Beware the Old Bait-and Switch


Hmmmmm….so my grandaddy here always used to say you should never say anything in any forum that you wouldn’t want read aloud in the public square. I know I sure believed him. He knew a lot, that child of Irish immigrants born in Famine-time. He came into the world in the 1870s, raised himself up from poverty and went on to become a lawyer, a judge and the recipient of an Honorary Degree from Harvard.


He was also fun and he gave us kids Hershey Bars. My sister Nan and I got to live with him for all of our first decade on the planet. I actually imprinted on him and not just because we looked alike with our black curly hair. We also act alike, I see now that I’m grown: He was always giving uplifting talks for no money at all, at places like the Young Men’s Hebrew Association in Chelsea. I also give talks for no money at all. In fact every good thing I do I do for no money because come on, did Jesus charge admission to the Sermon on the Mount? No he did not. 


Mostly though, I know I’m like my grandfather because even on my blog, supposedly a much freer forum than a column I still can’t use bad language or say anything I wouldn’t say in front of a Fourth Grade class. I mean pop culture is tacky enough adn I’m freshly nauseated every time I come across the double-entendres in CBS’s Prime time Two-and-a Half Men for example; sickened by the way they have that child repeating phrases which in the storyline he is purported  not to know the meaning of – all so the audience can have that nice in-group feeling of actually getting the  – wink-wink, nudge-nudge naughty – references. It’s one thing if you’re a tired 40-year-old watching the show but you know very well it’s also millions and millions of Second Graders seeing it, and God that makes me mad. If there’s anything more shameful than using a child to sneak your dirty joke under the wire I don’t know what it is.  


So….are there any young’uns out there today? You kids on Facebook maybe? If so hear me now and you males especially: If you ever entertained the hope that associating with a woman was going to be like pulling into some big service station in the sky, well I’ve got news for you: That hope is all based on the ol’ Bait-and-Switch and it’s brought to you by people who are trying to sell you stuff: Sneakers and blue jeans. Music and push-up bras. It isn’t real in other words and sure I know there’s that whole pathetic world to whom it may SEEM real – pornography is a growth industry they say – but those are loser-men in the grip of an addiction and do you know what an addiction is? Look at the private life of Bill Clinton over the last 20 years and you tell ME if you think that’s a pretty picture.


Anyway all those images of panting women? they’re fake, kids; the women are acting. In the real world you’re going to be dealing with REAL women and let me tell you on the basis of l-o-o-n-g experience: whether they’re 12 or 112, women are interested in three things in their dealings with others: straight talk, mutuality, and respect. Whether they’re 12 or 112, women – and all the good men – and, praise God, a great many young people too – know that we’re all here to do three things: pick up after ourselves, live in a peaceful manner and bring along the little ones to do the same.


– and now here he is again, papa to my mother and to four other little ones too. coming home from work and happy to be home, in the quiet summer of 1905.