I’m Art Kumbalek and man oh manischewitz what a world, ain’a? So another Labor Day has come and gone—a day I spent in celebration of the American workingman by sitting on my ass in some clown’s backyard doing nothing except drink somebody else’s beer, what the fock.Hey, is it just me or does there seem to be a lot of missing-persons reports in the news lately? Anyways, I’m reminded of a little story:
So this woman goes to the police station with her next-door neighbor to report that her husband was missing. The policeman asked for a description and the wife says, “He’s 35 years old, 6-foot-4, dark eyes, dark wavy hair, an athletic build, weighs 185 pounds, is soft-spoken and good to the children.” The neighbor says to the wife, “Wait a second. Your husband’s 5-foot-4, chubby, bald, has a potty mouth, and he’s mean to the kids.” And the wife says, “Yeah, but who wants him back?” Ba-ding!
Anyways, no time to whip out an essay this week. With only two months to go to the November election, I figure maybe it’s time to get off my sorry ass and do some campaigning if I’m going to take down Snidely Whiplash Walker and be your next governor. So I got to meet up with my campaign brain trust already gathered over by the Uptowner tavern/charm school, courageously crammed at the hysteric corner of Center & Humboldt. Tag along if you like, but you cover the first round. Let’s get going.
Emil: All I’m saying is I hear the words “back to school,” and to this day I still get the heebie-jeebies. And I’m a guy who hardly went to focking school even when I was going to school.
Little Jimmy Iodine: When I was a kid, those three words were right at the top of my hate list; although I tell you’s, “get a haircut,” “get a job” and “change your underwear” weren’t far behind.
Julius: I think it’s called Back-To-School-Syndrome, and it’s not uncommon among veteran survivors of the old-school parochial school system, I kid you not.
Ernie: I think I might have a dose of that syndrome. I always got this overwhelming urge to skip out of doing something I don’t feel like doing.
Herbie: Ernie, I’ll bet you a buck two-eighty that this need to skip out of stuff is some kind of misguided attempt to recapture the temporary joy you experienced as a lad whenever you skipped goddamn school. Yes, you were partaking in at-risk behavior, in that you could’ve been run over by a school bus while attempting to duck the truant officer. But big focking deal. Life is temporary. At least you would’ve died doing what you loved best—focking off.
Ernie: Heck, that’s got to count for something in the grand scheme of things, ain’a?
Emil: Any you’s guys see that story in the papers a while back that said, “Bedbug reports skyrocket”?
Ernie: I remember when I was a kid at bedtime, my Ma always saying, “Sleep tight and don’t let the bedbugs bite. And don’t forget to change your underwear tomorrow, for christ sakes.”
Julius: Sounds like an example of lazy parenting to me—like it’s some kid’s responsibility to not let bedbugs bite. You should’ve told her, “Bedbugs? I’m on top of it, Ma. First thing tomorrow morning I’ll call the exterminator, and then I’ll skip school and run over to Schuster’s and shoplift an airtight plastic bag I can wrap around my crappy old mattress, all because you’re just too busy doinking the mailman while Pop’s at work.”
Little Jimmy Iodine: Hey, Artie! Over here. Put a load on your keister.
Art: Hey gents. What do you hear, what do you know?
Ernie: I know I haven’t seen Ray since the Harley hog-riders blew back out of town.
Herbie: All I know is he made up a bunch of T-shirts and went down to the lakefront to sell them. Get this: On the front of the shirt Ray drew a Japanese guy like you’d see in the World War II patriotic cartoons, you know, with the military cap, the horn-rimmed glasses, the teeth. And he drew a word balloon coming out of the guy’s mouth that said, ‘Colonel Yamaha says Harleys are for homos.’”
Art: Good grief, you got to be jerking my beefaroni. And you’re surprised you haven’t seen him since?
Little Jimmy Iodine: That shirt’s got enough going on to offend just about anyone, ain’a?
Julius: Sure sounds to me like something President Nutbag would wear these days. Hey, maybe Trumpel-thinskin hired Herbie to be his new communication director in charge of pissing off everyone who’s not a focking Nazi. Make America hate again.
(It’s getting late and I know you got to go, but thanks for letting us bend your ear, ’cause I’m Art Kumbalek and I told you so.)