The senior portion.

I was out and about yesterday, and wandered into a mall bookstore — Borders Express. Like the regular Borders, only with more books by celebrities. Man, Barack Obama is the best thing to ever happen to any talk-show host looking for vertical integration. But what have we here? It’s Nora Ephron’s new collection of essays, “I Remember Nothing: And Other Reflections,” sure to be a best-seller.

I plucked it from the shelf, expecting something slight and breezy. I was not disappointed. Many magazines are thicker, and no, I’m not kidding. A September issue of Vogue — in a recession, even — is the OED compared to this book. I sat down with it on a step stool, to see how many I might have already read in the New Yorker, her periodical publisher of choice. At least one. Then I opened it at the halfway point and started reading. One essay was a list. A clever list, to be sure, but a list. The last two essays are lists, too. The margins are wide, the type is large, and while Ephron is, as always, a funny and engaging writer, it all served to remind me that this is “I Feel Bad About My Neck,” part 2, and “I Feel Bad About My Neck” was a book I felt very smart to have gotten from the library, because I read it in about 90 minutes and saved myself $21.95. I read about half of “I Remember Nothing” in 20 minutes. It costs $22.95.

This mostly hurts because Ephron used to be big, could stand shoulder-to-shoulder with any of the big swingin’ ones at Esquire back in the day, as smart about pop culture as anyone, and a lot funnier. She filed memorable essays on feminism, the Pillsbury Bake-Off, Rod McKuen and my personal favorite, an account of the birth of the feminine hygiene spray. My BFF Deb and I were twin Nora groupies, and we both went to see her on her “Heartburn” book tour, another slender volume but with a power-to-weight ratio worthy of a Mexican boxer. Deb saw her in South Bend, and wrote me a very entertaining letter about Nora’s dismantling, from the podium, of a Notre Dame brat who phrased an accusation in the form of a question, essentially charging Ephron with the single-handed destruction of her two marriages. At the appearance I saw, she said that the bread pudding recipe had omitted six beaten eggs, and I went home and made the notation in my copy, next to the passage where it’s woven into the narrative. Of course I could find it in a minute because I’d already read the book about three times and knew right where it was.

It’s not that these essays lack weight. It’s that they lack editing. The piece about egg-white omelettes, a food rant lite, could have gone, but then the book would have been 155 pages instead of 160. So could those lists (152 pages and falling…). And so on. But I guess maybe that’s the point, as the theme of this book, and the last, is aging and how it diminishes you. I really don’t think Ephron’s writing is so diminished, it’s that so much less is expected of her. And her publisher seems to expect very little of us, certainly. I guess we’ll pay $22.95 for anything.

Ephron is older than me, but I’m feeling older these days, too. Friday night I took Kate and a bunch of her friends to a concert — five bands, co-headlined by Anarbor and VersaEmerge, but Anarbor is all they were interested in. My job at these things is to drive, pay for things, hold coats, say as little as possible and stand in the background, a combination human ATM/factotum. I dressed accordingly — jeans, black sweater, black jacket and because I knew we’d be standing in line in the outside chill followed by the usual overheated club, one of my nice silk scarves around my neck. You know, for that little pop of color.

One of the girls lacked a ticket. I left them in line and walked inside to buy one. This is at the Majestic Theater complex on Woodward in Detroit, cornerstone of the Detroit music scene. Three venues, two restaurants and a bowling alley. White Stripes, Von Bondies, Electric Six, Was (Not Was) — you get the idea. A security guard directed me to the bowling alley, where I found a thirtysomething hipster spraying disinfectant into bowling shoes.

“Hi, I need one ticket for the show upstairs tonight,” I said.

He looked me over for 1.5 seconds and said, “The doors will be opening soon, ma’am, and your son or daughter can get a ticket at the top of the stairs then.”

Oh rly?

I looked him over for 1.5 seconds and said, “How do you know I’m buying for my son or daughter? How do you know it’s not for me?”

He said, “Your ascot?”

I felt bad about my neck. But not for long. Because soon we were upstairs, ticketed, the girls bolting for the stage so as to stand within sweat-spraying distance and me? I went to the bar. There were several other people of roughly my age there. All parents. No ascots, but some remarkable stories — one had driven his daughter all the way from Buffalo, another from Youngstown. To see VersaEmerge, with a female lead singer who reminded me of Natalie Merchant, if Natalie Merchant sang like a cat being strangled. The Buffalo father told me about how much he loves traveling with his daughter and how cool she is and how many shows they see together. When he started buying Crown Royal shots for the bartenders, I excused myself and wandered around taking low-light pictures.

