With shithole so much in the news and this week’s Ask The Doc column about diarrhea, I figured this would be a good week to discuss Europe. Specifically, that thing you find in many European bathrooms, the bidet. It stands alone and looks like a cousin or stepchild of the toilet.

They stand two or three feet next to the customary toilet and there are no instructions nearby. If you’ve found yourself alone in the loo with one, there’s a good chance you’ve asked yourself what is that, or how do you use it? It’s one of those things you’d rather figure out on your own.

By the spouts or upward facing faucet-looking things, you figure that it sprays water. There’s not a toilet seat on this thing, there’s just the rim.  Do you just sit on the

Ok, if there are dog days of summer, what the hell was last week?  Don’t tell me, “it’s only January” — just agree that it sucks, we don’t deserve this, and you’ll never complain about summer heat ever again. If you’re reading this in Florida, don’t complain that it was in the thirties.

If you’re not about to die outside, you’re inside watching the TV, reading and rereading newspapers or living on Facebook. 

You read things you might not normally come across. I was dismayed to find out our

It’s not exactly a secret but just in case you never gave it a second thought, end of year lists and year in review articles are publishing’s lazy way of filling up the paper. I’d like to slip in a Top 10 of something but I can’t get to ten on anything. I used to be a movie buff but I don’t think I watched a single feature film this year. It was so much easier when the long-gone Surfside Cinema was still open. Or, for that matter, when the 4:30 p.m. movie was an everyday thing. I can’t remember

Can they call them something besides old white men? That hits a little close to home.   One of my follicle-challenged brothers has said, bald people are the last group no one has any hesitation to make fun of. You can’t mention race, religion or body shape without triggering a protest rally. But bald guys are still fair game. It’s an outrage, the bowling ball head, mutters.

Well, old white men are the new bald guys. And I’m not being redundant.

Plenty of old white men (OWM) just want to be

Glad that’s over. The whole holiday gift-giving and what you’re supposed to tip so-and-so are traditions I can do without.

Let’s start with tipping. The mailman, or letter carrier (which used to be the mailman), is easy. If they’re reliable and take care of your mail (and they don’t leave somebody else’s mail in your box on a regular basis), you’d be doing the right thing by giving them a card with a few bucks. That might be the easiest tip all year. You don’t have to tip the mailman who comes

A great conversation starter was posted on Twitter by Katie Honan. She asked, “New Yorkers, what’s the one New York thing you haven’t done?”

Lots of people weighed in. Glancing through the replies, I’d say the Empire State Building was the place most mentioned. The Statue of Liberty was another famous spot that a lot of New Yorkers just haven’t made it to, yet. (And if they haven’t yet, they ain’t likely to). I’m not, I swear, going down memory lane again but these two places were easier to

Happy Thanksgiving. If you play word association, whaddya come up with? Stuffing?  Cranberry, sweet potatoes? Turkey, bird, football? Once you rattle off the basics you might come up with King Kong, which used to be shown on TV every Thanksgiving — and probably still is but with 500 channels it’s hard to find the one showing King Kong, Son of Kong, and Mighty Joe Young — back to back. 

I have no idea why gorilla movies became a tradition. March of the Wooden Soldiers, the Laurel and Hardy

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