The Rhino’s Got to Go

Director John Huston’s third wife gave him an ultimatum after his pet chimpanzee smashed her perfume bottles and defecated in her dresser drawers; he had to choose between her and the chimp. Huston chose the chimp.

John Huston, Courage and Art, Jeffrey Meyers

Huston: “I’m thinking, okay?”


Some people say the rhinocerous is the most dangerous animal on earth, but not my little rhino-whino, no, she’s a good girl isn’t she? Just because she ran her big–but beautiful, don’t get me wrong–horn through mommy’s BMW, that doesn’t make her a bad girl, no it doesn’t-wuznt. C’mere sweetie, daddy won’t let mommy talk about you that way ever, ever again–promise.

Daddy’s widdle girl


What? What’s your problem now? Oh come on–she got up on your precious Restoration Hardware couch? Puh-lease! A rhino’s a living, breathing being, a creature of God. A couch is a couch is a couch is a couch.

No, I’m not making fun of your fondness for Gertrude Stein–I mean it! You’re so materialistic sometimes. Five years from now you’ll be begging me to take that couch to the town dump. What? No, people will still claim it even if it has rhino tracks on it.

Put the rhino outside? Are you kidding? It’s freezing out there! Well, maybe I should have thought about that before she followed me home from Africa, but I couldn’t resist! Those big eyes! And feet, and trunk and . . . horn. And those cute widdle earsies!


What? The alligator needs to go out? I walked him last time–it’s your turn.

I thought we were going to share the gator. My idea? I don’t think so. He was our idea, remember?

Oh, that was before he ate your poodle. And your cat. And the bunny. Now all of a sudden he’s my alligator.

What? He took a dump in the sink? Are you sure it was him? It could have been any of the animals. Or a carpenter ant. Or a silverfish–that’s it, it was probably one of the silverfish. Those were your idea. I never liked them. They’re so cold . . . and indifferent . . . not like alligators.

What is it Harry Truman said–in Washington, D.C., if you want a friend buy an alligator.


I can’t hear you–what? Did I smash your perfume bottles? Are you kidding? Why would I do something like that?

Oh, now don’t go blaming the dingos–you’re the one who got all skittish after they bit the kid on the playground, not me.

I told you they weren’t indoors pets, but no-o-o-o. You said they’d be fine as long as we kept them fed.

Well, what are we supposed to do? I can’t let them run loose in the neighborhood. We only have three million in liability insurance, and we blew through a million of that with that damn baby they brought home.

I think you’re going to have to make a choice; either the perfume bottles go, or the dingos go.

What? What’s the third possibility?


But sugar–I’m only human. And humans are animals. I thought you liked animals.

Jimi Hendrix at the Supreme Court

“What about Jimi Hendrix?”

    Question by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts during oral argument in a copyright case. 

COURT CRIER:  Oyez! Oyez! Oyez! All persons having business before the Honorable, the Supreme Court of the United States, are admonished to draw near and give their attention, for the Court is now sitting. God save the United States and this Honorable Court and stay away from the brown acid!

CHIEF JUSTICE:  Who’s on first?

COURT CRIER:  Case number 10-545, Golan vs. Holder.

CHIEF JUSTICE:  Cool–let’s rock ‘n roll.  Counselor?

PETITIONER’S COUNSEL:  Thank you, Mr. Chief Justice, sir.

CHIEF JUSTICE:  Please–call me “dude.”

“Hmm . . . Marbury vs. Madison?  Or the Slaughterhouse Cases?”


PETITIONER’S COUNSEL:  You got it.  May it please the Court.  Section 514 of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act did something unprecedented in American copyright law.  It took millions of works out of the public domain, where cover bands at Holiday Inns across the country had been playing them on “Rockin’ With the Oldies” night for years.  That violated the Copyright Clause, the First Amendment and the Rule in Dumphor’s case.

JUSTICE RUTH BADER GINSBURG:  I like Carole King’s “Tapestry.”  Did you know it’s the biggest-selling album of all time, and yet my “macho” colleagues on this honorable court will never let me play it in the Justice’s Lounge?

