Funnier Than Laughing Gas

Finally getting my wisdom teeth taken out, which is a relief knowing I can’t blame their excavation on toothbrush neglect caused by premature passing out on the couch from excessive IPA intake, again and again. I’m exaggerating. I actually gave up drinking beer this summer because it was embarrassing spending so much time hung over, recycling, empty reminders of my lush, littered past, as entire Rocky Marathons on AMC passed me by, holla, thank you very much.

Kids are home from school now after I lose my facial virginity from getting gang banged pricked in my mouth with one Novocain shot after another and my beams of sparkly, good hued light, that being my 3 kids, best home team ever, don’t even recognize their depleted daddy mushed into the couch watching a Bee Gee’s doc at 3:30 on a Tuesday afternoon, who’s acting more low energy, barely staying alive than Jeb Bush after receiving unsolicited debate stump talking points from Karl Rove on Fox News.  Then, my wife who works as a nurse in the NICU gives me a drug cocktail consisting of Ibuprofen, Tylenol, and Amoxicillin, insisting I don’t need my prescribed pain killers, which she isn’t ecstatic about schlepping back to the Pleasantville pharmacy to pick up, because if this drug cocktail concoction is good enough for a mom who just had c section at her hospital, then, I’m in no position to run my bitchy, flappy, tore up mouth.  Then, I decide to do something about my sad sack, immobile state because I don’t need to see my kids look at me like I’m lounging out on my premature death bed again. So I semi pound a leftover Captain Lawrence Powder Dreams, a hazy, New England Style IPA which put me at immediate ease before I blast Motley Crew’s Too Fast For Love in my room as I resume editing a previous chapter post for upcoming, future bestselling Koshetarian Comedian in no time, like a man possessed to never allow fear mongering imposed by others, influence my self-reliant streak of self-imposed, willed in happiness, without the overreliance and constantly let down disgust stemming from more dashed expectations involving any hopeful expectation of those supposed to help when you need them the most,  to only come up, short, because they really don’t give a shit again, holla, thank you very much.

The laughing gas, mixed with oxygen was nice yet still prompted me to start heckling the Oral Surgeon when I said, “Doc, give me funnier, laughing gas,” because I wasn’t laughing, yet doc was long time, thank you very much. Then, I add, “Hey doc, the fake news laughing gas you’re giving me reminds me of the time I took my daughter to her 1st Grateful Dead parking scene, literally days after her 2nd Birthday up in Bethel Woods, sight of the original Woodstock. I take her for a stroll, feeling such an evolved, liberal cool Dad for a brief fleeting moment, who suddenly questions his alleged, all knowing, wise ways, once I start spotting some dinged up looking hippies sucking down nitrous balloons by the woods like their last working stuck in time, stilted brain cell could barely hang on until feeling nothing but vacant space like lower Manhattan these days, only for my daughter to point at the Nitrous balloons and, ask, “Birthday Daddy?”  And I say, “No Matilda, Burnout Day”, holla, thank you very much.”

Now it’s 5PM and I notice how my wife has no preparation for our Ravioli dinner, which I wasn’t planning on assuming ownership of after getting my wisdom teeth taken out, knowing my mom was in town to “help out” despite her crashing later that night at a hard 7:30 like the fucking Amish kid from Witness, who normally goes to sleep early because either A) He has to wake early to milk a farm full of cows for B) Is burnout on reading the Bible by candlelight again into midnight hour, when his love comes beaming around because it loses its dramatic oomph when you’ve already read it 5000 times before your 8th birthday.  

Still, feeling good about my post, New England IPA buzz on an empty stomach, knowing I’ve removed all fear from my kids prior, by being the high energy dad they love as I keep heckling Alexa to play Slip Of The Lip and Dance, Dance, Dance, by the kings of slithering Sunset Strip metal sleaze Ratt. Although along the way, my surging levels of happiness were flat lined to death when I had to endure annoying lines from my wife such as, “You can’t drink after taking Tylenol, it will wreck your liver.” I say, “If 3 days in Mardi Gras sophomore year in college, in addition to my lushastic, hound dog driven twenties in LA or my poor man’s William Faulkner, bourbon swirling impersonation in my 30’s back in Brooklyn and Queens, didn’t kill off my liver, nothing will babe, holla, thank you very much.”

So, after realizing that the 2 alleged most important adult woman in my life, that being my mother and wife of 10 years, fail to take care of dinner preparation for my 3 kids after getting my wisdom teeth taken out, I assume ownership of the situation and command the room, the way only a seasoned, all star Koshetarian Comedian can. Granted, when you’re not making Ravioli by freaking hand, or even from a pasta making machine, it’s not a drawn out, colossal time suck either. Still, when you take pride in being a yummy dance producer maestro, who’s accustomed to hearing from any of his 3 kids, “More, more”, “This is delicious Daddy” or “You haven’t made a batch this solid in months Daddy ”, you put in the extra effort to make an A Plus marinara sauce from scratch which steals the show, assuming you use your kids like open mikes in the kitchen prior enough to recognize your last 2 batches of bomb Ravioli made from scratch by some old world Italian Grandma, most likely in the same room since the Godfather was released in the boogie down Bronx, were a tad 2 al dente around the edges, to be called a complete resounding success.  

