Mirror, Mirror

I want one of those mirrors where a comb over looks good.

I want one of those mirrors where having cottage cheese thighs and wearing short shorts looks hot.

I want one of those mirrors where wearing a t-shirt that says “I’m with Stupid” is still funny.

I want one of those mirrors where applying make up so that the color on the face is different from the color on the neck makes me not look like a clown.

I want one of those mirrors where wearing a muscle-T after 50 looks awesome.

I want one of those mirrors where lots of sparkles and fake gems on t-shirts makes me look wealthy and regal.

I want one of those mirrors like Richard Simmons has that says, “yeah that tank top and striped shorts looks great, no one’s making me into a caricature of my former self.”

I want one of those mirrors that only shows the plastic surgery so I don’t see the rest of my wrinkled, decaying body and the illusion seems worth all the money.

Truth be told, I admire all those people. Because I’m too self-conscious and sometimes wish I wouldn’t get so nukey (it’s a word-my word) about a little fat and could let it all hang out at the gym. My hat off to you! Oh wait, I don’t like being bald, the hat covers that up. At least in the mirror.

The Legend of the Last Follicle


      The first thing Petey saw were the big, controlling eyes and the last thing was the pink razor as it climbed the horizon.  Then he passed out.

     No one was sure exactly what day Peter was born, nor the week.  Let’s just call it the spring of 1962.  The first year of Peter’s life was really just about being wet and dry depending on how much of Nana Rose’s spit was left on the top of Stephen’s head as she repeatedly smooched Peter and his friends.

Toddlers have no regard for where their head goes; be it dirt or poop, and since he was the one that laughed the loudest his friends soon thought Petey fit him much better.  Boys wore crew cuts in those days and Petey and the gang reveled in the muck and mire that young boys allowed themselves to get into long before a bath entered their lives.

The teenage years flashed their rebel wave and Petey and a few of his friends broke off from the group.  They named themselves Cowlick and refused to conform to the way everyone else was going.  Soon the rest realized the fun they were missing and joined in: Stephen’s twenties filled them with alternating mousse, dancing under flashing lights and rolling around in different sheets.  The party seemed like it couldn’t end, all the changes in length and blow dryers filling their lives with excitement.  If they’d only noticed the danger that lurked on the other side of Stephen’s head as a few of their brethren had lost their lives in the fight against male pattern baldness.

But no.  The 90s was a time for ponytails and the truth was covered up.  The entire head felt alive as each follicle was stroked and pulled back!  On weekend mornings the boys were all let loose to fly, shake and jam to the grunge metal tunes of Stephen’s iPod; his head banging up and down to the beats of Pearl Jam was like a non-stop thrill induced roller coaster ride. But then it happened:  more hairs clogged the drain, the brush collected many of his friends, and Petey stopped growing.

In a bold and mature move, Stephen opted not to try to cover his bald spot, which was now more than visible through the long hairs; and cut his hair very short.  In the ensuing few years the length got shorter and shorter and more members of the old gang passed on.   Finally, Stephen opted for the shaved head.

Petey was scared.  As the hot water and bath wash that had once brought so much pleasure now signaled the end, he stood shaking as the screams of all of his boyhood friends rang in his ears and were silenced in the drain.  Minutes passed by, feeling like hours.  He looked around and realized he was still there and was being dried off.  He had made it!  You see, Petey had three things going for him:  he was only a centimeter in length, he lived on a scar and he was gray.  He went unnoticed.  And then she showed up!

Stephen’s girlfriend Margie moved in and took over the job of inspecting and approving Stephen’s hygiene and appearance regiment.  So this fateful day Petey woke to the sight of the blade and knew this was the end.  About to pass out again, he shook as she stroked him with the edge of her finger.  “You know, it’s kind of cute.”

Scenes From A Train Part 3: The Bus

I’m off the train and passed my gas into the bushes. I’m on the bus now to Burbank for my early show for the library. Yesterday I was at their downtown library and was disappointed. Not in the show but I didn’t get to my joke. Johnny Carson used to always refer to “beautiful downtown Burbank” on the Tonight Show and I’ve thought of referencing that for weeks. But it turns out they get so many kids the parents can’t stay; there’s not enough room. So I tell the librarian about my missed opportunity. She reminds me that these parents aren’t that old so they wouldn’t have gotten it either. Ouch. That reminds me I just discovered that my elbows are really dry and scaly and crackly. When the hell did I get old man elbows? Someone thought I was fifteen years younger last night. Oh well you’re as old as you feel so I’m a hundred and two.

My friend insisted I take his car yesterday so here’s scenes
from that commute:

F*ck. F*ck. F*CK!!! The g*d d*mn GPS said 43 minutes! Road work?! There is none! Why are you idiots slowing down?!

