The Wailing Wall Of Metal

Eddie Van Halen is the reason I’ve finger tapped endless Friday nights away, whenever my wife is out of the house, leaving me free to blare Eruption on Vinyl and use my kids like mini air guitar appendages, which is what dreams are made of. In these moments of high kicking, rip roaring delight, I’m able to let my hair down, relive my age of innocence and become in touch with what made my unsure, pubescent putz plagued self, come roaring to life like no other, Heavy Metal music.

But it was pictures of Heavy Metal guitarists such as the late great Eddie Van Halen who received prominent placement throughout my childhood bedroom, which I affectionally nicknamed The Wailing Wall Of Metal, in the pilot episode of a TV show I tried selling to VH1 Classic called Heavy Metal High.

The first time I heard the haunting, stuck in time, Church bell clang on Hells Bells by AC/DC, my pubescent soul, no longer felt like an amorphous void of scaredy-cat goo. It was as if God came down from Heaven himself through my boom box of yesteryear to tell me, “You’re more metal than you think kid. And you’ll only start living, when you get out of your self-esteem strangling head already, which is what Heavy Metal is doing to you right now. So stop acting like another Richard Lewis in the making.  As you can see, I also breath renewed life into knock kneed, putz prone kids like yourself through AC/DC to. Your manly metamorphosis has begun. You’re welcome.”

So it was only fitting for me to eventually receive my TV writing break, which was 15 years in the making, when I was hired by VH1 Classic to write all the TV Host reads for America’s Hard 100, which ranked the greatest hard rock and heavy metal videos of all time. But the 1st time I heard the song Eruption at my all Jewish sleepaway camp in Kent, Connecticut, it felt like a meteor shower blasted through my Hanes Tighty Whities, which amplified my Heavy Metal loving soul with a higher octane surge of propulsive might than ever before.

The most special thing about Eddie Van Halen’s music making career, is being blessed to play with his son Wolfgang for a living. His son Wolfgang, who was taught to play piano, bass and drums posted on Instagram, “I couldn’t have asked for a better father.” He got to make magical metal with his dad, which is what made Eddie Van Halen feel most in touch with the divine. He was quoted as saying “I couldn’t wait to make music with my son.” Because from what I’ve read, Eddie Van Halen wanted to transfer his love of creation through songwriting and guitar playing, which is what made him feel most alive, knowing he constantly made comments about wanting to make the most of his God given blessed talents.

No wonder the late great Eddie Van Halen kept running to his son Wolfgang to play more majestic metal music again and again.   Also, the name Van Halen is an homage to the family name, because Eddie’s brother Alexander Arthur Van Halen, their longtime drummer, was also one of the founding members of the band, responsible for the band’s signature funk filled, pounding backbeat, which I got the entire world off its feet.

Long live Van Halen’s wailing wall of metal. Van Halen ruled on top of the metal world for more than a while. Wolfgang’s professed love of his dearly departed father on Instagram really got to me, strumming my heart strings ever so light, because his dad gave him the opportunity to dream and boy did he love his dad back for it, for making him feel like the center of his universe, instead of the reverse. And that’s how you know when it’s love. Sammy Hagar lives.

Michael Kornbluth

Back To Hebrew School

Selling my 3 kids on Conservative Hebrew School today is a hard sell because they’ve grown up in the era of cloud-powered, commercial-free TV shows, where a drag on their time is the Internet going out again, prompting my kids to bemoan in collective unison, “Gevalt”, as if they just realized their egg and cheese order from the deli was served on a drab regular roll versus the expected, not supposed to specified for, standard Kaiser Roll instead. Once, my 5-year old son grew frustrated with our voice-powered assistant Cortona, not recognizing the Johnny Cash song he requested, “I’ve Been Everywhere”, to be exact, prompting him to yell with surging palpable, huffy disgust, “Cortona, you’re useless. Throw yourself out the window already.”

In order to draw attention away from all the various screen distractions which exist today, Conservative Hebrew Schools in America need a disruptive restructuring of their teaching style, which doesn’t sound so old world, Charlie Rose dronish. If they stand a shot at making the study of Torah, a wondrous, awe-inspiring, less obligatory, steady slog of mote memorization for sheer studying stake.  I propose the use of comedy, to achieve this purpose of making Hebrew School greater than any Simpsons on-demand episode on Hulu could ever offer.