Mario Batali gave me the idea of always using red onions and carrots as a standard solid base every time you make any marinara from scratch, which I did here, having a Chopomatic at my disposal, after breaking the past 2 from being too rough with it, helped me resent my mom’s and wife’s complete lack of interest in any making life fuss free for a change a tad less in the end.  At the same time, I knew mama wouldn’t make this favorite meal for my 3 biggest fans in the universe “with love”, so it was my pleasure to fulfill the glaring Do It All Mom void in the room. After I use the reliable, semi-sturdy Chopomatic to cut some red onion, I grate some shaved carrots before bathing them in a generous pouring of olive oil, flush with peeled off bits of garlic, and chili pepper flakes, for added spicy variety, which adds more titillating lift to our days, before throwing in the chucky yet crushed, San Marzano can of tomato sauce from nearby grocery chain legend, Stew Leonard’s, a reason to live in CT alone or Northern Westchester, really.

I was also hell bent on eye fucking the shit out of the 2 boxes of Ravioli to ensure all those pillowy squares of perfection floated to the top like they were sitting top of the fucking Red Sea, before they were devoured with plenty of mmm, mmm, yumtastic, inhalatory glee, for back-to-back, licked clean servings later. Bonding through noshing with our kids from incorporating them into the creation of better than boobie dishes while using them as open mikes for real time feedback, can make our kids great again, my 3 fuss free kids, 99% of the time, are living proof of it. Thank you sweet Lord, very much.

Michael Kornbluth

Waste Of Height

Once upon a time there was a Giant who lived in a tiny village called, Humungous Falls in Northern Westchester County, who never really fit in, despite owning a popular deli called Foot Long The Giant, which is what all the local lumberjack giants frequented every day, before chopping down more trees later used for bookshelves for their hobbit hipster southern neighbors in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Every day, the Lumberjacks would taunt Foot Long The Giant, calling him a waste of height for wasting his life making sandwiches for his fellow giants, when he could’ve just hired a bunch of Hipster Hobbits to perform the job instead. Ever day, they’d accuse of him being soft, for shying away from more hardcore forms of manual labor involving chopping down trees from dawn to sunset. One day, an 8-year-old aspiring professional food writer hobbit from Bushwick known as Hardcore Hunga, wanted to do profile for The Bushwick Post on Footlong The Giant, considering his legacy for making the best foot long heroes in New York, which were totally worth the schlep from Bushwick, assuming, you didn’t get too freaked out about getting stomped to death by a Giant Lumberjack by mistake on his lunchbreak. So one day, Hardcore Hunga fakes a tummy ache, ditches out on school, and flies his pet dragon to Humungous Falls to meet Foot Long The Giant face to face, praying none of the local giant lumberjacks sneeze in his general direction, which could send him flying all the way to Stink A Lot Jersey, where all the shitty smelling swamp creatures roam.

Footlong The Giant, descended from a land of giants who grew up to their full height out of Mother Giant’s womb, expected to get working from day one, being denied any sustained age of sheltered innocence from the real world of a grinding worker existence till their last dying breath. Mother Giant finally banged out her last giant, and with no female giants to procreate with, making these remaining giants the last of their kind, who normally started dropping like flies at a hard 40. So these lumberjack giants barely slept, and dedicated their walking life, to chopping more wood and tearing Foot Long The Giant down to size, for thinking he was better than them for being an artisan sandwich maker instead, when they weren’t getting wasted off Stouts, Porters and Barley Wine, which they were paid in from their Hobbit Hipster clients in Bushwick while competing in humungous cannon ball contents throughout Humungous Falls after work to blow up some much needed steam.  They also sold wood for precious gems to local Waterfall dwelling Nymphs, who made enormous bed structures, which always broke down and needed repairing for Sleeping Giants Are Us.   

Today, wasn’t any ordinary day in the life of Footlong The Giant, because today he turned the big 40, but as usual had nobody to celebrate it with, that is until the best looking, biggest hearted, funniest hobbit from Bushwick graced The Footlong The Giant Deli with a tape recorder in hand to conduct a career launching interview with the greatest hero maker the empire state has ever known.

Footlong The Giant gets ready to blow out 40 lit candles that go down in a straight line along his longest, star hero creation yet, a 40-foot hero that rests on a giant bench table that reaches from one side of the deli to the other. Footlong The Giant turns off the lights in the store and braces himself to take a depressingly long deep breath to make a 40th birthday wish, thinking, this might be his last and says, “Just once, I don’t want to feel like a waste of height anymore.” Then, as Footlong Giant opens his mouth to blow out the entire row of candles on his 40-foot-long cheese steak sub topped with Italian cherry peppers, lined with mayo, and semi-sharp provolone, he hears a knock on the door, which startles him a tad, because it was already way past lunch hour and was normally used to spending this time in the store to get the chicken parm stains off the wall after the standard lunch hour rush from the sloppiest eating lumberjacks who ever lived.

