Raffish Men

I saw a magazine article the other day calling men, “raffish” people. It made me a little angry to say the least.

What’s wrong with being “raffish”, a bit of a jack the lad? I think if us men were more raffish there would be better family life and less divorce. What would ensure a happy marriage?

I think a husband and wife would get on like a “house a fire” if the men would say to their wives:

“Honey, you have great legs and a great bottom!”

My long lost cousin agrees with me, wholeheartedly.

It’s very strange that men talk about other men’s wives, how they have fine legs and bottoms, also airline stewardesses, waitresses, well, you get the idea. They compliment many females who aren’t their wives.

When talking to their wives, it’s usually:

“Don’t forget to take the car in for service.”

“While you’re up, get me a beer.”

“What’s for dinner?”

With remarks like that, women start to lose their identities!

At a party, I was at recently, a husband said to his wife:

“I’ll have one more cocktail for the road. You drive.”

Instead, he should have said:

“Have you folks noticed that my wife has great legs and a great ass?”

Believe me, your wife would be absolutely delighted, and maybe a little surprised.

Now, I know a lot of men will say:

“I can’t say things like that about my wife, it would be too embarrassing.”

Well, if that’s the way they feel, they will probably, someday, hear their wife say to them:

“You’re Fired!”

Thirty Years of Clean Underwear

Wrrr! Wrrr! Wrrr! Herbert looked up from his newspaper, the washing machine was going full blast again. Herbert was disgusted.

“Janet, do you have to have the washing machine whirling away everyday of the week? This is Sunday morning!” said Herbert, pursing his thin lips.

“Listen Herbert, you’ve had thirty years of clean and folded underwear, because of my washing and ironing.” Janet stood there with her hands on her oversized hips.

Herbert was very particular about his underwear. And the older he was getting, the grumpier he was getting.

“You’ve always taken my washing and ironing for granted. If you think you can do any better, in less time, be my guest and try.”

Janet’s round face broke out in a smile, daring her husband to take up the challenge.

Herbert’s thin body squirmed in the lounge chair, as he considered his wife’s dare. His long fingers ran through his thinning grey hair. The nostrils of his long pointed nose flared and then he jumped out of the chair.

“Okay, my dear, I’ll do it for a week and show you.”

Monday Night:

Herbert started taking the wash out of the basket.

“My God, Janet, there’s everything in here, dark clothes, colored clothes and whites. Are you sure these are all our clothes?” He started throwing items into the machine.

Janet noticed what he was doing and frowned.

“Herbert! Stop! You can’t wash dark, colored and whites altogether. You’ll ruin the clothes, the colors will run. Also you will need different temperatures for different items.”

He began separating the dark clothes from the others. Again, Janet pops her head into the kitchen to see how Herbert is doing.

“Hold it! Your things are all inside out. I’ve told you a hundred times to put your clothes right side out before throwing them in the wash.”

“Okay, okay.”

Eventually, Herbert does two loads of washing and drying.

That night, he walked into the lounge where his wife was reading. Janet looked up and said: “Oh Herbert, are you done? You look tired.”

“Nonsense, this washing and drying is a breeze,” scowled Herbert, marching upstairs to bed.

Tuesday Night:

Herbert was ironing one of Janet’s blouses. He then proceeded to burn a big hole in the garment. Janet appeared at that very moment, wouldn’t you know it.

“Look what you’ve done,” said Janet, pretending to be angry, but smiling to herself.

“Well, I’ll need another blouse ironed for the club meeting. And please watch the temperature on the iron.”

Herbert just shook his head. He ironed for two hours, taking special care with his wife’s clothes. He put all her things neatly on hangers or folded up in her dresser drawers.

Wednesday Night:

Herbert diligently washes, dries and irons. Again, paying special attention to his wife’s things.

“Look how good I’m doing now, Janet. It’s easy once  you get the hang of it.”

He looked at his wife for her response.

“Yes, dear,” smiled Janet.

Thursday Night:

Both husband and wife were reading the newspaper.

“The washing is finished for the week, just a few things left in the basket.”

“That’s wonderful, dear,” said Janet, not looking up from her paper.

Friday Morning:

Herbert kissed his wife and jumped out of bed, smiling.

“See, just three nights to do the washing and ironing. I think with practice and planning, I could cut that down. So could you, Janet.”

“Yes dear,” said Janet, yawning.

Herbert smiled to himself, thinking he had showed her. He walked over to his dresser, to get his underwear for the day. He stared in disbelief:

The drawer was empty!

The Doppelgänger

Chicago, Illinois,

July 22, 1934


A man sat on a high stool at the bar of a tavern looking out the window onto Lincoln Avenue. He was good looking, in his early thirties, wearing a pin-striped suit, canvas shoes, his straw hat was on the bar.

“Bartender, give me another beer,” he mumbled.

