Three Naked Men

I’ve been feeding cats.

I know, you were hoping for a little porn on a sultry Sunday, but I will say, it was like having lunch with three hot, longshoremen, just with tails.

Buddy is the biggest…white and tan,   like a furry spectator pump, with paws the size of soup spoons.  You know what they say about a cat with big paws don’t you?

Then Smooch,   who, rumor has it, was Morris’s stand-in, likes to crawl on your lap sniffing your, well…he’s subtle about it, I’ll say that for him.

And last but certainly not least, we have little Plato      bringing up the rear not quite sure of his place at the table since Smooch thinks nothing of elbowing him, out of the way, stealing his share.

I had to have a stern talk with him about manners and letting the little guy go first, but he just went for my crotch again in protest.

I suppose one could think of worst things.

Men, they’re all the same.  Food, sex, chasing balls, just not neccessarily in that order.

For the first time ever, I’m actually being paid to cat-sit, a revelation in itself.  I walked Carmela the Bassett Hound, for a solid year, then Tallulah the Bishon, for another one, never for the money.  There’s such a grace showing up for an animal who shows up for you, their affection front and center, perpetually purring on your behalf.

I brought a book over called, The Library Lion, to read to them.  I know, Susannah, have you been drinking?

No, but I will say, they all sat in a row as if in a masterclass, blinking in all the right places, like when Library Lion naps in the stacks before helping the librarian restock, happy to just be in service.

What did you say Smooch? Reading really works up an appetite? Okay, I’ll tell you what…I’ll open one more can before I leave, and no, I don’t want to fool around.




Posted in animals, Books, food, friendship, humor, men, New York City, readng, words, writing | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Boobs, Babies and Tattoos

I spent the day working in Williamsburg, Brooklyn in what seemed like an animated cartoon strip.

Everywhere you looked, there were pregnant women about to deliver, endowed with breasts of massive proportions, plastered with tats, as they call tattoos down on 8th Street.

And I’m not referring to a demure rose or butterfly gracing a shoulder. I’m talking Archie Comics gleaming in the August sun.

And these women were young and saucy, strutting along Bedford Avenue, Williamsburg’s main drag, with attitude to spare.

I couldn’t help admiring them for a bevy of reasons, especially all that cleavage leading the way.  I’d need a roll of gaffer’s tape, the big size, to pull that off.

And their men either doting on their every need, or carrying a newborn in a sling draped across their mutually stenciled chests, while Mom bounced along, were very sexy in their papa-hood, making me think of cavemen of yore.

One couple, in particular, pulled out my pen.  A girl, in her 20s, built like a Botero painting ….robustly round, but solid as its canvass, her man, tall and gangly with legs the length of a ladder loping alongside carrying recycled totes filled with groceries.  One said…I’m A Brooklyn Baby, another, I Speak Brooklynese.

She had a rose-colored tattoo of a string of pearls perfectly painted around her neck, catching my Connecticut eye. Hmm, I thought, it would be as if you never had to unclip that choker, pearled into eternity, since that’s the thing about tattoos, they’re a commitment.  It’s not as if you can take one off like a pair of pants you bought when you were drunk.

And that laser business fades, at best.  Just ask Johnny Depp whose Winona could only be reduced to Wino.

As far as the buffet of breasts the size of Crenshaw Melons winking from those tank-tops    and sundresses, do you think it’s the water?

Excuse me while I find some empty bottles and hop a train.



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All That Is Golden

I just came back from paying a shiva call for Atticus Goldring, the 14 year-old Golden Retriever, Mattie and Roy, my former neighbors, lost over the weekend.

Atti was riddled with arthritis, barely able to walk, so they took him in on Saturday to that big, vast park in the sky.

It’s where I met him, years ago, when I found him off his leash eating remnants of a tuna sandwich in the midst of the Great Lawn.

I remember Mattie running up the hill yelling at him like he was her son, and of course he was, just with a tail and two extra feet.

We sat side by side, on the sofa, telling teary tales about Atticus’s chronic antics, surrounded by pictures of him, in his Halloween costumes when he was the Phantom of the Opera and Deputy Dog.  Mustn’t forget the time Roy dressed him up as Miles Davis, his favorite musician, in a turtleneck and beret.  Did Miles ever even wear a beret?  I remember asking.  Roy answering, he wasn’t sure, but Atticus could carry it off either way.

How they loved him, and as we all know, when an animal departs, so do our hearts, losing a comrade who never left or judged, always there to comfort and keep us company.

Mattie kept saying, “Oh, did we do the right thing?  Should we have waited a little longer?”

Evidently Atti had rallied a bit, seeming better, though it happened before…that optical illusion of wellness that’s oh so fleeting in its hopeful light.

