The Meaning of Marriage

My friend Tom is one hell of a guy. He is also the funniest person I know. In a totally weird way. When the Beautiful AP and I first met Tom and his lovely wife Martine in Cape May, I was thrown by some of the things he said. I couldn’t figure if he was being humorous or out of his mind.

Let me give you a recent example. The four of us were eating lunch at the Mad Batter Restaurant in Cape May. By this time our friendship was sealed tightly and I knew he was outrageously funny. I also knew that most people didn’t get his humor, especially at first, and they would look at him aslant.

The server was taking our order. My wife the Beautiful AP and I ordered our usual, the orange-almond French toast, Martine ordered a salad and Tom then put in his order: “Can I have the salad that she’s having but I want salmon as well. I’d like some toast with butter on the side.”

“Okay, sir,” said the server.

“Wait, wait,” said Tom. “Now it is very important that there is no salt put on anything.”

“No salt,” the server nodded.

“Maybe write it on the order form so the chef knows no salt. I have dangerously high blood pressure.”

The server nodded, “Okay,” she wrote down the “no salt” instructions. “There we go, sir!”

“And I’ll have some ice tea, no sugar,” said the Beautiful AP.

“I’ll have just plain water,” said Martine.

“Water is fine for me,” said Tom. “Make it two glasses, large ones.”

“Seltzer for me,” I said.

“Okay,” said the server. “Let me just repeat the orders.” And she did. She finished with, “And no salt for you sir.”

Later, the server placed the orders in front of us. Tom looked at her as she put his order down, “No salt in this right?”

“Yes, sir, no salt,” she smiled. She had served the four of us many times before and we were good tippers so she was happy to serve us again.

“Everything fine?” she asked happily.

We all nodded. Tom smiled then reached across the table, grabbed the salt shaker and poured salt over his entire meal! You could see salt crystals on top of salt crystals all over everything. “Ah, looks great,” he said and dug into his food.

During this pandemic Tom and I have a special day and a special time each week when we talk for about an hour on Zoom. Tom is the head of a giant non-profit Jewish organization that he nursed from an almost storefront level 40 years ago and made it a big player for seniors of every religion and race that employed people from every religion and race. The man is—in my opinion—admirable.

But he is not perfect.

On our last call, Tom said, “Scobe, I made a big mistake with Martine yesterday. I’m in trouble. I’ve been working seven days a week the last couple of months and she told me not to do any cleaning this weekend. I’m just to relax. But you know I like a clean house (he does) and I do some cleaning on the weekends. I’m not crazy about it (he’s not) but the upstairs bathroom needed to be clean; the shower, the floor, sinks, you get me (I got him).”

“So you told her you were going to clean?”

“No, that’s the problem. I told her I was going upstairs to take a shower. I snuck Mr. Clean and a roll of Bounty paper towels with me. So I took a shower and then I spritzed the shower with Mr. Clean and wiped everything down with the Bounty paper towels. I cleaned everything in the bathroom. Then I heard her outside the door.

“’You okay?’ she asked.  ‘Yeah, yeah, I’m fine,’ I said. ‘I was just enjoying a nice hot shower’”

I jumped in. “You know Tom, you are a disgrace to the male sex. You should have trained Martine to let you do all the cleaning.”

“Very funny,” he said.

“We’re not talking about me, Tom. This is about you. If you want to clean, then she should let you clean. I mean you’re the man, Tom; act like a man. Demand that she let you clean.”

“I kept cleaning throughout the day, Scobe; here and there, when she was out gardening or cooking. I just want a clean house.”

“Doesn’t she do any cleaning?”

“Yeah, but she’s French and they use rags. It takes forever. She dips the rag, cleans a little, then cleans the rag and then dips the rag again and cleans a little more. It takes three times longer than it takes me. I just use Mr. Clean and Bounty and it is really fast. Spray and wipe. Spray and wipe. Spray and wipe. It’s over, just like that. Then I go read.”

(Tom and Martine do not have a television set. They read. Tom will read books and the newspapers online. Martine reads books in French.)

“You do realize that you are sneaking around Martine because you don’t want her to catch you,” I said.

“I know that,” he said.

