The Neverending Prick


“Does cocaine make you a manipulative prick or were you one to begin with, without any added stimulative effort”, asks Co-Op Board Member Number One with stone cold detachment, a 50 something well dressed CFO who never met a Brooks Brothers striped shirt he didn’t like. The Manipulative Prick wiggles in his wobbly wicker chair and swallows a big gulp of saliva to extract some last second drips from the blast of cocaine he did moments prior, in his Tudor style apartment within the river town of Dobbs Ferry, NY, about 30 minutes north of his old school buying spot in Washington Heights from Julio Silverbade, the 3rd, before his co-op eviction trial began.

The Manipulative Prick otherwise known as Sir Snort A Lot, loved doing cocaine, mainly on the weekends though, when he wasn’t working. So what harm was there in that, besides his addiction to speed spilling into other spheres of his life such as rapidly fading domestic bliss, after getting married to a nurse who was growing tired fast of his liar, liar, nose on fire routine to. Last month, when the newlyweds received their 1st of many more noise complaints to come, the manipulative prick, a 40-year-old phone sales rep Verizon says, “Relax babe, our neighbor, the retired accountant, complains about our alarm clock being too aggressively loud for his taste. But he’s just lonely and miserable since his wife died and is redirecting his rage at the world at me, because his life sucks compared to mine, that’s all. Wife Kate, a 35-year-old, one time divorced pretty yet worn-down looking ER nurse says with weary disgust, “You’re a 40-year-old cokehead who sells smartphones for a living, which sell themselves. Plus, he has one full set of a hair more than you do. So, what is he so jealous about exactly, your tar stains on your 2 front teeth? Is he jealous about how your best friends are druggy, alcoholic degenerates like yourself who make more money and are more career secure?  You think he longs for lustful urges to get pegged by trannies at 4am in the morning because he can’t ejaculate into his wife’s fairly tight, doody free snatch? Or is the accountant jealous about how you still have to call up mommy and daddy for help with the rent because your money management skills are so piss poor for a Jewish cokehead, your Hebrew name is under judicial review? Maybe, he’s jealous about you being a no-show Uncle, whose more likely to remember the spread on the Giants game from 5 years ago today, than your brother’s kids’ birthdays, despite one of them being born on News Years Day, moron.”

Now the Manipulative Prick starts to defend himself against charges of being an annoying, loudmouth, serially selfish, ungrateful, spoiled rotten neighbor, who deserves to stay in his humble one-bedroom apartment in Dobbs Ferry for another day and says, “First off, I take incredible offense, being labeled as a manipulative prick of any kind.” Then, a freak of nature happens, as a bulge in his pants emerges, which concerns him immediately, because normally anal stimulation is needed on coke to get him erect with aroused interest at all these days.”

The Manipulative Prick looks down at his swelled bulge, smiles amusingly at it and continues his customary bullshit artist ways, insisting, “Stop treating me like Bernie Madoff. I’m not screwing anyone out of money here.” This time, the Manipulative Prick’s prick makes a near deafening sound out of the freaking blue, by smashing up against the table he’s sitting behind for his eviction trial, sounding like battering ram just made full blown contact against it. Now, the Co-Op Board Member Number One snaps out of his ice-cold veneer and says, “Causing more noise commotion, during your eviction notice hearing already. You really do know how to make a sustained shitty impression. Is your middle name automatic fuck up, or what?” Now, the Manipulative Prick starts getting a rapid surge of heart palpitations, especially after glancing down to his lap at his middle appendage, noticing how it now resembles the hammer of Thor.

Co-Op Board Member 2, a wrinkly, diminutive yet feisty, retired realtor chimes in and says, “How are we supposed to believe you’ll become an oasis of calm or an embodiment of measured normalcy, compared to all our other 50 plus and over tenets when you can’t even sit still and remain commotion free during your final eviction notice hearing? Just try not to be so out of control, boozy, drugged out loud when consequences for your got to have satisfaction up my nose, whenever I want behavior have never been greater.”

The Manipulative Prick takes a sip of water on the table in front of him, the same aftershock table that shook all the cobweb corners lose in the room prior in addition to the realtor’s wig and says, “All I do on the weekends is smoke weed and watch Giant games alone when my wife works the weekend shit, especially since COVID hit these days. I don’t even see my friends to do coke anymore, especially since I got into weed oils, which don’t stink up the hallways nearly half as much actually.”

