Sunday, March 31, 2019

Film Review: JANE FONDA IN FIVE ACTS

Jane Fonda in Five Acts, a new Netflix documentary causing some stir, leaves much to be desired. At least there was much I desired to know, like how many facelifts did she have? And what else: A nose job? Botox? Implants? New boobs, a butt lift, what exactly? I mean come on, who doesn't want to know? Fonda looks better today than she did 30 years ago (see photo). She is plainly gorgeous, yet all she has to say about it during 133 minutes of blabbing the intimate details of her life is, "I've had work done." No kidding! And what -- no arthritis, high blood pressure, cataracts, heart problems or health issues of any kind? That's hard to fathom after her early years of admitted anorexia, bulimia and self-starvation.

Despite those glaring omissions you've got to like Fonda, and this film. Full of candid interviews and peppered with interesting archival footage from long ago -- she's 82 -- the film manages to turn a super-glamorous movie star into a real human being, something Fonda never looked like and still doesn't. Sharing the personal details about her childhood and three marriages as if she's talking in private to her best friend after a few glasses of wine, we are suddenly privy to all sorts of dirt.

Who knew that her manic-depressive mother, the wife of screen hero Henry Fonda, regularly fed the family SPAM for dinner and committed suicide when Jane was only 12? Or that Jane and her second husband, political activist Tom Hayden, adopted a young black girl? Or that her third husband, billionaire Ted Turner, is really "a little boy at heart who likes to play" and is desperately afraid to be alone? Or that her only biological daughter, fathered by her first husband Roger Vadim, wants nothing to do with her after she virtually abandoned her as a child in pursuit of a movie career and headline-making anti-Vietnam War activism? Now we know.

While none of this is earth-shattering, still Jane Fonda in Five Acts offers an interesting, behind-the-scenes look at one of Hollywood's most enduring superstars. I suppose that's something.

Friday, March 29, 2019

You Can Call Me Kitty

This morning I received a survey in my email asking me to rate my experience at the recent Maine Jewish Film Festival that spanned two weeks and involved showings at many venues throughout the greater Portland area. Despite having attended only one film in the series I decided to respond, since I found it a valuable addition to the local arts scene and welcomed the opportunity to give them positive feedback.

There were the expected questions about which films you saw, what theaters were best, what times were most popular, how did you feel about the post-film discussions, do you have a religious preference, what is your age and household income, and the like. But the final question was a surprise: Do you identify as A) Male, B) Female, or  C) Other? A blank box was provided in which to explain your answer.

WTF? Somehow, because an estimated 0.6% of U.S. adults identified as transgender in a 2016 survey from the Williams Institute -- others show the same result -- everyone is all of a sudden supposed to "identify" as something other than their natural-born gender? And why do the people running this film festival think that's important information to have? What is it their business if I am mixed-up in the head?

Okay then. The truth is I do not identify as female. I did back when I menstruated every month and had to buy Tampons and wash a lot of underwear. But those days are long gone, and now I don't do anything that "females" are supposed to do. I don't wear makeup or high heels. I don't get pedicures or manicures. I hate perfume and have no interest in fancy jewelry. I only wear dresses under duress, like to funerals, weddings or pretentious awards ceremonies, and none of those have required my attendance since I can't remember when.

I certainly do not identify as male. I hate watching sports like football, basketball, hockey, racing, wrestling or golf. I never look at porn. I am not a slob by nature, and I hardly ever think about sex unless I am actually having some.

The truth is I identify as a common house cat. I love to sleep in the sun. Actually, sleeping is one of my favorite activities. I like nibbling treats instead of eating three meals a day. I groom myself often. I find most conversation unnecessary. I love my family members and mistrust most strangers. So I wrote "Domestic feline" in the box on the survey. That should fix their wagon.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Sparring with Radio Jocks

This morning I heard a discussion between two radio jocks about the acting chops of Leonardo DiCaprio. One of them called DiCaprio an "underrated actor." Huh? Really? On what planet, I wondered. So I Googled DiCaprio, as anyone in their right mind would, and learned he has won multiple awards such as an Oscar, a Screen Actors Guild Award, a British Academy Film Award, three Golden Globes Awards, and been nominated for each many more times. Sounds pretty not underrated to me. My dander up, I dialed into the show.