JUSTICE ANTONIN SCALIA:  That is such a chick album.

JUSTICE GINSBURG:  Well, I am a chick.

JUSTICE JOSEPH ALITO:  I’d say you haven’t met your burden of proof.

PETITIONER’S COUNSEL:  If I could get back to my argument.

“Okay–you’ve had your fun.  Now can my cat and I get out of this post?”



PETITIONER’S COUNSEL:  Section 514 “restored” copyright protection to foreign works . . .

JUSTICE ANTHONY KENNEDY:  That was cool how you got those quotes of dubiety into your argument without using your fingers . . .

PETITIONER’S COUNSEL:  It’s kind of like ventriloquism.

JUSTICE STEPHEN BREYER:  I used to love Paul Winchell and Jerry Mahoney . . .

CHIEF JUSTICE:  And Knucklehead Smith?

JUSTICE BREYER:  I’m glad we could finally agree on something.

PETITIONER’S COUNSEL:  Anyway, Congress passed the law because some countries voiced skepticism that the U.S. was in compliance with the Berne Convention and . . .

CHIEF JUSTICE:  What about Jimi Hendrix?

PETITIONER’S COUNSEL:  What about him?

CHIEF JUSTICE:  Isn’t he like the most totally bitchin’ guitar player of all time?

JUSTICE ELENA KAGAN:  Guys who are into overwrought guitar solos are just transferring their masturbatory tendencies from the bathroom to the concert stage.

PETITIONER’S COUNSEL:  She’s the most junior justice–is she really allowed to talk like that?

CHIEF JUSTICE:  I think it’s a First Amendment thing.  Anyway, to get back to Hendrix–do you think more people would pay attention to the Supreme Court if I set my gavel on fire, the way he did with his guitar?

PETITIONER’S COUNSEL:  You mean when he played “Fire”?

The Crazy World of Arthur Brown.  It was the sixties–you had to be there.


JUSTICE THOMAS:  You’re thinking of The Crazy World of Arthur Brown.  The correct name of the Hendrix song is “Let Me Stand Next to Your Fire.”

PETITONER’S COUNSEL:  I stand corrected.  Anywho, Section 514 could cause American works in the public domain abroad to have their copyrights restored.  It’s a slippery slope from there to . . .

CHIEF JUSTICE:  I want to get back to Hendrix.  He was left-handed, but he played a right-handed guitar.  Freaking amazing if you ask me.

JUSTICE SCALIA:  He was a switch-hitter?

CHIEF JUSTICE:  With power to all fields.  He could change from soft, deeply soulful songs like “And the Wind Cries Mary” to the dark, forboding “All Along the Watchtower” faster than you could say “Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.”

JUSTICE KENNEDY:  Hey–you can do that quote thing too.  Why am I always the last to know?

JUSTICE GINSBURG:  You want soft and soulful?  My life has been a tapestry of rich and royal hue . . .

JUSTICE SCALIA:  Here we go again . . .

JUSTICE GINSBURG:  An ever-lasting vision, of the ever-changing view . . .

JUSTICE ALITO:  I’m going to fwow up . . .

PETITIONER’S COUNSEL:  Your honors, with all due respect, I get the impression that somebody dropped some Owsley acid in the SCOTUS water cooler this morning . . .

JUSTICE THOMAS:  No, it was in the Mr. Coffee machine.  When I filled my cup Mr. Coffee had been staring at the Cremora container for half an hour, humming “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds.”

CHIEF JUSTICE:  That’s a very serious charge, counselor, and one that is likely to undermine your argument.

PETITIONER’S COUNSEL:  What was it Justice Potter Stewart said?

JUSTICE BREYER:  “That place is so crowded nobody goes there anymore?”

JUSTICE KAGAN:  That was Yogi Berra.  Or Victor Hugo.

PETITIONER’S COUNSEL:  No, I was referring to “I know it when I see it.”

CHIEF JUSTICE:  You say you know it when you see it–but are you experienced?


Available in Kindle format on as part of the collection “The Supremes’ Greatest Hits.”

