Tagged: Humor

Let Sleeping Limbs Lie

The other night I got up around 3am because my left arm fell asleep. The more I thought about it, the more I wondered why, in the middle of the night, the rest of me wasn’t asleep. When all of me is asleep does it actually feel as numb as my sleepy arm, only I don’t know about because, well, I’m asleep?

Taking this further, if I start shaking my arm that’s asleep and wake it up, then go back to sleep, have I just wasted my time? Seems like I’m pissing off my arm which was sound asleep, until I rudely rousted it then expected it to immediately return to slumber.

When I finally awakened to start my day and grab some breakfast, it was difficult to lift a spoon to eat my Cheerios. You see my spoon-lifting left arm was lethargic from having its sleep interrupted and was grouchy the rest of the day, at one point, refusing to participate in nut cracking—a two-armed task, and threatened a stirring strike, leaving undissolved sugar at the bottom of my coffee cup.

Oh, I could use my right arm but as a southpaw it would only result in a dreadful mess and give my left arm another reason to elbow the milk carton in a mocking manner.

Consider this a valuable lesson learned. If you wake up in the middle of the night with a snoozing extremity, turn over and let it go. It’s nothing to lose sleep over.

A Breakup, Unmasked

We first met in the spring of 2020, albeit reluctantly. It was more of an arranged coupling. I was quite happy in my current situation but fate mandated our star-crossed relationship. Oh, I suppose we all experience initial errors and false starts when considering what would turn out to be almost constant contact, but I chalk this up to aiming way too low, ratcheting up my vulnerability to levels dangerously high.

Here I was, perfectly healthy with a firm intention to stay that way. Then the “relationship” came into my life at the command of the government. First it was quarantine to stave off an incidious virus, then, in order to take baby steps in public my first face partner was forced on me. It was paper, temporary, barely functional but what can I say, it wasn’t as if there were many choices at first.

I slapped it over my nose and mouth and gamely ventured to the grocery store for a few vital necessities: bread, milk, Oreos, and craft beer. We didn’t get along from the get go. Scratchy, stiff, utterly inflexible—the quick breakup was a relief, but I needed to quickly find a new partner or be sentenced to house arrest.

And then, ah…as if created out of thin air I was presented with a vision of soft, black-lined cloth with a forgiving elastic strap. As I placed it upon my face we were in instant simpatico. I hadn’t felt such comfort and ease since overdosing on Dulcolax during a lost weekend in Inkster, Michigan.

Oh, we had our little spats from time to time. There was the instance where I foolishly decided to enter an overcrowded Cabela’s a week before deer hunting season. My facial protector scowled at my indiscretion scolding me saying, “you KNOW I’m no N95. Why put me in a position of almost certain failure?”

In my guilt I turned tail, made my way around the displays of dead, stuffed wildlife and emerged into an almost deadlier environment—the massive parking lot populated almost exclusively by diesel-powered heavy duty pickup trucks spewing black clouds of lethal dreck. There would be hell to pay when we got home, including a thorough laundering.

Still, we hung together for almost exactly three years through super spreader environments that included malls, air travel, occasional visits to the office and the in-laws. My protector was impervious to it all and I suffered not even a slight runny nose all that time.

But then, just in the past few weeks, I felt a distance—between my mouth, nose and my material significant other. Gaps had formed. It wasn’t the same. I felt vulnerable. It felt loose. Then one night I awoke with a scratchy throat, runny nose and an unexplainable anticipation of the next episode of “Call Me Kat.” Something was wrong.

My family urged me to take a test. I did. I failed. I instantly moved into a spare room isolating me from those I loved and others who were willing to let me win Uno. I called my doctor. A strong prescription was ordered followed by a question only an experienced, training healthcare professional could conjure: did your mask fail you?”

I caught my breath, thought of the good times we had over the past three years, our initial adjustment period but ultimate comfort level between us and then admitted, “yes doc, I believe it to be so.”

The callous bastard ordered me to immediately toss it in a can and replace it with another that would offer sufficient protection for the long haul.

Tough love, he called it. I slowly removed it from my face, said my goodbyes, thanked it for its service. We parted as friends, but not before it landed one last shot.

“You just had to lower me in that crowded Costco to taste that free guac sample…and I get the blame. You’re all the same. No self-control…it’s a damn pandemic.”