Famous humorist Victor Borge said, “Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.” So I recommend Hebrew School teachers at Conservative Synagogues to start using comedy as an engagement tool to turn their students on to learning about all of our big deal biblical Jewish figures through using Internet speak like leading a classroom discussion on the best Jewish Prophets on Ranker for starters.  This past Saturday for my own version of Hebrew School, I got my son excited to learn more about his Hebrew name Jeremiah, by emphasizing the fact how Jeremiah is considered one of the major prophets in the Bible, which perked his interested immediately by just emphasizing the word, major. Especially, after pointing out how the Bible has minor prophets to, which are closer to supporting characters like Rob Schneider who serves the useful purpose of making Adam Sandler look like a major leading star in comparison, despite his perfected schlump star look.

I couldn’t even tell you the name of one of my Hebrew School Teachers at our Reformed Synagogue growing up, which is a shame like not learning in US History in the 8th grade how IBM developed technology that made it easier for the Nazi’s to identify European Jewry. Right now, IBM’s Watson Supercomputer is thinking, “No shit Sherlock.”

The only thing memorable about my reformed Hebrew School experience growing up was my friends from our school district in Edgemont, NY district feeling a tad tougher than the suburban softer Scarsdale kids in our class, because they’d throw endless streams of candy Nerds at Danny Farber from Scarsdale while never fearing any form of hardcore retaliation in return. The other way to make time pass by in Hebrew School was my friend Ari and I upstaging one another by writing new obscure Heavy Metal band names on our denim three ring year binders of yesteryear such as Danzig, Man O War and Overkill.

I’ve always been committed to raising my kids Jewish to ensure my cousins didn’t get exterminated in the Holocaust for nothing. I want my kids to live out dreams they never could as proud and loud, unapologetic Jews all the way. I refuse to be another slacker assimilator and allow the spirit of Judaism to die out in my family on my watch, in my quest to become more mensch like than the rest.

So, I’m assuming ownership of my kid’s conservative Hebrew school education this year during the year of Corona by relearning Hebrew while teaching my kids the holy language of kings for the 1st time in the process. I plan on making the teaching of Hebrew to my kids interesting and more stimulating than my Reformed Hebrew School past by tapping into my funny Jew bone and putting my imaginative powers to work by crafting short stories about made-up historical characters based on all the Hebrew letters such as Gimmel Be The Good. Gimmel Be Good being the nice Jewish boy who invented the dreidel gambling game to distract the Romans from their forbidden Torah studies during the hardcore Hellenization of Israel at the time.

When my 3 pitch-perfect, angelic, blemish-free children repeat the prayers in Hebrew for Shabbat after me, it brings tingles of unbridled joy down my spine. Because in this special glowed, light-filled moment, we become at one with the divine, which makes our sweet Jewish home, truly shine.

Michael Kornbluth

Kosher Klaus Sushi

Once upon a time there was a Kosher sushi chef prodigy Art Show USA who opened Kosher Klaus Sushi on Christmas Eve in 1994 before the Internet became mainstream and Asian elite Yelpers went hog wild.  Kosher Klaus Sushi was located in the heart of Scarsdale Village, which earned immediate rave reviews in the Scarsdale Inquirer from local food critic Debbie Wasserman, who described Art Show’s mind blowing specialty roll creations as “Orgasmic before they reach the back of your throat good.”  What made Art Show unique outside of his unmatched imaginative heft and juggling sushi knife work at the bar were his God given star powered looks, which commanded legions of groupie Yentas to schlep from the far reaches of Long Island to wait on line in the dead of winter to just catch a glance of the new age pretty boy bad ass Sushi Chef through the window, cranking out one swoon worthy, inhalatory Sushi specialty roll after the next, like his signature one, Living On The Edgemont Edge, which had smoked salmon, Cream Cheese, capers and caramelized shallots throughout to inject an extra special loaded lift.   

Every day, Art Show USA would sharpen his Sushi Knives together made from Israeli steel used in bullet proof vests made for their special force’s unit Mossad, which would woo, with sparkly, dazzling delight as patrons at the Kosher Klaus Sushi Bar gave impromptu standing ovations throughout.  Art Show USA was a 6 foot 4, spikey blond haired, blue eyed, lean, mean, Sushi slicing machine, who made Tom Cruise from the movie Cocktail look like a stumpy, homely hobbit hipster hack, in comparison, regardless if he kept his rolled up sleave button shirt, tucked in or not.   But one day, a bunch of rowdy Irish wiggers, entered Kosher Klaus Sushi to track down a hot yenta breath from Syosset, Long Island Rachel Weinstein, who rocked swinging, booby beauties, 36 D’s to be exact, who was also a solid 5 foot 9, making her mountable from behind standing up, assuming you weren’t a stumpy Irishman, unlucky in the height department.   Rachel was full lipped, Sephardic Persian tan busty beauty, even Roger Waters from Pink Floyd would pulverize her fetching snatch until he was comfortably numb.  The leader of the wigger Irish pack was Liam O’Reilly who sported a Newport cigarette tattoo on his esophagus, which scared off most, but not Art Show USA. Art Show USA was a black belt in Judo by the time he was 13 for his Bar Mitzvah. For Art Show’s Bar Mitzvah Party, he played Siamese Dream by the Smashing Pumpkins on the guitar with his feet and teeth.  So Art Show USA was never sweating the prospect of losing a fight or a girl to an Irish wigger moron from Long Island, who thought stamping a permanent Newport cigarette tattoo on his esophagus was a bright idea, regardless if it ensured him a truck driver job for Killan’s Red or not.

