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Disaster Capitalism

I’m in Ireland enjoying the food and the weather, while exchanging texts with my son who’s standing just a few feet away.  I’m hip.  Why talk when you can text? Anyway, things are grand.  Though I can’t understand half the words the people are saying, for fook’s sake. And though I’m across the pond I can’t forget that it’s the week of the anniversary of that weather event we had four years ago.  Many people have put the storm behind them while some can’t escape because they’re still ensnared in Build It Back. The City says look at the bright side.  Compared to New Orleans after Katrina, Build...

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The Texts Continue

Two words:  Food Poisoning. It’s a text from the Emerald Isle.   When we last left off my son who will remain nameless was texting me about his mishaps and observations from abroad.  He’s in Ireland and would rather text than have a live conversation.  I didn’t know Pepto Bismol can give you a black tongue.  I google this as he is texting me and see that it’s true. Some Irish kid saw it and said, I told you not to kiss the girls from Galway. Google says Pepto can produce black stool too.  I tell him and he texts back no, that’s ok. The next day the texts begin:  Good thing you told me about...

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Don’t Tell Me

If you can follow the bouncing ball of the following nonsense we might end up hating each other.  In last week’s rant I said I don’t like to be told to relax. I should’ve pointed out that even my often-clueless kids know enough to avoid saying relax or calm down when I’m screaming at them.  They know if they just let the big gust of hot air pass they will be on their merry way.  They know if they say relax or calm down that will trigger its own rant.  You want me to relax?  I’ll relax when you (fill in the blank).  Don’t tell me to relax when you’re doing (fill in the blank). Same for you, doctor. ...

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Relax – Slowly I Turn

I can take directions okay.  Stand over there.  Take a seat.  Raise your hand. Put down the toilet seat (okay, I’m not that good at that one).  Do this, do that – all the Simon Says stuff, I’m pretty good at. Just don’t tell me to relax. I slide into the death chamber that is an MRI and I’m told to relax.  This, I cannot do.  I take slow steady breaths; I tell myself not to be such a weenie.  I can’t do it, I can’t relax, not when there’s panicking to be done.  I am on a plane and we’re delayed, stuck on the tarmac, the pilot says sorry, relax for a bit.  I wonder how much time I will...

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Texting Abroad

My grandmother left Ireland for good at 16 or 17 years old (they were never sure back then) and headed to New York by boat.  Soon after passing the Statue of Liberty she hopped aboard a train and headed to San Francisco where she’d meet her brother and establish roots. She did it all without texting.  It must’ve been so much easier on the parents then.  The kids would head off and you wouldn’t hear from them again for six months.  You’d never hear about every close-call, mishap and weirdo or what they had for lunch. These days you can pretty much stay in constant contact and all that does is...

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Raising The Dead

So my friend was playing golf.  He’s out with some buddies having a good old time when one of the guys looks up before he tees off and asks in the nicest way:    “How’s your dad?”  What followed was the kind of silence you’d expect as someone was about to putt for a championship on the 18th hole.  The others guys looked away or at their shoe tops.  Finally, “How’s my dad?  He’s dead.”  And then a brutal pause. “And you were at the wake two months ago.” Oh, the cringe.  It makes you wonder who felt better that day, the dead dad or the guy who asked the question.  Asking about parents is like...

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Balderdash and Poppycock

So this guy stops me on the street and says  “Of all the cockamamie things I’ve read in Boyleing Points the thing about the bar of soap was the top. But I’m crazy so I tried it and it worked.” For those of you who missed last week’s column, I wrote about the weird but fail-proof way to get rid of foot cramps.  You put a bar of soap near your feet when you go to bed and – presto! – cramps be gone. Some people claim you shouldn’t use Dial or Dove but I’ve used both and they worked magic as well any other bar. Weird but true.  But not as weird as hearing somebody use the word cockamamie.  That...

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Soap’s Up

If you read something on the Internet that seems too good to be true or simply far-fetched you can go to Snopes.com, a website that verifies or debunks things that get internet legs.  It’d be a good thing if more people went to Snopes before passing on the Bill Gates will give you $24,000 if you forward an email.    I made a quick visit to Snopes because I wanted to pass on the greatest medical solution to an affliction I’ve ever experienced.  My dear old mother shared a wives’ tale via Ann Landers or Dear Abby about how to get rid of foot and leg cramps in the middle of the night.  I had to...

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Neighborly

I don’t get block parties.  Seems to me, it’s the kind of thing you invite friends and family to who don’t live on the block to sit in front of your house – just so you don’t have to talk to the neighbors.  Not that there’s anything wrong with your neighbors. Truth is, one of the more underrated things in life is having good neighbors.  A recent letter to The Rockaway Times by Charlie Moran recalled the good humor and grace of Mrs. Winters. One Saturday morning we all decided to meet in the Winters’ backyard at 7:00 a.m. and play some hoops. We all showed up at 7:00 a.m. yelling, screaming,...

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