“Your problem is that you are married. You have just explained the real definition of marriage. It’s not anything Shakespeare wrote or any of the flowery cards from Hallmark. No, it is you sneaking around in your own house wanting to clean but being afraid of your wife. That’s the true definition of marriage.”

“I suppose you’re right,” he said. Tom paused and took a deep breath and then he said: “Martine is putting salt in my wounds and, you know, I hate salt.”

Frank Scoblete’s web site is www.frankscoblete.com. His books are available at Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, Kindle, e-books, and bookstores. Receive Frank’s articles in your email.

Perfect Presidential Poll

 

You have the Rasmussen Poll, the Gallup Poll, the Quinnipiac Poll, the Elway Research Poll, the Fox Poll, the CNN Poll, the NBC Poll and assorted other polls by various universities, news media and political parties.

In the 2016 election right up to the very start of the voting the polls stated emphatically that Hillary Clinton would win the Presidency. As the returns came in, many news anchors changed from certainty that Hillary was a shoe in, to uncertainty to complete disbelief that “the Donald” would actually become the President of the United States. There was sadness in many a newsroom that day.

What was with those polls? How could they have been so wrong? Easy. There were many Trump voters who did not say out loud that they were Trump voters when the pollsters came a ’calling. Their mouths may have said one thing but their votes said something entirely different.

And today, right now, the polls of every stripe have Joe Biden clobbering Donald Trump. I do not trust those polls because I have discovered the truly precise 2020 Presidential poll—and I don’t mean the election itself.

The true Presidential poll is this: who is wearing a mask and who isn’t? Since the COVID-19 crisis has been turned into a political football, the Trump voters—like Trump himself—eschew the mask because the virus is a hoax, a world-wide conspiracy against Trump, a bid to deprive citizens of their inalienable rights, proof that you are a wuss, or all of the above. The anti-Trump voters wear the masks because they believe it is a public health crisis that masks can mitigate.

President Trump is leading his people to the polls—and they’re not wearing masks.

So, go ahead and count the number of voters who wear masks and the number of voters who don’t. True, there might be some little crossover between them, but overall my poll, which I am naming the Scobe 2020 PPP (Perfect Presidential Poll), will be the most accurate of all. Count on it!

Frank Scoblete’s web site is www.frankscoblete.com. His books are available on Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, Kindle, e-books and at bookstores. Get Frank’s articles in your email by signing up today.

Three Strikes and I’m Out: Amazon, Delta, and P.C. Richard

 

Strike One: Amazon.com

Amazon.com has benefited from the Covid-19 virus because mail order is now a bigger part of our economy than ever before. Amazon’s profits increased by close to 30 percent. Indeed, on Wednesdays our village collects cardboard and just about every home is overflowing with Amazon boxes to be recycled.

Over the years Amazon.com has been a big seller of my 35 books. Like many authors, I have also had a special Advantage contract with them under which they sell autographed copies of my books. Amazon sends me the order, I then autograph the book, and mail it to the customer. I get to keep a part of the sale price, as does Amazon.

I’ve been getting orders that I can’t fill because the Advantage program suddenly didn’t accept my password. Okay, so I created a new password but Amazon did not recognize that one. Then I created another password and Amazon didn’t recognize that one either. I continually receive orders through the Advantage site, but once I log in using any of these passwords, no orders are listed. I can’t fulfill an order without knowing the purchaser’s name and address.

I looked for ways to contact someone at Amazon who could combine my three Advantage accounts and then figure out who had ordered books. We’re talking a good number of books here too.

No one was “home.” No chat, phone, or email was available to get through to Amazon Advantage.

Okay, so at the moment I have lost money that I would have earned had Advantage functioned. That isn’t a huge problem. But here is the problem: People who have tried to buy autographed copies are being told that they can’t because the orders can’t be filled! That frustrates the customer and makes me look bad.

Yes, my wife the Beautiful AP and I have been trying to contact someone at Amazon to solve this problem. We thought we got through to Amazon and were told there is no direct line to Advantage, but someone from Advantage would call us back within 24 hours. It’s been 168 hours and no call.

Strike Two: Delta Airlines

“I’m sorry but we have many phone calls and our agents are all busy. We cannot answer this call.” Click! Hang up.

The above is a paraphrase of a message I received from Delta Airlines when I called to find out about a refund or credit on my tickets. It took me several hours to get through to them. Well, to get through to the click!

