We live in the Cuckoos Nest…

“For a long time, the negotiations went nowhere. The diplomats spent months simply arguing over the shape of the negotiating table. The US wanted to have two sides: US and Saigon on one side, Communists on the other. The Communists wanted to have four sides: 1) the US, 2) Republic of Vietnam (the Saigon government), 3) the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (the Hanoi government), and 4) the guerrilla movement in South Vietnam which had originally called itself the National Liberation Front and was by this time calling itself the Provisional Revolutionary Government (PRG). Many people have criticized this as a remarkable piece of stupidity, a case of diplomats wasting time on trivialities. They are mistaken; the debate over the shape of the negotiating table was perfectly rational.

The US wanted a peace settlement in which the Saigon government would win full control of South Vietnam. If this happened the PRG, and the South Vietnamese Communist apparatus which formed the guiding core of the PRG, would be wiped from the face of the earth. What the US wanted was, in effect, an agreement under which the North Vietnamese Communists would sell out their southern comrades. The PRG was not likely to approve of any such agreement. As long as the North Vietnamese were demanding that the PRG have its own separate delegation at the conference and speak for itself, rather than being included in a combined Communist delegation where the North Vietnamese could speak for it, it was obvious that the North Vietnamese were not willing to sign an agreement satisfactory to the US. On the other side, the Communists were determined to get an agreement that would bring South Vietnam under Communist rule. If the US were not even willing to have a separate delegation of South Vietnamese Communists at the conference, the US was obviously not willing to sign any such agreement. It would have made no sense for either side to accept the other’s view as to proper shape of the conference table and then expect anything useful to come out of the conference. A compromise was finally reached involving one large circular table and two smaller rectangular ones, arranged in a way that the United States could interpret as representing a two-sided negotiation, and the Communists could interpret as representing a four-sided negotiation.”(from a Google site.)

The latest “perfectly rational “ diplomatic distress involved the “hand-shake” between Obama and Rouhani. Fortunately an aside from one of the kitchen staff of the White House was heard to say, “ why doesn’t the Man make a call?” After the cook received a brief reprimand from a Secret Service officer, the President’s press secretary was informed of the notion. Carney liked the idea but then he was concerned about NSA and Wikileaks and at a minimum Verizon long distance operators. Into the breach came VP Biden. Good ole train riding, home lovin Biden immediately contacted his staff – obtained the telephone number of the Iranian president and made the telephone call. When Rouhani answered, Biden told him to” hold on. “ Translated into Farci, the words “hold on” meant, “touch me.” Rouhani, somewhat confused about the phrase, but curious held on. Biden’s staff contacted the President who was playing the revised corporate Monopoly with his daughters (and losing!!). The President’s initial response was total disbelief. “Who the hell made the call?” The President was informed that  VP Biden did. “ That ADD icon! I can’t believe he did that. Who the hell does he think he is.” The President arose quickly and accidentally tipped the table holding the Monopoly board. The pieces went flying. His daughters began to cry. Michelle ran into the room and seeing the girls in tears, she reached out and held them close to her chest. “Obama, what did you do- what did you do.!” With a wave of his hand, the President dismissed Michelle, and picked up the infamous RED phone. What a mistake! The  RED phone was connected directly to the SAC bomber group in Utah. Still upset about the VP insolence, the President said, “ Hello, Rouhani, this is the President.” The response from Utah was simply, “the code – state the code.” Understandably, the President did not know the code for Iran, and he said, “the code, what code.” The voice repeated, “the code – state the code.” Between the VP behavior, the destruction of the game, the girls tears, and the clear damnation stare from Michelle, the President was PISSED! “I don’t know any code – just get me the President, and now.” ( I could go on and on, but I have some office work to do – love Tom)

Least we forget.  President Obama made is obliged apology to Netanyahu after speaking with Rouhani. When is the President going to learn that 99% of actual, full term Americans (excluding all latins – legal or otherwise) do not give a damn what the Israeli Prime Minister thinks, eats or fucks! Are we to go down the tubes on the back of the Chosen.

Oh one more concern: When the government closes (amen), the persons most effected in a very painful way are the hot dog, pretzel, soda, ice cream and statue vendors that populate the streets, or entrance ways  to all the monuments, parks,etc. (are there any vendors at Monument Valley ?– you know where all the heads are carved in stone.).

