Wednesday, August 24, 2005

The Blogger and the Blogger's Brother

(Editor's Note: Last cross-post for awhile.)

Once upon a time there was a boy named Dan. On Dan’s 7th birthday, his parents bought him a blogging machine and a blog named after his favorite baseball player at the time, Delino DeShields. Young Dan was a precocious blogger and he entered many contests in order to show off his great skill with the machine. He even won first prize in the prestigious New York City Open Blogging event, winning a more powerful machine for his darkly brilliant post about his difficult upbringing on the Upper East Side.

But then, on the night of his 8th birthday, Dan started to hear sounds from the room next door. The sounds were strange and disturbing, but they were also funny. In fact, he believed that they were sounds of laughter. His posts began to change in nature, becoming more humorous with each passing night. His parents became increasingly proud of what their young son was accomplishing, turning out some of the funniest posts in the blogosphere.

One evening, however, after three years of increasingly hilarious blogging, Dan just could not take it anymore. His writing may have been improving, but at what cost? Who was making those noises next door? He had to know, so he broke down the door. Once inside the room, he discovered his parents sitting there with a whoopee cushion, a Condi Rice mask, and the laugh track from season 4 of Friends. Dan shared a long laugh with his parents as they told him how he had passed their tests and had become the great comedy writer that they had envisioned from the moment he was born. Dan was extremely happy to have both secured the affection of his parents and solved the mystery that had been nagging him for so long. That evening he slept through the night for the first time since he was 7.

A year later, after Delino swept the bloggies, Dan started to hear the sounds of laughter again from the room next door. At first, he dismissed it as something in his head. He had already passed the tests; his parents could not be in the other room any more. But the sounds would not go away and Dan realized that he would have to face the inside of the other room again.

When Dan broke down the door, he could not believe his eyes. What he saw there would change him forever. His long-forgotten older brother, Rich, was passed out on top of a laptop computer. Dan tried to revive him, but it was too late. Rich had died from the torture of too much laughter inflicted by his parents. However, Dan did take a look at the computer screen and started laughing, harder than he had ever laughed in his life. Finally, Dan shed a tear, because what he saw on that screen was Rich’s first and only post at Not About Marquis Grissom, and it was better than anything that he had ever done or will ever do in his life.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Berger Boys make it big

(Editor's note: I am cross-posting this because I am a publicity whore.)

Pops is back in the papers with this juicy photo, while I am featured in Card Player magazine this week (the one with Jennifer Tilly on the cover, August 17 issue...if anyone could get me a couple of copies of this, it would be greatly appreciated). I am referenced in an article about "Poker Ace" Allen Cunningham, in which the author, Ron Rose, devotes three paragraphs to describing Allen's "most memorable" tournament, a trip to the Trumbull Buttery at Yale! Here are some excerpts from the article (which itself is an excerpt from the book Poker Aces, which I now own):

"Allen was impressed at how enthusiastic the students were, and he was glad to be able to teach them a little something about the game. 'We went into some underground chamber where the game was held,' [Allen] remembers. 'Daniel [Negreanu], as I had expected, played like a lunatic, and I tried to play well enough just to keep us even.'

"'After some time, the game was down to me and a very young [and very attractive] looking freshman named Berger,' Allen recalls. 'A more intense crowd gathered than in many big tournament finals I had been at. I had to decide whether to crush the freshman to show my might or to throw the game and make the kid's day.' Allen didn't end up throwing it, he says, but he took it easy on the student, who finally won. 'He was a hero,' says Allen, 'and I felt good.'

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Hollywood Squares Hijinx

Watching a rerun. This question was posed to Cedric the Entertainer:

"So, you're shopping for watermelon. Would you get more flavor from a lighter or heavier watermelon?"

Breakfast in a Post-9/11 World

Caught this sign at a Denny's this morning in Fort Lauderdale, FL:

Sunday, August 14, 2005

On the Campaign Trail

As a way to get my parents off my back about getting a real job, I recently began working on a local political campaign for a candidate running for District Attorney.

The first day, I met all the people there, who were mostly college-age kids or recent graduates. There was also a seasoned political veteran named Chuck and a mild-mannered, extremely nice Hispanic Outreach Coordinator named Carlos.

The second Monday I was there, I sat in on my first staff meeting--
Chuck: OK, does anyone have any further comments or concerns?