Now, a humongous dick blasts through the Manipulative Prick’s pants, blasting straight through the art deco tin ceiling, through a fancy schmancy chandelier, while looking more like the worm giant from Dune as all the Co-Op Board members duck for cover under their judgement table, as shards of glass fly across the room in every conceivable direction. Co-Op Board Member number 2 squatting underneath the table for cover with a look of abject, confused bewildered terror on her face screams, “What the fuck is that? The Never-Ending Prick.

The End  

Michael Kornbluth

The Never-Ending Prick


“Does cocaine make you a manipulative prick or were you one to begin with, without any added stimulative effort”, asks Co-Op Board Member Number One with stone cold detachment, a 50 something well dressed CFO who never met a Brooks Brothers striped shirt he didn’t like. The Manipulative Prick wiggles in his wobbly wicker chair and swallows a big gulp of saliva to extract some last second drips from the blast of cocaine he did moments prior, in his Tudor style apartment within the river town of Dobbs Ferry, NY, about 30 minutes north of his old school buying spot in Washington Heights from Julio Silverbade, the 3rd, before his co-op eviction trial began.

The Manipulative Prick otherwise known as Sir Snort A Lot, loved doing cocaine, mainly on the weekends though, when he wasn’t working. So what harm was there in that, besides his addiction to speed spilling into other spheres of his life such as rapidly fading domestic bliss, after getting married to a nurse who was growing tired fast of his liar, liar, nose on fire routine to. Last month, when the newlyweds received their 1st of many more noise complaints to come, the manipulative prick, a 40-year-old phone sales rep Verizon says, “Relax babe, our neighbor, the retired accountant, complains about our alarm clock being too aggressively loud for his taste. But he’s just lonely and miserable since his wife died and is redirecting his rage at the world at me, because his life sucks compared to mine, that’s all. Wife Kate, a 35-year-old, one time divorced pretty yet worn-down looking ER nurse says with weary disgust, “You’re a 40-year-old cokehead who sells smartphones for a living, which sell themselves. Plus, he has one full set of a hair more than you do. So, what is he so jealous about exactly, your tar stains on your 2 front teeth? Is he jealous about how your best friends are druggy, alcoholic degenerates like yourself who make more money and are more career secure?  You think he longs for lustful urges to get pegged by trannies at 4am in the morning because he can’t ejaculate into his wife’s fairly tight, doody free snatch? Or is the accountant jealous about how you still have to call up mommy and daddy for help with the rent because your money management skills are so piss poor for a Jewish cokehead, your Hebrew name is under judicial review? Maybe, he’s jealous about you being a no-show Uncle, whose more likely to remember the spread on the Giants game from 5 years ago today, than your brother’s kids’ birthdays, despite one of them being born on News Years Day, moron.”

Now the Manipulative Prick starts to defend himself against charges of being an annoying, loudmouth, serially selfish, ungrateful, spoiled rotten neighbor, who deserves to stay in his humble one-bedroom apartment in Dobbs Ferry for another day and says, “First off, I take incredible offense, being labeled as a manipulative prick of any kind.” Then, a freak of nature happens, as a bulge in his pants emerges, which concerns him immediately, because normally anal stimulation is needed on coke to get him erect with aroused interest at all these days.”

The Manipulative Prick looks down at his swelled bulge, smiles amusingly at it and continues his customary bullshit artist ways, insisting, “Stop treating me like Bernie Madoff. I’m not screwing anyone out of money here.” This time, the Manipulative Prick’s prick makes a near deafening sound out of the freaking blue, by smashing up against the table he’s sitting behind for his eviction trial, sounding like battering ram just made full blown contact against it. Now, the Co-Op Board Member Number One snaps out of his ice-cold veneer and says, “Causing more noise commotion, during your eviction notice hearing already. You really do know how to make a sustained shitty impression. Is your middle name automatic fuck up, or what?” Now, the Manipulative Prick starts getting a rapid surge of heart palpitations, especially after glancing down to his lap at his middle appendage, noticing how it now resembles the hammer of Thor.

Co-Op Board Member 2, a wrinkly, diminutive yet feisty, retired realtor chimes in and says, “How are we supposed to believe you’ll become an oasis of calm or an embodiment of measured normalcy, compared to all our other 50 plus and over tenets when you can’t even sit still and remain commotion free during your final eviction notice hearing? Just try not to be so out of control, boozy, drugged out loud when consequences for your got to have satisfaction up my nose, whenever I want behavior have never been greater.”