Spendid Isolation

I’ve got pretty much everything I need right now. Laptop, tablet, smartphone, big bottle of cold water, three vials of assorted medications, a closed door and an effective mask. No, I’m not on an urban bivouac, I’m in Covid isolation.

As I’m writing this I’m in the middle of day 4 and not feeling sick at all but my latest test was still positive, although the T line (the bad one) is barely there. Is that progress? Maybe, but all I know, and I hate, really hate to admit this, is that I’m really enjoying, in the words of the late, wonderful Warren Zevon, “splendid isolation.”

There are a few ways to look at being closed off in a spare room in my lovely home away from family and salty snacks. For one, I have almost no responsibilities. For the past six-plus years I’ve been semi-retired. For the past four days I’ve been completely retired. No, I can’t travel to a warm client but since I’m technically a victim of a global pandemic nothing is expected of me. I can stand that, at least temporarily.

I do feel bad I can’t enter the kitchen or eat with the rest of my family. My wife has been kind enough to leave food and beverage at my door. In turn I don’t ask for a lot because it bothers me to have her serve me and she knows I’m a shitty tipper.

Early in my isolation I didn’t really feel up to doing anything creative. So I blew a lot of hours gaping at my laptop screen. Watched some old rock concerts..any Tom Petty/Heartbreakers show is the best show. As a guitar player, Tom Petty songs are the easiest to play. He only used a few different chords, none of them very complicated. Thanks Tom, wish you hadn’t gone to the great wide open

Swung over to a long Hall and Oates show they did in Sydney, Australia. Why does Oates only get to sing two solos and barely say anything to the audience? Seems unfair. I wonder if they ever considerd changing their name to “Mostly Hall and A Small Bag of Oates.” Things you think about when you’re on Paxlovid.

Yearning for something completely new I discovered the wonders of the new show Poker Face starring the revelation known as Natasha Lyonne.

Her character is like a modern day Columbo. OK, don’t give me that shit you’re too young to remember Columbo. Look it up. Anyway, she can always tell when someone’s lying and that’s how she solves crimes….and she’s not even a cop. When someone lies she quickly responds, “bullshit!” No one says “bullshit” better than Natasha Lyonne. I actually think she should star in every single show and movie.

Couldn’t get to sleep right away last night so I dove into the memoirs of Mel Brooks. Figured it would be funny and make it easy to gently go into that good night. It was a good strategy. Still only at his early career in the Catskill Mountain Borscht Belt. We went their often in my childhood having been brought up in the NYC borough of Queens—a two-hour drive. The food and the jokes were equally stale but you always came away full, happy and constipated. Loved the Catskills.

I’m told to remain in my subdivision cell one more day after this and I’m sure my family will be happy because I’m hogging the combination guest room and room where my son has a lot of his precious stuff stored that he can’t get to.

But I’m not so sure I’m ready to return to the “outside” and lose my excuse for not doing stuff people expect of me. That’s why I’m hanging onto a couple of those positive Covid tests. Might need them as my ticket to extend my splendid isolation.

I’m Just Mild About Harry

Did you read Prince Harry’s book, “Spare” ? Yeah, I did because it was in my house and my library books were all overdue. I also wanted to “get” all of Stephen Colbert’s jokes and craved anecdotes regarding what happens when you freeze your “todger.” It is winter, you know, and one can never be too prepared for the wonts of nature while pushing the snow blower in the driveway.

I’ve always looked at Great Britain’s monarchy as a human zoo. With no power and an unfathomable love for bagpipe music, really, what purpose does it serve other than a lucrative tourist attraction in a nation that sorely needs the quid.

Perhaps the nation would be better served hiring the functionless bluebloods as knowledgable tour guides to educate the public as they schlep through Buckingham Palace and other assorted castles and musty old places.

This way they’d earn their keep without sucking up scarce public funds to maintain an unjustifiably lavish lifestyle.

It would also be effective in addressing Harry’s main beef in the book regarding the scummy British tabloid press and paparazzi. If the former royals were just working stiffs they’d cease to be of interest. Who’s gonna buy a paper with a headline screaming, “Palace Tour Guides Break For Lunch!” Problem solved.

Now I’ll admit, I did learn some things in the Spare’s book. The boy doesn’t like beer? Doesn’t relish downing a pint of piss warm brew at the corner pub, opting for tequila or gin and tonic instead? Sorry, I can’t hang with a bloke like that.