The bartender brought his beer and said, pointing at the movie theater across the street.

“Lots of people going to see the movie tonight, must be a good picture.”

The man took a sip of his beer. An aura, a current of cold air, seemed to surround him.

“Yes, it’s a good film. I saw it last night. Clark Gable played a good part as a gangster.”

The bartender went back to washing glasses.

The clock on the wall said 8:30 pm, people were lining up for tickets at the Biograph Theater’s box office, among them was a young man wearing a straw hat, with two women, one on each arm.

At approximately 10:30 pm, the doors opened and the crowd filed out of the theater. The man in the tavern was still looking out of the window. He saw a man,

wearing a straw hat, and two women emerge from the theater. All of a sudden the man started running, and other men were running after him.

Several shots were fired and the man with the straw hat fell to the ground, his body oozing blood. The two women who were with him, melted into the crowd.

By this time there was a huge crowd on the street, someone shouted, “Dillinger is shot!”

The man in the tavern smiled. Two women came in the side door and joined him. There was chaos on the street outside.

The man put on his straw hat, and with the two women, one on each arm, left by the side door in a smoky haze.

The next day, the papers screamed the headlines:

“FBI Shoots Dillinger Dead”.

Down at the bottom of the page was a paragraph about a bank that was robbed late that night.

On a lamppost near the Biograph Theater was a poster flapping in the wind:




The Reflection

What prompted this short story was when my friend Tom and I were discussing how our looks have changed over the last 50 plus years.

I was walking past a shop window and I sneaked a look at the reflection. I saw someone there, but I did not recognize the figure. After a few seconds of just standing there staring at the window, I was forced to make again, my own acquaintance! Why is it that us older fellows no longer know ourselves at first sight?

I thought I still looked like I did 20 or so years ago and I assumed it was the real me. We kid ourselves, don’t we?

I told my wife about the reflection in the window and she just said, I was deceiving myself with my vivid imagination. I guess in our mind’s eye we just don’t see ourselves as others see us and we don’t want to!

When I shave in front of the mirror in the morning, I’m not shocked by my reflection. Why is that?

My wife says, that’s because I’m on autopilot in the morning.

This whole reflection thing has now triggered a sort of “identity crisis” between my ears. Who am I really?

Am I the person in my imagination or the person in the shop window?

I would hope I could always think I was 20 years younger in my mind.

But then, I’d just worry about WHY a young stud like me has got failing

eyesight, hearing, and falling hair!

Retirement, Blues or Ecstasy?

One rainy day, I was falling asleep in my favorite chair and the doorbell rang. I opened the door and there stood my cousin, looking very forlorn.

“Hello cousin Dave, I need some advice. I’ve got the “retirement blues”.”

“Come on in, cousin Jim, and tell me what’s bothering you.”

Jim plunked himself down in my favorite chair.

“Got a beer?”

I went to the fridge and got two beers and sat down in the straight-backed chair opposite my favorite chair.

“Now, what’s all this about the retirement blues?”

“Well, I’ve been retired six months and I don’t know what to do with myself. And to make matters worse, my memory is failing me!”

“Well Jim, you know I’ve been retired for quite a few years now and I’m very happy in my retirement.”

“That’s why I came to you for advice. My memory is fading and I lose things, keys, glasses, etc.”

I smiled.

“That’s normal for oldies, they call it having “senior moments”. As far as fading memory, memories are unreliable, they get dim and distorted with time.”

“That’s what I was afraid of, cousin Dave.”

“But Jim, there’s a good side to fading memories.”

“What’s that?”

“Well, when you constantly try to remember things, you create another memory that might be better than the original.”

“Hey, that sounds okay.”

“And one more thing about losing our memories, what happened in cyberspace? Along came Wikipedia to help us!”

“Great, I feel better already. Now, what about my boredom?”

“Well Jim, you know I do a lot of writing in my retirement and that keeps me busy and I enjoy it immensely. I’m working on my autobiography now.”

“That’s it, Dave, I could write my life story.”

“Yes Jim, that would take up a vast amount of your time.”

“Oh boy, I could get back at those schoolteachers and bosses that I hated.”

“Hold on, Jim, to ‘’get back” at people, you would have to write a fictional autobiography. Change all the names and embellish the events.

“The good thing about fictional autobiography is that you could sell it as a novel and get things off of your chest at the same time. It would be great therapy for you.”

“I could get rich and be on the best seller list!”

“Maybe,” I smiled.

“It also would be fun delving into the past and finding out about my relatives.”

“Now Jim, don’t get too carried away. Your ancestors could be as boring as you are!”

“I know what I could do. I could leave my partner. I could find a gorgeous young model.”

I stared at my cousin with my mouth open.

“Oh thank you cousin, for helping me go from the retirement blues to ecstasy!”

Jim drank his beer and left whistling!