Charlotte (ridiculously WASPy PR girl): Carlos, could we put your Hispanic Outreach events on the calendar, just so everyone knows when they are?

Carlos: Yeah, maybe we could do that... IF ANYBODY CAME TO MY FUCKING EVENTS! I was out there alone in the 100 degree heat this weekend! What's the matter, you afraid of Spanish Harlem, of working-class Latinos? You don't care about their concerns? You think you have something better to do with your rich white friends?

Me (in my head): Wow Carlos, do you have ESP or something?

Charlotte (out loud): No, that's not it at all. We just were unclear on the time and place.

After a few days of licking envelopes, making ice, and cold-calling senior citizens, Chuck happened upon my resume and noticed that I had been the chief of staff on my own campaign for Vice President back in high school. Immediately, he catapulted me into the role of speechwriter. The candidate was preparing for a tough Question and Answer session at NYU, so I used all of my experience and political skill to write some responses she could give to possible questions-- here are a few of them:

Question: Attorney General Eliot Spitzer has been aggressively prosecuting white collar crime in New York. Do you think he has been overzealous? How proactive would you be as District Attorney on the issue of corporate malfeasance?

Answer: Good question. Now in order to answer it, I will use an allegory. You see white collar crime is a lot like the issue of vending machines. There's all this talk among the ever-health conscious Administration of replacing the Coke and Sprite buttons with water and juice. But have they once asked the STUDENTS what we thought? An informal survey of the four guys at my lunch table revealed that 75 percent of students would like Red Bull or Rockstar in the machines, which are in fact more sugary than Coke or Sprite. So to answer your question, yes, the Administration most definitely has a tin ear when it comes to student concerns.

Question: There has been a lot of talk in this race about reforming the Rockefeller Drug Laws. Is there a fear that if you got rid of those harsh penalites, the city might face a drug crisis that would rival the crack epidemic of the 1980s?

Answer: Another interesting question. I feel I can best answer this question with a metaphor. You see the Rockefeller Drug Laws

vending machines again- no intro - "OK, i was trying to get off the topic of vending machines, but if you instist on harping on it..."
No further questions.
NO FURTHER QUESTIONS

Saturday, August 13, 2005

A Sad Day



It's a sad day when you have to choose between Microsoft Word and "My girlfriend Elisse strips and masturbates for me - amateur webcam video - Fucking HOT tits ass panties.mpg"

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

A Taboo Home Game: The Cable Guy Revisited

After a wholesome day at the Bronx Zoo and in the movies at March of the Penguins with Jenevieve, I arrived home unsure of what to do for a nightcap. Jen wanted to play a game, so I suggested Taboo, and I was able to convince my parents to get involved. It was young vs. old, and while they may have had more life experience together, we had more Taboo experience between us. Things were moving a little slowly in the scoring department, but were starting to pick up when I reached the following word that I had to get Jen to guess: Flaccid.

Following a brief chuckle to myself, I faced a dilemma. How could I possibly get Jen to guess this word without resorting to vulgar speech? And how could I possibly resort to such vulgarity on a "family game night" of sorts? Well, not surprisingly, my competitive streak took over and I said, "When a penis is in resting position, not erect, it is..." Everyone erupted in laughter, especially my father (yes, the Park Avenue lawyer...don't tell The New York Law Journal), but then an even funnier thing happened, Jen didn't get the answer. I guess my parents know a little more than they let on, and maybe I need to teach Jen a few more dirty words for the next time, when we play Porno Password.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Friars Club Roast

I have another REAL story to share with you (check the post before this as well), my patient and loyal readers...

Since my father knows that I am interested in comedy writing, and he knows people who know people, he set up a meeting for me with a comedy writer/producer named Alan Zweibel at The Friars Club. The Friars Club, as you may know, is famous for its Roasts of notable celebrities, in which the celeb being roasted is subjected to a flurry of vulgar insults.

I nervously entered the Friars Club, walking past the Sinatra Room and the Billy Crystal Room until I found the large ballroom where Mr. Zweibel told me to meet him. When I opened the door, I realized that this "meeting" was actually a book signing for Zweibel's new novel. As such, many Friars and their wives were there--
It is difficult to describe just how old and just how Jewish the assemblage in that room was. I was easily the only person under 65. These people's ears were bigger than my face. Women were actually saying "Oy Vey" unironically.

