don't care who you are.
Little Jimmy: That's what I said, but she said that wasn't a problem 'cause they stopped going at it like a couple of barnyard animals years ago. They lived over by St. Stanislaus there and they decided the best time to enjoy the pleasures in the connubial bed of the man and wife would be when the church bells rang. She said it was the perfect rhythm, nicely slow and even.
Art: Makes sense—in on the Ding and out with the Dong, ain'a?
Little Jimmy: That's what she said, but then she choked up a little and said, “What with the nice weather, we had the windows open and I swear to god, Jimmy, he'd still be alive if that focking ice cream truck hadn't come along.”
(Hey, I know you got to go, but thanks for letting us bend your ear 'cause I'm Art Kumbalek and I told you so.)