My Best to All: Tom

October 1, 2013

Raise Your Hand

My teacher said, “Children, if you have to leave the room, raise your hand.”

I have never forgotten that rule, despite the passing of 69 years. Mrs. Hack, my teacher, was old. She was old like my grandmother. She had a slight mustache and some veins showing on her legs, so I knew she was older than my mother. The next age range was grandmothers. Between mothers and grandmothers are aunts, whose age no one knows. During that first day in school, the basic rules were given. So many rules and each one sounded so important. I wasn’t certain what she meant by, “if you have to leave the room raise your hand,” but I didn’t dare ask. It didn’t seem like a bad rule, and raising my hand was something I had done successfully in kindergarten.I was an excellent hand raiser. The best hand raise was executed swiftly, with a full extension of your right hand, arm and if possible your right shoulder. Even for lefties, which I was, the right hand raise was preferred since that was the hand used in the flag salute. If, God forbid, you exhausted the muscles in the right hand raise, then you switched to the left hand, but only briefly. At times, when I had to impress Mrs. Hack, I would increase the hand elevation by stretching my entire torso, but always keeping my buttocks firmly planted on the seat. Any daylight between buttocks and seat would be interpreted as standing, and that was totally unacceptable. If you were not seated, even the most exquisite hand raise was ignored, and you were guaranteed to be chosen last.One day, not long after the morning snack time, I felt the need to go to the bathroom. I raised my hand, and Mrs. Hack asked me what I wanted. I told her that I had to go to the bathroom.  She gave me permission, and reminded me to take the bathroom marker with me. The bathroom marker was a small block of wood with the word BOYS painted in blue, and another block in pink for the girls. I took the marker, went to the bathroom and returned to my room a short time later.

In a little while, my friend, Ira, raised his hand. Mrs. Hack was teaching a reading group on the far side of the room. Her back was turned toward Ira. She couldn’t see his outstretched hand. Ira stretched his arm higher. He started to waive his right hand, but still no recognition. Ira’s right side was fully extended. From his waist, to his finger tips, Ira reached for the heavens. Soon he began to whine. An almost inaudible, low groan kind of a whine. The reading group droned on. Ira’s face flushed red, and the whine grew louder. Suddenly Mrs. Hack turned to see the source of such pain. A teacher of many years, she immediately recognized Ira’s desperate situation. She told him that he could leave the room, and to take the marker. Ira ran to the marker hook, but the marker was not there. He shouted, “it’s not there!  Mrs. Hack said to look again. Ira looked, but there was no marker. He stood still and stared blindly ahead, and he shuddered ever so slightly. It was too late.

That night, my mother was washing my pants and she found the bathroom marker.

Sex Education Begins At Home – Good Luck!

Against his better judgment, but with the urging of his wife Adele, Sam agrees to speak with his son, Tom, about sex. Sam, a man of 45 years, has been avoiding such a discussion for the past two years. His wife, Adele, has pleaded with Sam to have a ‘man to man’ talk with their son about “the birds and the bees.” Tom just celebrated his 14th birthday. Adele has been anxious about Tom’s increasing romantic interests in their neighbor’s 16 year old daughter, Samantha. “It’s just puppy love”, has been Sam’s response, but Adele has been insistent about the need for homebound sex education.

Sunday morning’s bagels, lox and cream cheese have been devoured by all, and Sam asks Tom to join him on the patio. At the furthest end of the patio, out of earshot, Sam arranges two lounge chairs. Tom follows his Dad, and they sit side by side. Actually the chairs are touching, allowing for even a whispered communication. Sam clears his throat, takes a deep breath, and begins…

Sam: Tom I think that it is time for us to talk.

Tom: About what Dad?

Sam: What do you mean about what?

Tom: About what, Dad?

Sam: Something very important.

Tom: O.K.

Sam: Keep it down Tom. Stop shouting.

Tom: Shouting? I’m not shouting.

Sam: O.K. that’s better.  Just keep it down.

Tom: Dad is something the matter?

Sam: No, not at all. I just want to talk with you.