Mostly bad ones, which usually happens when I try to duplicate the Tri-X photography of my early colleagues:

Alan and I disagreed on whether the Magic Stick is a pool hall. I insisted it was, he said it wasn’t. I win, although during shows, the pool tables become the roadies’ area:

And the neon backs me up.

Sorry, Alan.

So, let’s skip to the bloggage:

As Thanksgiving drew nearer, Mr. and Mrs. Albom were discouraged by how many of their lovely invitations to spend the holiday in their gracious Bloomfield Hills home were returned with regrets. It was such a small request — spend five days in the bosom of one of America’s most beloved writers, providing him with column fodder, uncompensated by anything more than turkey. What is wrong with people these days, anyway?

It could be worse. You could be reminiscin’ with Bob Greene.

The crime that dare not speak its name: Term papers for hire — the perp’s side of the story. Seriously, worth a read.

Finally, we had some remarkable weather here this weekend — dense, pea-soup fog that lingered most of the day Friday and returned Saturday. Here’s the view of the water from the median strip on Lake Shore.

Best part? The foghorns.

Have a great Monday.

Posted at 8:55 am in Detroit life, Media, Popculch |
 

65 responses to “The senior portion.”

  1. Peter said on November 15, 2010 at 9:05 am

    Can you imagine the swoon Bob would have if he found out that Michael Jordan smokes cigarettes?

  2. nancy said on November 15, 2010 at 9:06 am

    Does he?

  3. coozledad said on November 15, 2010 at 9:23 am

    Shorter Mitch Albom:
    “The turkey sighs.”
    Ha.

  4. Kim said on November 15, 2010 at 9:41 am

    The truth, Mitch, is they don’t want to spend another moment of precious free time trapped in your cloud of bloviation. Oh, and the sighing turkey freaks ’em out, too.

  5. coozledad said on November 15, 2010 at 9:48 am

    The term paper piece was great. I remember writing one for a fratboy who complained when he got a C. he’d have kicked my ass if I’d have told him the truth, which was his professor would have been deeply suspicious if he’d have handed in C+ work. And I only got twenty bucks out of it anyway.

  6. adrianne said on November 15, 2010 at 9:55 am

    Face it, Mitch, your family and close friends hate you, too.

  7. Jeff Borden said on November 15, 2010 at 10:06 am

    Why can’t Bob Greene spend Thanksgiving with Mitch Albom? Both would get weeks of material from the experience.

    MJ did not smoke cigarettes, but has loved cigars for a very long time. In fact, you may remember a fairly severe cut that affected his playing in his last year or two with the Bulls, attributed to a cigar cutter accident. The last high-profile athlete in Chicago I recall being a smoker was Mark Grace, the long-time first basemen of the Chicago Cubs. Gracie was old school all the way –no batting gloves, lamp black under the eyes– who loved talking about baseball as much as playing it. He was famous for regaling players and sportswriters with baseball talk while sipping a post-game beer and smoking a Winston.

  8. Deggjr said on November 15, 2010 at 10:20 am

    Term papers for hire – it sounds like a very interesting job. I’d like to be able to wordsmith like that.

    The ‘lazy rich kid’ may have gotten into school as a legacy admission but affirmative action must be limited. America is a meritocracy.

  9. Cynthia said on November 15, 2010 at 10:45 am

    “Ephron is older than I (am).”

  10. MichaelG said on November 15, 2010 at 10:55 am

    Only jerks would pile all that junk including liquids on a pool table. At least cover the damn thing.

    I used to live in San Francisco’s Marina district not far from the Golden Gate Bridge. We’d lay in bed almost every night and listen to the fog horns. Also they used to fire an old artillery piece over at the Presidio every morning when the flag was raised and every evening at taps when it came down. Great old memories. I loved it there. It was a romantic time and a romantic place.

    From the emails floating around here I’d say that some of that writer’s clients work in my building.

  11. Kim said on November 15, 2010 at 10:58 am

    The only thing better than the term paper piece (and I can relate somewhat, having written papers on topics I knew nothing about for others in my dorm)is the slew of comments. Quod erat demonstrandum, right?

  12. Connie said on November 15, 2010 at 11:26 am

    As a child I could hear the Holland Lighthouse fog horn on foggy nights, and always found it very comforting.

