Vacation Packing

It’s vacation time at last.
The tedious part is the packing.
Women start this three or four days early.
Men start when the taxi pulls in the drive.
This is not the only difference in the sexes.

Women need three or four outfits per day.
Morning, afternoon, (afternoon tea), evening.
Men need one pair of pants for dinners, shorts for day.
Maybe an extra shirt per day in case he gets sweaty.
(Hotels do laundry, you know.)

So, women need about one suitcase for every three days.
This is why in college, when I picked up a weekend visitor,
She had a steamer trunk.
It took up most of my Mustang.
My arms still hurt.
(She did look nicely dressed.)

Airlines charge for extra luggage.
I’m getting my checkbook ready.
This is a ten-day trip, so my wife
Will have a ton of luggage.
(Eisenhower had less for D-Day.)

I have my carry-on.
I have more electronics than clothes.
I’m ready.


Stress is good,
People will say,
Because it means
You’re still alive.

There are times
Like right now,
When I would forfeit
Some of my stress,
Even if meant that
People wondered about me.
(I’m not dead, I just haven’t showered yet.)

Deli Blues

I’m not your pastrami, little baby.
I’m not your pastrami tonight.
I really love your rye bread,
But my woman’s gonna fight. 

I’m not your bagel, little baby,
I’m not your bagel, little fox.
I really love your cream cheese, 
But my woman’s changed the lox. 

I love you little baby, 
I want your sweet relief.
But if I’m not home this evening,
My woman will corn my beef.

I know you love dill pickles.
But don’t you grab my pickle spear.
My woman said that ain’t kosher,
You better not come ’round here.

First Class Blues

Editor’s Note: What would happen if some old bluesman from the Delta had actually made a lot of money before he died, and not just after some British guy covered one of his songs? 

First Class Blues

I’m sufferin’, Lord, I’m near the end.
I’m sufferin’, Lord, I’m near the end.
I’m in an aisle seat, no window,
And their only Scotch is just a blend.

Please come save me, Lord, from this storm.
Please come save me, Lord, from this storm.
My mixed nuts are mostly almonds,
And those are barely warm.

Help me, Lord, I feel a fool.
Help me, Lord, I feel a fool.
There’s no mo’ steak, there’s only chicken.
And the cold shrimp cocktail’s barely cool.

Steel me, Lord, for my final stand.
Steel me, Lord, for my final stand.
My wine was spilled and sticky,
And there’s no hot towels to cleanse my hand.

Save me, Lord, I must repeat.
Save me, Lord, I must repeat.
I went down to the crossroads,
But at twenty-seven thousand feet.

Hear me, Lord, I’m sore afraid.
(I said) Hear me, Lord, I’m sore afraid.
I used up all my coupons,
This was my last upgrade.


I’m going to the dentist today.
I haven’t been in a couple of years.
Mainly, because it’s annoying, but also
My old dentist dropped my insurance.

If you want to save money on a dentist,
He has to take your insurance.
Otherwise, you can get gouged.
Or, you can just not go and save even more.

However, I have to go because I have a toothache.
It’s not really a toothache, it’s just sensitive to cold.
Unfortunately, I like ice. And cold drinks.
It’s time to have it checked. Annoying.

I have to do tons of paperwork
To start a new dentist.
It’s online so I can print it out.
That’s partial automation.

I print it on paper and fill it out.
I take the paper to a smiling person.
They type it back into their computer.
Hmm. This does not seem efficient.

I suppose since I’m going to the dentist,
My teeth should be brushed first.
This is much like my wife cleaning the house
The night before the maid arrives.

I haven’t been to the dentist in a couple of years.
Somebody said you brush your teeth three minutes a day.
This means that I should have started brushing
About thirty-six and a half hours ago.


This is the anniversary of the day
I put my Mom in the hospital.
(It’s OK, it’s just my birthday.)

April 16, 1960 was a Saturday. 
It was the day before Easter. 
After I was born that day, 
It became Holy Saturday.
(That’s an old family joke. Very old.)

If I had been born in 1930, 
I would have five years left to go.
However, life expectancy keeps going up,
So, I probably have much longer, 
Even though I am surrounded by Italians.
(I’m looking at you, Debbie and Virginia.)

53 is a pretty boring age since it’s not divisible by anything.
It’s not a five-year or ten-year anniversary.
It’s a prime number, so it’s just the 53rd anniversary.
What a snooze. 

Don’t Google stuff on your birthday.
John Denver died when he was 53.
So, did Jerry Garcia.
So, a beloved, gifted musician and John Denver.
Oh, joy.
(Apologies to John Denver fans. Take me home, country roads.)

