Monthly Archives: April 2011


The “Do Not Ask Me or Tell Me” List

by Michael Cohen
aka Mucho Groucho

A few years back Congress passed a “do not call” list bill, outlawing the constant harassing sales calls that interrupted our lives at the absolute most inconvenient times possible, which for me is the period of 6 or 7 hours of napping I do during the day, every day before I go to sleep for the night.

I am proposing another list I would like to see implemented called: the “don’t ask me, don’t tell me” list which will prevent customer service reps and other agents of torture from engaging in the corporate language they use when dealing with us on a daily basis. If they interrogated the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, using that same antiseptic, robotic, blood curdling language, we would have won the war against terror years ago.

Cable Television Agent to Prisoner
Guantanamo Bay, Cuba:

“We can offer you our Triple Pay package for $99.00 a month and I will read you the terms that should only take about 20 minutes or so, or perhaps you would like to tell me when the next terror attack is scheduled to take place or where Osama Bin Laden is hiding? Ok. As you wish. This is a two year contract commencing…..”

This “do not ask or tell me” list is not limited to the telephone. For instance it also applies to the 17 year old gum chewing, friend texting grocery cashier who “axes” me if I would like a bag for the 30 items I just bought.

“No, I think I will juggle them while riding my unicycle home. Can you just toss me that can of tuna when I tell you…? Ok…..NOW!!”

This is my list. Feel free to add to it according to your own pet peeves, neurosis, quirks and idiosyncrasies.

After waiting on hold, and then speaking to 3 different people who ask for the same exact information that I entered on my “telephone keypad” a half hour ago, I am told by my Insurance Company agent that I am not covered for that unaffordable, life saving drug I need. I have the option of either paying out of pocket or dying. This is followed with:

1 – “Is there anything else I can help you with?”

“No, I think the prospect of an early death is quite enough for now but can I get your extension just in case because you have been so helpful. What’s your name again? Barbara? Barbara, are you by any chance wearing a long black robe and carrying a reaper’s sickle in your right hand?”

Then they have the nerve to ask:

2 – “Would like to take part in a survey regarding your satisfaction?”

“Yes, I would like to take the survey but I want it to be given by the CEO of your company and there may be some really foul language involved. Can you transfer me to the f-er now?”

3 – “Would you mind holding?”

“Yes, I mind holding. I would like you to bring the phone with you every where you go while trying to get an answer for me and just keep me on the line. I want to hear EVERYTHING that is said and you should know that your call may be recorded for “quality assurance” or training purposes or as Exhibit A when I take you to court.

Last month I didn’t realize there was an actual time of day deadline indicated on my credit card bill on the day the payment was due by. It was 5pm. To me, the day ends at 11:59:59 so at 11:00 PM I felt that I had plenty of time and I made my payment online. Then when I got my bill, I saw that I received a $50 late fee. I was 7 hours late according to their clock; I had a whole 59 minutes and 59 seconds according to mine. When I called this is what the agent told me:

4- “I waived the late fee as a one time courtesy………”

I answered in Brooklynese:

“Oh yeah? How about if I wave my FIST by your FACE
as a one time courtesy warning?!!”

Asked by every hairstylist that ever gave me a $20 hair cut”

5 – “Would you like me to trim the hair off your ears?”

“No, no!! Please don’t!! I am letting it grow out the way my Uncle Stanley’s ear hair did when he was 80 years old. I am also letting the fungus between my toes cultivate because I want to see if any tiny mushrooms might pop out. It’s an experiment.”

And back to the corporate world, the famously ridiculous:

6 – “Would you like to subscribe to our newsletter?”

“No thank you. I learned everything I needed to learn about your company when you denied me coverage for the unaffordable drug that could have saved my life. I won’t be receiving emails in Heaven but I will be petitioning God to strike your CEO with an attack of a pre-existing condition he won’t forget!!”


Platypus – A Poem

by Michael Cohen aka Mucho Groucho

Today a Platypus escaped from the zoo
he waddled to the park, I waddled there too.

There at the roots under a towering willow
I lay my head on a Platypus pillow.

When I awoke and saw him there
I begged his forgiveness for my boorish stare

He said:

“I know what you’re thinking: ‘is he mammal or bird”
I said: “your a bammal!”
he said: “That’s absurd!”

He sighed a sullen sigh at his unfortunate fate
then he offered me a taste of the shrimp that he ate.

As we shared our meal I pondered with zeal
What did God think?
Did he sneeze? Did he blink?

I patted his head and my heart also ached
for this kindred spirit, a cosmic mistake.

When the zookeeper found us and they were bound for the zoo
I said: “be brave my friend” I am a platypus too!


Nun Stuck in Elevator for 4 Days

According to CNN an 85 year old nun was trapped in a Baltimore elevator for 4 nights and 3 days. She survived by eating some celery sticks and by drinking what little water she happened to have on her person.

