A Yenta is someone who talks too much, spreads rumors, and can’t keep a secret**.  Forget about the Yiddish implications and history of the word and focus on the men and women of today. FBI Director James Comey is clearly a Yenta in the ‘spreading of rumors’ type. The Donald, though not Jewish does talk too much, and finally Julian Assange. Julian, a classic, born again Yenta. Julian clearly cannot keep a secret. Not one secret, I mean 343,200 secrets. Tens of thousands of secrets ‘leak’ out. Not ‘leak’ as in faucet leaks, nor ‘leak’ as in senior citizen urinary dysfunction. ‘Leak’ as in Wikileaks. More than a million pieces of information ready to be ‘leaked’. Who, if anyone fixes the ‘leaks’? The plumber, the Urologist ? The Yenta.  Yes,the Yenta fixes the ‘leaks’. The Yenta just does what Yenta’s do best. They talk again, spread other rumors, and reveal other secrets, all to make things better, and repair the damage of the  previous ‘leaks.’

**Definition from the East New York Compendium of Yiddish Terms, First Edition (and only ).

I Need Copy

Monday evening, at about 5pm.  January 26, 2015. Writer’s conference room at CNN.

Staff of seven. Six men and one woman. They sit at a circular conference table. On the table are several carafes of coffee, coffee mugs, Styrofoam cups, coffee mate and a sugar container with real sugar, raw sugar, Splendid, Truvia packets, and a container of Agavi. Several large screen t.v. sets are attached to the walls of the room. The conference room has no windows. Each person has a tablet.

Staff: Director Bill, and writer’s Jason, Harry, Peter, Tom, Rachel, Jacob and Martin.

Bill: Well, we’ve got us a blizzard. Maybe the biggest in 10 years, or more.

Peter: Let’s get started. Don Lemon, and staff are already on station, and they need copy.

Jason: O.K.

Rachel: Do we have the commercial schedule set?

Peter: Yes. I’ve got it. We are set for 4 minutes of live, and 30 seconds of commercial. The alternative is 6 minutes of live and 90 seconds of commercial. Either way all is set.

Bill: Great. Do we have meteorologists on board.

Tom: Yes, Bill. We have two set to come on call.

Rachel: Who are they Tom?

Tom: Professor Harrison Thatcher from Univ. of Conn. And Peter Crowley from the Miami Hurricane Centre in Coral Gables.

Bill: Peter Crowley from where?

Tom: He is the chief Hurricane forecaster at the Miami Center.

Martin: We are talking about a blizzard, not a Caribbean rainstorm!

Jacob: Hurricane, blizzard so what. I have heard predictions of 50 to 60 mile winds with this blizzard

Harry: That sounds like a hurricane to me.

Rachel: In fact, what makes a blizzard, a blizzard..

Peter: Dairy Queen!

Rachel: O.K. wise guy. No I not kidding. It is the strength of the wind, not the amount of snow that defines a blizzard.

Bill: You mean, if we get 26 inches of snow in one storm that is not a blizzard.

Rachel: Right. Just a one monster snow storm.

Jacob: Folks, I just got an email from Don Lemon and he needs copy!

Harry: Send the following. “ The blizzard of 2015 is just starting to arrive and do not fool yourself. This storm will be massive, and even life threatening. Perhaps where you are sitting there are only flurries, but that is just the calm before the storm.”

Rachel: That’ just 14 seconds. He needs more.

Harry: O.K. Don give this out now. “ Folks in Sunnyside, Queens or Rockville Centre Long Island why don’t you call in to 212-456-6666 and tell us your weather. In fact, any of you who would like to call to be our on-site weatherperson, please call 212-456-666”

Bill: Cut that! Stop that transmission. Stop it now.

Rachel: I’m sorry boss, it went out already. Don thought it was a great idea, and an audience builder. You know 15 seconds of fame for the guy on the street.

Bill: We can’t handle thousands of calls, and you gave the damn switchboard number of CNN. We need that line open for our news reporters.

Marty: The blizzard is the news. What else is happening?

Bill: What the hell are you talking about. The world is falling to shit, and we gonna have every Tom, Dick and Mary complaining about snowplows, and snowman in Staten Island.

Tom: Don is calling. He just slipped on some ice, and he needs cover for at least 5 minutes.

Bill: Rachel run the blizzard of 2006.

Rachel: We don’t have it set. I have the blizzard of 1776. Just foolin. I do have plenty of copy of the major blizzard of 1948.

Bill: Run it now. No wait. Finish the commercial. O.K. run it after Viagra.