The Maple Leaf Club

Grandpa Ollie took me downtown,
me in short pants, him I seem to
recall in a short-sleeved white shirt
and long grey slacks in the summertime.
I hoped to get a toy out of it.

We walked all the way to Main Street,
then took a right. He wanted to see
something, and we stopped in front
of a building and peered in.

It looked like it had been a restaurant
to me, now it was about to collapse.
The place hadn’t been painted in years,
the wood was all grey and brown.

“I guess that’s where he played,”
Grandpa said. I asked him who,
and he said “That fella they make
so much about, Scott Joplin.
Place is pretty run down now.”

I didn’t know then what I learned later;
that Joplin was writing opera at the same
time he was playing nights for drunken
cowboys in from the Chisholm Trail,
a whorehouse piano player.

One was a failure, the score to the other
was confiscated when he couldn’t pay
a hotel bill. He ended up in a mental
home, demented from syphilis.

We walked back towards home, and
Grandpa said I could get something.
I remember I picked out an Army rocket kit.
I botched it like every model I tried to make.

The Maple Leaf Club is gone now.
Last time I saw Grandpa alive he was
watching a baseball game on TV,
complaining about all the attention
nigra ballplayers were getting these days.

Life in the Vanilla Almond Clusters Cult

Do you wake up early just because you miss your favorite Peace Cereal product?  Do you ever wish lunch or dinner was really a big bowl of Peace Cereal?  Do you have a pet named after your favorite Peace Cereal?

We think this is normal behavior and understand completely.

Text on box of Vanilla Almond Clusters & Flakes by Peace Cereal.

Look upon my works and tremble!


It’s hard now to remember what my life was like before I joined the Vanilla Almond Cluster.  I like to think of them as my family now–I’ve renounced the one I was randomly assigned by some malicious deity in the World Before Ours.  Some people call us a cult but I think they’re just jealous.

St. Paul was knocked off of and onto his ass on the road to Damascus, and my epiphany was almost as dramatic.  I’d avoided the Scientologists on Beacon Street, had juke-stepped my way past the Hari Krishnas on Commonwealth Avenue, and was just about to step into the Burger King on Boylston Street when I came face to face with the face of enlightenment.

St. Paul:  “Stop squirting me!”


It was attached to the head of a girl whose name in her prior life was “Dorcas,” and whatever else she was, she wasn’t a dork.  She had the most beatific smile, dancing eyes, and skin as pure as the driven snow.  Also two humongous knockers beneath her peasant dress, but I don’t think they had any influence on my decision to give all my money and worldly possessions to the guy she said was the Cereal Master.  Now, her name was “Vanilla Almond Cluster,” just like everybody else at her commune.

“You’re not going in there, are you?” she asked, her eyebrows and the corners of her mouth drooping down like dowsing rods plumbing the depths of ineffable sadness.

“Um, actually I was,” I said, but she was too beautiful to brush past.  “I’m only going to get the BK Veggie Burger and a Diet Dr. Pepper, if that helps.”

“Did you ever wish that your lunch was a big bowl of Peace Cereal?”  No, I hadn’t, I said.  Did that make me a bad person?

“Oh, no no no,” she hastened to assure me.  “It’s just that . . .”

“That what?”

“What what?”

“The what you were about to say before your voice trailed off.”

“Oh, that what.  Well, it’s like this.  Happiness, like the foods we eat, are a choice.  Do you have fond memories of eating cereal in your pj’s as a kid . . .”

“Watching Heckle ‘n Jeckle cartoons?  You betcha!”

“Wouldn’t you like to recover that lost innocence, and return to the Garden of Eden of breakfast foods and other stuff?”

That was always the pitch with these street cultists; somehow we’ve been corrupted by something, the Media, the Pope, the CIA, Big Cereal.  We had to break down the doors of perception, return to a state of nature, blodda-blodda.  I’d resisted every such appeal since my undergraduate days, when I persuaded a comely lass with a history of out-of-body experiences to leave her body in my dorm bed while she floated around for awhile in the ether.

The morning after was too painfull to recall, too excruciatingly polite to endure again.  Over breakfast at a diner she asked if I’d had a good time astral traveling with her.  I told her I hoped not, we weren’t allowed to leave campus without a weekend pass.