Sister Margaret Geary was in good spirits as she was quoted as saying: “It could have been worse. I could have been stuck on a moving escalator for 4 days!”

Coincidentally a Catholic Priest who read the story tried taking the same elevator with a 15 year old boy he was mentoring but the elevator mechanics arrived on the scene too soon leaving the Priest despondent and the boy shaken. Representatives at the Vatican refuse to comment.


Lindsay Lohan Predicts Future Oscar

According to CNN, Lindsay Lohan appeared on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno admitting that she made “some mistakes” and vowed that she would return to the show one day with an Oscar!

She went on to say that if she didn’t win one, she would just steal one from someone who did. Recent Oscar winner Natalie Portman is said to be terrified and has hers under lock and key in the safe deposit box of an undisclosed Hollywood bank. Wynona Ryder is also said to have expressed interest in Portman’s statue.


Rare Asian Unicorn Found!

According to several news outlets, a rare, seldom seen “Asian Unicorn” was spotted recently in the Annamite Mountain region bordering Vietnam and Laos.

Apparently the pre-fix “Uni” has a different meaning in the Asian world. We are pretty sure the bicycles in that region have 3 wheels, quadrangles found there have 5 sides, and recently quintuplets were born to a family in the village and all six new borns survived and are said to be doing well.


Disneyland Coming to China

According to the Associated Press ground breaking has begun on a new Disney theme park slated to open in China in 2016.

Our sources tell us to expect some dramatic changes to Disney staples however. To the question: “Who’s the leader of the club that’s made for you and me?”
The lyric answer will now be sung as: “Chairman of the Communist P-a-r-t-y”.

Snow White will only be allotted one dwarf instead of seven to discourage polygamy among China’s height challenged population.

The genie of Aladdin’s lamp will be allowed to grant only one wish and that will go to the Communist Party Chairperson Hu Jintao, Hu is expected to ask to meet Lindsey Lohan.

None of the main Disney characters: Mickey, Minnie, Pluto or Goofy will be allowed to leave the country until the debt owed by America to China, over a Trillion Dollars is repaid and in the event that the amount is not repaid by 2016, Donald will then be known as “Donald Roasted Duck” will be served to his excellency in a banquet honoring his birthday”.


Accelerating the Apocalypse

Mucho Groucho

"news- apocalypse"

There is chaos on the world stage like never before. Endless wars, tyrants stockpiling nuclear weapons like little boys collecting stamps. There are unprecedented natural disasters happening: birds falling from the air by the millions, fish forgetting how to swim and drowning in the open sea. We have role models like “Snooki” and Kim Kardashian for our kids to emulate, not to mention the dismal run of the NY Knicks basketball team. Spike Lee doesn’t even show up for the games anymore. This is the end my friend.

For people like me, the disenfranchised, disappointed, disenchanted, disillusioned and just plain “dissed” I have come to expect, accept and even anticipate the apocalypse. Let’s get it over with already. Why delay? Maybe we can even try to speed things up. Personally I am going to vote for Donald Trump if he runs for president to help make this happen quicker, and I urge you all to do the same. I am hoping his running mate will be Sarah Palin. That will really put an end to things quickly. Let them just be honest about their platform: “yes, we are trying to bring about the end of the world to just get it over with already.”

There is a lot of talk on who the anti-Christ is or will be. Some people think it’s Obama (he’s way too wimpy and confused), George Soros, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh (now that would be a shock, huh?) for many years I was convinced it was Andy Rooney of 60 Minutes.

These days I believe the anti-Christ is Stephan Hawking that brainiac physicist who may seem mild-mannered and nerdy but in 2012 (depending on how you interpret the Mayan calendar) he is going to pull out the nuclear ray gun he has been working on for 30 years, and while rising from that wheelchair of his, and with a voice that sounds like a cross between that of Arnold Schwarzenegger and roaring thunder he will point the ray gun at us, announce himself as God and say: “stick ‘em up!!” Of course he is not God but most people in Utah will believe him and some Scientologists. The rest of us will know him for who he really is: anti-Christ Hawking.

I never DID trust the guy but with all the political correctness police surrounding us at every given moment, it is nearly impossible to criticize or accuse any disabled member of society especially one who speaks with a digital voice-box like the damaged GPS device I use in my car.

But Hawking will not work alone. I suspect every geek I come upon. Every spectacle wearing techie that concludes our brief conversations with their code phrase: “have a nice day” is suspect and I have been taking names. Bill Gates is like number 2 on my list. What if there are anti-Christ tag teams out there? Actually there is mention of a false prophet who will also wreak havoc in conjunction with the evil one.

