One Side of a Story

Does every story have more than one side? Can there be a story with only one side? Soon, you and I are likely to hear a story with only one side.
Dr. Ford will tell her story about the alleged assault when she was 15 years of age. Dr. Ford is asked that she tell her “side of the story.” We can assume that Dr. Ford will detail “her story.” After Dr. Ford tells her story, Brett Kavanaugh will tell his “side of the story.” Therein lies the problem. There appears to be only one side of the story. Brett Kavanaugh has repeatedly stated that he has no side of a story. Brett Kavanaugh does not have any story to tell. Brett Kavanaugh says there is no story. Brett Kavanaugh denies that an event of any sort has ever occurred – never, not ever. On the day of testimony, we will hear one story, that told by Dr. Ford. Brett Kavanaugh will have nothing to say since the event never occurred. We will have to live with just one story – the Dr. Ford Story. We would not demand of Brett Kavanaugh that he invent a story. Perhaps he could develop a story of how come he has no story to tell. That would be an interesting exercise. Follow me….

Senate Judiciary Room, Washington, D.C. – September 27, 2018.
Sen. Hatch: Judge Kavanaugh could you please tell us how come you have no story to tell?
Judge Kavanaugh: What is it that you would like me to do? I am unclear about your request.
Sen. Hatch: Oh, I’m sorry, I was…. (interrupted by Sen. Grassley)
Sen. Grassley: Please allow me to clarify what Sen. Hatch is requesting.
Judge Kavanaugh: Fine, thank you.
Sen. Grassley: Judge, please tell the panel just exactly why you have no story to tell.
Judge Kavanaugh: Certainly, Senator. I was thinking that I should be able to explain why I have no story. Since Dr. Ford has told her story, I should be able to tell a side of a story.
Sen. Hatch: Great. Now we are getting somewhere.
Judge Kavanaugh: To the best of my recollection, I have absolutely no recollection of anything, or any person that Dr. Ford identifies. Particularly Dr. Ford. I do not know her at all.
Sen. Grassley: So, is that the reason why you have no story to tell?
Judge Kavanaugh: Exactly. I mean, I could make up a story of how come I have no story to tell, but that would be difficult – rather unique.
Sen. Hatch: No, I do not want you to make up any story, even if the story is about why you have no story to tell.
Sen. Leahy: Sen. Grassley, I must have a moment, please.
Sen. Grassley: Certainly, Sen. Leahy.
Sen. Leahy: I am listening very intently, and at this moment I am feeling sick to my stomach.
Sen. Booker: Me too!
Sen. Harris: Mr. Kavanaugh, could you please tell exactly what you know.
Sen. Grassley: Sen. Harris, you were not recognized.
Sen. Harris: Perhaps not by you, but by the millions watching on television.
Sen. Grassley: Senator, please respect the chair.
Sen. Durbin: She does respect the chair. It is the finest that Ethan Allan can manufacture.
Sen. Hatch: Not funny. Everyone, please calm down. Let us continue with Judge Kavanaugh.
Sen. Leahy: The Judge is done. He has nothing to say. He cannot speak to an event that never occurred. That is, it!!
Sen. Harris: All we have is the testimony of Dr. Ford. She swears that the events occurred. Brett Kavanaugh has nothing to offer.
With that Sen. Grassley bangs the gavel and calls a recess…… and at that moment, both Dr. Ford and Brett Kavanaugh cry out, “tell us your decision. Tell us now!!!”
Sen. Hatch: Calls the Sergeant at Arms to clear the room.
Sen. Grassley: Hatch, I will call the Sergeant. I am chairman – not you.
Sen. Hatch: Whatever!!!

(Tom Golden, 2018)

How Come

Naomi Osaka won the 2018 US Open. The news repeats that she is the first Japanese person to win a tennis championship. That she is the first Japanese to win a tennis championship is a fact, but more important is how come she won the match against Serena. Naomi has mixed ethnic parenting. Naomi’s Mother is Japanese, and her Father is Haitian. The birthright is interesting, but why the emphasis on Japanese. The publicity given to champion athletes about their nationality is rather trivial, and yet seemingly people want, or need to know. The Olympics constantly reminds us of the nationality of the talented athletes. An innocent viewer of the Olympic games would think that Sri Lanka won the mile run, or that the nation of Finland broke the speed racing record.

It is important to know the how come of a persons’ actions, or events. There were dinosaurs, and no more dinosaurs. How come? Florida is drowning – how come? Sam was in the ICU, eating breakfast, and died. How come? And Ms. Osaka won the 2018 US Open – how come?

Let’s Make A Deal

April 23, 2016

The night of the Republican Nomination Celebration. About one hour prior to the announcement of the winning candidate, Donald Trump, his campaign advisor, Corey, and members of the Trump family gather in a backstage room. Two guards stand watch outside the door.