Liam and his crew of Irish wiggers came down from Long Island to start a fight with Art Show USA because they attended the same high school as Rachel Weinstein and only had eyes for inhaling her whole. Plus, they weren’t enthralled with the Rachel wearing an underground, circulated hoodie with a picture of Art Show USA on it, sporting an American flag bandana and star of David gold necklace around his neck, showcasing well earned, non-banking job related bling.  

Liam cuts the line with his Irish wigger posse and bursts into Kosher Klaus Sushi like Mark Wahlberg on the set of SNL after Andy Samberg did a sketch about Marky Mark talking to farm animals. Liam bum-rushes the sushi bar and says, “Hey, faggot. I’ll kick your ass right now, to show all your groupies what a pretty boy faggot, gay pussy bitch you are in real life.” Art Show ignores Liam’s Alpha Dog attack. Liam jumps over the sushi bar to strike. Art Show does a look away kick to middle of his forehead, which sends Liam flying into the ceiling fan, which knocks him out senseless. Art Show USA says, “Alexa, play Jump Around by House of Pain.” Kosher Klaus Sushi erupts into instantaneous jubilee, Jewish pride pounces the air, inspiring Rachel Weinstein to flash her tits at Art Show USA as the entire restaurant throws their gold necklaces with Stars of David’s on it in her general direction, in honor of all those sweet, harmless Jewish boys who were never taught to defend themselves like the Hebrew Hammer, Bugsy Siegal or Art Show USA.

The End

Hot For Hummus

Hummus is Chickpeas are great in Arabic. It’s the most popular dish in the Middle East among Egyptians, Jordanians, and Israeli offshoots of the Zohan tribe, 7 degrees separated from the golden Jew Adam Sandler. Actual unity is getting your Hummus resistor Jewish father from the Bronx to follow your 3 Koshertarian diet embracing children by joining the party to try your homemade Hummus made in his Arizona estate home for a pre-nosh nibble snack on top of toasted pita triangles with some diced up cherry tomatoes, fresh scattered parsley and vibrant looking, just grated carrots on top. I’m not betting the farm on my father to try my workshopped, perfected homemade Hummus over Thanksgiving break but as my father likes to rightfully point out, I don’t own a farm let alone a John Deer lawnmower or the personal property big enough to justify the expense because I’m still so broke, my Hebrew name is under judicial review.   Everyone can unify behind the depressingly dreary premise of a degenerate Jew like myself not being financially secure in life yet, who uses his fingers for basic arithmetic like a retarded version Dustin Hoffman at the Blackjack table at Talking Stick Casino.

Growing up in elementary school, all my Loan Officer mother ever made me was peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch, which didn’t help my blobby physique one bit at the time. Still, I never complained or requested anything different, urging my mother to make me Bento box lunches with Power Rangers stickers on the outside, with Cucumber and cream cheese Koshertarian rolls wrapped in seaweed and sticky rice within. Also, as a kid, I always preferred sesame bagels, for my egg and cheeses at the local Greek dinner, inhaling 2 in one sitting, after a night of drinking, with my old school high school buds, which is why my father called me the” human shovel” for a reason. So, I don’t need to be a math savant like Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man to realize my love of nut based spreads like peanut butter would eventually lead to my developed steamy love for Tahani flavor in Hummus, which is where the oily, creamy, pulverized sesame seed spewing essence derives from. Hummus is basically, the more versatile, infinitely less tubby version of peanut butter, which also packs leaner blasts of less sticky mouth protein. So of course, I’m hot for hummus but only after I stared making my homemade versions to spice up my kid’s lunches, so I didn’t burn them out on peanut butter, ruining their capacity to ever savor a Reese Pieces Butter Cup, made at all the specialty chocolate chops like in Ridgefield CT again, which is an American shishy bitch rite as it gets.