I had two round trips scheduled for Canada, one in June (Montreal for three people) and one in July (Calgary for two people). That’s five first-class tickets in total.

On the website, I saw that they were giving me personally, but neither of the other two fliers, a few hundred dollars as a credit for the Montreal flight. Three first class tickets do not cost only a few hundred dollars. One first-class ticket does not cost that either.

I also received (now get this!) a notice that I could fly from Calgary to JFK in New York when I was originally supposed to—just me, no one else.

Of course, there was no such flight because Canada is closed to Americans! So I couldn’t fly to Canada but I could fly home from Canada. Indeed, the flight was cancelled by Delta even as they were telling me that if I sneaked into Canada I could get back to New York. Of course I would not be with my wife, the Beautiful AP, but I guess Delta figured we had been married a long time so we needed a little time apart.

Finally, yesterday, the Beautiful AP received a boarding pass for Calgary in an email. Yes, she could now fly to Canada. Wait a second; isn’t Canada still closed to Americans? So we checked Delta’s website to see if there was a flight taking place to a country that doesn’t want us there. No.

So we now have a boarding pass for a flight that doesn’t exist to a country that won’t let us in. But if I do get illegally in to Canada, somehow and in some way, I can get back home.

Strike Three: P.C. Richard and Son

I write just about every day and when I am done I either read a book, a magazine or watch a good movie or television show. Actually I do all those things. In short, I reward myself for my daytime efforts.

I had an in-house theatre installed when I came home from a particularly lucrative trip to Vegas, with speakers that can blow the roof off my house. “Will you lower that?” the Beautiful AP says constantly as she hides in the bedroom. “Wear noise cancelling earphones!” I yell back but she can’t hear me because the speakers are too loud.

A couple of years ago I bought an LG 4K HD television—a big one—so I could watch my shows with the fullest of pleasure. I figured I deserved that, right? I mean, I started my life in a cold-water flat where three of our six rooms were not heated in winter, and now look at me!

Yeah, look at me. My stinking LG 4K  HD television is on the blink. Every so often the set pauses and displays the LG logo, interrupting the show or movie for about 30 seconds. This can happen over and over or just every once in a while. But it has now been going on throughout the virus lockdown.

I bought the set from P.C. Richard and Son here on Long Island, along with a five-year extended warranty from the store. So they should send someone over to fix the screwed-up set. That’s what the extended warranty stipulated. Yes, it stipulated that in clear terms. I have the paperwork. (Actually, my wife has the paperwork.)

P.C. Richard and Son states they will honor all warranties except those—yes, you guessed it —for television sets. Refrigerators, washing machines, dishwashers, clothes dryers, toasters, stoves, air-conditioners, microwaves – all of which by the way we have bought from P.C. Richard and Son over the years— are essential items and will be serviced during the Covid-19 virus. But no televisions!

On its official web site P.C. Richard and Son states clearly: “We Are Here for You!”

Mr. Richard and Son, I’m okay, but my television isn’t. Why bother with a warranty if you won’t honor it?

So, my friends, no autographs, no flights, and no television. This is almost as bad as the pandemic itself!

Frank Scoblete’s books are available on Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, Kindle, e-books and at bookstores. Receive Frank’s articles in your email. Sign up today.

 

 

The Big Bang…Boom!

 

I like the idea of celebrating the United States of America on July 4th.

The fact that we were not perfect at our start or during the early 1800s or after the 1800s or during the 1900s or right up until yesterday is no reason not to celebrate our great experiment in self-government.

I think we are heading in the right direction. Our ideas are strong and slowly we will see them manifest themselves more completely as time moves on. Most of our citizens are decent people and their decency will win out in the long run. We are created equal even though it is taking centuries to establish that fully throughout our states.

However, can we jettison the street-side fireworks on this important holiday? My neighborhood was a war zone, starting at dusk and heading into midnight. There were explosions that shook our house. There were Roman candles that landed close to our roof. A barrage with no pause, no intermission; a relentless cacophony of booming.

What is the point of keeping your neighbors awake and, for some, have them trembling in fear that their houses might be damaged or even burned? Are those explosive experts romping in the streets aware that what they are doing is morally wrong?