Hardcore Hunga knocks on the door again but peaks inside the window this time to see if anyone was inside, noticing a gorgeous flickering lighting of candles, thinking, he walked into a Death Memorial Giant Service, knowing the giants of Humungous Falls were a dying breed and dropping like termite infested Totem Poles these days. Footlong The Giant opens the door, not noticing Hardcore Hunga, who’s a solid 4 foot 2. Footlong The Giant says to himself, “I must be hearing things in my old age.” Hardcore Hunga, still holding his baby dragon on a leash instructs Dragon Lungs to blow a fire ball that nearly misses Footlong The Giant’s head. Footlong The Giant looks down and finally notices Hardcore Hunga and his trusted, always reliable companion, Dragon Lungs. Hardcore Hunga starts pitching, “Footlong The Giant, I’m Hardcore Hunga, I came all the way from Bushwick to interview a living hero maker legend.” Footlong The Giant laughs hard and long, blowing Hardcore Hunga Hobbit off his feet yet Dragon Lungs puts on the brakes to make sure he doesn’t get blown away into the wilderness, by wrapping his leash around Hard Hunga in midflight before slamming him to the ground to start wrapping him up as if he were roping a calf at a Texan rodeo. Footlong The Giant feels bad and invites Hardcore Hunga Hobbit and his pet dragon, Iron Lungs into his store yet totally forgets about never blowing out his row of 40 candles. Hardcore Hunga was smarter than your average bear, so he realized almost immediately, that he just crashed Footlong The Giant’s lonely heart, birthday celebration if you want to call it that. Hardcore Hunga Hobbit does his best to cheer up the sad hearted giant and says, “Happy Birthday Footlong The Giant, this looks like your greatest hero creation yet. You really are a living legend for a reason.” As Hardcore Hunga examines the scrumptious cheesesteak hero bursting with over the top, dynamite flavor, draped in glistening creamy white provolone that’s hugging on to the sesame loaded Italian loaf from end to the other for dear life and counts 40 candles in total in the process, which fills his hobbit heart with extreme sadness, knowing 40 is normally a death sentence for all giants who hail from Humungous Falls.  

Hardcore Hunga encourages Footlong The Giant to blow out his candles and make a wish already and says, “Make a wish and blow out the candles, Footlong The Giant. Wait a minute, one the candles went out already. Dragon Lungs do you mind? Dragon lungs blasts a stream of fire which lights the unlit candle on the end with laser sharp precision, which puts a big smile on Footlong The Giant’s face. Footlong The Giant wants to return the good, favored cheer from his kind, loving guests and gives them a birthday surprise to remember. Footlong The Giant turns his bum toward the 40 foot hero, lifts up his right leg and rips a humungous fart, which blows a gusty jet steam of sweaty, leg flapping, foul mist, which blows out all 40 candles in one swoop. Hardcore Hunga and Dragon Lungs fall down this time from laughing uncontrollably, while holding their noses in the process.  Footlong The Giant shoots off a smile that could light up a youth hostel with no Wi-Fi during the next Chinese rat planted Plague.

Footlong The Giant turns on the light in his deli and says, “Let’s eat.”  Footlong The Giant cuts off a four-foot 2 hero and serves it to his new friend Hardcore Hunga, who conducts a lengthy interview till they all finish the 40 foot hero together, Dragon Lungs included. After the story about Footlong The Giant got published in the Bushwick Post, New York state declared Footlong The Giant Deli a cherished, historical site, especially now that all his Lumberjack clientele dropped dead the next day after turning 40 themselves. Footlong The Giant no longer felt like a waste of height since his glorious friendship with Hardcore Hunga Hobbit began, who made him feel like the biggest star in the universe. After all the lumberjack giants drooped dead throughout Humungous Falls, Footlong The Giant moved to Bushwick with Hardcore Hunga Hobbit and opened a local deli, specializing in much smaller portions of course, when they weren’t building snow cones as big as skyscrapers every year for Hardcore Hunga’s birthday in February, the day before Valentine’s Day, which the entire village of hobbits licked up till they all became mostly brain freeze dead, proving how the biggest hearts come in all sizes and packages.

The End

Michael Kornbluth

Googling Numbers

Apple is the 1st U.S Company to reach a 2 billion valuation. Imagine, not being able to tell your 9 year-old daughter how many zeroes are in a billion without Googling it. I say to my daughter, “12 zeros are in a trillion Matilda.” She says, “I could have Googled that myself daddy. Is this why you call yourself a degenerate Jew, because at 44 years old you count with your fingers for simple arithmetic?”

Michael Kornbluth