If you never tried hummus, the famed sesame paste can be a turnoff, if you never sampled the primo goods before. On the surface, some store-bought hummus or homemade hummus can look like a sad plop mound of dried out earwax. That’s why you must add color and a dash of sophistication to your presentation. Pine nuts, who needs them. Chopped hardboiled eggs, gross, too overtly Israeli for my taste sorry. Pesto on top of hummus, is a blatantly unnecessary, awful idea, knowing Hummus when made right, requires no parm cheese garlic infusion to make it more swoon worthy than it already is. For me, I dress up my Hummus triangle creations with a menage a trois of radiant, lick it up color such as hot to trot, Little Red Corvette, cherry tomatoes and Arizona wild, desert bloom orange specked shredded carrots or some Polo Lounge conjuring green in the form of thick strands of Jalapeno on top to keep it extra steamy in the process.  

Just like it any relationship, you have to spice things up, incorporating needed color and variety to keep things interesting or you’ll lose sustained stiffage, which is the perpetual state of arousal necessary for any relationship to get excited for toppable tomorrows. The same rule applies to homemade loving infused creations versus the mass produced, manufactured kind, which lacks the length and depth of personalized pop compared to the real thing.  So invest in a Cuisinart to blend your Goya Chickpeas, add some store bought Tahini from your local Kosher butcher, add a garlic bulb or 2, throw in a generous heaping of sea, Himalayan, or Kosher salt, I don’t give a shit, before pouring in a steady steam of medium grade Olive oil, as the hummus magic swirls into scrumptious loving perfection before constructing your pita triangle pizzas with the steamy garnishes I mentioned prior and call it a day.  At the very least, your kids will love you more putting in the extra effort to tantalize and awaken their tastebuds to newer, fresher, yummier possibilities than ever before. Plus, your kids won’t become instantly tubby and resent your existence for it later. Last, your wife tasting like hummus won’t lure you into sucking face with her on the spot, but you’ll take whatever justified outs a 10-year marriage can give you.

Michael Kornbluth

Chicken Cutlet Hunters

The Chicken Cutlet from the Edgemont Deli on Central Avenue next to Danny’s Cycle in southern Westchester County, 30 minutes north of Manhattan was always the best.  My old school dear friend Ari, now a Kidney doctor who part owns his own practice in CT, a graduate of Washington University, no dummy, would agree with me, we became fixated on hunting down the perfect chicken cutlet sandwich ever since. I remember inhaling down this chicken cutlet thinking, I was in the presence of greatness, just based on the crispy enough, herbed spice breading on it alone. Back then, I didn’t know the difference between sage or rosemary. I wasn’t aware of how cilantro was used as an herb in salsa. Shit, an underclassman fooled me into buying oregano for weed senior year in high school, so I wasn’t obsessing over the herb installation componentry embedded in my bomb chicken cutlet from the Edgemont Deli at the time, that wasn’t Calista Flockhart skinny but more Jo plump like from Facts of Life, which gave you something more excitable to chomp into again and again. The perfectly shredded lettuce, semi-thin, actual fleshy red tomato on top,  nestled between the banging Kaiser roll, which was never drowning for dear life in an amorphous plop of mayo goo didn’t hurt the chicken cutlet sandwich’s overall appeal one bit either. Ah, those were the days, pre-Yelp, where you actually had to rely on your own intuition and New York bred sense of adventure to try and consume it all, like a less hyper articulate, perpetually suave, mini Anthony Bourdain in the making, minus the French royal rocker look working in your favor either.

Now, that I’m getting my 3 kids more courageous about trying different Kosher meat creations because they know I’m writing a book about it and unlike others, they still believe me in pounding my dreams of comedic superstardom into freaking reality already, especially when I involve them in the act of pulverizing the homemade Kosher chicken cutlets I made tonight with real deal Hebrew Hammer fury.  I told my son Arthur to choke up on the mighty mallet before pounding the chicken cutlets for round 2 with the intention of smooshing those cutlets into barely recognizable form like when Mitch Blood Green came up with the bright idea to start a street fight with Iron Mike in Harlem during his prime time domination years, where he knocked out legendary heavy weights by the time you banged another one out to Taste Of Amber again.  