That's Ken on the left and Matt on the right, both literally and politically.
My on-air opponents in this discussion, who go by the names of Ken and Matt (their real names), claimed that acting awards mean almost nothing and that what counts is how the people feel about an actor. I maintained that everyone loves DiCaprio, certainly a lot more than Daniel Day-Lewis who is  in my opinion a cure for insomnia in human form. (I still have a crick in my neck from snoozing during Lincoln.) But Ken and Matt insisted he's the greatest living actor we've got! They also dissed Brad Pitt as not being capable of giving "a performance of any depth." What? 12 Monkeys? Burn After Reading? INGLORIOUS BASTERDS?

I still like Ken and Matt, especially Ken who is my neighbor and friend and a lawyer in real life which comes in handy, but I'm never going to the movies with them.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Fat Is Fat And That Is That

Successful "plus-size" model Tess Holliday is proud of her body, but don't call her "fat."
While visiting our cousins, my husband and I attended a small dinner party given by their friends. Being out-of-towners, all the guests were strangers to us. There were 14 in all: Myself and the three people I already knew, and five new couples -- the old-fashioned kind consisting of one man and one woman.

Everyone was welcoming and a good time was had by all. But if a crime had been committed that night by one of the women and I had to describe them to the police the next day, I'd say there was a thin one with a fabulous smile, a stylish blonde, a serious one wearing glasses, a chubby woman with cropped grey hair, a cheery extrovert with a Buster Brown haircut and a very fat lady who scowled a lot. The cops would have no trouble figuring out who was who.

The next day I was chatting with my cousin (the thin one with the fabulous smile) and said how much I enjoyed meeting her friends, except for the fat one who was not very friendly. The fabulous smile faded as she explained that she never used the word "fat" and thought it was akin to a slur. She prefers "heavy."

I say fat is fat and that is that. If fat people don't like being called "fat" they should A, lose weight or B, get over it. As Charlie Brown once said, or was it Snoopy, "The first step out of blahdom is knowing that you're blah!"

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Rant: Filthy Bathrooms in Pretty Places

Traveling forces you to experience firsthand just how dumb many people are. At home you hang out with intelligent people, unless of course you are dumb yourself and so are all your friends. But mine are a smart bunch, thus I am sheltered from how shallow the gene pool is that's out there. So many people are affluent enough for air travel, yet too dumb to use the modern washroom equipment now found in most airports.

Since I must spend about ten minutes in a public restroom after eating to brush, floss and clean my Invisalign braces, I witness the struggle of many women trying to simply wash their hands. Motion detector sinks seem to stymie the most people: By my own rough estimate, 90% of users cannot figure out how to turn the water on in a sink, or how to activate the soap and paper towel dispensers. Even worse, the same number of users cannot figure out how to flush those new toilets that are supposed to flush themselves but often don't, so you have to push a tiny button hidden discreetly on the toilet.

Consequently, many women's restrooms in newer restaurants and airports are horrendously filthy, with stall after stall of unflushed, clogged toilets and floors littered with wet toilet paper used as an alternative by the women who couldn't figure out how to free the paper towels. It's ironic that the very affluent West Palm Beach Airport, with its high-end shops and trendy cafes, was the worst I have ever seen, making the bathrooms throughout Haiti, a "hellhole" country you hear about but rarely visit, appear much more sanitary. And they are often just holes in the ground!