I learned that freckles on the face of Harry’s wife Meghan were airbrushed out of official photos. He lamented he thinks the freckles are cute. I’d maintain you don’t just eliminate part of someone’s face, unless you’re going to eliminate all of Camilla’s.

I never got the function of curtseying. When I was in grade school they tried to teach us how to pull off a curtsey for some reason. The girls had no problem. They were graceful. The guys just fell down. I always thought if I was in a position where someone thought they had to curtsey to me I would start laughing as I told them, “if you’re gonna go down that far, may as well kill the cockroach by your left leg.”

Frankly, I don’t think the dear, late Queen enjoyed the curtsey. I always imagined Her Highness thinking, “oh for crissakes. I can hear your joints cracking and this purse isn’t getting any lighter.”

Harry does come off as a troubled guy having endured the trauma of his mother’s death fleeing the “paps”, a brother who is portrayed as a bit of a turd and a father more concerned with his image than his offspring.

In the end it’s a little hard to feel sorry for someone who’s living in ultra-rich Montecito, Calif.–.same hood as Oprah, Rob Lowe and Arianna Grande and lots of other lesser-known one percenters. But I appreciate Haz and his family can’t live in just any suburban subdivision given serious security concerns, so no gripe there. But man, the HOA fees must be a killer.

Well, after slogging through 407 pages of Harry’s mostly depressing travails, I’m good. I get it. I’ve had enough. That’s why when Harry revealed he actually cut about 400 pages of content to protect his family but could conceivably publish a sequel, my only reaction is, Spare me.

Secrets of CNN Center From Its First Supervising Producer

Two Eds are better than one. Ed Turner and me at the Supervising Producer pod in CNN Center

The news broke this week that CNN Center in Atlanta will be closing by the end of the year. Here’s something few people know. I was the first supervising producer on duty when CNN Center opened in 1987.

I was working the 11pm-7am shift in preparation for the morning show called Daybreak at the time. Sounds like a shitty graveyard shift, but overnight in the States is prime time for overseas news. Can’t say “foreign” news because Ted Turner didn’t allow it. You had to say “international” or some other synonym for news not happening in the U.S. because, he correctly asserted, people in Bulgaria hearing news about their country wouldn’t consider that news foreign. Ted was a pretty brilliant guy.

We weren’t actually on the air yet from CNN Center. That would happen when Daybreak signed on at 6am. The last live newscast from CNN’s original location at 1050 Techwood Drive across from Georgia Tech University was Newsnight Update, which ended at 1:30 am.

With a TBS camera rolling for an upcoming documentary on the move at the appointed time I called over to Techwood to say something like, “operations are complete at Techwood. Time to move the mile or so down to CNN Center.” I’m sure it was better than that but sadly I never documented my remarks because I was sure they were unremarkable.

A little while later, Susan Rook, who had anchored that last live show from Techwood, arrived at CNN Center with a gift for me. She had removed one of the CNN logos on the anchor set and presented it to me. It’s on my office wall along with a photo from the 1989 CNN bureau chief’s meeting in Ted’s office and a poster signed by Ted wishing the Detroit Bureau luck when it opened in 1982.

I was the Detroit Bureau chief and correspondent from May, 1989 to January, 2001. When I was laid off in the great purge of ’01 I took the framed poster with me. The bureau was closed later that year.

Something else about CNN to which I will sheepishly admit. While the place was under construction I was appointed to a committee to help design the layout of the newsroom. For some reason I had the hairbrained idea it would be cool to emulate a print newsroom set up with circular team workstations with an editor in the middle—the slot..get it?

To my dismay the others loved it and that’s the way the “pods” were built. They were almost universally despised. Writers and producers around the rims were uncomfortable and the editors often complained of feeling like chestnuts roasting on ambient fires.

Once I caught wind of this dissatisfaction I never once, until this moment, mentioned that I was largely responsible for my colleagues’ misery. Apparently no one else remembered and the subject was never brought up. Why am I admitting this now? Because someone is likely to write another “history” of CNN and not get it exactly right. Call me.

For many years I had the blueprints for the newsroom design and I still might, but I can’t lay my fingers on them because there’s a good chance one of my family members used it to wrap Christmas presents and they’ve long ago been buried in a Michigan landfill. I have some boxes to exhume. Maybe they’re in there. But I won’t be looking today.