My wife had to Nazify my dream chicken cutlet recreation tonight, using a combination of panko breadcrumbs and homemade ones while also using a mishmash of chopped parsley, sage and rosemary, by insisting on calling it the meal “Schnitzel”, saying, “I haven’t had Schnitzel since Oktoberfest in Germany.” Meanwhile, I’m thinking, “Chances are you had pork schnitzel for starters, which is fine, but don’t lump my dish into your non-eating Kosher past in Germany before the open borders invite to invade and resist assimilation lead to no-go zones, proving too much for Angela Merkel’s hunched shoulders to bear alone. Where is W to give Angela Lansbury’s, more homely, less talented, dour dumpy clone to give an unsolicited back rub, when you need him?  Also, I didn’t  know what the hell Schnitzel was in high school, I just knew how to order a chicken cutlet at the deli, with shredded lettuce, tomato, mayo, Russian dressing or getting some melted provolone on it if I was feeling particularly eccentric for lunch, that day, that’s it. Granted, tonight, I did fry up gargantuan flatted breasts which looked like Pauly from Rocky passed out on Bridget Nielson’s tits. But I wouldn’t call a schnitzel dish using Panko breadcrumbs and Kosher certified chicken as a sterling example of keeping it real Arian like either.  Actually, for those food nerd historians at home, schnitzel was actually invented in Austria before famed Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal helped track down Adolf Eichman’s Nazi footsteps in Buenos Aries pleasuring himself to more Malbec and Nazi trading cards bound for the ashbins of truly deplorable history. Before shiny shoes got hanged in Israel for being Farrakhan’s dreamboat exterminator against you know who Gervais, and it wasn’t your mole infested British commoners working as Bank Tellers for Barclay’s Bank either.

I’m most impressed with my how kids continue to embrace and try any new meat creation I make for them, because they know it’s made with love and kids always love you back twice as much, when you make them like feel like the center of your universe instead of the reverse. Last, your kids can’t help but look up to daddy a little bit in the kitchen knowing he’s doing his best to please God  and obey his dietary laws in exchange for blessing him with the greatest home team imaginable, which grows closer every day, yeah, yeah.

I’m about to put my 3-year old son Samuel in the car today on our way to pick up a couple of last minute, improvised inspired ingredients and he says with a wink and brightened smile, “I hate your jokes and your books to.” I laughed long time. The fact my 3-year-old son already understands the full spectrum of silly minded, sarcastic fueled ball busting while also comprehending what work I’ve been pounding away at since he was born is a sign that God really is looking after my back through this miracle wonderkid. Samuel Chosen Curls Was Bound To Woo really is the pubescent, Total Package, Lex Luger after all.

Michael Kornbluth

Memories Of Meh Pastrami On Rye

The considerably less greasy Pastrami from the 2nd Ave Deli in Manhattan comparéd to Katz in the lower east side on Houston Street, offers a killer Pastrami on Rye yet memories of more meh bites of pricy Pastrami, don’t make my heart flutter with more erect interest the way repeat showings of the Cherry Pie video on MTV in junior high did or provide the same rapturous joy in hunting down the perfect chicken cutlet in high school throughout lower Westchester County once we all become licensed to drive.

Not every Pastrami sandwich on rye from Jewish Delis in New York is woo worthy. Growing up in the snuggle soft confines of Westchester County, 30 minutes north of Manhattan, our only local option for Pastrami was at Epstein’s, located on a semi-derelict, zero frills section of Central Avenue close to White Plains, NY. Where my friends and I used to frequent a local bodega who didn’t ID, to pick up more forties of Old English, Snoop Dog’s old school ho sprayer of choice.  The pastrami on Rye at Epstein’s is only 13 bucks compared to its vastly superior, smokier succulent cousin at Katz Deli on Houston, the oldest deli in America, which was big time before George Burns uttered on his deathbed, “I got off easy compared to Jackie Mason, who had the misfortune of being branded as the less lovable, more overtly Jewish, curmudgeon version of Don Rickles.”

Reality is, you get what you pay for and the pastrami at Epstein’s always tasted a tad blubbery rubbery to be classified as Yelp stroking, jerking off Pastrami ever. Is the Pastrami at Katz infinitely better than Epstein’s? Is the Catholic Church soft on condemning pedophilia? Still, Katz is a schlep if you don’t live downtown or anywhere remotely close to the Island of Manhattan. Plus, the place is a dump and pictures of Ben Stiller on the wall don’t make it anymore alluring either regardless of him being the face of Mugatu or not. Also, when you go to Katz for the 1st time when you’re already in your late twenties when you’re selling ad space for the Village Voice, which doesn’t include the sale of she male size stamps in the back, you feel unfashionably late to the Pastrami is king, rallying party. I’ve tried the Pastrami from the famed Montreal Jewish deli transplant Mile End in the East Village, which packs as much old world charm as Ethel the waitress’s armpit stains, as she scribbles in your order, cursing your existence for being such a predictable, blah brain bore like the rest as she thinks, “Pastrami on rye with spicy brown Mustard, how original. I bet he thinks Bill Maher wishing for a Recession on Real Time to get President Trump out of office, pre-Corona was an example of keeping it real, resistor like, boy!”