Indeed, it is morally wrong to light up the night with fearing, flaring flights of Roman candles and generate explosions so loud that birds, squirrels, and people quiver in their nests, unable to read a book, listen to music or watch television. Our local yokels were hopping and skipping and bellowing out on the streets as they threw their bombs with nary any consideration for those who didn’t want to hear their whoops and wham-bangs.

We tend to think; “Oh, they are just kids” as if being a kid allows one to be stupid and totally self-centered. Yes, these were kids—a few decades ago. They’ve grown up postulating that making noise has some valuable meaning in the scheme of life.

They have probably read neither the Declaration of Independence nor the Constitution. Maybe they should expose their brains to knowledge and not ka-booming on Independence Day, and, perhaps, lead the country closer to the ideals expressed in those documents.

Some might say, “Oh, buck up, Scoblete, it’s just one day of the year.” Unfortunately, they are setting off fireworks just about every evening throughout year—it’s just louder, longer, and more loathsome on July 4th.

My wife, the Beautiful AP, is of the opinion that these July 4th bombers—and also those drivers who remove the mufflers from their cars so they can be heard for miles—are people who have accomplished little or nothing in their lives, thus making noise is their way of getting attention.. “I’m loud, therefore I am.”

So if you are one of the noisy masses, perhaps next year you should do something more meaningful, or at the very least—do nothing.

Frank Scoblete’s web site is www.frankscoblete.com. His books are available on Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, Kindle, e-books and at bookstores. Sign up to get Frank’s articles sent you to you.

Mom

 

I sat on the couch as I had over the weeks and months prior to this moment. I had my arm around my mother’s shoulder. She was snuggled into my chest. My father watched from a chair opposite us.

“I was in the backyard on 92nd street and I saw my mommy kissing my daddy,” she giggled. “They were kissing right there.”

Mom was 83 years old. “They kissed a few times,” she giggled. I squeezed my mom’s shoulder. She was skinny by this time.

She would call me “Frankie” as in “Frankie, I saw my mommy kissing my daddy in the yard.” But today she had forgotten my name. She knew she knew me – at least I think she knew me – but my name was now lost to her. Most of her memories were lost too – although some long-term ones still could be bubble up a little here and a little there.

My Mom was born in 1925. Her father died in the mid-1930’s leaving six kids behind; five daughters and one son. There was no welfare in those days so my mom left school in sixth grade and she and her sisters went to work in the factories. My grandmother cleaned schools. They skimped and saved and they were able to keep their house on 92nd Street in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. Where they lived is now an entrance to the Verrazano Bridge.

The son joined the army for World War II. He always volunteered for the most dangerous assignments. I do not know how many enemy soldiers he killed. Those who knew him called him fearless and daring.

My two strong memories of him concerned how much he smoked. He always had a cigarette in his mouth. And second, he would twist my arm behind my back and tell me to say that my father was a “bum” or “I’ll break your arm in half.” I’d cry but I never gave in. I am surprised he didn’t break my arm. Oh, yes, he was a hunter too. That might be my third memory of him. So it was his smoke, my pain and various creatures’ deaths.

The five sisters were loving. They doted on each other. They emotionally supported each other. They had an unbreakable union that lasted until the very last one passed away almost a decade ago.

The sisters held their brother in very high esteem. As a kid, I never told my mother that he tortured me. It wasn’t until I was older, an adult actually, that I told her about him. She wouldn’t believe me. She couldn’t believe me. Then the other male cousins started to tell their tales about him, how he would get each of them alone, and hold a lit cigarette closely over the palm of one trapped hand, daring them to flinch. The sisters started to believe. The female cousins had no tales about him. He spared them.

My mom’s was an immigrant family. Italian laborers. Hard workers. Perhaps the New York City version of the salt of the earth. The sons in such families were often lauded and revered. It was true of my family. It didn’t really matter what the child was like, if he were male, he was premier.

This fearless and daring son sent his army paychecks home during the war and my grandmother saved the money so that when he returned from duty, he received a substantial nest egg. The daughters had worked tirelessly for money through the Great Depression and the War, but they had no nest eggs. Instead, they had supported the family. Their brother took his bank account, and left.

My uncle died at 50; as far as I could tell no male cousin shed a tear. I didn’t go to his wake or funeral.

