Monthly Archives: December 2008

Nice guy or mean guy?

“Are you the nice guy or the mean guy?” What? I hadn’t been asked that question in years. Hearing it, I harked w-a-y back, to 1966, when I still lived at my birthplace, at 906 Railroad, in a barrio we called “Tuff Street.”

Every house got a little tuffer, and I lived in the last house. The person who inquired about my naughty- and nice-ness used to live in the second-to-the-last house.

When I moved back to Las Vegas, I lived next door to three little boys, sons of Mel and Bella Martinez. I may have snubbed one or all of them the first time; the next time I saw them, I have been told, I was friendly. That prompted the oldest boy, Ralph, to ask why I was sometimes mean, sometimes nice.

But instead of conjuring up an answer, I came up with a clone. “I’m the nice guy. The mean guy is someone else, but he looks just like me, so be careful,” I explained.

Continue reading

‘Do be do be do’ — Sinatra

It’s astounding how we use expressions without realizing where they come from. At parties, it’s easy to impress others by attributing whatever quotation we use to either of two sources. It’s likely you’ll be right much of the time if you invoke 1) the Bible, or 2) Shakespeare.

You’ve heard people insist “Well, it’s sure to be in the Bible; the Bible’s such a big book, after all.” But nothing or nobody is cited more often than Shakespeare.

Let me explain: Continue reading

‘12 days’ of Christmas — Las Vegas style

How would you like to receive 364 gifts, during a span of less than two weeks?

If we believe the popular, tuneful Christmas carol, “The 12 Days of Christmas,” we ought to be gifted many times over.

Let me explain:

“My true love” doesn’t simply send a single partridge in a pear tree, but 12 of them. Remember, on the second day of Christmas, the true love sends two turtle doves plus a partridge in a pear tree, to keep company with the partridge the Postal Service dropped off the day before.

The bird is the last thing on the list each day, and each refrain ends with another partridge. The penultimate items, two turtle doves, get shipped by FedEx on the second through the 12th days; the five gold rings arrive eight times, on the fifth day through the 12th, for a total of 40. Continue reading

We can capital-I’s on this

For experimental purposes only, I wanted to test the frequency of capital letters adorning products. Accordingly, I’ve arrayed a dozen items in front of me to test the theory.

My belief is that most people overuse capital letters, LIKE THIS. And they like to play with exclamations marks as well!!!!!

But it’s hard to hear anything or anybody when everyone’s shouting.

Let me explain:

I chose 12 items: a can of Cheetos, a bottle of V-8, a book, a DVD cover, my laptop computer, “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Learning Danish,” the Dex phone book, a crossword puzzle magazine, a globe, a jar of kosher dills, a box of kitchen matches and a political ad that arrived weeks late. Continue reading