The Manipulative Prick takes a sip of water on the table in front of him, the same aftershock table that shook all the cobweb corners lose in the room prior in addition to the realtor’s wig and says, “All I do on the weekends is smoke weed and watch Giant games alone when my wife works the weekend shit, especially since COVID hit these days. I don’t even see my friends to do coke anymore, especially since I got into weed oils, which don’t stink up the hallways nearly half as much actually.”

Now, a humongous dick blasts through the Manipulative Prick’s pants, blasting straight through the art deco tin ceiling, through a fancy schmancy chandelier, while looking more like the worm giant from Dune as all the Co-Op Board members duck for cover under their judgement table, as shards of glass fly across the room in every conceivable direction. Co-Op Board Member number 2 squatting underneath the table for cover with a look of abject, confused bewildered terror on her face screams, “What the fuck is that? The Never-Ending Prick.

The End  

Michael Kornbluth

The Fearless Maniac


Remember your dad taking you sledding? Yeah, I don’t either. I do recall the red flying saucer sled, which never achieved anything close to resembling manic speed, compared to my 4-year old’s son new Snow Screamer, which is slicker than Michael Jackson’s moon walk before we learned how he got away with murdering kids age of innocence like a smooth criminal. Also, if Michael Jackson were alive today, how would he defend himself against his Neverland accusers exactly? All the Beatles royalty points in the world, can’t buy me love.

I shared video of my son Samuel Chosen Curls Was Bound To Woo, sledding down a huge hill on a local golf course on his new Snow Screamer with my mom who lives Arizona, with the headline, winter loving, having a blast. Sometimes, I can’t help being a passive aggressive c word to my mother, knowing her standard line this time every winter in February is, “How are you handling the cold Scoops?” Growing closer to my 3 Koshertarian comedian children the more laughs and yummy dances I get, yeah, yeah, yeah. Also, doesn’t my mom realize it would be in equal poor taste, if I were to text her this summer, “How are you handling melting to death in the Arizona August sun again mom? Have you fried up a Chorizo egg scramble on your side patio tile yet? Is it hard to block out the smell of burning rubber from your Nike flip flops, mask on or not?”

My mother’s reply to the sledding video of her grandson whizzing down the golf course hill at ridiculous speed, was, “He’s fearless”, and she had no clue about the Peach Linzer Tart Hardcore Hunga Treat Trophy I got him afterwards in honor of his obvious bravery and his hardcore edge knowing he wasn’t wearing any Freezie Freakie Gloves and only wearing a thin a layer of pajama pants on to. I was in a rush to get all 3 of my kids to the golf course for a rapid barrage of sled runs before darkness fell because I still had to buy some canned pineapple later for my planned Koshertarian Chicken Fried Rice Dish soon after, so the pajama pant oversight on my part, only enhanced my 4-year old’s hard-core appeal in the end. Fearless, but my mother hates her grandson’s need for a Floatie in their Arizona Estate Pool, whose gone on record how she refuses to erect another netted pool fence in his honor ever again, for our next annual Arizona visit. That’s right, the pool fence is an eye sore. You’d think the pool fence my parents got temporarily installed to prevent their grandchild from drowning to death resembled the barbed wire fencing on the cover of an Elie Wiesel novel. Still, the slight danger element to sledding or when doing Improv in front of a live audience for your graduation show at UCB, where you ended up playing a gay swamp monster and received howls of approval in return, got me thinking about the importance of never being too married to whatever your initial dinner dish presentation was without leaving room to make last minute adjustments, instead of being held hostage by fear filled, sealed in stone failure forever.

It doesn’t matter what my original vision of my dish was, which was to make a Koshertarian Chicken Fried Rice dish using pineapple, green onions, and cilantro for some diversified springy adornment crunch on top. What matters was keeping myself loose enough on the cooking stage to make a last-minute adjustment, if I were to ever reclaim my kids respect as a star powered Do It All Dad Cook again. Whenever you’ve done stand-up comedy or Improv, you become consumed with self-lacerating fury whenever you don’t get laughs. Do It All Mom’s also wear their dejection on a sleave and become progressively pissed off at their kids, if their dinner dish, made with love or not, is received with nothing but sneering disdain from their kids, especially if there was a grand vision and a significant semblance of preparation and excessive chopping involved. Whenever my kids reluctantly slog through eating another obligatory bite from one of Mama’s quicky thrown together, Instant pot dishes, where the stems on the Cauliflower are thicker than Joe Theisman’s ankle after Lawrence Taylor almost snapped his entire leg off back in the day, mama will always attack her dinner table audience for not appreciating it’s nuanced, eccentric wonderfulness. All of a sudden, insisting our 3 Koshetarian comedian children are a bunch of ungrateful, unsophisticated, twats, unworthy of such exotic rounded goodness. But when my wife does this, she divorces herself from any form of self-correcting awareness along the way, which only sets herself up for increased, repeated failure and further depreciation of her cooking skills brand again and again.