She took it the wrong way, which was the right way, and I never saw her again.  Still, my close brush with the occult had taught me a valuable lesson; that way lies madness or worse–vegetarianism.

But this sweet, innocent woman-child in front of me melted my hard-earned reserve.  I decided to hear her out.

“Seriously–try Gojii Berry Clusters & Flakes too!”


Was I happy with my life, she asked?  Well no, I admitted–but I preferred it that way.  Who wants to be happy all the time–it’s exhausting!  Like being at a wedding reception for a cute young couple, your mouth gets tired smiling.  This was back Before the Fall; that is, before 2004, when the Red Sox went and spoiled the gloomy omnipresence that pervaded Boston due to their 86-year World Series drought.  Many people in town were only happy when they were miserable back then.

Did I have a pet?  Yes, I said.  A cat named “Hodge,” after Samuel Johnson’s feline companion.  The one he reassured when people’s cats began to disappear in London at the same time that cat’s meat pies became popular.  “They’ll not have Hodge,” Johnson would say as he stroked his furry little buddy.

“Have you ever considered changing its name to that of your favorite breakfast cereal?” she asked.

“Well, no.”

“That could mean you don’t like your cereal enough!” she said, beaming.

“Or that I like my cat too much,” I replied.  “Who wants to walk out onto their front stoop at night and call ‘Here Count Chocula–here boy!’  Certainly not me.”

“Well, you might be happier if you achieved the unity, the oneness that comes to those who join the Vanilla Almond Cluster.”

“The Snack-Pack only comes with 10 mini-boxes of cereal, so we need a miracle.”


“So Peace Cereal . . . will bring me inner peace?” I asked hesitantly.  I had been gnawing at the inside of my left cheek a lot lately.

“For sure!”  There was that smile again.  A million watts of happiness, probably lit by solar or wind power.

And so I agreed and I have to say, I don’t miss my former “life”–if that’s what you want to call it.  No, I eat, sleep and poop Vanilla Almond Clusters & Flakes.  My two cats–Big Vanilla Almond Clusters & Flakes and Little Vanilla Almond Clusters & Flakes–enjoy their Vanilla Almond Clusters & Flakes Kibbles ‘n Bits.  My wife–yes, I married that wonderful young lady I met on Boylston Street that day–and I spend quiet evenings at home, contemplating Vanilla Almond Clusters & Flakes, before turning in for the night to sleep on our Vanilla Almond Clusters & Flakes-filled futon.  Along with my 45 other wives and her 45 other husbands.  I changed my name to “Vanilla Almond Clusters & Flakes” so that it would match my wife’s, and the other 92 members of what we like to call our little “cluster”–that’s kind of an “inside” joke, but I think even an unenlightened “outsider” like you will get it.

Nope, things are pretty sweet here–naturally sweetened of course.  It’s a very simple and ordered life, none of the hassle and confusion of the outside world.

Until somebody calls on the land line and asks to speak to Vanilla Almond Clusters & Flakes.



Day in Sun Shadows His Twilight Years

NEW YORK. Mel Sewanicki, Columbia class of ’47, still can’t buy a drink in this town even though it’s been sixty-seven years since he made “The Catch,” a diving grab of a fourth-quarter pass that enabled the Lions to defeat Army, 21-20, ending the Cadets’ 32-game unbeaten streak. It put him in the College Football Hall of Fame along with the pigskin that he clutched to his chest as he hit the cold October turf. The victory is still counted as one of the greatest upsets in college football history.

“Everywhere I go, that’s all people want to talk about,” he says with a smile and a shake of his head. He moved on to a successful career as a banker with four kids and now thirteen grandchildren. “I’ve got a lot to be thankful for,” he says, and it’s clear from the expression on his face that he means it.

As he strides powerfully into Dominic’s Steak House in Manhattan it is par for the course that other men signal their waiters or the bartender that they want to buy Mel a drink, and by the time he reaches his regular table and sits down there are six vodka martinis, two beers and a glass of merlot waiting for him.

