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  • 1/18/2018 

    My wife noticed that I was continually swatting at flying bugs in the house. I told her that this one little black gnat had been bothering me for several days, but that every time I took a whack at it, it disappeared.

    "Those are not insects,” said Mary Ellen. “You probably have floaters.”

  • 1/9/2018 I have just finished reading Alexandra Horovitz’s marvelous new bestseller Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Know and Smell. The book is mostly about the incredible sense of smell our canine companions have and how as humans we often overlook this sense (we always overlook our noses). 
  • 1/2/2018 I'm not tech savvy, so when I received the Echo my brother-in-law Tom sent me for Christmas, I was hesitant to open the box. This gadget works like the computer that Captain Kirk talked to on Star Trek. You can pose a question (Who was the 13th president?), request a song or ask it to call someone. Your wish is her command. 
    The person selling these kinds of products always claims something like "It's so easy to use. Just plug it in." This is never true, although I got my new desk lamp working in under an hour. 
  • 12/27/2017 

    This is my annual look back at, and appreciation for, all the people and events that inspired many of my weekly columns this past year.   For example, thanks to…

    My brother, for getting married for the first time at a very late stage in life.  When my sister called and said “Your brother is doing something no Jewish guy ever does for the first time at the age of 65,” I was confused.  I thought I was going to his Bar Mitzvah.

  • 12/13/2017 This is part 2 of my favorite Hammacher Schlemmer offerings over the past 10 years. Many are still available in their unique gift catalog. So, for the person who has everything (or really doesn’t care what he gets), consider one of these necessities:
  • 11/29/2017 

    We were watching TV one evening last week when my wife asked, “Don’t you think it’s about time we moved?”

    “Sure,” I said. “I’ll stretch out on the floor with a pillow; you take the couch.”

    Apparently that is not what she meant. After 30 years in our house, Mary Ellen now thinks we should be living in a condoa place where the owners don’t have to mow or water the lawn or shovel snow. My son will be disappointed if we move.  He was making good money doing all that.

  • 11/14/2017 

    Lately I’ve been spending an inordinate amount of time looking in the mirror, concerned that the years have taken a toll on me and that I have aged quite a bit.  My wife says I'm crazy, and to be that obsessed with my own looks makes me appear very elfish.  (I hope she meant selfish.  My ears were the only part of my face that I thought hadn’t aged.)

     Now when I shave, I tilt my head down to look at my receding hairline.  For a long time, people asked me if I was losing my hair, but I knew exactly where it was.  It wasn’t lost; it was in the sink drain.  About 25 years ago, I had a hair transplant, which is sort of like what happens when someone dies. "He's gone to a better place," friends will say.  That's the same with my hair.  I don't have more hair, but what I had, the doctor put in a better place. 

  • 11/7/2017 

    Mary Ellen was kind enough to pass along a comment she had heard about me at her book club. “Kathy says your newspaper column makes her laugh.”

    “Gee, thanks for sharing that, Mary Ellen.”

    “Yes, and, Cara, the organizer of the group, told me she thinks you’re quite amusing on TV.”

    “Wow, I sure appreciate the compliments.”

    “But Dick, I have to ask you this: How come you’re not so funny at home?”

  • 10/31/2017 Following my knee operation, my doctor informed me that I'd developed borderline anemia. I don't even know how that's possible. Since the new administration took over, I'm afraid to cross any borders.

    My physician suggested I focus on a healthy, high-protein diet, heavy on foods like kale, spinach, hearty cuts of beef, and a bowl of Raisin Bran every day. Fortunately these are already some of my food faves-including the spinach-which I even liked when I was a kid.
  • 10/25/2017 Now that Mary Ellen has retired and I'm significantly cutting back on work, we often end up being home together around noon. In many homes, this is called lunchtime, but Mary Ellen and I have never shared a real lunchtime. For all of our marriage, we weren't ever both home during the workweek, and on weekends I usually went to Costco and snarfed up free food samples. In 37 years of our cohabbing, I have never asked Mary Ellen, "What are we having for lunch?"
  • 10/11/2017 When I wrote last week's column about my recent knee replacement surgery, many people responded with expressions of sympathy. Not for me, but for my wife, who has had to pester me every day to do my exercises, which can be very painful. The pestering, I mean.