  13. brian stouder said on November 15, 2010 at 11:53 am

    I remember hearing the horn they used to blow every day at Fruehauf Trailer, kind of a gentle rise/fall/rise/fade sound. It WAS comforting, just as a bit of daily (morning and evening, if I recall correctly) normalcy. I wonder if any factories still do that, anymore. As for Albom, I think Nance feels compelled to look in on him every so often, for professional reasons (much as an Olympic wrestler might look in on a WWF broadcast, and think “Is THIS my profession?”) Anyway, I haven’t been pressed into concert duty since Chloe outgrew the Doodlebops (I thought DeeDee Doodlbop was sort of hot, when we caught their stage show in Indy some years ago!); in fact it’s the other way around for now, with me dragging them off to this or that lecture* or schoolboard meeting.

    But, that is sure to change.

    *and speaking of lectures, Andrew Ross Sorkin indirectly touched this issue of fluffy books when he was speaking about the contract he got for Too Big to Fail. It surprised me how focused the publisher and his agent apparently were with word-count. One can understand that word-count would be a useful metric (amongst others); but the impression I got was that word-count is much, much more important than other metrics

  14. Sue said on November 15, 2010 at 11:54 am

    The potential for a sports-related broom injury is scary, but picture 6 is scarier still.
    http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-518781?hpt=C2
    edit: oops, broom-related sports injury. Or I suppose it could be either.

  15. LAMary said on November 15, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    If Mitch and Bob spent Thanksgiving together it would be like the horrible episode of Star Trek where Frank Gorshin has a face that’s half white and half black, and he’s chasing his enemy, who is …himself! But whose face is half black and half white. I think they kill each other when they finally meet. The episode is memorable for the fake running done by Frank Gorshin heading directly into the camera.
    And Mitch, they all hate you and that’s why they aren’t coming. Four days? Ugh. They can’t get a dog sitter?
    Face facts, Mitch. You’re a douchebag.

  16. Suzanne said on November 15, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    I remember when my son wanted to go to his first ever rock concert in a nearby city, but had trouble finding anyone to go with him. Why? They were all going with their parents! “No!” I told him, in no uncertain terms, “I will not attend a rock concert with you. Rock is about angst, and protest, and yes, sticking it the man, and is not something to be done with one’s parents!” Ugh. The friend he eventually went with even had a car, so I didn’t have to drop them off and try to find a way to kill several hours.

  17. nancy said on November 15, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    What makes the Albom column doubly amusing — and which I should have mentioned in the main post — is that it’s the second year, or the second time in three years, that he’s written this same column. He also wrote one last December, saying the holidays just weren’t so much fun for him anymore, and one brave reader actually spoke up and told him why: Because you don’t have children, dummy. Which is not to say the childless are incapable of enjoying the holidays, only that you can’t complain that the family’s less cohesive and the presents aren’t fun to open and the rituals feel emptier when you’re not sustaining the family in any way other than providing a big house for it to happen in. Nieces and nephews grow up and develop interests outside of humoring Uncle Mitch. If you want a rip-roaring Hannukah or Christmas, you have to have some little kids in the mix. (Either that or a lot of alcohol.)

  18. Sue said on November 15, 2010 at 12:23 pm

    Two thoughts on the Mitch column:
    Someone is laying a major and public guilt trip on various family members and friends. What a guy! I wouldn’t miss a get together at his house, that’s for sure.
    Let’s see – Wednesday meal, Thursday meal, Friday meal, one day off on Saturday for the “restaurant meal”, Sunday meal, all written about with great affection for a revered family tradition. Someone is not doing the cooking.

  19. Deborah said on November 15, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    Nora Ephron has been a favorite of mine since she wrote Crazy Salad, back in the 70s. In that book she wrote a piece about a journalist in Dallas who was very close to the action when Lee Harvey Oswald shot Kennedy, but not close enough, he missed all of the major action by a couple of seconds at each step throughout the whole episode. The journalist’s name was Jim Ewell and we went to the same church when I lived briefly in Dallas. So that’s my six degrees of separation from Nora story. I loved the neck book. I think I’m slightly younger than Nora, but she looks like a million bucks. If she’s had work, it’s been done well.

  20. Deborah said on November 15, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    Sorry, I just peed italics all over that comment. What did I do wrong?

    on edit: What am I continuing to do wrong? I can’t make it stop!

  21. coozledad said on November 15, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    Done it many times myself. I have no idea how to stop it.