“Hello, Adolf,” he says to the waiter who regularly patrols Sewanicki’s corner of the room. “Take care of these in the usual manner, please.” “Yes, Mr. Sewanicki,” the club employee says as he places them on a tray and takes them back to the kitchen, where he will pour them into empty milk cartons and return them to Sewanicki’s table when he finishes lunch.

Sewanicki has a passion for New York’s homeless but he refuses to indulge in euphemisms. “They’re winos, plain and simple,” he says bluntly. “My old man had the same problem–he could never get enough to drink–so I know what they’re going through.”

More drinks arrive as Sewanicki makes his way through a Cobb salad with smoked scallops on top, and with each delivery Adolf appears as if by telepathic command to take the libations back to the kitchen. “I like a glass of wine with lunch,” the ex-football great says, “and a scotch when I get home at night, but that’s it.”

Sewanicki dabs at the corners of his mouth with a cloth napkin as he finishes his meal, and Adolf reappears bearing four gallon jugs filled with a dark brown mixture composed of beer, red wine and hard liquor. “If you served this at one of my grandkids’ parties they’d call it ‘Long Island Iced Tea’, drink too much of it and puke their guts up,” he says with a tone of disapproval in his voice. “But for the guys out on the street who know how to handle it, this can be a life-saver.”

We leave the restaurant and Sewanicki hails a cab. His long arms extended over his 6’4″ frame make him an easy figure to spot, and in half a minute we are sitting in the back seat of a taxi. “Take us down to the Bowery,” Sewanicki barks, the New York neighborhood that has traditionally been the home of the transient, the vagrant, the down-on-their-luck. “We used to call ‘em bums,” Sewanicki says. “Now they’re ‘homeless’,” he says with evident distaste for a feel-good sociological term that he says carries the implication that all a man needs is a roof over his head. “A man is more than flesh and blood,” Sewanicki says with almost religious fervor. “He’s got a soul, too.”

We stop at a red light and one of the neighborhood’s “squeegee” men comes up to the car to wipe the windshield, hoping to cadge some change out of us. Sewanicki rolls down his window. “Here you go, buddy-try some of this!”

The ex-football great takes a plastic cup from a bag and pours out a slug of the brownish liquor mix that resembles the water in the East River.

“What is it?” the hobo says. “Diet Coke?”

“Name your poison and it’s in there,” Sewanicki says with a sympathetic smile. “Whatever they want you to remember, it’ll help you forget.”

The man takes a sniff and, after the alcohol fumes hit his olfactory cells, begins to drink.

“Ah,” he says after taking a long pull. “God bless you, sir.”

“Don’t mention it,” Sewanicki says. “Let me pour you another–I’ve got to make my rounds.”

He refills the man’s cup and the grizzled denizen of the streets accepts it with gratitude. “Take it easy, partner,” Sewanicki says as we drive off.

“I’ll be here tomorrow, too!” the man yells after us.

Sewanicki instructs the driver to slow down as we roll through the dark streets where hope returns only rarely, like a prodigal son with a maxed-out credit card. “You see those guys sitting over against that building? They’ll probably spend the rest of their lives within a block or two of here. Think of that.”

I do as instructed while Sewanicki tells the driver to stop and he opens his door. I follow him, party cups in hand.

“How we doin’ today, guys?” the aging athlete calls out as he approaches three men sleeping under an arch. One looks up warily and starts to scramble away before Sewanicki reassures him. “No need to get up,” he says, “my partner here’s got the cups.”

“Oh-good. I thought you was the cops.”

“No–just a humble little mission of mercy.” I again hold out cups as Sewanicki fills them up. The men each shiver a bit as their first sip goes down; one polishes off the remainder in a single gulp. “That’s the spirit,” Sewanicki says, then reaches into his pocket. “Here, I forgot,” he says. “I’ve got some beer nuts.”

“Thanks, man. I haven’t eaten for days,” one of the men says.

“Then you better take it easy–go slow at first,” Sewanicki says. “You want to lay down a good foundation of liquor. Otherwise, it’ll come right back up.”

“Okay-thanks for the tip,” the man says. We leave them with one of our four jugs–”They need it,” Sewanicki declares–and climb back in the cab.