Son, Don Jr.: Dad is it true what Ivana told me?
Donald: Who? Who told you what?
Don Jr.: Ivana told me – no I mean Ivanka.
The Donald: Was it Ivanka or Ivana?
Wife, Melania: Donald, please do not get so upset. You know yourself that the names are very similar.
The Donald: Melania, will you stay out of it. Don, who told you, and more importantly what are you a talking about?
MaryAnn, Donald’s Mother: Yes, Don, what were you told. Ivanka, Ivana who cares.
Tiffany, Donald’s daughter: Grandma, you know they are two very different persons, and you should respect that – I mean they are really different – it’s important.
MaryAnn, Donald’s Mother: Tiffany, you do understand that I was not talking to you. You have a bad habit of talking even if you are not asked.
Friedrich Grumpf, Donald’s Grandfather: MaryAnn, please be kind. Speaking of habits, you must remember how often you interrupt.
MaryAnn, Donald’s Mother: Well…..
The Donald: Please stop this talk. There is just one hour until the convention starts. Now Don, what did you hear, no matter who the hell said it.
Don, Jr: Well, now that I think about it, I am not sure who told me.
The Donald: I don’t give a shit who told you. What did you hear, damn it – what!!!
Don, Jr: I heard that you were going to make a very special announcement at the convention.
The Donald: What else did you hear?
Don, Jr.: That’s it Dad. Just that.
Maryann, Donald’s sister: Well that was a lot about nothing.
Eric, Donald’s son: That is just like Don Jr. Always making a big deal about nothing.

Barron, Donald’s son: Deal – Did someone say deal. Are we making another deal? Say dad, are you making another deal?
Ivanka, Donald’s daughter: Barron, go back to sleep. There is no deal. Will everyone just calm down. Dad needs his rest. Tonight is the most special night in all of our life.
Ivana: I thought Donald’s and my marriage was the most special night in your life.
Barron: And mine, and Don Jr. and Tiffany’s life.
Tiffany: My favorite night was when Dad married Marla. Second most favorite was when we had the reception for Melania.
Melania: That is not very nice of you, Tiffany.
Tiffany: Well, it’s true.
The Donald: Alright folks. I am glad that you came. Tonight is special – really special. You know that I am not like any other candidates. You know that I am my own man. God is great!
Barron, Tiffany and Don Jr.: Right on Dad. Right on. Sempre fi.
The Donald: Kids, that’s for Marines.
Barron: You did go to the New York Military Academy, didn’t you?
Don, Jr.: And you told people how much you know about military things and stuff.
The Donald: That’s true, but I was a student – not in the service. I tried, but no luck.
Corey, campaign manager: If I may ask, could everyone allow Donald and I to have several minutes alone to discuss tonight’s issues.
Melania: Certainly. Corey, can I stay?
Ivana: Why must I go? There is little that I do not know about Donald. Actually more than Melania.
Corey: I apologize. I do not mean to be rude, but it is very important that Donald and I speak alone.
Friedrich Drumpt: You heard the man. Everyone out!!
Mary Anne, Donald’s Mom: Friedrich, you have not lost your Germanic disposition. I will go when I am ready.
The Donald: Mom. You heard Grandpa. Get out!
Mary Anne, Donald’s Mom: Well, you have some….
Ivanka: Please Grandma, please let’s go.

All family leave the room.

Corey: Donald, what is this special announcement?
The Donald: Oh, nothing much.
Corey: Donald, you know how often you say and do things and I am the last person to know.
The Donald: So?
Corey: I am your campaign manager.
The Donald: So?
Corey: Well as a manager, I need to know what you are thinking. What you are planning.
The Donald: I agree, Corey
Corey: So what about the announcement. What are you planning to announce?
The Donald: Something extremely special, unique. Actually one of a kind.
Corey: What? Tell me what?
The Donald: Well, I know it will be special, and unique and never have happened before.
Corey: Donald – come on now. What the hell are you talking about? You have me worried.
The Donald: Frankly, I am not too sure exactly what I’ll announce. I know it will be outrageous.
Corey: Donald, I cannot let you go out there, and say something outrageous on the last night of the convention. Please Donald what have you on your mind?
The Donald: A lot! Corey, I have so many things on my mind that I cannot even think of any one thing.
Corey: I don’t understand, Donald. What are you saying?
The Donald: Well, I know what I know, but there are things that I do not know – like Rumsfeld has said, there are unknown, knowables. I’ve got both.
Corey: What the hell are you saying? Donald you are making me scared. You are the main man. You are number one. You will be President. What is happening to you?
The Donald: Corey, just relax. You know that I am not like anyone else.
Corey: Yes, I know. We love you for that quality. What about tonight?
The Donald: Well, Corey, I think I’m gonna rest for a few minutes.
Corey: Good idea. But Donald before I go, please tell me – please do not cut me out. Please.
The Donald: Corey. I love you, but please go. Please get out. I need to think.
Corey: Alright, I will go, but please don’t fuck this night up. Please, I beg of you.
The Donald: Thanks Corey. Thanks buddy. I love you. I love America. God bless America.

Two Hours later at the Convention Center.

Donald Trump has just been announced as the Republican candidate for the Presidency of the United States. The audience has been giving him a 20-minute standing ovation. The band is blasting a combination of God Bless America and Rock Island Line.
Donald is standing at the podium. Smiling, waving, smiling, waving and smiling and waving.
Donald raises both arms high. The band stops playing. The audience calms down. The silence is a stark contrast to the prior screaming, almost devotional outbursts.
Donald brushes his golden flocks. He grabs the podium with both hands. He leans forward toward the multiple microphones. And he talks.