  22. Rana said on November 15, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    Kim, I’m glad that I’m not the only one struck by the quality of the comments on that Chronicle piece. I would think that if one were to opine on the state of education today, especially when touting one’s high standards and pointing to the failings of others, you’d take the time to check for grammar, misspellings, and typos before hitting submit.

    But then, the Chronicle has long been a bastion of articles that simultaneously lament the decline of academia and provide a platform for the preening of one’s own feathers. My colleagues on the adjunct circuit and I call this “Chronicleland” – a world in which academic success is determined entirely by merit, even though the writing, behavior, and experiences of the inhabitants provide a wealth of evidence to the contrary.

    What’s entertaining (if also disturbing) about this one is that the flaunting of skills is being done at the expense of those who’ve been sitting comfortably, assured of their own perfection, when in fact they’ve been (apparently) repeatedly fooled by a guy who doesn’t even have a master’s.

    What’s sad is that the students he describes (especially the incompetent ones) are all too familiar. It’s incredibly discouraging realizing that one can’t even teach the basics of one’s subject because the students are incapable of reading even a dumbed-down textbook, let alone formulating and expressing their own thoughts on the material. It is genuinely horrifying.

  23. brian stouder said on November 15, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!

  24. Sue said on November 15, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    ‘I can’t make it stop!’
    Happens to all of us as we get older, Deborah, even if we’ve religiously done our Kegels.

  25. Rana said on November 15, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    Deborah – look for an italics code that’s missing a / before the closing i. It’s probably right after Crazy Salad.

  26. Sue said on November 15, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    Hmmm, I didn’t attempt italics in my comments. Is JC making mischief?

  27. Rana said on November 15, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    Sue, I am laughing at that comment!

    (The culprit seems to be Deb this time.)

  28. Sue said on November 15, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    Laughing makes it worse, Rana, sorry to say.

  29. Dorothy said on November 15, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    Oooh I am nothing if not a bandwagon jumper!!!

  30. Dave said on November 15, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    Ah, Dorothy, you beat me, I was wanting to jump on the bandwagon, too.

    Ah! Make it stop!

  31. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 15, 2010 at 1:30 pm

  32. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 15, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    Now, did that work?

    Nope. Hmm. What about Example

    Did that do it? Nope.

    Time for an actual expert to weigh in . . .

  33. Rana said on November 15, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    Alas, putting the end tag in our posts doesn’t seem to work.

    Unless Deborah used the em tag? Or style? Hmm. Let’s see…

    Yes? No?

    Nope.

  34. Jim Neill said on November 15, 2010 at 1:36 pm

    Deborah,

    It appears that after Crazy Salad, you have an i / within the brackets, rather than /i

  35. Rana said on November 15, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    Also alas, I think at this point only Nancy can edit that comment.

    Nancy, halp!

  36. brian stouder said on November 15, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    mom is gonna have a fit!!

  37. Crabby said on November 15, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    opps

  38. Julie Robinson said on November 15, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    *laughing so hard I’m having trouble not really peeing*

  39. Julie Robinson said on November 15, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    or should that be “literally” peeing?

  40. jcburns said on November 15, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    Italics are a privilege, not a right! Uh, I edited the errant close tag. Crazy Salad, indeed.

  41. Rana said on November 15, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    *laughing*

  42. MaryRC said on November 15, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    I still have one of Nora Ephron’s earliest collection of essays (Scribble, Scribble) and I fondly remember Wallflower at the Orgy as well. She was a pistol. I think her decline started when she began writing movie screenplays. How could the writer of something as sappy as You’ve Got Mail be the same person who wrote those early essays?

    Remember how much Carl Bernstein pouted over Heartburn? He actually went to court to try to stop the movie and publicly gloated when it didn’t go boffo at the boxoffice, as though that vindicated him. I must say though, boxoffice success or not, Nora scored a vicarious victory for every wife with dreams of revenge.

  43. nancy said on November 15, 2010 at 3:04 pm

    Good lord, people, I try to have ONE quiet lunch with grown-ups, and what happens?

    I can’t leave you alone, can I? Don’t make me stop this car.

  44. Dexter said on November 15, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    Last week I was listening to a radio show on XM, and an intern and another college student were arguing as to whether it was really even cheating to have papers done for students by these people who make a living from it.
    One student said yes it is cheating but he was going to get over any way he could and he didn’t have a moral problem with it, while the other student said it was not cheating because “everybody does it”.
    One student said college is just about graduating and the other said it was about enriching his life and experiencing everything he possibly could before the real world sucked him in.
    Now, I can see both their points.