It reminded me of something my old vet had said to me, when I took my beloved cat, Inky, in feeling, it was time to let her go, but she too, had a moment of comeback, causing me to pause thinking, she’d somehow be okay again.

And Gerry Johnson, in his sweet, calming voice said, “Wouldn’t you like to go out when you were feeling a little better, a little less pained and confused?  Don’t you wish someone could do that for you?”

When I said this to the Goldrings they seemed relieved as they tenderly held Atti’s collar, while passing around tuna on Ritz Crackers.

“It was Atticus’s favorite snack,” Roy said. “Our Atti…he just so loved his tuna.”  


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Charlottesville, Virginia August 12, 2017

When General George Edward Pickett (1825-1875)  led his doomed division in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, July 3, 1865 on the last day of this famous battle famously known as Pickett’s Charge, mounted majestically on his horse, he hollered…

Up men to your posts! Don’t forget today that you are from old Virginia…

before the bulk of them were systemically slaughtered by the union army…like ducks in a barrel, one northern soldier allegedly said.

The American Civil War (1861-1865) was a watershed in our history.  Brother to brother, armed against the other for what they all believed to be true.

When the south took up arms against the north, they truly felt they were in the right, protecting their way of life as they’ve lived and known it, slavery being a huge part of that way. It was certainly wrong, but all they knew.

Their forefathers, George Washington, James Madison and Thomas Jefferson who lived, died and is buried in their very own town of Charlottesville, all had slaves.

When the south surrendered to Lt. General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox on April 9, 1865,  it was only because their noble leader, General Robert E. Lee, who already lost half his army to starvation and disease, couldn’t bear to see the remainder of it suffer any longer…these brave, young men who loved the verdant lands of Virginia, with a passion only a vintage southerner would understand.

When Abraham Lincoln offered Lee, to head the entire Union Army, Lee humbly said no, because he could never take up arms against his beloved state.

Jefferson Davis from Mississippi, left Congress to be the leader of The Confederacy, because he too couldn’t turn his back on the land he so loved.

The protest in Virginia that’s left one person dead, is all about southern pride.  The statues of southern Civil War icons being arbitrarily pulled down…Davis’s in Texas, Lee’s, in New Orleans, in my humble opinion, should have been left alone.

Davis, Lee, even Jackson, were heroes of their time only doing what they believed to be right.

We have, as a country, so many more important matters on our table, statues of men that, whether right or wrong, and who’s to judge anyway, that still inspire, should be left standing.

What do they inspire?

Courage, love of country, because that’s how the south felt about their old Virginia, it was much more than just a state…standing up for one’s beliefs, passing it on to their children.

What is wrong with us?

Where’s the compassion?

We need to read our history, it’s all there, because as they say…

history repeats itself.  





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Panic On Second Avenue

I lost my phone.


You would have thought it was my mind, and it was, for 15 minutes.

Where were you…retrace your steps, and as you travel backwards, look down in case it’s lying on the sidewalk like a wounded animal.

The irony is, I’m not a phonaholic by any means, like the rest of the universe propelled forward by its every command.  Yet the thought of it missing left me naked and trembling, in front of a Baby Gap store.

I ran to Toys R Us where I had just bought a blue, stuffed elephant for my bed, I named Ike.  The two little Latino girls who sold it to me, were so upset while searching through the dogs and cats, offering to call my number, knowing they’d only get a voicemail the way I have it set up for my hearing needs…or lack of.

When it wasn’t among the animals, I flew to the gourmet store hoping it was with the tomatoes I fondled earlier, deciding whether I wanted Beefsteak or Cherry.

Harry the grocer said, he didn’t see me on my phone, so how could it have been left if I didn’t use it while I was there?

I suddenly saw myself at Apple waiting in line to buy another when the one missing isn’t even paid for yet.  I have to have an iPhone because it hooks up to Max and Min, my trusty hearing aids that I need, in order to hear over the phone.

I felt my panic rise when the tomatoes knew nothing, recommending I consult the Bell peppers, see if they know anything.

Now what?

I guess I’ll just sit on this orange crate and cry, that’s what I’ll do…then berate myself for being so dotty and distracted.  I’m tired from a job I did knowing full well, extreme fatigue means, paying more attention as if you were moving through fog.

“Are you hungry,” asked Brian the deli man, offering to stovetop a little linguine, just for me.

Food, that’s supposed to fix everything, even the loss of an object you wish you didn’t come to rely on, oh so much.

After declining pasta in a bright red bowl, I went home to get my AMEX before proceeding to the Apple Store.

I took my bag I had rifled through 6 times and shook it good and hard, watching its contents spill every which way, and there, in the little front pocket I never use, my phone came tumbling out, never remembering putting it there.