My mom was the middle sister. She worked until her mid-60s. Her final job was at the World Trade Center. I could talk to my mom about anything.

At another visit, my mother snuggled into me, “I have a picture of my daddy.”  She would always say that and then she’d point to someone in a picture, some relative or friend, and say, “That is my daddy.” It never was.

Until this day.

Up to that time I had never seen my mother’s father.  But this day, on the wall near the couch, was a new photo – an old new photo – a little grainy but it showed the clear picture of a young man. He was dressed in a leather overall and he was standing on the side of an ice-truck. He was an ice distributor, an iceman.

I didn’t look like him. But then I realized that this man was indeed my grandfather. His hands! I looked at his hands. They were my hands or, rather, mine were his hands.

“He is your granddad,” my dad said.

His hands and my hands.

“My daddy,” my mother nodded and then: “I saw my mommy kissing my daddy in the backyard.”

“Where was that?” I asked. “Do you remember the street?”

“My mommy was kissing my daddy.”

I am Frankie, mom, your son.  I have my grandfather’s hands. I have your father’s hands. I held my hands up. “Look at my hands,” I said.

She was looking far away. “My mommy was kissing my daddy,” she said.

In a few days, she stopped talking. In a few weeks, she stopped eating. She died. March 22, 2008.

Frank Scoblete’s web site is www.frankscoblete.com. His books are available from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, Kindle, e-books and at bookstores.

Trump: The Art of the Steal

 

Lee Child’s Jack Reacher series (now 25 books!) has a hero who is closer to a superhero or to Tarzan than to an ordinary man. I am guessing that many American men who read these books (such as yours truly) wouldn’t mind being Jack Reacher even for a day.

Is it possible, perhaps even likely, that the President of the United States, Donald Trump, would also like to be Reacher? Is it possible that he stole Jack Reacher’s demeanor and evinced it during the recent protests? Did he borrow a litany of ideas from the second novel in the Reacher series titled Die Trying?

Read these quotes from Die Trying and then hear President Trump echo these very sentiments.

…need to get some dominance here. Situation like this, it’s very important…. Just do it okay? (page 64, Kindle edition)

…gain the upper hand. Establish dominance. Classic siege theory. (page 341, Kindle edition)

…kiss goodbye any hope of dominance. That was to lie down and roll over. From that point on you are their plaything. (page 341, Kindle edition)

A few weeks ago Trump wanted to use the United States military to “dominate” protesters and he seems to have also desired a dominating “occupying force” in America cities.

He tongue-lashed the governors of those states experiencing rioting and looting, telling them they were fools and jerks. “If you don’t dominate, you’re wasting your time. They’re going to run over you, You are going to look like a bunch of jerks. You have to dominate.” (Business Insider, June 2, 2020)

Later that same day Trump ordered that the protesters outside the White House were to be disbursed by tear gas and rubber bullets. It turned out that this was simply a method to clear the way for a photo session with a dominating Trump holding a Bible outside St. John’s Episcopal Church at Lafayette Square. The next day he and Melania stood reverently in front of the statue of John Paul II. What was the message he was sending?

Is Trump trying to be Jack Reacher? Has he bought into the idea that using the military might of America against Americans upholds the American way?

Does he want to dominate because he thinks not doing so makes him a fool and a jerk?

Did Trump’s tongue lashing of the Governors come straight out of a Jack Reacher novel?  Is Trump actually preparing a new book titled The Art of the Steal?

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A Second Virus Attacks!

The coronavirus has caused the world to turn upside down and inside out. My travels have been interrupted; no casinos in the last two months; no trips outside the country either. My wife the Beautiful AP and I are having a sedate life at the moment—the most sedate life of our lives. Our lives now revolve around our home, our pets and Zoom calls.

Our village is quite quiet now. We are stepping back in time to an older, finer world.

Except:

There is a second virus out there; a hideous one, perhaps more hideous than even the coronavirus. It is called the carownervirus (pronounced car-owner-virus) and it entails humans removing the mufflers from their cars and speeding on New York’s highways and boulevards.

Intermittently during the mornings, the days, the evenings and the middle of the night when I get up for a refreshing urinary expulsion, I hear them zooming in the distance as they race one another. The closest parkway is about two miles away but even so that mufflerless cacophony assails my ears.