My Gut Tells Me

“My gut tells me” and then Michael Smerconish, radio commentator, continued to respond to a caller’s question. The caller spoke about the new union of ATT and Warner, and some consequences for citizens and Comcast. Michael initially said that he was not very familiar with the particulars, but, “My gut tells me,” and Michael gave his opinion.

Let us talk about ‘gutsy’ talk. Michael is not the only person to have ever expressed, ‘my gut tells me’. Everything we think or feel does not have to come from “ I think” or “ my heart tells me.” Sometimes we feel things deeper, or at least more deeply than from the heart. Sometimes we can’t just shut-up.

Back to ‘my gut tells me.’ At a joint meeting of the Chiefs of Staff in the Spring of 1945, President Truman was told about the Atom Bomb. Harry initially expressed his ignorance about uranium and plutonium. He did receive many memos about the technology of the bomb, but he once stated to an aide, is ‘fusion the same as fission, or are they just spelling errors?’

The aide thought that President Truman was just joking, but in fact he was not joking. The President was not at all clear about the technology, use, and consequences of the atom bomb, but one thing for sure. Straight talking Harry knew when his ‘gut’ talks to him, and he approved the use of the bombs.

Another “My Gut Tells Me…

“Mr. Senator, sir would you please tell us your stand on the bill on abortion.” said the reporter.

Senator X reflects on the reporter’s question about abortion. “Well to tell you the truth”, (reporter interrupts)

“Yes Senator, I would like the truth.”

“As I was saying prior to your rather rude interruption,  I am not that familiar with the particulars of the actual, real process of abortion, but I have a feeling that..”
(reporter interrupts again)

“Sir if you are not familiar with abortion how can you vote on the issue. How?”

“Miss, if you would please allow me to finish my statement. I was just going to say that in my heart of hearts, and in my guts, the whole idea sounds pretty disgusting. I mean really ugly. I have feelings, you know. And my guts ( whole package of guts) tell me, even without all the particulars that it is not right.

All to often when we are questioned about an issue, and we believe that we should aware of the issue, we have the fall back position of affably expressed ignorance, followed by ‘my gut tells me’ and offer a full blown exposition rooted in ‘I think’ or ‘my heart tells me.’


The Undecided


The news reports that millions of potential voters are undecided about their choice of President. A very natural condition, to be undecided about an event. When does the state of ‘undecided’ evolve into ‘decided’. Well I will tell you when…..

1). Miss,  cream cheese or butter on your bagel? Said the clerk.

Well, just a minute. Said the Woman.

Bagel with cream cheese of butter? Clerk repeated.

I’m not certain. Said the Woman.

Lady, cheese or butter. Which? Said the Clerk.

It’s not so easy. Said the Woman.

What is not so easy? Said the Clerk

Deciding cheese or butter. Said the Woman

Lady, are you hungry. Said the Clerk.

Oh, yes – for sure. Said the Woman.

Well, I am closing in two minutes. Said the Clerk

Cheese, I’ll take cheese. Said the Woman.

2). The heat was oppressive.
The rope tore at his wrists .
Jose stared blankly at the 7 soldiers to his front.
“Do you desire a blindfold? “ said the Captain.

“No! declared Jose.

“As you wish. Now the name.”

“No, never!” shouted Jose.

“The name – I want the name. ”demanded the Captain.

“Drop dead, Captain” said Jose

“Jose you have one more chance. I will count to three. The name. ”said the Captain

The Captain commanded the 7 men to firing position.
“One, two…” said the Captain

“Miquel, Miquel. His name is Miguel” screamed Jose.

“At ease men.” Commanded the Captain.

3). The airline site offered just two more tickets at 555.00.
I went to the Kayak site to check other offers.
None were any better.
I returned to the airline site. Only one more ticket at 555.00

Perhaps I could extend my stay at a lower fare.
I changed my dates, and saw a fare for 222.00.
I had only to stay three extra days in Paris. Not bad.
I returned to the airline site and still one ticket left at 555.00.

Three more days in Paris at 102.00 per night. And then food.
Back at the airline site the fare was gone.
I immediately refreshed my computer, and there was the 555.00. Only one left.
With a firm press I chose Select. Done. I got the fare!
The airline sent a confirmation to my email. What a relief.


Small talk is seen as trivial, meaningless, and superficial. Often we hear people complain that…

“I can’t stand small talk!”

“Oh, all that small talk is driving my 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 you have spent listening to big talk. Big talk, out of big mouths, with small minds.

Small talk is not at all trivial, meaningless nor superficial. Small talks allow us the time to become acquainted; small talk allows us to gracefully engage a stranger, or to painlessly tolerate the friend.