    To help pass the time while I was moaning and groaning, Mary Ellen decided to tackle a job she had been putting off: going through kitchen drawers to see what we have accumulated in them over the years...and what should be thrown out.
  • 9/26/2017 I'm a liar. A no good, rotten liar.

    My awareness of this started a few weeks back when I wrote a column about my recent family vacation. We went to Banff in the Canadian Rockies. (That part was true.) Then I related how, before our return flight, I sent my digital camera through the security scanner. (Totally factual.) And how it was stolen when I left it behind in the tray. (Correct, again.)
  • Frankly speaking
    9/11/2017 When Eugene Warrington died at the age of 95 last week, hundreds of people laid flowers at his site. Not the site of his grave, but of his grill. Walter's Hot Dog Stand in Mamaroneck, New York, just 20 minutes from where I grew up in Westchester County, was founded by Eugene's father, Walter. It was-and remains, according to many-the home of the greatest hot dog money can buy.
  • 9/5/2017 "It really hurts," I said to my wife as my knee buckled under me.

    "Good," said Mary Ellen.

    That's not the kind of support you expect from your spouse. It's bad enough I have virtually no support from my knee, which is why I'm getting a new one next week. Unlike a heart or kidney, you do not get someone else's knee: it pretty much comes in a box like a pair of shoes from Amazon Prime. You just have to pray it's going to fit. And there's a lousy return policy.
  • 8/29/2017 I dedicated my performance at Indy Fringe last week to the late Jerry Lewis. Born Jerry Levtich, he traced his ancestry back to Eastern Europe, the origins of classic Jewish literature and the humor that came as a response to the repression Jews experienced for millennia. I never met Jerry Lewis, but my closest friend for almost 60 years, Burt Dubrow (now an independent TV producer in LA), worked with Jerry on several of his Muscular Dystrophy telethons.
  • 8/20/2017 Whenever I pick up the newspaper, I find medical news contrary to previously reported findings.

    It's just a matter of time, for example, before someone discovers that deep-fried Oreos are an excellent source of anti-oxidants and a possible preventative for heart disease. I pray for that news to come, but why couldn't the New England Journal of Medicine have released the research before the State Fair began?
  • 8/15/2017 I just returned from this year's Indiana State Fair. It was very bad timing, because I had just seen the government's reissued dietary guidelines online. I am not a fan of the current administration, but I did think in this one area they were going to cut us some us some slack...or a least a big piece of chocolate cake.
  • 8/8/2017 The Ropkey Armor Museum in Crawfordsville, Indiana has closed after more than 35 years. It was one of the finest private collections in the country. The contents will find homes in various museums around the country.

    The founder, military historian and Korean War Veteran Fred Ropkey, passed away four years ago. As a tribute, I am re-running remarks I made at his funeral service in 2013. Check out my interview at WISHTV.com with Lani, Fred's wife of over 30 years in the next week or so.
  • 7/30/2017 What has happened to the art of sitting? People nowadays don't just sit; they have to be involved in some activity like emailing, blogging, tweeting, reading, or watching TV.

    When I was a kid, people in my neighborhood sat on their front porch. Since this was New York, they were mostly protecting their valuables or waiting for the police to arrive. They were sitting, nonetheless. You see people sitting in a doctor's office-but these people are waiting. Big difference.
  • 7/18/2017 I'm a loser. I lose everything. Most people lose golf balls on a course; I lose clubs. One time, I lost the golf cart. People lose their wallets; I lose my pants. Don't ask. It's a long story.

    My wife, Mary Ellen, agrees that I'm a loser. Like most people, I misplace things occasionally, but the problem is that my wife says I'm not very good looking.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018


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