Every Tuesday, Gene publishes weekly updates to his chats.
- Gene's latest chat
On one Tuesday each month, Gene is online to take your questions and abuse. He will chat about anything. Although this chat is sometimes updated between live shows, it is not and never will be a "blog," even though many persons keep making that mistake. One reason for the confusion is the Underpants Paradox: Blogs, like underpants, contain "threads," whereas this chat contains no "threads" but, like underpants, does sometimes get funky and inexcusable.
Greetings, Update Readers.
Last week, I spoke at the funeral of my Uncle Bob, who died suddenly at the age of 88. Bob Balaran was a wonderful guy. He had married my father's baby sister and at the time of his death, they were still married, 65 years later.
I spoke without notes, but this is as close to verbatim as I can get. It is all completely true, and I meant every word of it:
[My wife] couldn't be here today but she asked me to say that Bob was the sweetest, and kindest, and most gracious, and most effortlessly charming incorrigible flirt she has ever known.
For myself, I just want to say that Uncle Bob was the best joke-teller I've ever known. He loved to make people laugh, and he loved jokes, and he told them brilliantly. Just the right timing, and emphasis, never an extra word. And I want to say, because it is true, that Uncle Bob told me my first dirty joke.
I hope you all can understand how empowering, and liberating, it is for a boy of 11 or 12 to hear his first dirty joke not from a sibling, or a classmate, or a kid in the street, but from his own beloved uncle. What this does is grant adult permission to find joy in subversion. It is conferring a license for mischief, giving it an adult stamp of approval, with a wink of the eye and an elbow in the ribs. It meant everything to me. I am subversive for a living now. I credit Uncle Bob.
So, to honor him today, I am going to tell that first dirty joke.
(Intake of breath in the audience. I turned to the rabbi.)
Okay, just kidding, rabbi. You may relax.
But I said that because if Bob is watching, I wanted him to hear that. And I know he would have pumped a fist and said, "Go for it, kid." Thanks, Uncle Bob.
As I left the mike, the rabbi yelled over: "You can tell it to me in the car."
Well, that was then, and this is Chatological Humor. So, in honor of my Uncle Bob, the first dirty joke. It works better in person, which hand gestures and a Yiddish accent, but it'll work this way, too:
An old Jewish man is walking on Miami Beach, when he happens on a lamp. He rubs it and a genie pops out. "I am the most powerful genie in the world," he says, "and I shall grant you a wish. Make it a good one, because you only get one."
The old man thought a minute, reached into his pocket, and pulled out a scrap of paper and a pencil. He proceeded to draw a crude map of the Middle East.
"Okay," he said, pointing. "This in the center, this little spit of a thing, that's Israel. And here is Syria. This is Lebanon. Here is Egypt, and this is Iran, and Iraq, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. I want you to bring peace to this troubled land for the next millennium."
The genie rocked back on his heels. He was aghast. "Good lord," he said. "I am a wise and powerful genie, but what you ask would strain the powers of even one such as me. " He lowered his voice, and implored: "Is there anything else, anything, that you could ask for instead?"
The old man thought a moment, and said: "Okay. Could you see to it that maybe, every once in a while, my wife, she should give me a BJ?"
The genie said, "Let me see that map again..."
Many of you are aware that I have a political position that I will never publicly articulate -- not because I am ashamed of it (I stand behind it entirely) but because the mere articulation of it would prove deeply painful to persons who have done nothing wrong and do not deserve the hurt.
Well, just last week, Manteuffel found an aptonym that must similarly never speak its name. It is SPECTACULAR but you will never hear me tell it, because of its capacity to hurt and, potentially, to result in my being unemployed. Real name, real person, unutterable aptonym. You are most welcome.
I spent much of last week on Twitter viciously deriding Salon for its new Limerick Contest. The point I was making was that if you are going to run a limerick contest, you really ought to have some idea of what a limerick is. Clearly, they didn't, inasmuch this is the staff-written "example" they gave with the announcement of the contest:
A certain rich fellow named Romney,
Knows less about people than money.
Since showing his taxes,
Would cause him anaphylaxis.
He insists it’s enough to say, ‘Trust me.’
Anyway, the results of the contest are in, and they are waay better than the example. A few of them are actually limericks, with words that rhyme and everything. Congratulations, Salon! Your readers are smarter than you are! If only up to a point. From the winners:
Romney’s tax plan being no good.
Was dubbed by the Pres, “Romney Hood.”
Mitt, ever the phony,
Sharpen debate skills he should.
And finally, for some GOOD bad doggerel:
On Romney & Ryan
By Gene Weingarten
Ryan's the candidate!
Washington headlines are
Shouting and HUGE.
But as a partnership
This one more calls to mind
Marley & Scrooge.