Tom: (concerned) Is Mom alright?

Sam: Mom is fine – she’s perfect. I mean she’s okay. This isn’t about your Mother.

Tom: Great. (relieved)You really got me scared Dad.

Sam: I’m sorry Tom I didn’t mean to scare you.

Tom: Dad…

Sam: (startled)What?

Tom: Oh nothing, but I was gonna meet Peter and Mark downtown.

Sam: Oh good. Well I guess we can talk tomorrow. It’s not a big deal.

Tom: No Dad. I’ll give them a call. I’ll see them later.

Sam: Oh fine, that’s fine. Well I guess we can talk today.

Tom: Yeh. I kinda like this Dad.

Sam: (Incredulous) You do?

Tom:  Yeh. Well what is this about Dad?

Sam: Well your Mom, well your Mom and I think that it is important for us to discuss things about men and women and things like that.

Tom: (excited) Yeh sounds good!

Sam: (vexed) What do you mean, sounds good?

Tom: You know Dad, sex and things like that…(giggles)

Sam: It’s not all sex. Everything is not about sex Tom.

Tom: I know that Dad. In health class we talked about pregnancy, babys and things like that.

Sam: Oh you do?

Tom: Yeh. We learned about STD’s and marriage and family.

Sam: STD’s. What’s that?

Tom: Sexually transmitted diseases, Dad.

Sam: Oh yeh, sure. That’s good.  I’m glad you learned about them.

Tom: Yeh, so am I.

Sam: That information will come in handy someday.

Tom: That’s for sure.

Sam: (abrupt) What do you mean by that?

Tom: Nothin. Say Dad, I better get going.

Sam: But I want to tell you…On second thought we can talk tomorrow. See you later, son.

Later on the same evening, Sam and Adele are in bed.

Adele: Sam, how did it go?

Sam: What?

Adele: How did the talk go with Tom?

Sam: Fine – just fine.

Adele: Great. I feel much better. I was so worried. I know it wasn’t easy for you.

Sam: No problem – no problem.

Ten minutes later. Sam is attempting to go to sleep, while Adele is reading. Her side of the bed it lit by a small bedside lamp.

Adele: Sam.

Sam: Uh.

Adele: Are you awake?

Sam: Sort of.

Adele: Sam, I was wondering what Tom had to say.

Sam: About what?

Adele: You know. Did he have any questions?

Sam: Adele, can’t we talk about this tomorrow? I’m really beat.

Adele: Sure we can honey. I was just curious. You know how I am.

Sam: Yes.

Adele: Was he comfortable talking to you Sam?

Sam: (annoyed) Adele, I’m really tired. Can’t we just go to sleep?

Adele: (insistent) Just tell me what he said!

Sam: (angry) Adele I’m serious. I’m exhausted!

Adele: I know. I’ m sorry, but I am so concerned. You know how kids are nowadays, and with Samantha next door. Sam, you understand don’t you?

Sam: Adele, I’m almost asleep. Goodnight.

Adele: Goodnight, Honey, Goodnight.

Next morning. Breakfast table. Seated are Tom, Sam and Adele

Adele: Tom would you like more pancakes?

Tom: No thanks Mom. I’ve got to get going.

Adele: Dad tells me that you and he had a great conversation yesterday.

Tom: Yeh.

Adele: I guess you must have felt a little funny.

Sam: (annoyed) Adele, enough.

Tom: No, Mom. I felt fine.

Adele: I mean wasn’t it a little….

 

Sam: (interrupts)Adele, Tom has to get going. He’s going to be late for class.

Adele: I was just interested in how you both felt. I mean it isn’t everyday that a father and son speak about personal things and…

Sam: (shouts) that’s it. Tom get going. Have a nice day.

Adele: Sam, what’s got into you?

Sam: Nothing. Well honey. I’ve got to go. See you later. (gets up and gives

Adele a kiss on the cheek).

Evening. Tom’s bedroom. Sam is outside the bedroom door. He knocks on the door.

Sam: Tom are you busy?

Tom: No Dad. Come on in.

Sam: How was your day?

Tom:  Good Dad.

Sam: Great. You know yesterday I wanted to talk with you about relationships between guys and girls.

Tom: I know Dad.

