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Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014

Over the Weather

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I’m Art Kumbalek and man oh manischewitz what a world, ain’a? So, did you miss me? Yeah, I know, now you’re supposed to say, “What? Miss you? Like, you were gone or something?” Focking swell.

Yes sir, I’ve been what they call “under the weather” while at the same time being so over the weather we’ve got going on around here, I’ve hardly had the strength to crank up the thermostat and mix another hot focking toddy.

I either had a cold, or the flu, or the flu and a cold. And how the hell is this even possible, I’d like to know. Jeez louise, I had the flu shot back in October so what the heck, did they run out of vaccine that day and decided to use chicken broth instead? You tell me.

And then I’ll tell you about this big brouhaha about all the government spying and snooping going on. I don’t know if the snooping has gone a little overboard, but I do know I made a phone call to my buddy Ernie last week to let him know I wasn’t feeling well. And the very next day in the mail I got an official looking envelope postmarked Washington D.C. Inside was a get well card—no signature (Ernie thinks they used disappearing ink)—wishing me a speedy recovery, so what the fock, ain’a?

OK, hold on. It’s the phone. Could be the Publishers Clearinghouse Sweepstakes knobshines calling, finally. Be right back…

Nope. It’s my pal Little Jimmy Iodine. Hold on a second…

“Hey Artie, got a minute?”

“No can do, Jimmy. I’m smack-dab in the middle of the fifteen minutes I set aside each week to whip out my essay. I got to go.”

“Yeah, Artie. I just wanted to know with all the Russian anti-gay propaganda they got, if the Olympics were still allowed to have the men’s figure-skating contest.”

“Haven’t heard, Jimmy.”

“You should put something in your little article this week about that Super Bowl halftime show. Jesus H. Christ, can’t anybody write a song I can hum the next day anymore? And what’s with this parading around on stage like you’re having some kind of stroke seizure. That’s entertainment? I got two words for you, Artie. Carol Channing.”

“Is she still alive?”

“She’s 93, Artie—not that much older than those Rolling Stones when they did the Super Bowl the other year. She’s got the experience. She did Super Bowls IV and VI. And Hello Dolly, for crying out loud. Now there’s a tune you can hum anywhere you go, ain’a?”

“Jimmy, I…”

“One more thing I got to tell you, Artie, before I forget. You might like this. So Herbie was in Chicago the other day at this fancy tavern with his hotshot brother-in-law. Anyways, there was this knob at the bar and he asks for a bottle of 40-year-old Scotch. Seems the bartender didn’t want to give up the good liquor, so he poured a shot of ten-year Scotch and figured the guy wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. The guy downs the Scotch and says: ‘Hey, this Scotch is only ten years old and I’m not paying for this! I specifically asked for forty-year-old Scotch.’

“The bartender was a bit surprised, and Herbie saw him reach into a locked cabinet underneath the bar, pull out a bottle of old Scotch and pour this knob a shot. The guy drinks it down and says, ‘That was twenty-year-old Scotch. Did I not ask for forty-year-old Scotch?’

“So the bartender goes into the backroom and brings out a dusty bottle of Scotch and pours the guy a drink. A small crowd has gathered and they watch as he downs the shot. This time the guy says, ‘I don’t know what you’re trying to pull here, but this is 30-year-old Scotch and I refuse to pay for it. I want forty-year-old Scotch.’

“The bartender shrugs, leaves the bar and goes down to the cellar. Couple minutes later, he’s back with a wrapped bottle and pours a shot. The guy downs the Scotch and says, ‘Now, this is forty-year-old Scotch!’ The crowd applauds ’cause I guess they can’t believe how good his taste is.

“All of a sudden Herbie, who was sitting in the corner, stands up, walks over to the guy with a full shot glass and says, ‘Here, take a swig of this.’ So the guy takes the glass, downs the drink in one swallow, immediately starts to choke and spits out the liquid all over the bar. ‘My God! That tastes like urine,’ he yells. And Herbie says, ‘Cripes, you are good. So how old am I, asshole.’ Ba-ding! Later, Artie.”

Oh my, would you look at the time. Seems like my work is done here, ’cause I’m Art Kumbalek and I told you so.

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