Something must be done to remedy this situation before the plague makes a comeback in America. How about a college course explaining these modern bathroom fixtures? After all, many schools now offer courses about Lady Gaga's music, and that doesn't help you live your life one bit better, unless you are a deejay.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Boo-Hoo for the Dems

CNN's Wolf Blitzer reading his suicide note, I mean the results of the Mueller report, on-air.
Judging from all the TV news shows last night, the long-awaited report on Trump's dastardly doings contains no proof of Russian collusion. In the coming days, the most fun you can have will be watching the loony left try to spin gold out of thin air.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Welcome to Nazi Germany, USA


With all the moaning and groaning about how Trump is Hitler a while back, it turns out there actually is a Hitler among us but it's not Trump. It's every last Democrat, led by Frau Pelosi, and they are a pretty scary bunch. I know a couple in their 70s in Alexandria, Virginia, who still think for themselves, but the rest of them, and certainly the younger ones, are in lock-step with their comrades, led by Pelosi, her Commandant, Rachel Maddow and those ditsy Congressional twins, Alexandria Whatever-Whatever (D., NY) and Hijab Girl (Rep. Ilhan Omar, D., MN).

Spurred on by The Counsel of Islamic-American Relations, the Dems are once again foaming at the mouth -- and when aren't they -- over Judge Jeanine Pirro, calling for FOX News to cancel her Saturday night TV talk show and kick her to the curb over her minor, totally accurate comment concerning Hijab Girl. This despite Hijab Girl loudly declaring and tweeting several anti-Semitic comments a few years ago and again quite recently. Still, Omar continues to be a darling of the left, free to run her mouth off in the halls of Congress as one of our lawmakers. WTF?

Meanwhile over at Harvard University, that former bastion of higher learning, students are in an uproar because law professor Ronald Sullivan (a black man and I thought they could do anything without censure) has joined the legal defense team of disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. The students at Harvard are TRIGGERED! They are FREAKING OUT! They are TRAUMATIZED! They simply cannot sleep at night knowing this man is among them. After all, he obviously condones rape! How could they possibly accept a diploma from a school that employs such a person? They want him gone! The worst part is that the school is "looking into it," and has "launched a review" of Mr. Sullivan's actions in order to "uphold our commitment to the well-being of our students." (Like the little darlings aren't getting drunk and date-raping girls at frat parties every weekend.)

I'm off to get my tattoo, something I never thought I'd do but it's becoming obvious I'll need it soon enough. It will be a wide band of yellow encircling my upper arm, with a giant star of David in black ink, so I'll be good to go when they come for me.

Monday, March 18, 2019

American Idol for President!


It's sweeping the country. Or rather, it's sweeping the media. Betomania, that is. The press adores Beto O'Rourke because of his outrageous behavior. What great stories they can weave around him: He skateboards onstage at his rallies! He jumps on bar tops like Mick Jagger! He's Kennedy-esque! He's on the cover of VANITY FAIR! He says he was "born to run," evoking Bruce Springsteen in a sneaky, subliminal way. He live-streams himself eating donuts, then getting his teeth cleaned at a dental appointment! A true renaissance man, the TV anchors barely have to do anything but sit there and let him act out and they've got their evening news clip ready to go.

They've even come up with the term "Betomania," just to make sure you know you are feeling manic about him. Some of them certainly are, like Chris Matthews who admitted to the world he "felt a thrill going up his leg" when Obama spoke. Well, with Beto, Chris is apparently going down his leg: "I always say the candidate wins who's got the sun in his face, who looks like sunny, optimistic, not the indoor bureaucrat sitting at some desk somewhere," Matthews said. "That's the image you want."

Why not simplify the whole process and choose our next president from among a group of contestants like they do on American Idol? Everyone would watch, and everyone would vote. Of course they'd have to ditch the Electoral College, but nobody likes that anyway. Imagine: Elizabeth Warren could do a Native American rain dance. Cory Booker might work up a Michael Jackson impersonation, no blackface needed. Beto is already doing Jagger, and he could kick it up a notch. Bernie Sanders could pull off a stand-up routine ala Jackie Mason; he's halfway there already every time he opens his mouth. Amy Klobuchar could do a sitcom skit wherein she berates her staff and makes them eat off of plastic hair combs.

