Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Drunk on the Train

I boarded the 2 train after work, found me a seat and whipped out the book I'm currently reading (Sue Grafton's "T is for Trespass"). One stop later a man drunk as a fish stumbles in with a bag and sits down next to me. He opens the bag and whips out piles of condoms. The following conversation ensues:

Drunk: Hey man, want some?
Me: No thank you.
Drunk: Naw dude, here, they're free.

I show him my wedding ring.

Drunk: Oh, cool.

I continue reading.

Drunk: Is it real?
Me: Is what real?
Drunk: Your ring.
Me: Well, it's a real ring.
Drunk: Naw dude, is it real silver?
Me: No, it's adamantium, like Wolverine's claws. (It's platinum, I was trying to deflect a possible mugging).
Drunk: Oh.

And he fell asleep, right there in middle of our conversation. Out. For the rest of my ride.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

And so, I Begin

Mishaneh makom, mishaneh mazel! Today I...

1) ...began my new job.
2) ...had my first responsive surname column published (

Wish me luck on both!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Steve Buscemi!

I *tried* to start work at my new job today, but my paperwork wasn't yet processed by HR, so I hung around the place a bit and scooted over to the city to have lunch with my wife.

Walking towards our rendezvous point, I came a cross a movie set. The actors were dressed in period clothing, circa 1930s, munching at the foot table. I scanned them all to see if I found anyone familiar and bingo! Steve Buscemi! I gave him a hearty hello as I passed. He paused to take one last hit off his cigarette and said, "Hey, hayadoin'?


Lunch was great too.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Oh, The Poem I Wrote!

I'm just back from an England trip with my family to attend the wedding of a cousin.

I was asked to speak at the aufruf and I obliged. My speech was so well received, I was asked to repeat it at the first sheva brachos! How nice a compliment is that?!

My speech was an appropriation of Dr. Seuss's "Oh, the Places You'll Go!" I used it as a template, shoehorned some marriage advice into it and renamed it, "Oh, the Couple You'll Be!"

This isn't the first time I've mined Dr. Seuss for material.

The first time was here.

The second time was here.

So after a few introductory words, this was my recitation in its entirety (Per the copyright below, I request that permission be asked for any use of this poem in any form):

Oh, the Couple You'll Be!


Martin Bodek

Sunday was your day.
You're happily married!
You're off and away!

You have rings on your hands.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.

You're on your own.

And you know what you know.
And you as a couple

will decide where to go.

You'll have some spats.

Treat each other with care.
About some you will say,

"I don't choose to go there."

With your heads full of brains

and your shoes full of feet,
you'll work things out

‘cuz you’re both very sweet.

Now Shona Rishona

Is a special year.

You must take advantage.

It’s why it is there.

All the things you enjoy

And that you like to do.

Do them all now.

Before you’re unable to.

Now arguments happen
and frequently do
to people as handsome
and pretty as you.

And when this starts to happen,
don't worry. Don't stew.
With mutual love.
You'll work it through.

The couple you’ll be!

You're on your way up!
You'll be seeing great sights!
The pot-belly cultivation

Begins tonight!

You’ll have each other

to lean on, indeed.

There won’t be anything else

that you’ll need.

Whatever needs doing

you’ll do your best

Whatever is asked,

you'll both do it with zest

Except when you don't.
Because, sometimes, you won't.

I'm sorry to say so
but, sadly, it's true
that Bang-ups and Hang-ups
can happen to you.

You can get all hung up
in a prickly perch.
And your mood will be dashed.
You'll be left in a lurch.

You'll come down from the lurch
with an unpleasant bump.
And the chances are, then,
that you'll be in a slump.

And when you're in a slump,
you're not in for much fun.
Un-slumping yourself
is not easily done.

You will come to a place

where you don’t know how to function

Nobody gave you

The proper instructions.

You won’t know what to say

You won’t know how to feel

The experience will be


You won’t know what to do

But it’s part of the deal!

You’ll seek help from without.

And soul-search within.

Is this a game?

How do you win?

To whom do you turn?

You’re on needles and pin!

And when you do turn,

should you turn left or right?
or right-and-three-quarters?

Or, maybe, not quite?

Or not at all,

leave your worries behind?

Simple it's not,

I'm afraid you will find,
You’ll feel like you just might be

Losing your mind!

You can get so confused
that your heart will race
down frightening roads

at a break-necking pace
and grind on for miles

cross weirdish wild space,
headed, I fear,

toward a most useless place.

The Doghouse

for people just waiting.
Waiting for your wife to go
“come on out, my lovely beau”

or for her to say that “although

you did me wrong, I forgive you though.”

or waiting just to let her know

for what it is that you did, bro.

or waiting for your hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting to say you’re contrite

Just once chance, however slight.

to admit you’re wrong, not right.

Hoping things will be alright.

Wanting a turn to recite

How history you would rewrite.

To make your marriage a delight.

Everyone is just waiting.

That's not for you!

Somehow you'll escape
all that waiting and staying
You'll find the bright places
with melodies playing.

With shoes tip-a-tapping,
once more you'll ride high!
Ready for anything under the sky.
Ready because you're that kind of a guy! (and gal)

Oh, the couple you’ll be! There is fun to be done!
The rest of your life, will soon be begun.
And the magical things you can do with your life
As a wonderful couple, as husband and wife.
Joy! You'll be joyous as joyous can be,
with the whole wide world watching you with some envy.

Except when they don't
Because, sometimes they won't.

I'm afraid that some times
there will be spats for you.

Tiffs you can't win
And a squabble or two.

Though you won’t like it a whit.

Quarrels will be something
you'll have just a bit.

And when you argue,

there's a very good chance
you'll say things that scare you

right out of your pants.

There are some, down the road

between hither and yon,
that can scare you so much

you won't want to go on.

But on you will go
You will make it through.

On you will go
And your marriage will glue.
On you will go.

You’ll get closer, it’s true.

Onward through many
rewarding weeks,
with your spirit emboldened

and your mood nicely tweaked.

On and on you will go,
And I know you'll go far
and face up to your problems
whatever they are.

So happily go forth
as you already know
that staying the course
is the best way to go.
So be sure when you talk.
Talk with care and great tact
and remember that marriage

is a balancing act.
Just never forget

that a marriage is strong

When you freely admit

that you may have been wrong.

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.

Kids, you’ll move mountains!

So remember to put

this advice into play.

And love one another

till you’re old and grey.

You're off to great places!
Sunday was your day!
Your marriage is waiting.
So get on your way!

Copyright © 2009, Martin Bodek. Article may be distributed via e-mail at will, but may only be reprinted, republished or recited with my permission. Removal of my name from this work constitutes theft under Jewish and American Law.