How exactly did you come to adopt this particular mission as your life’s work, I ask Sewanicki as he scans the streets for more mouths to fill.

“Well, I got so tired of people buying me drinks, knowing it was just going to be poured down the drain. I’d say to myself–there’s people going to bed sober all over this city tonight, and you can’t finish half the booze that people put in front of you.” The lessons of his hardscrabble youth have stuck with him. “‘Waste not, want not’, mom used to say,” he says with a audible lump in his throat. “I had to eat what was put in front of me, even if it meant I missed The Lone Ranger” in the early days of television.

That thought–the waste of precious alcohol and the potentially harmful effect it was having on oysters and other shellfish in the Hudson River watershed–persuaded Sewanicki to take the unpopular step of seeing to it that no man goes without a nightly drink in lower Manhattan. “Not on my watch,” he says with unmistakable seriousness.

We turn a corner and Sewanicki sees something that causes him to lean forward in his seat. What is it, I ask?

“The enemy,” he says. Two women and one man dressed in practical clothes make their way deliberately down the street, looking for “homeless” men they can persuade to give up lives of freedom on the street in exchange for food and shelter. “Do-gooders,” he says with undisguised contempt.

He rolls down his window and, as we pull even with the three, lets go with a shout.

“Hey–why don’t you leave them in peace,” he yells.

The three–not social workers, as it turns out, but N.Y.U. students doing field research for an advanced sociology lab–turn with looks of surprise on their faces.

“Yeah, you,” Sewanicki continues. “Do you think those guys want to go back to living with people like you watching them all the time?”

“Well–yeah,” the male says hesitantly, his world-view suddenly called into question.

“Gimme a break,” Sewanicki continues. “They’ve spent their whole lives running away from milquetoasts and school marms. They haven’t got much longer to live-let them drink themselves into oblivion if they want.”

The three are quiet for a moment, as they consider the public policy and philosophical aspects of what they are being asked to do.

“You mean–do nothing?”

“Right–just . . . go . . . away.”

The three look at each other, then the male looks at his watch. “There’s a 2-for-1 Bud Light special at McSweeney’s in the Village tonight,” he says to the women. “You guys up for it?”

“I’ve got a mid-term in Stochastic Variables in Quantitative Research,” the woman begins, but Sewanicki cuts her off.

“Listen sweetheart,” he says. “Once you get a job you’ll never touch another stochastic variable in your life. Believe me–I worked for four decades, and the only thing I needed to remember from college was one lousy football play.”

“Is that so?” the male student asks.


“In that case,” he says to the women, “let’s party!”

Available in Kindle format on as part of the collection “The Spirit of Giving.”

Barbie Hits the Double Nickel

2014 is Barbie’s 55th anniversary.


I looked out the window of my Dream House and allowed myself a teensy-tiny moment of reflection.  How far I’d come in fifty-five years!  It seemed like only yesterday I was born, fully-developed, in a secret test lab deep within the bowels of the Mattel Toy Company.

The dreaded “double-nickel,” and not a single stretch mark, even though I seem to have a daughter, Skipper, by Ken, my “on again-off again” boyfriend as my Press Site notes.  On again-off again, my bony ass.  He’s a shiftless, lazy, no-count loser.  But I don’t like to dwell on the negative.

Some people criticize me for having a perfect, unattainable body that creates unrealistic expectations in young girls, causing them to turn up their noses at mom’s American Chop Suey and Stuffing Puppies.  Well, which would you rather have–a durable, dishwasher-safe hard-plastic torso like mine, or a body that could be “attained” by every Buzz Lightyear and GI Joe on the shelf?  To ask the question, as they say, is to answer it.  Besides, American Chop Suey sucks.

I just wish I could spend more time with Skipper, but I seem to have shipped her off to boarding school, like some cruel parent in a W. Somerset Maugham novel.  Maybe she’ll be home for Thanksgiving–check my website for updates!

Maugham:  “May I have a turn with Barbie–please?”