Though the women were priceless in their own way, the real stars of this affair were the men, all of whom were washed-up Borscht-Belt insult comics who probably hadn't performed professionally in 20 years, but who still lived to work a room. One of these elder statesmen, a fellow by the name of Freddie Roman, got up on stage to give a sort of mini-roast to Alan Zweibel. Here is a condensed version of his speech and the proceedings--

Roman (old Jewish voice): When I met Alan, he was workin' at a deli over on 57th Street. He told me he wanted to write comedy, and I told him "I want a fuckin' corned beef on rye, ya cocksucker." But soon enough, this shmuck began writing jokes for me. I told him to write me some sperm bank gags, so he came up with "A sperm bank's the only bank where you actually LOSE interest after you make your deposit." It was then that I knew this pimply-faced little motherfucker had some talent... Now before the guest of honor gets up here and tries to make us buy his piece of shit book, I wanna thank a few people. My writing partner, Ross Steinberg. (Ross waves) Ross, what're you so happy about, I fucked your wife. And my agent Larry Rosenstein. Hey Larry, this is the first gig you've gotten me in ten years, and it doesn't even pay. And-- wait a second, is that, is that Milt Freedman? Holy shit it's Milt Freedman!

[the assembled crowd parts to both sides, leaving Milt Freedman standing alone in the center]
[Milt Freedman looks about 90 years old, and resembles George Burns. He has about three strands of white hair left, and his ears and nose look straight out of a caricature. He is from a generation even before most of these 70 year old guys]
[Milt struggles to say something, but kind of just lets out a sound]
Members of the crowd: Hey, it's Milt! Milt, you made it! Milt-y boy!...

Zweibel: I would first like to thank my comedic mentor, the late Fred Weiner.
Members of the crowd: Uch, Fred Weiner, he was one of the greats! A good man! And a good comedian!
Zweibel: I will now read from Chapter 2, which draws heavily on my early days in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn.
[Zweibel reads a passage which pokes fun at Hassidic Jews in Bensonhurst]
Zweibel: Well, that does it for the reading. I will now be signing books over in the corner there. Thank you all for coming out this evening, it means a lot to me.
[The crowd is about to disperse and go back to their various conversations -- when all of a sudden, Milt Freedman makes a noise. The entire crowd hushes and looks at Milt]
Milt Freedman (mustering every last ounce of energy in his body): This just in-- de Bensonhurst Jews are suing Zweibel fuh slander.
[The crowd, myself included, erupts in laughter]


The experience made me want to become a member of the Friars. I've decided that the best way to become a Friar is to act like a Friar. So this is how I IMAGINE the conversation with my parents will go when I ask them to pay for the membership fee--

Mom: Well, Daniel, now that you've graduated from college, your father and I expect you to contribute toward these kinds of expenses. We feel it would be fair for you to pay 10 percent of the membership fee.
Me: How 'bout I contribute my fist in your face, ya cocksucker.
[unsure of what to do, Dad first tries to console Mom, but then decides to give me a high-five]
Me (leaving Dad's high-five hand hanging): How come you're hi-fivin' me? Is it 'cause I porked your mom last night, ya cocksucker?

[Enter Milt Freedman]
Milt: Listen to me, ya cocksucker. That's my line. 50 years ago, I invented the "cocksucker" gag. Back then, no one was doin' it. Now even a two-bit hack like you has "cocksucker" material.
[My parents and I settle our squabbles and we all sit at the dining room table as Milt regales us with war stories from his comedic past]
Milt: De Simpsons- I used to write for them. But we had a falling out.
Mom: What happened?
Milt: Well, I'm sure you remembah the Who Shot Mister Burns two part episode. At the end of the first episode, Dr. Hibbert says, "I couldn't possibly solve this mystery. Can you?" and he points into the camera at the audience.
Me: And then Chief Wiggum says, "Yeah, I'll give it a shot, I mean, you know, it's my job, right?"
Milt: Well I envisioned a different direction for the gag ta go in. In my version, Hibbert says, "I couldn't possibly solve this mystery. Can you?... Ya cocksucker!" Think about it. Simpsons-- watched all ovah the world. We've got a 9-year-old Paki and a 70 year-old Chink gettin' called a 'cocksucker' by Hibbert.

Cable Guy 2

The following story is REAL, and no names have been changed, except Rich, who I will refer to as "Richard," in order to protect his identity.

