It began as the GODFATHER OF MATH, evolved into the GOODFATHER OF MATH. Now this. Go figure...


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The kind of humor I like is the thing that makes me laugh for five seconds and think for ten minutes = G. CARLIN...Stain glass, engraved glass, frosted glass
–give me plain glass = JOHN FOWLES...Music is the mathematics of the gods = PYTHAGORAS... Nothing is more fluid than language = R. L. SWIHART
I cannot live without the oxygen of laughter = DAWN POWELL + + + But please be sure to season that with the hydrogen of gravitas = PAUL OLIVERIO
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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

He Said ... She Said ... (He/She #49) ©

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"This morning, when we were walking home
  from the store, you pointed out an old man
  sleeping in a white rocking chair on a lawn. 
  
"I want to thank you for doing so
  because it inspired a beautiful memory
  from the best summer escape
  from my Bronx childhood."

"Your inspirer is all ears."

"It was Summer of '61 ...
  My grandparents, who owned
  an Italian restaurant in mid-town
  Manhattan, rented a Catskills cottage
  at  Grossinger's Resort  for the extended 
  families of their four daughters.
     
"One cheater's dozen grandchildren
  got to escape  from hideous August
  heat in the Bronx and Brooklyn."
     
"Was this before your family bought
  the house in Montauk?"
     
"Right. That happened in 1962.
 That was beachfront property
 in Montauk.  The house was paid for, 
 with $37, 000 cash,  by Minnie
 and Joe Nunzio."
     
"But I thought Montauk summers
  were your favorite."
     
"Those summers almost never had
  all the cousins under the same roof
  at the same time. 
  
"But less than half of them
  are still alive and none of us
  are on speaking terms
  with each other.
  
"I mostly blacked out 
 all of the Grossinger's memories
 for that reason, until this morning."

"But before you go on, I have two questions:
  what is a cheater's dozen?"
     
"Ten instead of twelve."

"Second question. Weren't you
 on good terms with your brother
 before he died?"

"Not really, talking wasn't easy
  for either of us and always had
  something to do with the trust fund."

"Thank you, Carol.  Now kindly
  pass that memory to me."
  ...
 "Summer of '61... mid-August ...
  It was a drizzly Grossinger's morning
  when Grandma Minnie took her daughters
  shopping and Grandpa Joe was put in charge
  of us kids, who ranged in age
  from five to seventeen.
  ...
"Able-bodied Grandpa Joe set up 
  the croquet wickets
  —despite the wet grass–
  and then he fell asleep 
  in the white rocking chair
  on the veranda. 

"I won't mention my name
  but guess who was the best 
  croqueteer on the lawn."

"Was it the same girl from Long Beach
  who won a Croquet tournament
  in Newport Beach a few years ago. 
 
"The same girl who had met 
  a brilliant Jewish boy in the Catskills
  one week before the TEN COUSIN
  CROQUET TOURNAMENT.

 "I forgot the boy's name
  but he wrote a poem
  about the beautiful contours
  of my 'heinie.'"
   
"Say that again."
   
"Never mind. Suffice it to say 
  I had the cutest ass for a 13 year-old
  white girl...
   
"Midway through the tournament,
  Richard  gives me a whack 
  on the butt with his mallet."
   
"For what it's worth, Carol, you now have
  the cutest ass for a former 13year-old
  white girl."
   
"Hold the flattery, Paul. 
  Where was I?"
   
"Your ass got whacked."
   
"Right. He did it to break my concentration:
  I was winning by three wickets...
  It worked...I put my mallet down
  and picked up a ball that was not in play...
  Threw it at Richard. It hit him in the balls.
   
"All the  cousins laughed, especially the girls
  But the sky laughed the loudest in the form
  of a flash flood.
   
"The game ended...We packed up
  the croquet set. Then  somebody
  threw a mudball at my sister
  and War was declared.
   
"Four boys against six girls ....
  We were armed with
  one thousand one mudballs ..."
   
"Don't tell me."
   
"Tell you what?"
   
"Your Grandfather slept through
  the whole thing?"
   
"Of course."
   
"That reminds me of Ronald Reagan's
  most grandfatherly moment."
   
"Can that moment wait until
  I finish the story?"
   
"No. Inspiring your memory
  entitles me to interrupt it."
   
"Sorry. I had forgotten Oliverio Rule #47.
  Only you would associate Grandpa Joe–
  a hardcore Democrat–with Ronald Reagan.
  Allow me to pretend to be interested in
  what you now have to say."
   
"Pretending is our greatest survival mechanism.
  Anyway,  Reagan was famously forgiven
  for falling asleep while  Oliver North
  and the President's military mafia
  decided to sell weapons
  to Iranian terrorists."

"Wow! I had forgotten all about that."   
     
"Yes, Reagan had to testify
  during the Contragate affair...
  but didn't even get a reprimand
  for his snoring snafu."
   
"If Bill Clinton had fallen asleep
  when Monica Lewinsky gave him
  blow jobs in the Oval Office,
  there might not have been
  an impeachment hearing."
   
"Not true: Clinton was too slick and slimy
  to have plead the Grandfather clause."
   
"The Grandfather clause?"
   
"Yeah. We forgave a President
  for napping during crises 
  because napping is something
  all grandfathers did randomly."
   
"Just as I bet Grandpa Joe
  was forgiven for napping
  while a dozen grandchildren
  went to war."
   
"That's not quite true.
  But he enjoyed his punishment
  immensely."

"What was his punishment."

"His defense attorney–my
  fifteen year-old cousin Marilyn–
  pleaded extenuating circumstances
  because the night before the MUD WAR
  Grandpa Joe had driven up from
  his Manhatan restaurant to see
  how his three sons-in-law
  were doing in his absence."
   
"And ..."
   
"He returned to Grossinger's
  with a big bag of cash–enough
  for Grandma Minnie's shopping spree."
   
"So what was Grandpa Joe's punishment."
   
"As a result of the MUD WAR, 
  the clothing worn by a dozen children
  was irreparably stained.
   
"He had to replace each outfit."
   
"He enjoyed doing that?"
   
"Yes. Because all the shopping was done by
  his girlfriend–his favorite waitress
  from  Nunzio's Ristorante."
   
"All the shopping was done 
  on Grandpa Joe's dime, I presume."
   
"You are a correct presumer. The waitress
  was a black beauty from Harlem named
  Brenda Jackson. She was also
  my part-time nanny. 

"Richard, my sisters,
  and I loved her. 

"Brenda once telephoned
  Louie Armstrong from our apartment
  and let me talk to him."
   
"Now, I can't wait to hear chapter two
  of this story!"
   
"It's a very short one:
  Brenda was also my father's 'favorite waitress'
  and my mother demanded my Grandparents
  fire her. My mother  believed that happened
  but everyone else in the family
  knew otherwise.

"I was twenty-two years old when
  I learned–at Brenda's funeral–that
  it was a Louis Armstrong
  impersonator I talked to.
  End of story."

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