The Donald: Ladies and germs, I mean gentlemen. I couldn’t help that one. Ladies and gentlemen. Honored guests, our Wounded Warriors, Police Heroes, and our cherished Priests, Pastors, Rabbis, and those other hooded guys. Only messin. Before I continue, I must thank- no I must honor my family, my wives, and most of all, although they are not here, my staff at Trump Towers, Trump Apartments, Trump Ventures, Trump Casino, Trump University, all my overseas Trump colleagues, and my Thai Trumpets. If I have left anyone out, well tough – Only joking. I must thank you present at this convention hall and the thousands, no I mean millions of workers, supporters who have worked so very hard for me, and for America. I mean, and you know it – I mean I love America. I love America, more than Ted loves Canada, or Marco loves Cuba. I know that Huckabee loves America, but I honestly think he loves God more. Only foolin. And as for Jeb, I know he and his entire Bush family love Texas, the Lone Ranger, and Tonto. Madam Forina, I must tell you that I have never known a woman as angry as you. If you had won the nomination, Hillary would be chopped liver for you – I mean you would have cut a her a new…. Enough. Once again, God Bless America. Did I say that already? Well anyway, here goes.

Never in my life did I believe that I could be running for the Presidency of the United States. Never did I even have any interest in such an exalted position in our government. I want to be famous, but more I wanted to be rich. So rich that I could do whatever I wanted. So rich that I did not have to depend upon anyone else. Hillary claims it takes a village. Hillary needs help, but as for me, I did it on my own. I made it happen. I did it The Donald way. You know folks, they say The Pope, The Queen, The Ayatollah, The Lord, and now they say The Donald – would you believe it, The Donald. Everyone knows what that means. It means a man of a single mind, a single direction, honesty, determination, clarity and most of all a sense of himself. Some say I am self-centered – big ego – arrogant – vain. Well, that’s true. So what’s so bad. It has gotten me to this podium. Right. Right in front of the nation, the world. It has gotten me every boy’s dream, and some girls too. I made it happen. Anyone can be President. Anyone! Anyone!

(Audience gives 10 minutes of screaming support – the band strikes up the Battle Hymn of the Republic.)
Donald stands erect, and salutes the flags behind him and waves at the crowd. As the audience calms downs, he takes one of the hand microphones, and walks to the edge of the stage.

(Secret Service guards, quickly front the stage to control any attempts to crowd Donald.)

The Donald: First I want to thank millions of our real citizens, I mean legal citizens, card carrying citizens for their confidence. I truly believe that you have made the right choice – the right man for the job. I have never doubted the end result. I have never doubted my rightful place as the Republican candidate for President. In addition, to be absolutely clear, truthful and with no reservations, I appreciate the nomination. but I decline to be the Republican candidate for the Presidency of the United States of America. It’s not for me. Not my kind of job.

The moan from the crowd is deafening. People shouting. Some fainting: Pandemonium.

The Donald: Let me make it clear, as I always do. You know when I speak, I tell it like it is. I tell it from my heart, and not from my pocketbook, like some others. I am not like other guys. I am The Donald. (crowd cheers). Not for nothing, I will not run as the Republican candidate for the Presidency. As Sinatra has said, “one more time.” I decline the nomination of the Republican Party nomination for President of the USA. To be honest, which I am, I have never been really interested in being a President of the United States. I am president of lotsa companies. I showed everyone, that anyone can be President. Anyone can try, and become the President. Anyone with character, determination, and a ego can do what I did. It helps to be rich, very rich, and you all know that I am rich – very rich.

I do not want to be President, and to tell the truth, I am not so certain if I have the experience, and knowledge to handle the Presidency. Well, maybe I could, but I run businesses. I build things – lotsa things. Houses, skyscrapers, airports, stores and yes walls – really big walls and I love to make money. I make deals. Not a day goes by that I don’t make, or break a deal. I do what is best for The Donald. It so happens others benefit, but I am mostly interested in making deals and being rich. I mean you know I am rich.
Now, for the nomination, and what we are going to do. I am now ready to make a deal. Not any ordinary deal, but a unique deal, a first time deal. I will offer my support, and the support of the millions of citizens who have supported me, to some other candidate who is willing to make the best deal. This deal is no small potatoes. Remember, I am the master of the deal, so do not think that I come cheap. I am open to offers. I have no particular demand in mind, but believe me, I will only make the deal that is best for The Donald. I know that my announcement is unexpected, but you all know that’s The Donald. The Donald doesn’t do it like others. I cut out of the last debate. I stuck it to Fox. I am not for hire. I do the hiring – thousands of hiring’s, including Mexicans and even Moslems. I know you are worried, tense and bewitched, bothered and bewildered. The Donald says let’s make a deal. There is plenty of time before election day, but my advice to all of you is to read my book, “Art of the Deal”, before you make any offers, and enter in any negotiations with The Donald.