You know, long before everyone got so “hip” to being “post-racial” and including black sidekicks in gangs of guys eating at Chili’s in TV commercials, I had an African-American friend–“Christie.”  The Federal Trade Commission investigated after someone sent in an anonymous tip that no self-respecting black woman would ever allow herself to be called “Christie.”  Because of Mattel quality control, we passed with flying persons of color!

But I’m not just racially tolerant, I’m omni-tolerant!  I had a friend in a wheelchair long before you did–Becky.  I had another friend with a crippling beauty handicap–glasses!  Don’t believe me?  Again, it’s right there on the World Wide Web, writ large so those who surf may read.

Maybe I’ll have a big family reunion for my 55th.  My brother Todd and my sisters Skipper, Tutti, Stacie, Kelly and Krissy.  My “gal pals” Teresa, Kira, Kayla, Becky and Christie.  My BFF Midge and her husband Alan.  I wonder what ever happened to Alan?  I don’t remember hearing about a divorce or a death or anything.  If anything ever happens between me and Ken, it’s on the front page of the National Enquirer before you can say “Holly Hobby.”

With Ken and me it’s always a “headline-generating breakup”–no thanks to the Mattel public relations department.  What I wouldn’t give for Midge’s quiet life with Alan!  I don’t want to end up alone in some Barbie Dream Nursing Home, with flabby bingo-arms, doddering around reliving my outfits of the past; Stewardess Barbie, Nurse Barbie, Executive Barbie, Rapper Barbie, Streetwalker Barbie.

No, all I want is . . . hey, that’s Midge down there now–with Ken!  Why that freaking skank!  Hey you!  Yeah you, you red-headed bitch!  Get your hands off my arm-candy!  He may drive around all day in my dream car, and shack-up in my dream house, and never go out and get a job so he could have cool outfits like me–but he’s all I’ve got!

Justice Ginsburg to Leave Supreme Court for Air Guitar

WASHINGTON, D.C.  Bowing to pressure from the Obama administration, Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg announced today that she will step down from the Supreme Court next year in order to pursue her interest in air guitar.

Ginsburg:  “I didn’t bring my air guitar with me, but if someone else has one, I’d be happy to show you a few chords.”


“Ruth is a huge air guitar nut, but her playing has suffered because of all the time we have to spend listening to stupid lawyers argue nit-picky issues,” says fellow Justice Stephen Breyer.  “She’s been stuck at the Joe Perry level for years, but has the capacity to perform an Alvin Lee solo with enough practice.”


Alvin Lee of Ten Years After, left, with Justice Breyer, right, in wig.


The Supreme Court is the highest court in the United States, and is composed of nine members nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate.  Air guitar is a form of pantomime in which a federal judge pretends to play rock or heavy-metal guitar solos accompanied by exaggerated strumming gestures and a petition for a writ of habeas corpus.


“Roe . . versus Wa-a-a-ade!”


Ginsburg was nominated by President Bill Clinton in 1993, and right-wing critics say the senior female justice long ago entered her dotage.  “It would be one thing if she liked Ted Nugent,” a lead guitarist who opposes gun control, said Malcolm Cowpers of the American Freedom Forum.  “Instead, she spends her time during oral argument noodling around with Jerry Garcia solos under the bench.”

“Born . . . to be wi-i-i-i-i-ld!”


Ginsburg will be 82 next March, and had threatened to stay on the bench until she was 90, like former Justice John Paul Stevens, but liberals pressed her to resign in order to give President Obama the chance to appoint her successor.  “I’ve been trying to master Clapton’s solo in ‘White Room’ for four decades,” Ginsburg told Air Guitar Player magazine in an exclusive interview.  “It’s tricky–you have to keep your hands going and pump the air Wah-Wah pedal with your foot at the same time.”

Buddy Guy Wah-Wah pedal


Ginsburg’s resignation is likely to touch off a battle over the composition of the Court, with special interest groups pushing certain nominees in an effort to make the Court “look like America.”  “You’ve got a black seat and three women’s seats,” notes University of North Dakota Law School professor Jeffrey Lukier.  “But there’s no psychedelic seat and no shred guitar justice either.”


Available in Kindle format on as part of the collection “The Supremes Greatest Hits.”

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