One of my strongest recollections from being the first supervising producer at CNN Center was learning the layout, especially the location of the washrooms. You see, working at CNN could be very stressful and when someone had the need there could be no delay.

It actually cracked me up as I sat in the elevated supervising producers pod, which was crescent shaped and not round, and crazed producers and writers who hadn’t taken advantage of the advance tours, screamed at me, “where the hell is the fuckin’ bathrooooooom!” If it was someone who had exhibited especially ass-holey behavior to me in the past, I’d kinda look up and ask, “what?” “Gotta go!!!!! Where!!!!!????” they’d holler while nature was hollering back at them. Then I’d point them in the right direction.

Often, when there were finished doing their business and returned to the newsroom they’d offer their appreciation for the information I shared with a familiar hand gesture, which I’m sure, in some culture, meant, “Next time I will pee on your shoes.”

Being the supervising producer meant largely, um, nothing. You didn’t actually produce. You mainly made sure the upcoming newscasts were leading with the best and latest stories, the producers knew of new material coming in on the satellites and if someone called in sick you had to find a replacement.

I loved that part. A producer would call in sick at, say, 1am and I’d ring up the designated replacement. Without fail I had rousted that person from their chaotic dreams and they’d bark at me, “do you know it’s the middle of the freakin’ night?” I’d calmly reply, “it’s the middle of my work day. Need you to come in tomorrow and produce the 2pm show.” Rough words were exchanged but the deed was done. I’d won again.

Working in the middle of the night I often had conversations with correspondents stationed overseas. Sometimes it was to approve a script, but at least one based in Japan just wanted to talk because he was lonely.

During many of the hours when I had literally nothing to do, I’d decide to prowl the oddball nooks and crannies of CNN Center. From the top floor of the CNN space you could look out at the atrium and see all sorts of things. Sometimes I’d see couples emerging from the movie theater or Omni Hotel or offices that were coupled with other people in real life. Omerta!

I remember the very last time I was in CNN Center. I had come down from Detroit in late 2000 to meet with the bosses. It was a one-day quickie. Unremarkable, but somehow I knew my time at the network would end soon. I kinda turned around and took what I just felt was my last look at the place and cracked up to myself thinking, “those poor slobs are still sweating in my pods.”

Storm and Drang

Today’s the second day of winter. You know what happens in winter? It gets cold and often snows. What?????? This is news to you? For the past 48 hours weather people in at least three time zones have whipped up a frenzy about a coming winter storm. I know, they’re trying to give fair warning, keep people safe and mostly, boost ratings and web traffic.

You ever wonder what weather people do in places where none of the crap happens? Where there’s nothing to hype but another great day? It just so happens I was one of them very early in my career. My first TV job was as the weekend weather guy on KGUN in Tucson, Arizona while I was going to grad school at the University of Arizona to earn my Masters in Journalism.

I just happen to have one to show you.

You should know I had no weather training whatsoever. To get the job I went to the library, pulled some books on meteorology, learned a few words I could toss in to make it look good and learned how to decipher a weather map.

I showed up at the station for my audition and was told to just use the map the real weather guy just used on the air. Total prep time with that map, 10 minutes. No scripts. Like other weekend weather guys in that market, I was hired because I was good at spewing extemporaneous bullshit from my experience as a radio DJ.

Now Tucson has three basic weather features: hot, really hot, quick downpours in June and July called chubascos, or typhoons. The rain would last for about 20-30 minutes, flood the streets, then drain out into the desert. After that Tucson weather would revert to either hot or really hot.

That’s not much to fill a 3.5 minute weather cast. So what to do? Turns out there are a lot of snowbirds or permanent transplants from the midwest and the east coast. Many of them spent a lot of money to lead that lifestyle. So I was told to spend 3 of those 3.5 minutes recapping how crappy the weather was in those areas to make the transplants feel good about their moves, and also to give them fodder for calling their relatives and friends back home to rub it in. “Hey Izzie! I hear it sucks in Chicago…like 12 degrees, snow and bastard winds! It’s 103 for the 12th day in a row out here in Tucson…in December. I’m not even wearing pants! Take care, sucka!”

The final 30 seconds of the weathercast was the forecast for Tucson. “Yup, hot again. It might even be hotter this weekend.” One time, though, something unexpected happened. A rogue rainstorm cropped up on a Sunday. Came out of nowhere so it wasn’t in my “expert” forecast.