To those of you in this audience, and the millions of you at home, I only want to say, God Bless America, Canada and Cuba, and not least, the Iowa Evangelicals. Oh, I almost forgot. Sarah you can also make a deal. Thank you, and remember we must make America great again. Don’t forget, The Art of the Deal, at your favorite bookstore, or on Amazon.

The Donald quickly leaves the stage, leaving a bewitched, bothered, and bewildered audience stunned, silent, and teary eyed. The Donald returns to the backstage room now guarded by a dozen Secret Service men. In the room are the assembled family members, and his campaign manager, Corey.

Wife Melania: My Man – I love you so much. No matter what you said, I still love you!
MaryAnn, Donald’s Mom – Me too, Donald. You are still The Donald to me.
The Donald: Thank you Melania. I love you too, and thanks Mom.
All the sons, and daughter: Shout out. “Donald, Donald he’s our man, if Donald won’t do it no one can.”
All in attendance clap, and join in the chant.
Corey, Campaign Manager (teary eyed): Well, you did it. Donald you did it. I mean you did it. Once again the unpredictable. Why, oh why, Donald. Please, if there is a God in heaven, why, oh why??
The Donald: Okay, you want to know why, well I’ll tell you why. I said that I wasn’t too sure I was experienced enough to be President. I said that even though I have the best advisors at my side. I do, I really do. They are the best, smartest good guys.
Corey: But why, why, why?
The Donald: Easy Corey. Just calm down.
Grandpa Friedrich: So what’s wrong. Sounds good to me.

All the children start to cheer: Donald, Donald, he’s our man.
The Donald: Enough, cut it out.
Melania: But Donald we are so sad, we love you so.
Donald’s Mother: God bless you Donald.
The Donald: All of you remember when I was a Democrat. Do you remember when I supported Planned Parenthood, Gay rights, and stuff like that. I gave money to Hillary, and Bill. Actually I gave money to anyone who asked. Who cares what they stand for. I like to be asked for money. I’m rich, and people ask me for money. Do they owe me, maybe yes, maybe no. Mostly yes! You all know I have never been big on politics, except when my bank accounts were in trouble. Really, I wanted to make America better. Being famous, popular and a television star, I knew that I could win. People like a winner, and they love a star. They like to hear good news. They like to feel like things can get better, and I tell them I am better. Just look what I have done – I mean gonna do. I tell them I will build a wall at the border, and they know I build walls – many walls. I tell them I’ll get the Mexicans to pay for the wall, and they know I get people to pay for lots of things. Like the Chinese. I rent to the Chinese for millions, and they pay on time. I am not politically correct, and they like that. They like that I tell it like it is, or at least the way I think it is. I’m tough, rough and ready like Teddy at the hill in San Juan.

Corey: Donald. What the hell are you talking about? I can’t believe you. You had the Presidency in the palm of your hand. You had it!
Ivana: Corey is right. We were all ready to celebrate, party. Champaign, caviar and pigs in a blanket. Why did you have to decline? Couldn’t you just abdicate when you became President?
Grandfather Friedrich: Ivana, Kings abdicate not Presidents. Where is your head?
Ivana: Well, it is not up my ass, like the rest of you. This is horrendous. Pitiful.
Ivanka: Ivana that is just like you. Always ready to party, to be photographed. You never appreciated the spontaneity of Dad. You never even liked his hairdo. You…
The Donald: That’s enough. Both of you cut it out.
Daughter, Tiffany: True to form Ivana. Always worried about yourself. No wonder Marla won his heart.
The Donald: I said cut it out. What’s done is done. Besides, we are all gonna win – and win big.
Corey: What are you talking about? It’s over. You killed the Golden Goose. You did a Palin. You quit. You’re a quitter!
The Donald: Corey, you are treading, and you know the saying, “Don’t Tread on Me.”
Corey: But you were the man. Millions of devoted voters were there for you. How do you think they feel?
The Donald: Feel. How do they feel? Well, I’ll tell you how they feel. They never enjoyed themselves as much as they have during the campaign. Ten’s of thousands at my rallies. Cheering, crying out their loyalty. And now, maybe a little disappointed. Maybe a lot disappointed, but they now are part of the deal.

Corey: What the hell are you talking about?
The Donald: If you would just relax, and stop whimpering. You are a manager, so act like one.
Don Jr: Millions part of the deal. What do you mean Dad?
The Donald: Here is how it’s gonna go. Some candidate is going offer a deal. Another candidate will counter offer, and maybe three or more offers. Remember, I decide on the deal. Don’t ever forget who is the deal maker. Before I decide on what is best for me, excuse me, I mean best for all the Trumps I will turn to the millions of followers to vote on the best deal.
Corey: You mean the best candidate, don’t you?
The Donald: No way. I couldn’t care less who is the best candidate. Don’t forget, I am the best candidate. Anyone forget that? The Donald was and is the best, and richest candidate. That’s how come I won. Well, maybe I wasn’t the best candidate, I sure am the richest (laughs).
Corey: How to the millions decide? The convention is over. No more caucuses. The election is coming.
The Donald: Who the hell says we can’t have another convention. Any city would love another convention.
Corey: And then what? What happens at the convention?
The Donald: That is easy. Let’s say there are three possible deals on the table. Each candidate announces their deal. The people at the convention vote on what they feel is the best deal for The Donald. When they decide who offers the best deal, and if I agree, that is the Republican candidate for Presidency.
Melania: What if you don’t agree, Donald?
MaryAnn, Mother: Yes, what if the deal is not best for you?
The Donald: Easy. The candidates have to come up with a better deal. That is the Art of the Deal.
Ivanka, daughter: When will you decide? How will you decide?