Who are these life-forms that think removing mufflers and stepping down on a gas pedal makes them special? Are they believers in the idiom I am loud, therefore I am? Are they the adult version of those beings that spent years trying to ruin the educations of all the other kids who wanted to learn something? Is it true that the young idiot usually grows into an older idiot? I do ponder these questions.

The carownervirus might be here (hear) to stay as the infected take over the roads while healthy people hunker down to avoid catching or releasing the coronavirus.

Perhaps those infected by the carownervirus will even have their own PPE uniforms to wear: short-sleeved T-shirts with a pack of unfiltered cigarette rolled up in one sleeve, adorned with gold chains dangling from their necks, along with greased hair and leather jackets bearing their gang’s name (Misfits!).

Will their saying now become for all time, “Hey, Daddy-o! What’s happening?” And when all our lives settle into a new normal, will we be challenged to a perpetual drag race each time we venture on the open road?

I know what I’ll say when I am challenged: “Sorry sir, but I have a bowl of goldfish on the front seat.”

Frank Scoblete’s books are available on Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, kindle, e-books and at bookstores. Receive Frank’s articles in your email box. Sign up today.

Unsocial Media

I’ve been called a communist, a socialist, a Nazi, a Trumpite, a Trumparine. a never-Trumper; a lefty, a right winger, a UFO denier, a tool of the Dr. Fauci and Bill Gates’ conspiracy, a lover of Hillary Clinton, a Republican, a Democrat, a disgrace to Italians, an idiot, a moron, a cretin, an enemy of Our Lord, an anti-Christian, an atheist, an evolutionist, a destroyer of America, a slave owner and today’s most powerful expletive: racist.

I am a liberal tool to expand the Democratic tax thefts, but I must be a greedy Republican, because I think it is a good thing to make money.

My friends of all political persuasions, religions, non-religions and colors have been attacked. I especially love the Jews who are trying to destroy the world (for various reasons) and have been since they came into existence when Adam and Eve ate the apple (it was a fig folks, not an apple). I am also a dumb figgest.

I support the Asians who are taking over the country. I want China to take over because I hate Caucasians. I am a white supremacist, also a traitor to my white race, a beastialist, a privileged white male even though I once lived in a cold water flat for six years as a child and started working at the age of nine. I am a misogynist. I do not know anything about the vagina. I am a subjugator of women. I must have a small penis.

I do not obviously know how to read the secret messages of the Illuminati or understand that Sandy Hook never happened. I am a Catholic; an anti-Catholic, an evangelical, an evil denier of the plain creationist truth and I evidently have no common sense. How can I deny the Kennedy conspiracy? I am a jerk because I don’t think face masks kill people or that Covid-19 is a hoax. I am an “N” lover.

I am probably a Satanist and denier of the eternal truths of the bible.   I am an anti-vaxxer. A populist. An elitist. A sexist. A feminist lackey and probably a rapist. I don’t think GMOs are unhealthy and that means I am “as stupid as an idiot.” I should be ashamed of myself because I don’t think the word “organic” means what a lot of people think it means. I am a sad example of a man who can’t figure out that the world is actually flat.

Therefore, I am never going onto social media again. Well, at least for the next few months, as it is a scary world of hyper-sensitive, tense, threatening, and angry extremists. For them, lashing out is a relatively calm behavior.  Threatening bodily harm is par for their course if you attempt to engage them in discussions.

You might think that I debated these ploppies over the course of the last month on the weird and wacky world of social media but you would be mistaken. The most I did was ask for real evidence of whatever claims a person made. A simple, “prove it,” could bring down the house as most people thought their arguments were self-evident. But I became the monster who dared ask for reasons to support their beliefs. Yikes, I never should have done that!

Now, I am taking a break from unsocial media.

Frank Scoblete’s website is www.frankscoblete.com. His books are available on Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, kindle, e-books and at bookstores.

Die, Death, Diets

Donald Trump is in big trouble if what I think might happen, actually happens.

You can plainly see that the people who are protesting in the streets to reopen the economy—most of whom fully support Trump, as their signs clearly show—are older Americans, many of them in the most threatened category from the coronavirus. That’s right, these protesters most of whom do not wear masks or practice social distancing, are leaving themselves wide open for contracting this devastating virus.