The next day while at the supermarket with my wife, some guy recognized me and started yelling, “you screwed up my family picnic on Sunday ya bastard!” The folks in the checkout line stared at me and one murmured, “ya eff’d up mine too.” Figures, the one time there was actual weather we missed it.

Weather was never gonna be my thing anyway. It was just a foot in the door on my way to my real goal of being a reporter. But my short experience ad libbing my ass off in front of a weather map followed me years later after I was at CNN for a few years.

I was working at the CNN headquarters on election night 1986 as a reporter when around midnight the weathercaster for the morning show called in that her mother had just died and of course, needed to take some time off. The backup weather guy didn’t answer his page, which caused some panic. Then one guy remembered my dark past and told the boss, “Hey Ed did weather in Tucson.”

The boss came to me and asked if I wouldn’t mind giving it a shot. Why not. We had an awesome weather producer name Ross Hayes and he got me through it. Made the maps, briefed me on top weather features and I had enough to wing it through a half dozen weather segments. I guess I did ok because the boss asked me if I wanted to be a permanent weather fill-in guy. Eh, by that time I was a full-time network correspondent but I didn’t say no. I was never asked the to the weather again.

I have to say, I did enjoy doing the weather because it was a chance to show a little personality, ad lib and not have to cover a shooting or plane crash or city council meeting.

I did learn, however, back in my KGUN days, people don’t always listen carefully. After popping onto the set to report a tornado warning my phone rang. At the other end of the line was a very irate senior citizen with a disturbing question and accusation. “What’s that you just said about President Carter dying?” I politely explained I said nothing of the sort, but rather I reported a tornado warning. “Ha!” she snorted. “Hiding the truth! Can’t trust you weather people!”

When Halloween Candy Turned to Copper

Some people are naturally good at Halloween, some aren’t. I don’t mind saying I, personally, suck at it and always have. That may be, in part, due to my upbringing. No one in my family really took it seriously.

I always had the crappy costume in a box that ripped after you hit three houses leaving my ass exposed to the fall chill while I made my candy demand rounds. Those costumes always included a mask with such sharp edges you looked like one of Freddy Krueger’s victims by the time you returned home.

I lived in a massive garden apartment complex in Queens, N.Y., that outer borough of New York City people in other boroughs kissed off as “out on the island,” meaning Long Island. No matter Brooklyn is also on Long Island, but that’s another battle for another day.

My street was one of three that intersected at a single point, meaning you could hit literally hundreds of apartments just by walking around. I’d score so much candy I’d have to make periodic stops at home to dump my bag. Bad move!

While I was on my next round my parents were picking through my stash keeping the good stuff and pulling aside what they deemed the losers—Mary Janes, marshmallow peanuts, Smarties, candy corn.

Oh no, they weren’t going to eat them. What was going on was a scheme worthy of Bernie Madoff. Instead of actually buying candy, they skimmed my sugar proceeds to dump in some other poor kid’s bag.

Like any pyramid scheme, the perps eventually either tap out or get busted. In my parent’s case, once the supply of their ill-gotten goodies was depleted they had to come with something, anything, to satisfy the treat or treaters.

That’s when things got ugly. My father would call for the extreme, and always, unsuccessful, backup plan—the Boston bean pot. It was way up high in the cupboard when they kept their booze, collection of swizzle sticks and matches. Indeed, the bean pot never made an appearance until late on Halloween night when the door bell still rang but the pile of pilfered candy evaporated.

But no one panicked. The Boston bean pot was moved near the door. When the next group of goblins arrived and demanded satisfaction my father gave them a big smile…reached into the bean pot, pulled out a penny and tossed it in the poor kid’s bag.

The bean pot held the ultimate booby prize– hundreds of pennies, saved all year long just for Halloween.

One kid just stood stock still and stared expecting the penny was just a down payment on something better, until an older kid who’d suffered similar disappointment at our door advised the tyke, “may as well move on. That ‘s all you’re fuckin’ getting here.” The little kid therefore learning a new lesson and a new word.

My brother and I tried to explain the penny thing wasn’t working and would certainly lead to some sort of Halloween retribution in the form of eggs on our door or windows, or us getting whacked with crushed colored chalk stuffed in a sock leaving our clothes and faces with clear signals we’d committted some heinous Halloween crime. Hey! It wasn’t us…it was our parents! Tough gezatz, as they’d say back then.