The Donald: Ivanka, I can see you never read, The Art of the Deal.
Ivanka: I’m sorry, Dad. I haven’t, please forgive me.
Barron, son: (shouts) Dad, I did.
Eric, son: Me too, Dad.
The Donald: Thanks boys.
Grandpa Friedrich: So how do you decide Donald?
The Donald: Good question, Papa. It’s just I know the best deal, when I know it. Remember what I said before the convention, there are known knowables, and also unknown knowables, and actually it isn’t easy to describe the process, whatever. Haven’t I done right all these years? Who tells it like it is? (all cheer, The Donald) Who is gonna take the country back? (all cheer, The Donald) Who is his own man? (All cheer, The Donald) Who gets things done? (All cheer, The Donald). We need victories (all cheer, The Donald), and when they all want money, who do they come to, all cheer “The Donald”.
Ivana: But what about the bankruptcies, and the casino loss? You are not always right.
Tiffany: There you go again. Ivana, you haven’t done so poorly as an ex-wife, have you?
Ivana: That was rude.
Tiffany: Rude, but true.
The Donald: Listen. All of you. We cannot lose. There are men out there who would kill their Mother to be President. Maybe not their Mother, some relative or someone. I have the upper hand. We will win, and win big. The other candidates are ripe for the pickin. Say let’s get to the Champaign, caviar, and pigs in a blanket, whatever that is.

Thomas Golden, Writer’s Cramp, 2016.

The Martians

The meeting was called for “time”. Unlike on Earth, time and date are not concepts that control Martian behavior. The Elders and the Youngers were gathered at the “place”. Similarly, to time and date, location is a notion that needs no specificity. All Elders and Youngers are aware of all that matters.
Elder 1: We are faced with a situation that no longer allows for delay. There is no room for unnecessary deliberation or frankly any discussion.
Younger 1: I understand completely.
Elder 1: You do?
Younger 2: Yes. The situation has been a long time in coming.
Elder 2: We are all in total agreement.
Elder 1: The specifics are not yet formulated.
Younger 3: What specifics?
Elder 1: We must determine the nature of our commitment.
Younger 3: Do we have any choice?
Elder 4: Yes, consideration of the potential harm, we must be absolutely clear as to what we are to do.
Elder 1: I for one request a unanimous agreement among all of you.
Younger 4: You certainly have my vote.
Elder 2: Me too.
Younger 3: I am also in total agreement, but I have one question.
Elder 1: Speak.
Younger 3: If we go ahead with the complete plan, do we have a fallback position.
Elder: 3: What are you talking about. What fallback position?
Younger 3: If we are not successful in the mission. What do we do?
Elder 1: There will only be success if we act now. Right now!
All the Elders and Youngers shout agreement.
Elder 1: Now we will have Elder 2 read out plan.
Elder 2: Yes sir! Proclamation of the Elders and Youngers: On this day and at this time and location, We The Elders and The Youngers have authorized the total invasion of the Planet Earth. The invasion will involve the complete array of our interplanetary forces. We are obliged to take this extraordinary action as we can no longer delay the total conquest of the Planet Earth. Our latest intelligence has confirmed that activity on the Planet Earth has reached such intolerable conditions, and the threat of such activity to our well-being is undeniable.

The Earthlings interplanetary capacity is advanced as evidenced by their popular, though somewhat unrealistic film, The Martian. For many years we have witnessed the total dissolution of peace and tranquility on Planet Earth. There is no area on that planet that is not in constant warfare, pestilence, poverty, and total disregard for life. They have destroyed their land, sea, and air. We are not absolutely certain of their plans for planetary exploration, but we will not allow our planet to be infested by their ethics, morals, scientific ignorance, economic systems, and most of all their dangerous religious proclivities. We have evolved to a level of sophistication that we will not allow to be jeopardized by a species that has not evolved in thousands of years. In fact, their planet has regressed to a point of no return. For many eons we have tried to communicate to the Planet Earth, but they have steadfastly refused to believe in life beyond their simplistic universe. All attempts at contact with Planet Earth are terminated. This proclamation is made in good fellowship and good will. We will prevail!

Wrong Side of the Bed

Many years ago, the wrong side of the bed was clearly marked by the presence of a “pot de chambre,” that is a chamber pot. Upon awakening during the night, a careless move to the floor on the “wrong side” of the bed resulted in disaster. With the passage of time and the introduction of in-house plumbing, the chamber pot has been transformed into a planter, or a flea market novelty.

The pot may be gone, but the expression “wrong side of the bed” has endured as an explanation for annoying personal behaviors. Getting up on the “wrong side of the bed” is now considered to be the cause of grouchiness, moodiness, depression, and lethargy and a host of other regrettable feelings and behaviors, not the least of which is “feeling lousy”.

