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Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2008

Art for Art’s Sake

Me and My Arrow

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I’m Art Kumbalek and man oh manischewitz what a world, ain’a? So listen, right now I don’t have the time to whip out a big honking essay for you’s that’s going to match up with the goddamn deadline I’m supposed to cram up my dupa weekto-week; so sue me.

That’s because today is a combo plate of Supersized & Fat focking Tuesday, which means I’m supposed to meet up with my presidential campaign brain-trust huddled-up over by the Uptowner tavern/charm school to find out if they have a focking clue as to why the Kumbalek candidacy has yet to show up on any kind of radar at all these voter primaries-and-such so far held across the land. It seems my message is not getting through. Yeah, I could probably take a trip and actually appear on the stump in some of these godforsaken places, but South Carolina? You got to be jerking my beefaroni. Why would I want to go there while I’m still alive? For cripes sake, after I croak and go to hell, I figure I’ll be in South Carolina for the rest of eternity, so what the fock.

Anyways, the Uptowner isn’t open yet, so I’ll swing by my favorite open-24-hours Webb’s restaurant where a guy like me can get a jumpstart on girding his loins in preparation for the day’s daily shit-storm to follow. Come along if you want but you leave the tip. Let’s get going.

Bea: Hey there Artie. What’s your pleasure?

Art: How ’bout a nice hunk of the blackest, thickest and cheapest cup of whatever you’re calling plain-old American coffee today—and by thick, Bea, I mean you don’t measure this coffee in fluid ounces, you measure in inches.

Bea: Can do, Artie. So what do you hear, what do you say these days. You got any Valentine’s plans coming up?

Art: Heck no, Bea. I’ve been trained to stay away from what-they-call the relationships. Used to be come the Valentine’s, I would always go to give the gal the nice box of some kind of candy and a nice daffodil. But I guess maybe ’cause I always spent so much time in the dog-house, in return I always got a new flea collar and a bath. Yeah yeah, I’m always reminded of the words of the great Greek philosopher from the olden days—Socrates, Anonymous, I forget which—when one day with his students, he was having one of his famous dialogues about the relationship between men and women. To hit the bull’s-eye with a point he wanted them to absorb, he asked of them a riddle, which was this: “What is the difference between a tornado, and an ex-wife?”

Bea: Lordy.

Art: Know the difference, Bea?

Bea: I do not, Artie. What is the difference between a tornado and an ex-wife?

Art: None. They both get the house.

Bea: Does seem to be that way, Artie.

Art: Just goes to show you, Bea, that even thousands of years ago divorce was no cakewalk on the beach. But the difference is that in this day and age of the modern times, divorce is no more uncommon than the common cold. And times change quickly. For crying out loud when I was a kid, the word “divorce” was so scary that whenever you heard it, the first thing you had to do was put on clean underwear.

Bea: It can be scary, all right.

Art: But seems to the kids today, seems like parents getting the divorce is no big deal. It’s just another routine ritual of growing up, like First Communion, eighthgrade graduation, the first time you got to call your pop from the police station. How ’bout you carve me out another cup of that coffee there would you, Bea?

Bea: My pleasure, Artie.

Art: Trust, Bea. Trust. That’s what makes a relationship work.

Bea: That’s what I hear.

Art: Trust in your spouse as you would your doctor, Bea. But that’s easier said than done, like this couple I knew once. The guy hadn’t been feeling so hot for awhile, so the wife takes him to see the doctor. Doctor checks up the guy every which way and tells him he’s got a very serious condition of which he needs to speak to his wife about in private.

Bea: Oh dear.

Art: So the doctor says to the wife, “Your husband’s condition is so serious that he could die any day. However, there is one way you can save his life. For six-nine months, you must cook three extremely well-balanced meals a day for him, vigilantly keep the house spotless from dust, and energetically and creatively cohabit the connubial boudoir night—spiked heels and fishnet stockings a plus. And madam, if you perform these three tasks in full throttle, your husband will recover to lead a rich and full life.”

So the wife thanks the doctor and meets her hubby in the waiting room. Naturally, he wants to know what the doctor said. She takes a deep breath, looks deeply into his eyes and says, “The doctor said you’re going to die.”

Bea: Isn’t that something.

Art: And understanding each other’s needs is a big deal to boot, Bea. Like the philosopher Henny Youngman said: “My wife and I have the secret to making a marriage last. Two times a week we go to a nice restaurant, a little wine, good food. She goes Tuesdays; I go Fridays.” Ba-ding! Well, I got to run, so 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. (It’s off to the Uptowner. If I see you there, then you buy me one ’cause I’m Art Kumbalek and I told you so.)

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