    I was surprised to learn a long time ago that pro basketballers smoked cigarettes, too. The last one I heard about was Nate Thurmond . Up until the 1970s NBA players routinely would smoke cigarettes at halftime. I bet 3 /4 of baseball players smoked. I remember seeing Yogi Berra standing in the dugout puffing away, and this was 1973 when he managed the NY Mets. The most famous photo of a smoking ballplayer was of Dick Allen in 1972.
    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_R2yHiPgsajA/Sh8dndM-QfI/AAAAAAAABe4/ewcTUrQoG-0/s400/dick+allen+smoking+in+the+dugout.jpg

  45. nancy said on November 15, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    The smoking athlete I best remember is Lee Trevino. I have an image in my head of him squatting down to line up a putt, butt hanging from his lip. It cemented my prejudice that golf isn’t a sport but a game, but your opinion may well vary.

  46. Dexter said on November 15, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    Coffee was big in locker rooms too 35 years ago. I read on a blog a while back that quoted John Madden reminiscing about his players lighting up and guzzling coffee at half time. I heard of a few hockey players who smoked too.
    Just last week I read a story on Eric Mangini , coach of the Browns, how he had dieted and lost weight and had conquered his chaw addiction, then Sunday I saw him with his big cheek crammed full of tobacco.
    When I played on a touring team in the late sixties we were HQ’d in a cheap hotel in Winston-Salem, NC right beside the RJR cigarette factory (now all gone) and we could waltz in and get free smokes any time … hell, even Fred Flintstone smoked on TV…Lucy and Ricky too. It’s all on YouTube.
    I was surprised anybody thought it was odd that players drank locker room coffee, though. Joltin’ Joe DiMaggio constantly was drinking his half-cups of coffee ..”it never gets cold that way” he said.

  47. Casey said on November 15, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    I didn’t know cheating on papers was that common and a career choice. Don’t know who Bob Green is either. Maybe I should hire that shadow writer to write my comments here so I appear smart…? Nah, couldn’t fool you lot.

  48. bobolink said on November 15, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    I have a kid who is incensed at the widespread and blatent cheating at her high school. Once, she got her courage up to tell a teacher she really respected that while a sub administered the test, one kid had his book open on his desk! After rueing the sub’s inattention, the teach looked up the kid’s grade and wryly told my girl that the kid couldn’t cheat his way to a good grade!

    She’s thinking about writing her college application essay on the subject. I’m going to bookmark this article in case she does. I’m not sure it’s a great topic, though.

  49. paddyo' said on November 15, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    What struck me about Mr. Thanksgiving’s column, besides everything all of you have noted, is how presumptuous it would be — in my own experience, anyway — for everyone to go to the same house every year for Thanksgiving. In my family, at least, we have tended to spread it around — since Mom died (20 years ago) and Dad remarried and moved cross-country, anyway.

    Ahh, but then, Mr. Candied I-ams is a presumptuous sort, now, isn’t he?

  50. Chris in Iowa said on November 15, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    I’ve been busy today and haven’t time to read everyone’s comment. Forgive me if I’m repeating anyone else.

    I read the term-paper piece. It was interesting, but the damn thing is 3,400 words long. I wouldn’t hire him to write for me. As a favorite editor told me when I was a pup: For the love of God, get to the fucking point.

    Regarding the Albom column, why do I think his Thanksgivings in the past weren’t as bucolic as he would like us to believe?

  51. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 15, 2010 at 5:17 pm

    I wondered about the length. It has a bit of the scent of “paid by the word” to my freelancing nose.

  52. nancy said on November 15, 2010 at 5:19 pm

    The editor’s note said it was sold through a literary agent. I don’t think this was a pad-for-pay job.

  53. MichaelG said on November 15, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    He made a big point in the course of the piece about how he could stretch a few words to many. He was quite proud of it.

  54. Dexter said on November 15, 2010 at 5:49 pm

    Thanksgiving gets smaller every year.

    I guess it’s because the entire preceding generation are dead.

    Except our 96 year old aunt.

    She’s in a nursing home and can’t make it.

    She’s being honest, I am sure. She can’t walk anymore.

    The baked ham sighs. Or whatever it does. I guess it’s turkeys that sigh.

  55. LAMary said on November 15, 2010 at 7:45 pm

    Baked hams wheeze.

  56. del said on November 15, 2010 at 8:02 pm

    This morning I heard Nora Ephron interviewed on NPR by our former neighbor in the Park, Celeste Headlee. Promoting the book she was a bit “off.” After noting her age difference with Celeste she asked, “You’re how old, 40–?” Celeste replied tersely, “40.” Thud.