Perhaps there is a “right side” of the bed, which if located and used will ensure vigor, good will, affection and sex. The physical structure of most beds offers few cues as to the right or wrong side, let alone the good or the bad side. Beds with a headboard, and/or a wall behind the bed offer just three possible “right” sides. One might eliminate the foot of the bed as an escape route, and thereby enhance your chances of choosing the “right side” by 33 percent.

The prospect of having just two choices to select the “right” side might be too risky. One might move the bed to the center of the room and then have four sides to choose from, or at least three sides with a rotating ‘foot’. For the avid gambler, a circular bed would offer a limitless search for the “right side”.

It’s possible that the number of bed sides and their locations will not solve the demand for a splendid morning personality. We must hit the floor on the “right side” and the design of the bed offers no help.

The presence of a bed mate insures a forced choice of the “right side.” In a bed with a head board, foot and partner, the “right side” is most likely your own side. Whether such a choice ensures a personality change is a much more complex issue, and never under your direct control. Furthermore, the sleeper is never concerned about the side of the bed to get up on. Sleepers just get up after a night’s sleep. They could, if asked, describe their mood. It is the observer, that is, spouse, friend, or ‘other body’ who feels compelled to identify a cause for the sleeper’s mood state.

“Boy, I see that you got up on the wrong side of the bed today.”

With that pronouncement, the sleeper quickly surveys the bedside looking for the infamous “pot de chambre”. Not finding any, the newly awakened must assume total responsibility for the mood in the bedroom or immediately leap into the other side of the bed with the hope that there lies the “right side”, and acceptance.

Style for the Infantile

I’ve been thinking about layettes. For those of you who have never thought about layettes, I’ll describe them for you. A layette is the first fashion wardrobe given to a newborn child. It is usually a blanket, pillow case, booties, sweater, panties and assorted accessories. If handmade, the layette is crochet or knitted.

Boy babies are given blue layettes, and girl babies are clothed in pink. Sometimes, the infant is given a yellow layette. Yellow – why yellow? That is because the layette was purchased prior to the birth of the child, and prior to in utero sexing.

There has not been a change in layette fashion for a thousand years! It is now time for a change. I suggest the opening of a “Layette Boutique”
.
The fashions for layettes will be regal. A parent can buy yard of rich, black mink to wrap the baby. Hand-crafted, calf skin booties and jewelry of all sorts; gold earrings, precious stone necklaces, pearl head-bands. No more washed out blue or faded pink. The maternity doors of Bellevue Hospital open and a little prince or princess is presented to the world.

Another issue comes to mind, and that is the contrasting styles of death and dying as opposed to birth and living. Funerals are led by police motorcycles, follow by flower cars and shininy black limousines. Mourners are dressed in their finery. Who comes out of the hospital with a newborn? The father goes to the hospital and pays for his wife and child. The wife is weak, and woozy. She hasn’t been out of the hospital for days – her head is spinning. Father doesn’t know how, or who to hold first.

They drive home, alone, no fanfare – no public acclaim. When they arrive at home there is frequently a family gathering, but rather subdued – no grandeur, no cops, no politicians, no theatrics.
Why not blow the horns, ring the sirens, shoot the pistols. A child is born. A child wrapped in silk – magnificent Tahitian silk. Joy to the world. A child is born. Whose got the pampers?

Copyrights, 1980 Tom Golden.

“And That’s the Way it Is”

When the press, government officials and sorted other interested parties voice concern as to what Putin has ‘on President Donald Trump” the answer is as follows:
On the evening of November 8, 2013, Donald Trump spent the night with one or more prostitutes in a room at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Moscow. Donald and the prostitutes engaged in ‘nasty’ behavior including peeing on a bed in that room. The bed was one that had been used by President Obama and his wife Michelle. The FSB, the Russian secret service filmed the event.

“Good night and good luck”

Help! There’s a Murderer in My House

“I can’t stand you anymore,” my mother cried out. “I won’t stand for it.” Her eyes were full of tears.
“But you said I could go outside.” I pleaded.
“Stop it, stop it now!” she screamed. “Stop it or your father…” She was interrupted by the sound of the tea kettle. She ran into the kitchen.
What about my father? I had heard the threat before, many times. “Ouch, damn it, god-damn it.” she hollered.
I reached over for my jacket, just as my mother came back into the room. “That’s it! You’re really going to get it. You’re in for it now. Wait until your father comes home.”
I stopped listening to her threats, put my jacket down and went into my room. As I closed my door, I could still hear her ramblings of helplessness. “He’s gonna get it good. When his father hears…”
My mind was preoccupied with thoughts of my father. I was trying to recall his features, which proved to be difficult despite his having left home just five hours ago. My father, Sam, age thirty, almost five foot, eight inches tall, Caucasian, Jewish, and HOMICIDAL!
Could my father murder someone? Not just anyone – his own son!
The idea of my father being capable of murder was incredible, but my feelings of apprehension were undeniable.
My father’s daily behavior was the essence of non-violence. He was mild-mannered, almost meek. He spent most of time working, eating, and sleeping. I couldn’t recall being hit by my father, nor did I recall him sitting my brothers or sister.
At his assaultive best, he was heard to mumble – “You’d better listen to your mother”, or “Cut it out.”
Why was I so apprehensive? I could almost understand, “Beware, the Ides of March”, but what did “Wait till your father comes home” foretell?
Perhaps my fears of bodily injury were related to his muscles. I remember him carrying the washing machine on his back up two flights of stairs to our apartment. God, I was amazed! He put a large canvas belt around the machine and tied the belt around his chest.
With one heave, he had the machine off the lobby floor. When he reached our apartment, he wasn’t even sweating or puffing.
Now I remember, I remember him saying, “Don’t push me” or “You’d better watch out.” Some references to not making him mad, or “I’m warning you.” I recall him saying phrases that suggested pain, if not doom. With my mother threatening his punitive potential, and my father hinting at some sort of limits to his endurance I was left only with my fantasies. There were no hard facts to draw upon. I might get slapped, punched, kicked, choked, or KILLED.
The murderer in the house, was in my head – was I alone?
Did other children harbor similar fears of patricide?