Most look as if they are over 60 years of age and plenty of them look as if they have underlying health problems—certainly obesity being an obvious one. (Okay, now don’t get sarcastic and say their main health problem is mental.) As Trump supporters in states where the 2016 election was close, a small percentage of his followers catching the virus, being put out of commission or actually dying could seriously hurt Trump’s chances of getting reelected.

Now if you are a Democrat you should encourage Republican states and governors, and those people in closely contested states, to demand reopening of everything. The smart Republicans will realize why Democrats want this and will resist. The dumb Republicans will be going to the movies.

But are enough Republicans smart enough to see what is happening?

Are Democrats clever enough to trick the Republicans into destroying Trump’s chances at reelection by helping to kill off his voters?

This time period in our country’s history could be a do or die one for Donald Trump.

Death

What do Presidents Washington, Lincoln, Monroe, Jackson, Grant, Garfield, Teddy Roosevelt, and Kennedy have in common? Malaria; the most dreaded mosquito-borne disease in the history of the world. Malaria has killed more human beings than any other mosquito-borne disease.

There are 14,000 mosquitoes for every one person on earth. And they trouble me greatly because they are the biggest pain in my neck and everywhere else on me, and I don’t have any plans of being President.

Mosquitoes love me and that means they love to bite me; they’ve even bitten me through my clothes. I’ve used various repellents but none seems to actually work. I hesitate to go outdoors early in the morning or at dusk because those are the times mosquitoes are out flapping around looking for nourishment; meaning my blood. That is also the time they look for mates. By the way, the mosquitoes that do all this biting and spreading of disease are the female ones. (This proves to misogynists that you can’t trust women because they are after your blood.)

And finally, here’s what really bothers me about these buggers—the warmer planet Earth gets, the nastier mosquitoes might be as warm weather tends to bring them out. Between new viruses and old enemies, it is likely we’re in for a tough future.

Diet

During this pandemic, I have seen the lines of people at supermarkets and at food pantries. Some people are having a hard time getting food delivered to their homes or apartments as well. I have a simple solution to the delivery-of-food problem: Nutrisystem!

For about $300 a month Nutrisystem will deliver three meals a day to your abode.  You’ll have enough to eat to survive and if you are a larger-than-life person (okay, if you are fat), you might also lose some weight in the bargain.  Maybe you’ll get Marie Osmond to deliver the food!

Frank Scoblete’s web site is www.frankscoblete.com. His books are available at Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, kindle, e-books and at bookstores.

Irritations

I know I am a grumpy old man, but unlike other grumpy old men I am right in my opinions. That makes all the difference in the world.

***Kars for Kids keeps running its free ad on the radio and sometimes on television. The ad is a simple one; a horrible, mind-numbing ear-worm of a jingle about giving your used, abused, crappy old car to their organization as a charitable contribution. Whoever wrote that jingle and/or arranged the music and/or hired those “children of the damned” to sing the jingle should have something horrible happen to them. Go check out that charity on the Internet and I think you will find it isn’t what you think it is.

***Gold and silver: Here’s another commercial that is constantly irritating me – and I’ve written about this idea a few times but it needs repeating. You take a former star actor, in this case William Devane, and have him spout off about how he votes in elections and how America was strong in the past and basically could kick everybody’s ass. He stands on a battleship to spew his company’s products.

He tells us about the rotten paper money that’s out there and tells us that he invests in gold and silver and he also votes. You can buy these precious metals too. Why would the company he’s hawking sell gold and silver to the rest of us saps and take our crummy almost-worthless money when they have two metals far, far more valuable than the money we are sending them for their gold and silver? Does that make sense to you? Why don’t they keep their gold and silver?

Here’s the pitch: “Send my company your rotten money and we will send you precious gold and silver and, yes, my friends, America will still be able to kick everyone else’s ass. You can bank on that!”

***Vice President versus President? I think the nominee of the Democratic Party for Vice President will actually be the person running against President Trump. Biden is a non-issue in this election. Most people that I have spoken to don’t think Biden will finish his term as President if he wins or he will gradually become the invisible man in the White House.

By the way, Biden looks like the actor Jeff Morrow in the movie This Island Earth. Check out a picture of him!