My intention isn’t to completely crap on the most unifying of all foods for gentiles and Jews alike, Pastrami on rye. Still, taking my 3 kids to Epstein’s this past Saturday to celebrate my upcoming all-star book review for The Great American Jew Novel, to be published in the Midwest Review of all places, I was slightly embarrassed for hard selling my kids on how Pastrami is considered the Filet Mignon of kosher cow dishes.  Granted, this type of Pastrami wasn’t the Austin smoked brisket kind or the Katz caliber, but for a comedy writer who prides himself on his originality, I felt like a used Honda car salesman, for pushing the Pastrami on rye to my 3 kids, by inferring they’d be fake news Jews without embracing the Romantic Comedy date nosh of choice.

Matilda, my eldest, actually emoted about her bit size bite of Pastrami the most, saying, “I like it Daddy. But can you make your London Broil again but a tad more tender next time?” Arthur, her younger brother said, “I like my Hebrew National Hot Dog way better than the Pastrami Daddy. Can you start making your Hebrew National Dogs at home taste more like this?” Baby brother Samuel took some excited nibbles from the pastrami, but he wasn’t doing any yummy dances in the smoked meat’s delicacy’s honor either.  I inhaled the remainder of the Pastrami sandwich but only forcmere blessed meat Kosher sake. I actually preferred bites out of our communal square potato Knish by itself, without even dipping it in the too sour spicy brown mustard, proving meat isn’t always better, especially if it’s not a homemade do it all dad creation you made yourself.

At the same time, my kids were very giddy in our padded booth, sucking down their Dr. Brown’s diet cream soda, which isn’t nearly as sugary sweet, with big hearted, didn’t want to be anywhere else in the world relish. On this unseasonably warm Saturday, before we visited my nearby old elementary school in Edgemont, NY as I proceeded to make it rain with more perfect arching jumpers from way downtown before I started freaking out the more career stable parents by the playground by gunning our nerf football at our kids heads, which they ate up with a spoon. Sometimes, the best things in life, don’t have to be smoked, cured, brined or seasoned, reminding me how the only ingredient necessary for old school fun, is being silly as you want to be, which never gets played out in our hearts.

Michael Kornbluth

Sloppy Second Joes

Sloppy seconds are underrated, especially if they inspire back to back inhalatory attacks.  Do homemade Sloppy Second Joes using Kosher meat from my local butcher in Mount Kisco, NY compare to the same intensified level of joy I received from sucking down every last parcel of my delectable Porterhouse during my 1st IT recruiter sales promo dinner at Morton’s Steakhouse in Beverly Hills, as I cursed my father afterwards for exposing to only mere anemic, anorexic Kosher steaks growing prior? No, but I also wasn’t slightly tiffed the next morning, to learn my wife had nearly polished off what little Sloppy Second Joes remained, because she just needed the “extra protein”. Just like I need a memory easier to delete any instance when my wife used the expression “zero calories” to describe anything because I’m not telling Rolling Stone she’s a hippier version of Jessica Simpson, whose sexual napalm in the sack either.

Sloppy Joes are in need of rebrand refresh because the name alone grossed all 3 of my kids from the start.  Raw ground Kosher meat looking like Plato grinded cow brain doesn’t help Sloppy Joes overall appeal either, regardless if it’s coated in ketchup, onion and brown sugar from Mick Jagger’s secret stash either.  So I renamed Sloppy Joes, Sloppy Second Joes, to inject more sexualized, loving feeling into my making of them because nobody is going to back to make out with the Sloppy Joe lady from Billy Madison, regardless if you’re in and out of a black out or not.  Also, calling these scrumptious bad boy, sticky sweet, sandwiches nestled between bomb baby egg challah rolls, Sloppy Second Joes, I’m double daring you to resist coming back for repeat inhalatory attacks with sloppy drunk conjuring relish.

The Sloppy Second Joes weren’t huge hits with my 3 kids. Exposing them to Kosher meat based dishes is a new development for them, and they can’t quite get over the look of lumped together, blood splattered cow brain, which is what Kosher ground meat looks like in a Sloppy Joe before being browned into scrumptious, supple soft, garlic and mustard imbibed lifted perfection.  

But I’m not quitter. I’m a doer. That doing doesn’t include my wife anymore, especially since our 3rd kid turned our bed into a 24/7 open milk bar but that’s beside the point. Yesterday, I stock up on another serving of ground turkey and make my own version of Sloppy Second Joes not married to the recipe from the Modern Jewish baker for good old fashioned regular Sloppy Joes either. No, this second batch of Sloppy Second Joes lived up to its name because my son Arthur went for rabid attack seconds from my vegetable oil fried up cheese-less ground Kosher Turkey quesadillas, flush with diced up bits of rosemary and parley coated fennel, red sweet pepper, red onion, white meaty turnips, which took this improvised, made up reimagining of the standard Sloppy Second Joe so much higher.  I also served my Sloppy Second Joes with some homemade, chunky hot sauce from a local farm, which my son went to triple dipping in without my nudging whatsoever, prompting memories of my favorite summer loves dipping past. Sloppy seconds isn’t always a bad thing and we all can’t taste like sexual napalm in the sack either.