An Aisle, is an Aisle, is an Aisle

Loving couples walk down the aisle, and exchange vows. The invited guests cheer and wish the couple the good luck.

I purchased a ticket to the New York Giant football game against the Cleveland Browns. As I approached the bleacher section Number 14, an attendant walked me down the aisle to seat 23B. I was seated in the midst of rabid Giant fans. The game was great, but my aisle mates made it a unique experience.

Aisle 6, contained the mustard that I needed for the salad dressing. But Aisle 6 was blocked due to a leak in the ceiling. There was a store clerk in the aisle replacing buckets. I asked her to get me a jar of Roland’s Extra Forte mustard. She brought the jar to me and I went to the check-out.

The Aisle seemed rather normal. Perhaps six or eight feet in width. Carpeted, and it ran the length of the chamber to the entrance doors. To the left and right of the aisle were leather upholstered seats. Perhaps several hundred seats. At first glance, one would think that the seats on the right or left of the aisle were available to any person. Not So! Absent any reserved notice, or do not trespass, the aisle represented hallowed ground. Not ground memorializing heroic acts of citizens. Not ground that symbolized good will, respect and fraternity. The aisle was inviolate. All persons entering the chamber, and walking down the aisle knew which side of the aisle was theirs, and not the other side.

Tom Golden, writers cramp, 2018

SMALL TALK – I LOVE IT

Small talk is seen as trivial, meaningless, and superficial. “I can’t stand small talk!” “Oh, all that small talk is driving me crazy!” Why do we engage in small talk? Because we are small people? No. Big people engage in small talk. Perhaps it is because we have small minds. I don’t believe so, since many small minds are known to talk BIG. The main reason for small talk must be the mouth size. Small talk is probably caused by a small mouth. BIG mouths are known to talk BIG. In fact, BIG talk is the hallmark of a BIG mouth, or is that a loud mouth? Have you ever heard loud mouths talk small talk? It might not be possible. Since small talk is bad, then BIG talk must be good. Remember the joyful hours we spend listening to BIG talk. BIG talk, out of BIG mouths, with small minds. Small talk is not at all trivial. Small talks allows us the time to become acquainted; small talk allows us to gracefully engage a stranger, or to painlessly tolerate the friend. Copyright, Thomas Golden, Writers Cramp, 1980

Up Against It

 

Just this evening, MSNBC commentator, Kacie DC, was interviewing Andrew Young, a past representative to the United Nations, and renowned civil rights leader. She asked him about the recent children’s march in Washington. He responded, but not completely since she had another question. After apologizing for her interruption, Kacie asked him about Martin Luther King, and John Lewis, and he was responding, but less than completely since Kacie was up against the clock. She apologized for the rush job, and he accepted the apology. Kacie was up against it. Up against what? Up against PNC Bank, AWAY luggage, Cisco, and two pharmacy commercials. Kacie was up against a loss in revenue – her loss of a job. Kacie was reflective of how our life is UP AGAINST IT. Up against money. Up against the power of capital. Up against the need to pay for everything we do, despite our desire to comfortably hear Andrew Young. MSNBC invited him to speak. He was asked to talk about rather important social issues. Mr. Young was politely given the old heave ho. Given the ‘hook’, to allow for the real stars of the show – banking, drugs, a touch of technology and a piece of travel equipment.

Tom Golden, March 2018.

Walking and Talking

I was turning onto my street to park my car, when I noticed a young woman crossing at the opposite corner. She was talking on her cell phone. After parking my car, I sat for several moments thinking about the woman and her talking on the cell phone. before cell phones, what did I do when I was walking? Besides looking where I was going, did I talk? Did I talk to myself? At times did I talk out loud? As a child if I ever saw a person that seemed to be talking to himself, I knew the person was crazy. Stay away from him! During the early days of the cell phone, it was not easy to tell if a person was talking out loud, into a hidden microphone, or nuts. Whether a hidden microphone or a visible cell phone, the isolate walker was talking.
 
I could not hear the walking talker since I was in my car. Often, I can hear the person talking on their cell phone. Cell phone talking is ubiquitous. There is someone talking on the cell phone in the grocery, coffee shop, elevator, dentist waiting room, airport lounge, and in the backrow at a burial ground, The talker has no interest in privacy. The cell phone talker could care less if you hear every spoken word. It may be, that the talker delights in having an audience. “Hey, look me over, lend me an ear…”.
 