Once I grew up, got married and had kids I made sure we not only had candy in the house, but tons of it! We never ran out. In fact, we always had extra by the time Halloween ended, which is why we always bought stuff we all liked—Kit Kats, Twix, M&Ms—because we’d be snacking on that sugar all year long till we replenished our supply for the next Halloween.

Oh no…we would not be using coinage to conceal our bad planning and we certainly never stole our kids’ candy. I did tell them the story of my father, the bean pot and the pennies, to which they responded quite earnestly, “you do that, Dad, and our relationship is over.”

But damn, now what am I gonna go with all those pennies? I do have some spare nickels…hmm…

Happy Halloween!

My Answer To “Do You Have Enough Money For Retirement?”

It doesn’t matter who or what you believe is responsible for creating the universe but among many screw ups in the process including famine, pestilence, war, poverty, violence and TikTok, I would suggest one that’s been gnawing at me since I reached “that age.”

You know, that age where you’re pestered with emails and snail mails asking the unanswerable question, “do you have enough money to last through your retirement?” The short answer is another question, how the hell should I know?

I posit I WOULD know if I had enough money to last my retirement if I knew how long I would be retired, meaning how long until I no longer need money, which is the day I actually retire, from life.

My wife and I started preparing for retirement almost as soon as we got married back in 1973. We didn’t actually have much money to save because I worked as a radio DJ in a little town in upstate New York. The station’s finances were so precarious the general manager had to borrow money from his mother to pay us one time.

A few years later came the welcome introduction of Individual Retirement Accounts—IRAs. This was good because little radio stations did not offer pensions or 401 (k)s since they knew there would be a high staffing turnover and mainly because they are notoriously cheap.

We hopped on the IRA train right away and stayed with it. As my career progressed and I worked for bigger companies our retirement savings options grew. By the time I walked out of my last full-time job into retirement in 2016 we were in good shape to weather the rainy days for which we saved.

Unlike weather forecasts using scientific instruments, balloons and satellites to predict when the rain will start and stop, figuring out how long you’ll be around enough to need money is a crap shoot. Oh sure, there are insurance and actuarial tables that attempt to predict a person’s life span based on age, health, lifestyle and genetics but really, would you base your personal planning on those?

“Hmm..well dear, no vacation this year because the insurance table says I’m outta here by May, so I’m gonna spend like crazy till then because I’ll only need money for two more months. Good to know! I’m off to the Lamborghini dealer.”

So you spend six figures on a new Lambo and ha! You’re not dead in two months and now you’re broke. Wellllll…..I guess that means you did NOT have enough money to last your entire retirement. Who knew?

Which brings me back to my original point. It would have been helpful if the generic Creator could have included some sort of countdown meter when putting together the human race.

It would be helpful to know how much time you have for so many things: How long to complete that bucket list, whether or not to renew your library books, deciding you don’t have enough time on the clock to sit through “The English Patient,” urgency to cut off someone telling a long, boring story and yes, how much longer you’re going to need money in the piggy bank to get you through your entire run.

Think of how easy this would make things. You’re feeling good, living life, you check your internal countdown clock, notice your savings is looking a little low and realize, crap, I have to feed the meter! Time to grab an orange apron for that part-time job at Home Depot. You’re back in the game. Hell..there may even be an app for that. It all makes sense to me.

Not Springing or Falling. Introducing My Personal Time Zone

I’m not doing it. I’m not springing ahead, falling back, standing on my head or manipulating my many clocks, watches and other time-displaying devices in any way. Everything is staying the same.

Welcome to EdST—no, not Eastern Standard Time. I now live on Ed Standard Time. You can too. It’s easy. Even use your own name.

People in Arizona actually already live on EdST because that state’s government was smart enough to legislate it. They never change. Half the year they’re on Mountain Standard Time and when everyone else falls back an hour the fine folks in the Grand Canyon State are on Pacific Standard Time.

I lived in Arizona for three years and had no trouble with this. Now I’m adopting it from my home in Michigan which is nominally on Eastern time.

Here’s how it works. I just make believe I’m traveling. My base time is what everyone else calls Daylight Saving Time because I like it lighter later. When folks elsewhere fall back an hour into Standard time, they’re an hour behind me…just like folks in Central time, except those in Central time are now two hours behind me. When they revert to Daylight Saving time in the spring, they’re back to being an hour behind me.