Admit it: The possibilities are endless.

Friday, March 15, 2019

The Race to the Bottom

Beto O'Rourke, whose real name is Robert Francis but how sexy is that, says in a recent interview that landed him on the cover of VANITY FAIR, that trashy gossip whore dressed up like a classy dame, that when it comes to running for president, "I was born to do this." Born to do what, exactly?

Running for president utilizes all your time, most of your money and lots of other people's money, just so you can abandon your family for months at a time to fly around the country meeting strangers at diners, grange halls and state fairs, shaking hands and patting babies on the head, stuffing yourself with bad food, sleeping in hotels and making speeches that are identical to the speeches made by all the other (currently there are a dozen) folks like you doing the very same things.

And for what? To eventually win the prize and be treated like British Royalty, fly in a private plane, have a personal chef and never have to carry a wallet. To have celebrities and world leaders kiss your feet, have a host of servants at your beck and call, and feel like you are better than all the rest of us because the voters disliked you less than they disliked the other egomaniacs.

The whole POTUS thing makes me sick. Any list of who has held the office contains average folks made into larger-than-life action figures by the fawning media, even while they were engaging in shady behaviors like extra-marital affairs (Jefferson, Harding, Cleveland, FDR, JFK, LBJ, Clinton) and criminal activities (Nixon).

Is that what Beto was born for?

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Volunteering for Abuse

Since moving to Maine I have had little luck in finding gainful employment as a writer. This is primarily because I come from New York and have an "edge" that creeps into my work. Maine editors do not value an "edge." I have been told as much by at least five of them who liked my writing but found it, how shall I say, a bit too strident. Still, I'd rather be an unemployed writer with an edge than a smoothed out one with a paltry paycheck, especially since my husband smooths out his New York edge for much bigger bucks and supports me with his salary. So, in order to avoid feeling like a complete slug who gives nothing back to society, I have tried, many times, to contribute something through volunteering.

I am now an expert on volunteering and can safely say that at least here in the greater Portland area, there are no opportunities for personal growth through volunteering. There are only opportunities for working at unimportant or menial tasks for no pay and with little if any reward, except if you do it long enough they eventually take you out for a big lunch and give you the chance to be named "Volunteer of the Year."

Most recently I dipped my toe into the Portland Ronald McDonald House, where families of sick kids who are in the hospital get to stay for free, meals included. Also included is maid service, which is where the volunteers come in.

I got to change sheets, do laundry, clean bathrooms, empty dishwashers, empty old food from the fridge, sweep up and vacuum, water plants, wash down kitchen counters and tidy up the dining tables, all in the name of "volunteerism." I never interacted with any parents of any sick kids, or for that matter anyone else at all. At the end of my three-hour shift I just walked out. There was no need to say goodbye.

Yesterday I walked out for good. If I'm going to be a cleaning lady, I'd like to get paid. And if I'm going to be a volunteer, I'd like at least a warm feeling of "I mattered" to wash over me afterwards. Since neither of those things happened, I figure I add more to the world by making art. Shown here is my latest.



Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Wake Up, Young Americans!

Hey kids, it's time to wake up: The so-called "American Dream" is often a nightmare. This fact has been crystallized by the recent unveiling of a huge scam that has allowed the offspring of the rich and famous to attend many highly regarded colleges and universities despite the fact that they are a bunch of manicured, pedigreed dummies. So what does that make the rest of you?

Although I dutifully did as my parents wished and went to college, I have long believed that the push for "higher education" is pretty much a load of crap. Let's face it: Teaching is an industry wherein many, many people earn a living, so of course it's touted to be one of life's necessities. Yet Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, and many other wildly successful thinkers, movers and shakers who are now millionaires or billionaires decided it was a total waste of their time, often after just one semester. Still all the little people are constantly told that only by going to college can they do well in life. Four, five or six years later they finally emerge, saddled with a burdensome debt that will only make the rest of life worse.