But, back to pre-cell phone days. I know that I am always talking to myself whether I am walking, or stationary. I am talking to myself without any response. I am speaking to an audience of one – me. Boring, no. I am never bored when I am talking to myself. I have innumerable images, feelings, sensations and ideas. I could, if I had company express much of what I was saying to myself, but I don’t have the need. There are times when I would like to speak to another person, or that I must speak to someone else. But not always. For most of my waking hours, I am quite comfortable talking to myself, as in the following private conversations:
 
“I am hungry, and it’s almost noon. I think I’ll go to the bagel shop. No, I better get my hair cut, before the salon closes. What day is it? Is the salon open today? The place is always packed on Tuesday. Oh, the bagel shop is closed. The sign says on holiday until June 6. Damn it! Pizza, I’ll get a slice.”
 
OR……. “Harry is never going to pay what he owes me. I don’t give a shit. He’s tight for funds, as usual and I like him. I like his wife even more. She is stunning, and, well- I think I must go to see Mitchell. I have a pain in my right knee.”
 
OR…….” That fuckin president. I can’t stand him and the rest of the politicians- what the hell are they doing. Wow, that cab almost hit that dog.”
 
Most of the time, when I talk to myself, it is rather mundane. Most of my thoughts would not be of interest to anyone. The thoughts are not crude, or insightful, but rather commonplace, and allow me to get through the day, and night. Should I have thoughts that are particularly meaningful, I would tell a trusted family member or friend.
 
So, what more can I say about the walking and talking that is the marvel of the cell phone. I assume that if the cell phone talker was with their listener, the conversation would be like that on the cell phone. That may not be the case. With the technology of today, as in texting, email and cell phone one does not have the feedback of face to face communication. No angry stare, sneer, smile, twinkle, blush, nod, look aside, or even turn away.
 
Why the need to speak to someone from the moment of waking to sleep? Why are people so needy of constant verbal contact with another person? Was this always that case? Did we realize how deprived we were of immediate human contact? Has the invention of the portable cell phone allowed us to fulfill a constant need to affiliate? The need to be certain that we count – that we matter. The cell phone has eliminated the dreaded state of alone. Alone with our thoughts, feelings, and desires. Alone with me, with I, with life.
 
Tom Golden, May, 2018

Cottage Cheese and Chives

I reached for the container of Crowley’s Large Curd Cottage Cheese. That was to be my lunch. I opened the vegetable drawer and looked for the scallions. None. There were no scallions. Large curd cottage cheese requires diced scallions. A feeling of loss, yes, more than disappointment. A dash of salt, and crushed pepper would not do.

Chives! I could use chives. Not as pungent, but an excellent replacement for the scallions. I opened the cutlery drawer and took a pair of scissors. I immediately went to a garden patch in front of the house. In the early spring, we always had chives. They were perennial. I scanned the patch, and there was a bunch of fresh, vivid green chives.

Desire: a strong feeling of wanting to have something or wishing for something to happen. Cottage cheese and chives….

Tom Golden, May 2018.

HELLO

The Vice President was focused upon the hockey game. The North Korean representative was seated just behind the Vice President. The scene was as cold as the ice.

I had no idea that my sister could skate. Not only was she skating, but on ice, and dancing to music. Michelle was taking dance lessons for several years. She hated going to class, but hating to go was no excuse for my Mother. Both Michelle and I would express our “hate”, “do I have to,” and “I have a headache” in a forlorn attempt to cancel the next piano, dance, or karate lesson. “You wanted to have the lessons, and we paid for them. At least finish the year”, she said. I was just three weeks into the karate school.

Michelle did a leap on the ice, and she landed into a full split. The audience went wild. Everyone cheered. Everyone except for my Father. My Father starred at the ice rink, with Michelle in a full split, and he showed no emotion. He just sat and starred straight ahead. His head held fast, as if in a neck brace. I turned to look at my Mother, and she seemed to only see her history, and not Michelle.

I forgot to mention, that when we arrived at the skating rink, our seats were reserved for parents of the contestants. In our row G7, sat my Father, my Stepmother, and me. Also in row G7 sat my Mother, and her husband, Bert. My Father sat in Seat 16, and my Mother sat in Seat 15 – just to the left of my Father. I sat in Seat 17, just to the right of my Father.

The exhibition ended and we all left. As with hello, no goodbye.

Tom Golden, February, 2018

 

Economics 101: Supply and Demand

The Veterans Administration is the second largest government employer. The first is the Department of Defense. The VA employees 377,805 persons. The Department of Defense employs about 1.3 million persons on active duty, and 800.000 on military reserve. As of 2014, there were approximately 21.8 million veterans. Veterans of what? War!  Or perhaps a Police Action, or some activity where people get injured. Regardless of the name, we have a very large VA to service a very active Department of Defense. The Department of Defense offers a constant supply of veterans to service the employment needs of the Veterans Administration. Now that is a classic example of a supply and demand economy.

Thomas Golden, March, 2018