Michael Kornbluth

Death Of A Bose Salesman

Once upon a time there was Sales Rep for Bose who suffered from Loud Man’s Disease.  He loved blasting The Who, Led Zeppelin   and AC/DC at work in the listening booth before he turned borderline deaf. Now, all Michael the Sales Rep from Bose hears is AC/DC’s song Hells Bells. Michael Yeller always believed louder is better until now because he was longer ablet to sing Search and Destroy by Iggy Pop and Stooges at the local Karaoke bar in White Plains, NY after work with his boss anymore.   

Growing up, Michael only wanted to play air guitar like the great metal shredders throughout the walls of his childhood room, which included pictures Mick Mars from Motley Crew, the Freddy Kruger of shredding, the steel guitar slaying, Gypsy Road howler Tom Kiefer from Cinderella and the Tasmanian Devil of pretty good metal pop CC Deville from Poison. Later, Michael tried to learn the guitar after his parents got him an acoustic one for Hannukah but he already started smoking weed by junior year in high school, so the hand dexterity and hours of practice necessary to assume any semblance of functional playing mastery over the guitar were out of his self-imposed reach.

After college, Michael tried to make a living as an IT Headhunter in LA but IT Directors half his age didn’t appreciate being hounded by a such a loudmouth New Yorker who had less voice control than Busta Rhymes at a midnight showing of Higher Learning. Also, everyone in LA is very cagy, accustomed to time alone in their cars and airy, open rooftop hotel bars and non-descript, low key bars on random, zero foot traffic streets, unaccustomed to Vince Vaughn clones from Swingers from New York like Michael who was actually told to hush while on a date to see Eric Clapton at the Hollywood Bowl once. Eventually, Michael moved back to NY and did digital ad sales for Citysearch and started to try open mike stand up comedy. When working for Citysearch he’d say on stage, “Citysearch is city guide used mostly by gay men to find who gives the best facial.” But Michael struggled to unleash his inner rock star on stage, because if his 1st joke bombed, he could never win the audience back, which stripped him of the confidence to riff and piggy back off the waves of laughter, opting to go into any new inspired direction of hilarity he choose.  

At the Christmas party for CitySearch Michael sang his best rendition of Wanted Dead or Alive yet, which he had perfected over the years. The high end 15-year Macallan scotch helped. Still, he got fired the next day for getting black out drunk and dry humping the coat check girl on the dance floor to Oh What A Feeling.

Knowing Michael couldn’t pay rent through playing air guitar renditions of Fallen Angel in Times Square, or make any money at stand-up comedy in NYC because he had to actually invite his friends to get performing time at the NY Comedy Club at all, he decided to find a job, where his loud man disease could be neutralized, where it wouldn’t become such a career hindering liability and got a job in suburbs at The Westchester Mall in White Plains, NY selling state of the art stereo equipment for Bose. Michael’s boss gave him some leeway and allowed him to tell some jokes, because he knew the stand-up comedy bug wasn’t out of his system all together. Michael would be selling noise cancelation headphones, “Yenta Silencers”, is what he’d call them specifically before sampling new bits on random customers such as, “Did you know Google fired 25 software engineers for sexual harassment? But software engineers are too busy banging out code to hit on girls at work. Plus, if you’re a software engineer at Google, your typical Pearl command script isn’t, “Massage my carpel tunnel ho.”  

But one day during a demo presentation for AC/DC Back In Black on surround sound in the primo listening sampling room at work, Michael lost his ability to hear fully, now only hearing the death knell Church bell clang to Hells Bells. Was God punishing Michael for his Loud Man’s Disease forever? How could Michael ever sing Karaoke again, losing all semblance of voice control now whatsoever?

Michael was a really a good sales rep for Bose, but reality is, the speakers sold themselves. Michael’s boss and favorite Karaoke partner let him keep his job at Bose but got him off the sales floor to work as a blogger for their digital marketing team instead, allowing him rant and rave about all the loudest and proudest, most bad ass metal rock records of all time, which are only accentuated on Bose’s premium blast speakers, naturally. Michael would fire off blog record recommendations for albums by The Who, Neil Young and Crazy Horse and Van Halen with divine powered authority. He’d pound the keyboard non-stop-all day long, which was sweet music to his boss’s ears, knowing his employee and friend Michael could channel his love of fast, loud, kick ass metal like a Bat Out Of Hell, which sent his heart soaring, flying high again. In the end, Michael couldn’t sell Bose speakers on the main sales floor anymore but he was still able to sell his love of loud, metal music through his blogs, and also had the kick ass, momentous clang of Hell’s Bells playing in his head for company. And Michael didn’t need Meatloaf to tell him, 2 out of 3 ain’t bad.