Sam: What do you mean, you know?

Tom: Sex. You wanted to talk about sex – right?

Sam: Well not exactly. Actually you’re right. Let’s talk about it. Your Mother thinks it’s important to discuss sex with you. Okay?

Tom: Sure Dad. It’s okay.

Sam: Okay. Tell me what you know, and if you have any questions ask me.

Tom: I really don’t have any questions. I mean I feel kinda funny talking about this with you.

Sam: Relax. We’re both men. If we can’t talk about these things who can you talk to?

Tom: Mark, and Peter.

Sam: Oh yeh. I understand, but they’re your age. Perhaps they don’t have all the information.

Tom: Well maybe you’re right.

Sam: So go ahead. Tell me what you have on your mind.

Tom: Well Dad, it’s not exactly a question, but can I get a subscription to Playboy?

Sam: (stunned) What?

Tom: I’d like to get Playboy, or maybe Penthouse.

Sam; Are you serious? I can’t believe you. Just forget it!

Tom: (hurt) Forget it Dad. I knew I shouldn’t ask you. Just forget it.

Sam: Why? Why do you need them?

Tom: Well every time I read them…

Sam: (aghast) You read them? Where? Where did you get them?

Tom: Peter’s dad has Penthouse. I read them at Peter’s house.

Sam: His dad has Penthouse? He lets you read them?

Tom: No, his dad doesn’t know.

Sam: Tom you are much too young – much too young.

Tom: But Dad, when I look at the girls, it’s easier to masturbate.

Sam: (shocked, stunned) What the hell! Just watch yourself Tom. Take it easy.

Tom: Now you’re mad. I knew I should have just shut up. Dad I better get to sleep.

Sam: I’m not mad. I’m just surprised.

Tom: Didn’t you ever read Playboy? Did you?

Sam: What difference does that make? I’m your father. I can’t believe that Peter’s father lets him read Penthouse.

Tom: I told you Dad. His father doesn’t know. Peter sneaks it out of his dad’s bedroom. Peter thinks his dad is really horny.

Sam: Tom, that’s enough. I don’t need to know about Peter’s dad.

Tom: Dad. How old were you the first time you masturbated?

Sam: (stunned, bleary eyed) What did you say?

Tom: I was wondering when you first jacked-off?

Sam: Tom, just watch your mouth.

Tom: I’m sorry Dad, but I was just curious. Being a guy, Dad, I just thought I could ask you that.

Sam: Well you took me by surprise. I mean I’m supposed to answer your questions, but…

Tom: I understand Dad. I apologize.

Sam: Tom, I’m sorry I jumped on you.

Tom: Say Dad, did you ever use condoms?

Sam :(shouts)  Shut the fuck up. Just shut your fuckin mouth.

Tom: But Dad…

Sam: You want to know about jacking-off, or condoms or whatever, just ask Mark, or Peter, or maybe Peter’s Dad. Not me!

Tom: I’m really sorry Dad, but you said we should talk about sex.

Sam: Right. But not about my sex!

Late that same night. Sam and Adele are in bed.

Adele: Sam, why were you shouting in Tom’s room?

Sam: Oh, nothing much. We just got into some heavy talk.

Adele: Like what?

Sam: Good night, Adele.

Adele: Sam, please don’t shut me out. This is important.

Sam; Adele, just forget it.

Adele: Sam, I am your wife. I can help.

Sam: Help, help with what. I don’t need your help Adele. Just go to sleep.

Adele: Why are you so upset?

Sam:  Why, I’ll tell you why. Your son – your son asked me about jacking-off.

Adele: What? What did you say?

Sam: Tom wanted to know how old I was when I first masturbated.

Adele: He did?

Sam: Yes he did. And did I ever use condoms.

Adele: I hope you told him that you did.

Sam: Listen Adele, if you want to talk to your son about your sexual acts, techniques, and equipment, go right ahead. I’m not!

Adele: Alright, calm down. Enough. Just relax.

Sam: O.K. Good night.

Adele: Good night Sam.

Several minutes later

Adele: Sam, are you up?

Sam: Barely.

Adele: Sam.

Sam: What?

Adele: How old were you when you first masturbated?

Fin……………………………