Richard and I went to a Yankee game a few days ago, but as punishment for lapping too mightily at the parental trough, we had to sit in the Loge. We had an extra ticket to get rid of, so Richard, reverting to assistant mode, used his best inside voice to find someone willing to purchase the ticket. Eventually, an ordinary looking white guy in his late 20s wearing glasses, a skateboarding t-shirt, cargo shorts and sandals approached Richard. After a little haggling, the deal was completed.


The guy warned us to "Get ready to drink your asses off!"
and sure enough, when he got to his seat (which was right next to mine), he was noticeably drunk. He introduced himself as Scott from Vancouver, and asked me what my name was. I told him, and it seemed that we would settle into the normal patter reserved for acquaintances you meet on airplanes, etc.

But Scott soon turned the conversation in a different direction. Here it is, word for word:
Scott: What's the post-game plan, eh? What do New Yorkers do on a Thursday night?
Me: I dunno, maybe go to a bar.
Scott: I tell you what, how about the two of us, we go to a club downtown and we score some pussy, get laid.
Me: Heh. Yeah, easier said than done.
Scott: You're talking to the pussy king, eh. In Montreal, which is like the pussy capital of the world, it's great because girls want YOU to come over to their place. But here, I make up excuses like 'my roommate locked me out.' Works like a charm. I'm rakin' in pussy hand over fist over here in the States.
Me: Good for you.
Scott: I'm tellin' you, I'm gonna be your Canadian wingman tonight, and I don't care if it's fat, or it's black, or whatever- we are gonna get SO MUCH FUCKING PUSSY!

Keep in mind that Scott was a mild-mannered, kind of geeky-looking guy. At this point, Scott had to run and get another beer. I was a little creeped out and not looking forward to his return, but fortunately when he came back from getting beer, his mind had gone off on a tangent.

He started yelling "LET'S GO RED SOX!" at Yankees fans at the top of his lungs (the Yankees weren't even playing the Red Sox), earning him the hatred of every person in our section. And then of course he turned to me to start talking again, making me Public Enemy Number Two by association. This time, Scott started suggesting that I take a trip with him to Atlantic City, or maybe to Las Vegas, or maybe to Ottawa, which he assured me was "very chill." My lukewarm reaction to his plans caused him to try his luck with two Jersey Goombas sitting behind him. Needless to say, they did not think a trip to Ottawa with Scott would be "very chill." So Scott quieted down for about an inning, and was so calm that he seemed to barely notice when the Seventh Inning Stretch began--

PA Announcer: We here at Yankee Stadium would now like to take a moment of silence to honor the men and women who have sacrificed their lives in military service abroad to protect our freedom and liberty.
(beat -- the entire stadium falls silent as all fans bow their heads)
(beat)
(beat)
(beat)
Scott (whispering in my ear): So much fucking pussy!

Thursday, August 04, 2005

No F-words Allowed

Saw this tonight watching The Big Lebowski on Comedy Central:

"It's a swiss tickin' watch."

Monday, August 01, 2005

Chess Babe of the Month: Almira Skripchenko

Almira Skripchenko - Miss August 2005

Nationality: France
Birthday: February 17, 1976
ELO: 2474
Title: IM, WGM

This French chess player has achieved the FIDE International Women's Grandmaster title. She won the second European Open Women's Chess Championship in 2001.

In 2004 she won the North Urals Cup, the second international super-tournament for female chess players. Held in Krasnoturinsk, the 9-round single round robin tournament featured ten of the strongest female players in the world. Skripchenko finished a half point ahead of Maia Chiburdanidze, the former Women's World Champion, and also defeated her in their individual encounter.

She has served as treasurer for the Association of Professional Chess Players (APCP).




(The closest you'll ever get to a nipple slip in Chess)





(Smuggling Tic-Tac's across the Iron Curtain ?)








Irina Krush, Accoona American Champion, and Almira Skripchenko, Accoona French Champion, will compete at the Russian Samovar, 256 W 52nd Street, NYC, (212) 757-0168 on Thursday, September 16, 2004. 1:00 PM Interviews and pictures, drinks and hors d’oeuvres!! 2:00 PM Matches Begin. To R.S.V.P please contact Paulina (212) 842-4999, or Paulina@accoona.com.

Almira Skripchenko was crowned European Women’s Champion in 2001 and active Top-Rated French Woman in Chess for 2004. Irina Krush, in 1998 was the youngest woman to win the American Championship and is currently the active Top-Rated Woman Player in the USA.

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