Immediately my mind races to: Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich but they are just the devil’s decoys. Like I said I have my money on Hawking and Gates. If you think viruses on your PC are hard to get rid of, wait ‘til you try removing them from the chip embedded into your brain. You will WISH you went MAC a long time ago when all your cool friends were switching over.

For those of you shocked by my candor and surface cynicism, just know that I read the big book and upon skipping to the end, I promise you the good guys win; whatever good guys are left alive that is.

For the rest of you, I leave you with the famous Marlon Brando line from the film “Apocalypse Now” to describe what it will be like for you:

“the horror……..the horror!”

Don’t worry; even horror can’t be all that bad and if the Mayan Calendar is right, it will be quick. Somewhere, there are ancient Mayans who are laughing their heads off at us for the havoc they are causing!


Embrace Failure: My Speech to the Graduates – Brooklyn Community College 2011

By Mucho Groucho

Anyone who has been following my essays and public journaling knows that I am at the crossroads of middle age with a lack of direction not even a cosmic GPS could help me with. I am somewhere between candidating for a Nobel Peace Prize and delivering pizza. Since my car gets lousy gas mileage, and the registration on it has been suspended I am counting on the Nobel Peace Prize.

What the heck – Obama got one and so did Jimmy Carter. When I read that even Yasser Arafat received the prestigious award, I knew that I would be a shoo in. But as the season of rent is drawing near again, I once more searched high and low, in this case Craigslist as the low, for any potential gig to get me through another month while waiting for the Nobel Committee to finally take my call.

I happened upon a Craigslist ad that read as follows:
Speech Writer / Public Speaker wanted to address Brooklyn Community College Graduating Class of 2011. Speech must be inspirational, motivational and memorable.

I went to Brooklyn Community College for 2 years in my early twenties. It’s a beautiful campus located right on one of Brooklyn’s most famous and only beaches. The dunes are constructed with recycled plastic upon a hidden garbage dump covered in layers upon layers of sand and some say there are more bodies floating in the water there than fish. It is also not far from Coney Island and when I used to drop my college sweetheart Magdelena off nearby late at night I waited in the car as she crossed the street and entered her complex known as “the projects.” I would lock my car doors and cower at the sounds of “snap, crackle and pop,” the gun-fire heard from a distance thanks to the Puerto Rican gangs that contributed to the ambiance of evenings there. I wish I were nicer to Magdelena and would have been had she not prevented me from losing my virginity for so long during our 3 year on and off courtship.

As far as inspirational, motivational and memorable goes I can only say that I am not the most positive thinker applying for this lofty assignment. When someone holds a glass in my direction and asks the famous riddle of whether it is half full or half empty, my response is to shudder thinking that it will fall out of the person’s hands, crash to the ground causing the broken shards of glass to hit a major artery resulting in me slowly bleeding to death. At least he will get his answer regarding the balance between the positive and negative charges of life. So will my speech be inspirational and motivational? No, but I guarantee my speech will be remembered long after I am whisked away by the Brooklyn police who will violently throw me head first into the back of their patrol car.

So here goes:
Young ladies and gentlemen, the graduating class of Brooklyn Community College 2011: as an alum of these hallowed grounds, I am honored to address you here today and christen you all with a speech that will launch you into young adulthood like the champagne bottle that was used to launch that great and mighty ship the Titanic. These past two years of disciplined study has prepared you for the rest of your lives. You may hold your heads up in shameful pride as you enter the world as community college graduates armed with Associate Degrees in fields as diverse and necessary as Philosophy, Sociology, Secretarial Skills and Liberal Arts. Your way is limited as you move toward the void.

You are entering a world where your generation is the first in decades expected to earn significantly less than those of your parents and even their parents. With inflation factored in you will probably make less than the average worker in China who will soon own this country. I am envious of the challenges you are faced with as you become indentured servants to countries like China and Japan who upon redeeming the debt owed to them by our country will in essence own America. As you make deliveries for Chinese and Japanese Restaurants in your little motor scooters, remember to hoard some of the morsels of rice you are allotted so that you may make it last longer than how your masters intended.

Your esteemed generation holds high the greatest of the great with talents and genius of the likes of Kim Kardashian, Paris Hilton, “Lindsey” and Snooky. May you aspire to be even greater than them who walked before you clearing the way for your own mediocrity to shine forth like a dull, dying star in a galaxy of suns.

In conclusion, I implore you to press on to fulfill the destiny and calling before you keeping in mind that if you don’t your tuition is non-refundable. Launch yourselves as mighty rockets using the knowledge imparted to you from these hallowed halls where Jimmy Hoffa is believed to be buried, as the fuse designed to propel you into oblivion. Go forth now and as the Steppenwolf song “Born to be Wild” urges: explode into space! Like a true nature’s child, you were born, born to be wild, you can climb so high – you never wanna die! Thank you.