I guess it’s time for a mid-life crisis. 
I would quit my job and open a bar, 
But I watch Restaurant Impossible
So I know that’s a bad idea. 

I could run off to sea and change my life, 
But crew don’t get balcony rooms, 
So, that’s not going to work. 

I suppose the biggest challenge I have today
Is figuring out how to get out of this stupid poem.
It’s rambling even worse than some of the stuff
I wrote when I was 52. 

That seems like a long time ago. 

Sense of Urgency

“A sense of urgency” is MBA-speak.
It often seems like an empty phrase,
Simply meant to build team motivation.
Then, you find people who are missing it.

Work sucks sometimes.
Well, most of the time.
That’s why it’s called “work”,
Rather than “play” or “candy.”
This is an important lesson.

I’m coming very close to having
To use a phrase in the office
That I never wanted to use.
One reserved for dire emergencies.

My wife will think this means
I am about to curse at someone.
(Technically, cursing is calling God down to do harm.
I usually just drop f-bombs. I don’t really expect to have sex.)

I’m not going to curse, although I would feel better.
I’m not going to imply someone should sleep with other species.
I am just going to have to take a deep breath, and say,
Suck it up, buttercup. The deadline is today.”

I lost my sense of urgency for a while once.
I found it when I heard my boss coming down the hall.
(As Douglas Adams said, “I love deadlines. I like the
whooshing sound they make as they fly by.”)

A sense of urgency doesn’t mean killing yourself,
But it does mean a day’s worth of work takes a day.
If it takes a week or more, you might not have a
Very strong sense of urgency.

You might just be distracted. Or multitasking.
However, I don’t’ think that’s always the case.
Most times, you’ve just lost your sense of urgency.
Did you look under your chair?

Birthday Blues

I really don’t like my birthday much anymore.
I’m not really sure why, it used to be fun.
(I think it used to be fun.)
As I got older, it got less meaningful.
Is there that much difference between 52 and 53?

When you’re young, you’re the center of attention.
As you age, your kids are there,
Then your grandkids join in,
And, face it, they outrank you.
Plus, now you’re paying for your own parties sometimes.

Unfortunately, I was born the day after taxes are due,
So, once I got married (and divorced and remarried),
I had just spent three to five weekends or more
Calculating how little money we had and how much we had spent.
Worrying about wives and kids spending too much on you
Will always take much of the joy out of presents.

Also, presents get more expensive over time.
A Hot Wheels Lamborghini costs a lot less than a real one.
Not that anyone is ever going to buy me a real one.
Or even a Smart car.
(Mom-in-law did buy me a remote-control Mustang once. She was cool.)

What do you want for your birthday?
“A pony! A pony!” says someone under fifteen.
Over forty, it becomes something like:
“I would like to finally be out of debt. ” or
“I would like  my tests to be negative.”

Growing old can be really hard,
I suppose that’s why we still celebrate birthdays.
Even if they also make you think of the ones you’ve lost.
You realize someday you might be older than your relatives,
Because they’ve stopped aging.
(Stopping aging may be worse than birthdays.)

I’m having cake later today (I’m told), and
I commit to do my best to be non-grumpy,
But I’m not promising anything.
After all, I’m old. And grumpy.

I will say this –
After this year,  if everyone decides to skip my birthday,
Or move to once-per-decade celebrations,
Or just post insincere “Happy Birthday” notes on Facebook,
I’m down with that.

At least the taxes are done.


April 13th

It’s April thirteenth, and it’s Saturday.
So, there can only be one item on the agenda.
It’s time to finally finish the taxes.

I hate doing my taxes.
I suppose it should make me feel successful
With all the money that came in
Except most of it went right back out.

I suppose it should make me feel generous,
What with paying for all our government,
But I support charities that actually work,
So why do I have to pay for crap that doesn’t?

Why are our taxes so complicated?
Why does the IRS think I’m rich?
Why am I still stalling?
Is the coffee ready yet?

It’s interesting that each of us
Must account for every penny each year,
When Washington can’t tell us where
Billions of our dollars went after it left us.

I think you should be able to fund the programs you want.
NASA gets my money. And anyone in the military.
I don’t really care if Alaska gets a bridge, or
Our idiot President has a helicopter to go on vacations.

Considering the trillions of dollars of debt Congress has,
I’m not really sure my payment or refund is any more
Than a rounding error in the budget.
It may not even be enough to be a rounding error.

Can’t we just look at my forced paycheck donations
And call it “close enough”?
What if we all just took a year off?
Now, that would be a Paperwork Reduction Act
That I could get behind.