So much calmer today. The bus driver is so nice I’m worried he’s been drinking. But they are a lot nicer than I remember Chicago drivers being, but I hadn’t been on the bus there since the 80s so maybe it was a union mandate for the 21st Century.

Everyone’s so nice on this bus and I’m so glad I’m not grumpy. I should understand: many of the people headed downtown probably don’t like their jobs. I’m headed to make a couple hundred kids and their parents laugh. Life is good. Enjoy your day.

Scenes From A Train Part 2

I’m writing this underground on the second train of today’s commute so it will post at North Hollywood. No seats so I’m standing. I feel guilty. A tiny Hispanic woman kept pushing at my bag and me as she tried to get by everyone to get down the escalator and onto the train to a job she probably hates. Twice I asked her, nicely, to please stop pushing. Finally I elbowed her over the side. I’m pretty sure she was ok: she landed on her over-sized bag and her eyes were open.

There’s a woman staring at me. At least I think she’s staring at me, she’s wearing sunglasses so I can’t see her eyes. I’m pretty sure she’s staring at me because I have no tattoos. She’s covered in them. There’s one across her chest and I want to read what it says but I don’t want her to think I’m looking at her boobs. Wait a sec, she got it there. She had to have lay there for hours while the tattoo guy did it. Maybe it was her boyfriend so it was ok. Maybe it says “howdy” because she has friendly boobs? Maybe it says “I’m up here” with an arrow pointing to her eyes so she can catch guys with her feminist ways? I better not chance it, I figure women that can withstand the pain of getting all those tats likes to inflict it. I’ll look the other way.

The Red Line heads to Hollywood so there’s always interesting characters. There’s Purple Guy I see a lot: completely dressed in purple including the large feather in his fedora. He’s either really a pimp or played one on a 70s cop show and the never got another gig and these are the only clothes he owns. Today there’s a drag queen, African-American, thin with vey taut muscles wearing a silver lame (please put the accent in, I don’t know how to find it on the iPhone) dress that shows off his/her legs. How do you say it? I would assume he’d rather be called she, I mean she would rather not be called he. You get it. I wish the Hispanic woman from the Blue line had gotten on because I think she should give silver girl her jeweled iPhone, it would look really good with the dress. And her copy of Ebony! And I bet the transvestite would have hair tips for the other woman.

Oh crap I have to fart. Oh man, this is embarrassing. I can feel it’s not going to be silent. Or odor free. Oh jeez and there’s a stop and a half. What do I do? Think about baseball. Oh no that’s for sex. What if I don’t let it out? I think farts are funny so I tend to let them loose and then laugh. Does it build up until it comes out my mouth? Or nose? Eeekkks. I’m saved. North Hollywood. More later.

Scenes From A Train

I sit on the Blue Line riding towards downtown. In front of me a woman that smells nice is texting on a fake jewel covered phone. Does she think that looks fancy cause I just think it looks gaudy? She’s not a teenager, that I understand and she’s dressed rather lovely. She’s a light skinned Hispanic woman and she’s reading a copy of Ebony magazine. Is her boyfriend African-American or does she just think
Black people are cooler like I do?

The woman beside me is frantically playing solitaire on her phone. Who wakes up and has to play solitaire? I wonder about her gambling problem. She looks very nice, she’s older: gray hair and no wedding ring. I bet she has cats. Lots of them. They sit on her shoulder and her lap while she plays solitaire with real cards. That’s why she plays solitaire on the train! She misses her cats and this quells her depression.

18 out of 30 people on the train are wearing sunglasses. How many are hiding hangovers vs. how many are just tired and want to go back to sleep? The dude with the chin on his chest; will he wake up in time for his stop?

A woman five seats behind me is talking with a gravely voice on her cel phone. Can she not hear very well and not know she’s talking that loud or does she want everyone to know about how her daughter never calls?

Half the people in my immediate perimeter are on cell phones. Are they blogging about me? Yeah well that sweater is not a good color on you lady and seriously dude, a shower would have been thoughtful. Oh crap the woman in the sweater just moved to the seat formerly occupied by unshaven man. She smiled. She wasn’t giving me a dirty look, the sun was in her eyes. I’m sorry about the sweater thing but really you have a nice smile so maybe a brighter green? Oh oh, we just stopped at Slauson station and a mean looking woman just sat down next to her. She’s wearing a Hello Kitty or some Japanese character t-shirt and she’s got to be late 30s, early 40s. Maybe she’s just a smoker. Only the last two fingers of her left hand have nail polish on them. Black. Is that a gang thing? I’m worried about pukey green sweater girl.

What? I have to exit the train? Why???? I’ve been saying this out loud?