***I hate the car commercials that always tell you about their special prices and their constant great sales events. Their sales always say that they are giving a huge discount from the “manufacturer’s standard retail price.” Has any car ever been sold at the “manufacturer’s standard retail price?” So you get a discount on a make-believe price that has never been charged to a buyer. Isn’t this as fraud?

***Also about car commercials and real drivers: My wife, the Beautiful AP and I were driving on the parkway to go to a supermarket to buy some food. Given the coronavirus, there were very few cars on the road and those that were there, the drivers were speeding like crazy. The Beautiful AP said, “At those speeds there will be accidents even on relatively empty roads.”

On the way home there it was; a huge three-car accident and it looked as if some people were seriously hurt as their cars were mashed.

The car commercials often praise speed. Enough please! Those idiots speeding risk their own lives but also the lives of innocent drivers.

***And speaking of coronavirus, who are the idiots risking their own and everyone else’s lives by going outside in groups without staying a safe distance from other people? They risk other people’s lives too.

And those idiots are similar to the idiots in your classroom who made it difficult for teachers to teach their lessons. Now those same idiots are on the road, not ruining knowledge for everyone in class, but potentially ruining everyone’s lives.

***Speaking of idiots: What’s with these religious fanatics and their ministers and rabbis and imams who insist on holding services with a congregation in their houses of worship (make that houses of potential death) during the coronavirus outbreak? This is not a religious issue and no one is trying to destroy a religion during the coronavirus pandemic; it is a public health issue that affects everyone, including all the millions of people who are not involved in such religions. Your congregants should stay home and out of your churches and temples.

One televangelist claimed to have “blown the wind of God” at the virus and he asserted that with all the Christians in the country praying, the virus has now been defeated.

Israel had to cordon off the town of Bnei Brak because the ultra-orthodox townsfolk of the area refused to obey the mitigation efforts to stop the spread of the virus. They kept holding their services. Of the 200,000 people in the town 75,000 have already tested positive for the coronavirus at this time. Don’t let these people out. They are clearly dangerous to the rest of the citizenry of Israel.

In Pakistan, Muslim clerics refuse to stop massive prayer gatherings and there is real fear that such gatherings could spell doom for controlling the spread of the virus.

Enough of the idiocy; follow the right thing to prevent the virus from attacking countless people. Your religion is safe but the rest of us want to be safe too. Every believer who sanctimoniously struts about after attending these dangerous services is a threat to everyone they cross. Anyone who dies because of them means these holy-folk have committed murder.

PS: The same applies to those fools who partied on the beaches of America during spring break and the ploppies who held coronavirus parties (yes, people did this!). May they dance their way into an ICU that’s out of respirators.

***I now look at some political celebrities and affix a different career and/or character for them.

Donald Trump: the ever-yabbering time-shares salesman.

Mike Pence: the solemn funeral director.

Joe Biden: your strange uncle who sits in the corner at Thanksgiving looking at everyone because he’s forgotten everyone’s name.

Al Sharpton: a flesh-eating zombie.

Bill O’Reilly: your strange uncle who is always interrupting everyone at Thanksgiving to explain why he is right and everyone in that room and on this planet is wrong.

Andrew Cuomo: the toughest kid in the neighborhood.

Dr. Anthony Fauci: the truly deserving King of the Earth.

Dr. Deborah Birx: the truly deserving Queen of Earth

Joe Scarborough: high school senior who thinks he knows women.

Adam Schiff: your strange bug-eyed uncle who sits in the corner at Thanksgiving whispering to himself.

Rand Paul: Dr. No.

Mitch McConnell: the butcher who enjoys slicing bloody meat.

Ruth Bader Ginsberg: the immortal Hobbit.

AOC (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez): one of the three witches in Macbeth.

Ilhan Omar: one of the three witches in Macbeth.

Rashida Tlaib: one of the three witches in Macbeth.

Nancy Pelosi: Lady Macbeth in Macbeth.

Ted Cruz: Macbeth in Macbeth.

Bernie Sanders: King Lear in King Lear.

Sean Hannity: Claudius in Hamlet.

Hillary Clinton: Gertrude in Hamlet.

Melania Trump: Ophelia in Hamlet.

Bill Maher: the jester in King Lear.

John Oliver: Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.