Call me cynical, but facts don't lie: Among the Class of 2018, 69% of college students graduated with an average debt of almost $36,000. Of those student loans, 11.5% are 90 days or more delinquent, or are in default. Some debtors choose to take out new loans to pay off their student loans. It's gotta be tough to remember what you learned about Shakespeare or Plato's Cave or calculus or the Holy Roman Empire while you're busy flipping burgers trying to scrounge up $350 a month to send to the bank.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

To Go or Not To Go

As if we all don't have enough to worry about when we're getting ready to leave town, including what to pack in case it rains or is really hot or really cold and who's watching the pets, now we'll have to start checking what make and model of airplane we're booked on to make sure it's not the Boeing Deathstar. And what if it is? It's either cancel the trip or risk your life hoping for a Florida tan.

As many people have heard, one particular model (737 MAX) made by the huge aircraft manufacturer has crashed two times in the last five months, killing all aboard. Several nations have decided to take it out of service until a determination can be made about what's wrong. And Britain has banned it from even flying over the country. But here in the US, all three airlines that fly the big bad boy -- United, American and Southwest-- plan to keep flying it. What does that tell us about the airline industry? Nothing good.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Ditzy Pelosi

No matter what I think of Nancy Pelosi's politics, dentures or facelifts, I always assumed that she spoke, or at least understood, basic English. But not anymore. A Wall Street Journal opinion piece in today's paper reports the following statement made by Speaker Pelosi concerning the Muslim Congresswoman accused of racist comments regarding Israel: "Rep. Omar's words were not intended in an anti-Semitic way. She merely has a different experience in the use of words and doesn't understand that some of them are fraught with meaning."

Huh? Just some of them are fraught with meaning? What about all the rest? What are they fraught with? Peanut butter? Marshmallow fluff? Blood sausage? Bean beetles? Duck down? Hot air? Obviously I could go on.

Confused, I looked up the word "fraught" and found it indicates something is "full of, filled with, brimming with," and more like that. Then I looked up "word" and found this: "a single distinct meaningful element of speech or writing." Then I looked up "meaning" and found this: "what is meant; implied or explicit significance."

Then I looked up "Speaker of the House" and found this: "One of the most visible and influential officials of the federal government, the Speaker is second in line, after the vice president, in succession to the presidency." 

Apparently Trump is not our only problem.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Art in the Boonies

Last night my husband and I attended a play put on by local actors in a local theater. I guess that goes without saying, since what else could it be here in Maine? Big name celebrities do not come here often, if ever. And certainly no production heading to Broadway does a trial run in Portland for a few months in order to work out the glitches.

So we take what we can get, and it's often hit or miss. Last night was a little of both. The play was "A Doll's House, Part 2," which according to the program notes is the most-produced play in the country right now. It starred nobody at all and was pretty good, although afterward we lamented how much better it must have been on Broadway starring Laurie Metcalf, winner of three Primetime Emmys, two Tonys and a nominee for several Golden Globes and Oscars, and Chris Cooper, winner of a Golden Globe and an Oscar for Best Actor. Oh well.

But then this afternoon we attended the Portland Symphony Orchestra and heard guest violinist Jaime Laredo perform and conduct the selected works of Bizet, Bach and Mendelssohn. It was nothing short of glorious. I'm sure nobody, anywhere, could have done it better.


Friday, March 8, 2019

Our Tax Dollars At Work

Muslim Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) got the ball rolling by repeatedly voicing her hatred of Israel.
I read on the front page of the paper this morning that Congress voted to condemn hate. On the inside page the story headline said the House passed a resolution opposing hate. In the body of the article, it was reported that our leaders had denounced hate. And not just any hate, but hate in all forms, although mostly the kind levied against Jews, Muslims and white nationalists. (Apparently black lives no longer matter, and you can still hate anchovy pizza.) And the vote was 407-23, so it's clear they mean business.