The End

Michael Kornbluth

The Stand Up Leech Doctor

Once upon a time there was a Cardiologist from New Orleans who moved to Manhattan to become a Stand-Up Leech Doctor named Aioli Kornbluth.  Every day in his new Upper East Side office across the street from the famed Comic Strip Live on 2nd Avenue, he’d offer his bad blood removal service free of charge. Growing up in New Orleans, his Cardiologist father Michael decided to name his kid Aioli because no son, planned or not, could compare to his dearly departed 1st born Zevon Kornbluth who died in Vietnam from a falling tree. Aioli Kornbluth’s father always said, “Laughter was the best medicine for a heavy heart”, so he named his unplanned son Aioli, which lightened his cinderblock clogged heart every time he ordered his son to do his errands as a kid such as, “Make your bed Aioli, take out the trash Aioli, your Snoop Dog records to. I don’t care that he samples funk beats and big horns from Curtis Mayfield records. His brain still hovers a notch below porn hell in my book.”

As a kid, Aioli Kornbluth was forced to feel like the unwanted, aborted one, prompting him to use his allowance for a whole year to buy a Henry Kissinger doll from a Voodoo Doctor in the French Quarter, to seek revenge on the merchant of death responsible for the rapid, incessant, blatantly unnecessary acceleration of the Vietnam war, but he didn’t have enough money saved for the costs of so much fabric. Still, the Voodoo Doctor Chief Longwinded Bow, gave Aioli Kornbluth more than a mere constellation prize in return by offering to teach the ancient black magic art of bad blood removal through leech expungement.  

A young 13-year-old Aioli Kornbluth poured his heart out to Chief Longwinded Bow, trying to look his dapper best, sporting his standard, ironed, Catholic Private School suit and tie attire, from the same school where Eli and Peyton Manning attended as kids down off the Bayou. He says, “Chief, can I call you just Chief? I’d like to be curt, so you have more time to ramble on. I can’t shake the feeling that my dad will never forgive God for taking his 1st born, my big brother away from him so soon. You’d think I’d offer some solace being on the Honor Roll year after year. I even broke Eli Manning’s single season touchdown record yet pops would rather listen to Fat’s Domino records on Sunday while sipping more Blanton’s High Balls, reading more damn Michael Crichton novels, than ever taking the time to throw the pig skin around the yard with me. Also, Eli Manning is a bigger pimp than Tom Brady. He’s New Orleans royalty for starters. Plus, Eli married his college sweetheart not some annoying Brazilian chicken head either. Giselle is also like 80 in model years.” Chief Longwinded Bow says, “And Oliver Stone has the gaul to call me longwinded compared to my younger Brother, “Snorts Coke With Vampires when he hired us as creative consultants on the set of Natural Born Killer. Moving forward I would add some leaches to your diet. You can swallow them whole or dice them and sauté them in butter nestled within a crawfish pie if you’d like. Either way, the leeches will remove any ill will you have for your father for never making you feel like an esteemed, wanted member of your family.” Aioli Kornbluth says, “I love Crawfish Pie. I’ve always told my dad Crawfish is shrimp with more personality. Yeah, my dad doesn’t think I’m funny enough to be stand up comedian either.”  

But now Aioli Kornbluth is about to turn 40 in Manhattan with no kids or wife in his life. All he’s got his fancy cardiologist office practice on the Upper East Side and dreams of becoming a Stand-Up Leech Doctor although tonight was the annual audition try out for the Comic Strip, which he had been practicing for his entire life. His number is called and Aioli Kornbluth approaches the stage yet fumbles grabbing the mike out of the stand. Aioli says, “Can you believe I’m a Cardiologist and perform open heart surgery for a living.” Crowd screams with approval. Aioli relaxes a tad and roams the stage to take in the crowd and the moment he’s dreamed of turning into reality forever while almost tripping over the coiled microphone chord. Aioli stares at the mike cord on stage and says, “The mike cord isn’t a live snake. You’d think being raised by a bunch of Marti Gras Indians; I wouldn’t let a microphone chord rattle my game.” Crowd laughs again.  Laughter was the best medicine for a heavy heart and Aioli Kornbluth was sad no more, until he died on stage soon after and was told to never audition for the Comic Strip ever again. The owner of the Comic Strip said, “Stick with sticking your heart attack patients with more stents.”

The End

Michael Kornbluth