  57. moe99 said on November 15, 2010 at 8:10 pm

    I have to say reading your comments made the chemo pass that much faster today. Several times I laughed out loud then had to explain it to my friend, Anne, who was there with me. Thanks guys!

  58. Jolene said on November 15, 2010 at 9:11 pm

    The cheating article is depressing as hell, especially the cheating on the part of students seeking graduate and professional degrees and (gadzooks!) future teachers. If that’s how teachers earned their degrees, we shouldn’t be surprised that our kids are performing so poorly relative to kids in other countries.

    Guess I’m starting to sound like an old fart, but it seems like the idea of making an effort–of accepting a cost for the sake of a later or greater reward–is disappearing from the culture with consequences everywhere we look: school performance, fiscal policy, environmental degradation. Sad, really sad.

  59. alex said on November 15, 2010 at 9:35 pm

    Well, this is the blog that broke the news that being a plagiarist can be a fast track to stardom in the GOP. Is it any wonder when you read a piece like this one?

  60. brian stouder said on November 15, 2010 at 11:01 pm

    Well, more along the lines of creative inspiration (as opposed to plagerism), I occasionally click Nance’s “Detroitblog” link, and if you do the same, you’ll read a tremendous article (the most recent entry) about an old-time barber ensconced in an office building that also houses a uniform shop that the Detroit police utilizes…and just the other day a local Fort Wayne columnist ran a surprisingly similar artical about an old-time barber ensconced in the Fort Wayne National Bank Building (they can call it PNC tower if they want, but we know what to call that structure).

    In this case, there’s no “grey area”; it’s all good. Just thought it was worth noting

  61. Dexter said on November 16, 2010 at 12:36 am

    brianstouder: Barber stories seem to grip my attention. A long time ago I read a story about a barber in Continental, Ohio who was about a hundred years old then. I vowed to drive down there but never made it.
    I have many barber stories…I just shared three of them with my brother last week, but I’ll spare you the ribald details.
    I remember how scandalous we kids thought it was when we found out that a town barber sold rubbers. Years later we found out it was common for barbers to sell many items that kids had no business knowing about.
    My friend Don made me laugh one time. He liked to visit different barbers in search of the perfect haircut. Don is about 87 now and he still has a magnificent head of hair.
    Well, once he went to a small-town barber who was rumored to be a very good barber.
    When the haircut was completed, he was customarily spun around to look at himself in the big mirror and Don was horrified…this old barber had cut Don’s hair to resemble his own haircut, which was a very antiquated look.
    Don came to work with a hat on and I asked him what was up…and that barber had made Don look very much like Teddy Roosevelt…high on the sides…very strange haircut for 1980, when it happened. We both had a good laugh that day.

  62. brian stouder said on November 16, 2010 at 8:01 am

    Every time my father–in-law gets turned in the chair toward the big mirror and asked how he likes his haircut, he jibes his barber with “Well, if that’s the best you can do!”. Up ‘til recent years, there was a small barber shop in Royal Center, Indiana – a very nice place, two barber chairs, the big mirror on one wall, and rows and rows of framed photos of his customers on the other wall. Seemed like every farmer in the county must have gotten his haircuts there, and then had his photo snapped, smiling widely while sitting in the chair with the apron on; some while being shaved with one of those straight razors. Some of the photos had little round red stickers in the lower right-hand corner, and I asked Glenn the Barber one time how one earned one of those stickers, whereupon he told me that those fellows had passed away. (I never was the sharpest tool in the shed!) Glenn passed away, and that place no longer operates, but it DID make it into the Indianapolis Star at some point, a few years ago

  63. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 16, 2010 at 8:06 am

    “Don’t box it up for me, I’ll just wear it home.”

    #dadslineatbarbershop

  64. coozledad said on November 16, 2010 at 8:47 am

    Victor Bout extradited to US. Another foreign policy coup for the Obama administration. This guy worked for anybody: Charles Taylor, Al Quaeda,Pat Robertson- even Dick Cheney.
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20101116/ap_on_re_as/as_thailand_us_arms_suspect

  65. Dorothy said on November 16, 2010 at 9:21 am

    “Hey Dad, you got your hair cut!” (me or any of my siblings)

    “No, I just got my ears lowered.” (one of the two consistent responses we got to that statement. The other was “No, I got them all cut.”)