I called Harry, Brian and the stuffed animal girls to tell them, now wishing, when offered, took that linguine, to-go, since all that hysteria made me rather hungry.

Ike and I, then sat on the couch counting our blessings, promising to do better, the next time.

“Don’t worry Susannah,” Ike said, ”l’ll remind you.  Remember, an elephant never forgets.”






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Looking For Mr. Snickers Bar

Someone asked me, whats the most important quality I require in a man.

A sense of humor, I said, without pause.

Have you ever been with a guy, or girl for that matter, who hasn’t had one?

Oh my.  It’s like a bad joke, no pun intended.

I say frequently, if I didn’t have a sense of humor, I would have checked out long ago for that big 5-Star hotel in the sky, since it’s what keeps me sane.

Sexy, smart, rich…all that is great, but without laughs, you’re better off with a blow-up doll you can deflate and shove in the closet.

Life is tough enough without having to explain your punchlines.

If I had a choice between a hot, well-heeled man who took himself too seriously, and say a plumber, or cop who giggled into the night, well…hands up against the wall, there baby.





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Restraining Order

I never knew how much restraint I had until spontaneously, inviting a woman I know over for tea.

She’s my age, a wife and mother, raised by decent parents with probably fewer vices than mine, yet her manners rival an otter’s who might even have hers beat.   

That said…

I am extremely neat, a fact often brought to my attention.

The reason for this is, your environment is the one thing you can control.  Everything else in your life is a crap shoot, but a nice, orderly home is up to you.

Trish, I’ll call her, has tons of money, owning a very expensive apartment that needs a dramatic overhaul.  She’s been interviewing contractors, never meeting her approval, for a decade, while the walls come tumbling down.  Let’s just say, bunkers have more appeal.

I have a fraction of what she has, but you still walk in here thinking an Astor is in residence, just one with a few quirks.

It’s not hard to have a charming place.  Most of my things come from thrift stores but, yes…I do have an eye, inherited from my mother who could have taken a slum and got it into House and Garden Magazine.

But I’m digressing.

Trish, the little darling, didn’t stop criticizing my place till she left, making it the longest cup of tea in history.


This seemed to mystify her like I was the Harry Houdini of homemakers.  I do have several closets, she opened without asking, making chirping noises at my neatly arranged shelves.

Then she went on about my many horse prints gracing the walls.  She owns a Warhol  that the way it’s framed on her crumbling bedroom wall, looks as if she won it in a poker game, where my posters, all from, are framed as if they could hang at the Met.

I never brag over anything, so as she systematically tore my house to shreds, I said nothing, allowing her to feel better about her own shabby shambles by not picking up the rope, as they say…in other words, not engaging, though my blood was about to burst through every artery.

BUT…as she was FINALLY leaving, taking one last potshot at my beloved umbrella stand, that did it.

“I keep mine in the closet…why must you exhibit them this way Susannah…I mean really…don’t you think it’s a bit much?”

“Actually Trish, I was thinking of getting an even bigger one so I can make more of an impression when someone like you, who could use a few pointers, comes to visit.  Would you like me to come over and help you organize? I could get rid of so much of that JUNK, you have…and recommend my framer for that one UGLY painting you own.”

As I was speaking I led her into the hall before calmly, shutting the door.

I have restraint alright, just with a few umbrellas.    


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First Family History

I picked up a book called, First Families (2005), by Bonnie Angelo, that’s filled with fascinating facts of the men, along with their wives and children, who’ve lived at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.   

I loved knowing Teddy Roosevelt, my favorite president, coined the name, The White House formerly called, The President’s House after inscribing it on his personal stationary while his successor, William Howard Taft, created the Oval Office.

Teddy then added the West Wing, since his family of 8 was bursting at the seams, and built the first White House tennis courts after bullying a stingy Congress to pay for them…an evangelist of exercise, Angelo called him, and he was, running and boxing with his four boys across the South Lawn.

Harry Truman fast walked daily (in loafers), while Eisenhower, an avid golfer, left  cleat marks on the parquet floor of the Oval Office that are still there, and had squirrels relocated to Rock Creek Park who buried nuts on his pristine putting green.

Then we have White House pets. The Clinton’s cat Socks, and dog Buddy, receiving more than 35 thousand letters and emails. 

The Coolidge family’s raccoon, Rebecca, who had the run of the house.  Caroline Kennedy’s pony, Macaroni, making daily visits to the Oval, and Laura Bush’s Barney, a Scottish terrier she called, the son she never had. 

Mustn’t forget FDR’s beloved Fala, another Scottish terrier, he was rarely without,     who’s buried near him in the rose garden beneath the sundial at Springwood in Hyde Park.