It’s not that hard to keep track of the changes. Just make believe you’re on vacation in another time zone and do the math. So if I have an appointment scheduled for 10am EST in November, that’s just 11am EdST because I haven’t “fallen back.” In the spring when everyone else “springs ahead” I’m already there so it’s 10am for all. Easy, right?

By not screwing with the clock my circadian rhythms aren’t upset, I can sleep better and I’ve saved myself from the bother and time-wasting chore of turning my clocks forwards and backwards twice a year. I don’t turn my clocks. I turn my cheek from this needless chronology manipulation.

While I’ve amused myself by creating my own time zone I’d truly rather not go through the exercise since it would makes so much more sense to just join Arizona in letting time stand still.

Yeah, yeah, be hypertechnical and point out a portion of the northeast corner of the state still does the “fall back, spring ahead two-step.” The Navajo reservation observes Daylight Saving Time, the Hopi reservation which it surrounds does not. So if you drive from outside the reservations through both and out again you have to adjust the clock in your car four times! Makes one yearn for universal use of the sundial which cannot be adjusted, but is useless at night. Then again a sundial doesn’t blink idiotically when the power goes out.

The truth is, all this falling and springing is a nuisance that not only wastes time but is patently unhealthy. But I’m over it. I’m making time stand still on Ed Standard Time…and not losing, or gaining, any sleep over it.

Me and the Queen’s Shared Milestone

Hear ye, hear ye! It is hereby noted on the occasion of Queen Elizabeth II’s 70th anniversary of her reign, it is noted her ascension to the throne occurred just two days before the birth of a short little shlub in Woodbury, New Jersey whose parents mercifully moved back to their native New York City just six months later, thereby avoiding any memory whatsoever for their infant son of his Garden State origins.

Indeed, many years later when registering to vote after moving to Tucson, Arizona, he stated his place of birth as New York City which prompted a laugh from his wife who took joy in correcting him while the elections official smirked.

Though his years have paralleled the monarch’s reign their lives took wildly divergent paths. She has sat upon a throne in royal majesty. He has done so in almost daily episodes of, ahem, blessed relief.

While the matriarch of the House of Windsor has ruled as the Queen of her Castle, the knish-noshing 1965 Bar Mitzvah boy has been steadfast as Master of His Domain.

As monarch of the United Kingdom and its affiliated kipper cafe’s she and her late husband spawned offspring of which only only one, Prince Edward, obviously named after this writer, actually works for a living. Princess Anne was once an accomplished horsewoman as opposed to her eldest brother and heir to the throne Prince Charlie, who is simply a horse’s ass. Prince Andrew is a persona non grata after making a poor choice of friends in the late Jeffrey Epstein and who, by the way, lives with his ex-wife, Sarah Ferguson whom he divorced in 1996.

This writer has been married almost 49 years to an obviously patient and tolerant saint of Irish descent who has dutifully learned key Yiddish phrases such as “I’m schvitzing!” “Oy vey is mir!” and developed a taste for pastrami and matzoh farfel, while he never allows the supply of Jamesons to run dry.

They have two grown eventual replacements…a man and woman both in their 30’s who provide much joy as well as themselves as convenient heirs but no grandchildren which is good because neither this writer nor his amazing spouse who remain youthful in appearance and bearing will accept being called “grandma” or “grandpa.” We do, however, accept senior discounts.

In comparing this writer’s accomplishments with the Queen’s, there’s really no comparison. She got right to work in 1952, waving demurely with that little wrist pivot, and mostly made her subjects happy while providing a lucrative tourist attraction for her country.

He mainly played stick ball, came close to failing math three times and played in two garage bands—the Scenics and Purple Perception, both of which promptly went from the garage to the scrap heap, before landing his first job as CIT at a day camp for the princely sum of $25 plus tips for the summer, moving on to a part-time job during high school as a linens and domestics stock boy at a local department store which provided an apt foundation for his eventual career as a journalist.

Somehow he took a turn to the “dark side” doing PR for a car company that couldn’t hang onto an owner starting as DaimlerChrysler then Chrysler LLC then Fiat Chrysler and now they’re hooked up with the French and sporting a corporate name that sounds more like a treatment for eczema. He mercifully retired in 2016, several years before this latest metamorphosis.

Yes, seven decades is a considerable amount of time and leads to episodes of reflection and napping. I give Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II heartfelt congratulations on her ability to remain alive…and myself cudos for remaining… awake.