Personally, as a Jew I am quite excited. Finally, no more anti-Semitism! That's a load off. On the other hand, condemning, opposing, and denouncing doesn't exactly outlaw a thing, does it? For example, I condemned, opposed and denounced smoking cigarettes for nearly 40 years but I did it anyway.

I'm certainly looking forward to the law taking effect. Oh wait, it's not a law, more like a suggestion. Anyway, it's a step in the right direction. Thank God for Congress!

Thursday, March 7, 2019

I'm No Fashion Plate


I snapped the photo above from my copy of last Sunday's New York Times. An article about the latest in fashion showed the above model wearing one of this year's "must-have" looks from one of this year's top new designers whose name escapes me. Although the dress and shoes left me cold, the model's hair and whatever is going on around her nose actually gave me the willies.

But then, I'm no fashion plate. In fact, lately I care less and less about what I wear. This may be a reflection of living in Maine where L.L. Bean dresses almost all the women, or it might be a sign that aging puts a lot of superficial things in perspective.

These days my own "look" usually involves paint-stained jeans and a puffy coat, so who am I to talk? Those fashion designers keep pulling in the big bucks, so somebody must be buying the stuff. I guess they just don't wear it on vacation.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

I'd Rather Keep Living

Marc Chagall, "Self Portrait With Seven Fingers"
Last evening, in a perfectly good mood and with nothing in particular troubling me, I happened upon an article originally published in The Atlantic that had found its way to my web browser as something I would enjoy. (God knows how such a determination had been made; no doubt some robot had a hand, or rather a gear, in it.) The title  alone -- "Why I Hope to Die at 75" -- should have steered me away, but I was vaguely intrigued.

The 57-year-old author, a long-winded writer named Ezekiel Emanuel, laid out his reasons in far too many words. I won't bore you here as he did me, but instead will sum up his point as succinctly as possible. According to Zeke, life after age 75 sucks and is not worth living. This is because the body ages and withers and sickens, vitality diminishes, libido weakens and it's all downhill from then on, blah blah, blah.

Zeke carefully explains that he is not planning to commit suicide when he turns 75, but will simply stop taking care of his body from then on. This means no more doctor visits, no treatments of any kind for any conditions or diseases he may get, no more exercising to stay fit, no more colonoscopies or dental visits, and I guess he'll start eating total garbage to speed along a heart attack.

Well guess what Zeke: many people would disagree with your warped take on living and dying, and I'm one of them. As a painter my work keeps on improving and I have no doubt that my best work lies ahead of me. At age 95, famed Belarusian painter Marc Chagall was the first living artist to have a solo exhibition at the Louvre in Paris. At age 76, Nelson Mandela, a black man, was elected president of South Africa. (Four years later he married his third wife.) Grandma Moses (real name Anna Mary Robertson) didn't begin to paint until 76, and when she died hundreds of paintings later at 101, President Kennedy praised her work for "inspiring the entire nation." 

Okay, you get my point. Zeke is full of crap. BTW, his brother is Rahm Emanuel, former chief of staff for Bill Clinton and current Mayor of Chicago, so apparently full-of-crapness runs in the family.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Larry for President in 2020

For the next month, two of my close friends who chose to escape the harsh Maine winter will be vacationing in Florida. With playing golf and total relaxation a high priority for the couple, they opted for a master-planned, age-restricted community called The Villages. How nice for them, I think, as I dig out from our most recent snowfall and spread rock salt on the driveway to melt the treacherous black ice.

Then this morning my husband showed me an article online about a mammoth alligator that lives in The Villages and strolls around like he owns the place. Larry the Alligator has his own Facebook page that identifies him as a Public Figure. Started no doubt not by him personally but by a human who thought it would be funny, it's not funny. Alligators kill people, and that's a fact.