But my favorite pet tale is when Quentin Roosevelt, Teddy’s youngest, decided when his brother Archie was in bed with measles, to bring Algonquin, his pony, to visit,     squeezing him into the White House elevator thinking he would surely cheer Archie up, a wild success.  

Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt entertained 323 houseguests in one year, having to absorb the cost since, you’re charged for every unofficial meal (something that threw Nancy Reagan) as well as being responsible for your dry cleaning bill along with buying one’s own toothpaste.

In other words, presidential occupancy isn’t totally funded by our tax dollars.

I’d have loved to have seen the Kennedy’s dry cleaning bill since JFK changed suits three to four times a day, and Jackie as we know, was a fashion femme fatale.

I’ll bet it was worth framing.  

Taft, weighing in at 332 pounds,  had a special bathtub made since he allegedly got stuck in the old one.  It was huge, large enough to hold four working men sitting down. Poor Will, who behind his wife, Nellie’s, back snuck desserts like a naughty boy, who would then toss out the very first baseball.

Julia, U.S. Grant’s Missus, tried her best to stay in their home very close by only using the executive mansion for state affairs, but Congress said NO…all First Families live at the President’s House, that she eventually grew to love saying, the eight years they lived there were her happiest.

Ida McKinley hung horseshoes in her bedroom for luck.

Mary Todd Lincoln held seances in the Red Room hoping to contact her two dead sons.

Nancy Reagan also had them, but wasn’t considered as nuts as Mary. A matter of opinion.

I could go on and on.

LBJ’s special pulsating shower Nixon angrily pulled out, along with the famous White House swimming pool JFK had his midday erotic romps in.  When I read it  was actually built for FDR with money raised by school children, it made me mad, growling at Richard Nixon, or Dick, which seems more apt, for razing history before raising eyebrows over Watergate.

Bonnie Angelo wrote, The White House, enduring such change, has good bones.

I’ll say.

History’s really something, isn’t it?


Posted in animals, Books, Family, Fashion, food, History, Home, humor, kids, media, parents, Politics, readng, writing | Tagged , , , | 11 Comments

Une Toilette

Why does everything sound so much better in French?

My day didn’t start off too well, my toilet, for no apparent reason refusing to flush.

Now it wasn’t as if a Marine slept over, so it was just being old and moody.

My building was built in 1936, which compared to my old one standing since 1899, is a youngster, just with issues since it always has a problem.

Last week the shower wouldn’t go on.  The week before, a window kept blowing open.

My old place was tough in comparison, a cross between a Tyrannosaurus rex, and Rocky, deserving a medal for endurance.

So there I am, in a rush to leave, anal me, pun intended, unable to deal with it later.  So I creep into the basement to borrow the super’s special plunger his uncle Ray gave him when he graduated from Super School, for lack of a better term, hoping he wouldn’t catch me.

For him, it’s like borrowing his comb.

So, in my Lily Pulitzer vintage shift and amethyst choker, I took the plunge, water spraying, me cursing.

And it still wouldn’t budge.

So I sat on the floor and we, a bit one-sided, had a chat.

“Listen, I need to go…to work, to go to work, and will have a much better day if we could clear this up before I leave.  I know it’s hot and muggy, and you’re probably tired of your job, but could you please behave…please?”

Yeah I know, Susannah, do you have your shrink on speed-dial by any chance?

I then asked her…oh, it has to be a her, come on, only a woman would be this stubborn…if she’d like a little Lemon Pine Sol, to freshen up a bit.

And whaddya know, after a few good capfuls, she was running like the Super Chief.

Like I’ve always say, inanimate objects have feelings too.

Confessions, of a wacky Thingirl.   



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Cab This

A mother and her teenage daughter are on my corner having an argument.

The kid wants to take a taxi, and mom the bus.

Mind you, they look very affluent in blazers and fancy jeans, but the mother is adamant about taking public transportation.

I linger to listen.

Mother:  There is nothing wrong with taking the bus young lady.  You need to start being more mindful about money.”

I totally agree since it’s 4 bucks just to open the fucking taxi door.

Kid: You mean like you, who just dropped 600 bucks at Bergdorfs?”

Mother: That’s got nothing to do with it, and watch your mouth.”

“Kid: I’ll pay.”

Mother: “With what.  You told me you already spent your allowance.”

Kid:  “I have my Visa card.”

Mother: “That your father pays, so no, we are taking the bus.”

The kid is beside herself.  If it were my mother, after one word, she would have gotten a good smack then left on the corner, without her Visa.

So she pulls out her trump card and cries.

The mother relents jumping in a taxi.

I go home and write this.

Alright, it’s not exactly Moby Dick, but it happened.


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