But never mind that detail. The residents of The Villages love Larry and consider him a local celebrity. They snap his photo when they see him and post it on his page, writing things like, "We saw him yesterday!" and "Is he hanging out with the Loch Ness monster? This is dumb. Just ask the parents of the two-year-old boy who was grabbed in 2016, while playing on the beach at a Disney World resort in the Magic Kingdom. Despite the frantic rescue attempts made by the boy's father, the child was killed by the gator.

Yes, killed. Although rare, statistically alligator attacks are on the rise in Florida. This from Wikipedia: "Although the alligator has a heavy body and a slow metabolism, it is capable of short bursts of speed, especially in very short lunges. Alligators' main prey are smaller animals they can kill and eat with a single bite. They may kill larger prey by grabbing it and dragging it into the water to drown." Several adults out walking their dogs have been dragged to their death after an alligator attacked their pet. Others who were swimming in their neighborhood ponds have been mauled to death.

Still, the residents of The Villages are sticking with Larry, no matter his potential for disaster. Sound familiar? Next thing you know, Larry will get himself a Twitter account and announce his candidacy for president in 2020. Considering the mentality of some of the folks who have already declared, I wouldn't be a bit surprised.

Monday, March 4, 2019

A Bunch of Hooey


Apparently some people are born confused about who they are. They feel like they are trapped in the wrong body. I understand, since I feel that way every day. Surely I was meant to be tall and willowy. I have no doubt I would be much happier if I were. Sadly, I am of average height, and with a muffin top.

Not to make light of a serious subject but instead to address it head on, it's too late for me to accept what's going on now in the world of gender dysphoria. While I won't say it to anyone's face, I think it's a bunch of hooey. An example of said hooey can be seen in the photo above of an actor named Billy Porter. Mr. Porter attended the recent Academy Awards dressed in a velvet tuxedo gown, explaining that he chose it because he wanted to "feel comfortable."

Oh please. I hope he didn't need to go to the bathroom all night, because that dress looks like it would be pretty damn uncomfortable no matter what he's got going under there.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

The Invisalign Diet

My checkered resume includes a stint as a Prudential real estate agent, the job that taught me lying is justified if it results in a profit. I was showing a modest house in a bedroom community of D.C., and while it was in a good location it had teeny bedrooms. I listed several positive attributes for the Open House newspaper ad, but ended with "snug master."

My boss had a fit! "The point of the ad is to get people to come," he railed. "Once they get here they'll see how small the master bedroom is. But to reel them in, you've gotta say it's huge!" I asked how we would explain that to the customers. "A typo," was his curt answer.

This principle of lying for profit applies to almost every aspect of modern life, most especially politics and advertising. Remember how Obama campaigned on the promise of closing Guantanamo Bay on day one of his presidency? It's still open after his two terms in office, and he's long gone.  Now President Trump's "wall" seems cut from the same cloth. As for advertising, we all know that false claims abound. Weight loss clubs like Jenny Craig feature a slim spokesperson who gleefully shouts, "I lost 50 pounds!" Meanwhile, the barely legible type at the bottom of the screen whispers, "Results not typical."

This all came to mind after seeing the ad for Invisalign braces shown at right. There is no mention of any discomfort, or the fact that dining for pleasure is over since in order to eat you must first endure the horror of removing the braces, no easy task. They do not pop right out! It's more like you pull with all your might, desperately trying not to damage your teeth or break the damn braces, which apparently can happen. Then you've got to brush and floss your teeth and clean the braces before putting them back in. The capper is that you must wear them for 22 hours a day, so those meals -- and "special occasions" -- better be damn quick.

If they broadcasted all that beforehand, far fewer people would opt in. Oh well, I did -- and the good news is that I only have 364 days to go. Also, rumor has it that with the no snacking, quick meals and loss of appetite, by year's end I'll be down 10 pounds. (Results typical.)


The Higher You Bid, the More It's Worth

Alligator handbag with gold finish by Cartier: $27,000 People value strange things. Especially rich people. For example, a woman's ...