Look, I used to be guilty of blaming the audience when they didn’t laugh at my jokes either but sucking to the core, forced me to dig deeper and work harder at making it impossible for the audience to resist sucking off my new and improved, material next time around. Another valuable lesson I received from taking UCB 101, is to spend more time actively listening to your scene partner, versus force feeding any predetermined shtick, which never gelled, because it didn’t arise naturally from the scene being created in real time, which is supposed to be a conversation rooted in your rapidly developing made up reality, versus a wrong way, cringe inducing monologue U Turn about your rage issues directed toward your mother who called your desire to write a screenplay back then as being,“Too ambitious.” I’ve applied these hard-earned lessons to how I innovate in the kitchen with my 3 kids, which explains why I generate more yummy dances galore than Mama does, because I don’t blame my kids for being stupid hicks for not loving her brown shit looking black bean soup, thereby allowing no room for any last-minute improvisational flourish to help win back her kids interest in giving a shit about what momentous free création mom put together next. In other words, you don’t grow as a comedian or cook if you’re constantly blaming the audience for their sucky reaction to your creations again. More importantly, if you care about killing in the kitchen to, don’t become fixated with sticking with your dreamy, grandiose, sure fire hit creation in your mind, when it doesn’t get the immediate, all consuming, loving reaction you envisioned it would receive. You think God was overjoyed with T.J Miller’s fake news standup special on HBO? No, so he got him fired from Silicon Alley, forcing him to write some funnier jokes or act outs that don’t involve egging himself on stage like a poor man’s Carrot Top, minus the six pack of abs, residency in Vegas and more hilarious hidden gem treasured bits up his sleeve.  

Even good old honest Abe once said, “The voice of the people is second only to God”, which means, the audience will always tell you what’s working and what needs work by either their lack of emotiveness or crushing disappointment worn on their face. After one bite of my Koshertarian Chicken Fried Rice with bit of scrambled egg, green onion cilantro and pineapple, my daughter’s face froze up in disgust. All of a sudden, her face was completely motionless, as if she was doing everything in her power to hide her shock of disdain for her Do It All Dad’s latest bust creation but failing miserably to conceal the perplexed, jaw dropping, abject horror eating up her soul alive. Granted, my daughter Singing Rose Kornbluth, expects me to deliver the goods and you only get good at anything, when you possess a passionate, all-consuming desire to keep your hardcore fans happy in addition to a burning, manic urge to constantly outdo whatever you did before with over-the-top fearless relish, like any self-respecting fearless maniac would.

So, I took one final look at my daughter’s face, which screamed, “You’ve got to be kidding me with this shit dada. I had to wait till 7pm on a weekday for this slop? How does it take so long to just plop bits of chicken into some oatmeal with some canned pineapple thrown on top? If this rice were any mushier, you could make it into a Jennifer Garner movie about rebounding from her breakup with JJ Abraham’s on the Hallmark Channel.”

So, thank God, my UCB improv training kicked in to full gear as I took my 1st bite out of my Koshtertarian Chicken Fried Rice bust, thinking, “My daughter isn’t a know it all, teen bitch in the making after all. I better get creative to save what remnant of respect my daughter has for my Do It All Dad cooking prowess immediately. Then, I dart into the kitchen to grab some sweet chili sauce, which I introduced my kids to recently over some frozen egg rolls mama got from Trade Joes’ to give the standard, cheap, starter appetizer some much needed oomphy zing. In the end, the last minute improvised add on addition of much needed sweet chili sauce saved my dish from dying a premature, depressingly dreary death. Plus, my kids regained faith in their Do It All Dad’s improv chops once again, proving I’ll always get by with a little help from my Koshtertarian comedy friends.

So, like Adam Sandler’s character Donny Berger says to his friend Vanilla Ice in the hilarious movie, That’s My Boy, “You better stop, collaborate and listen.” And if your kids are less than enthralled from your latest and greatest creation, there’s a reason. I wouldn’t want it any other way, because Koshertarian Comedians will never rule if they remain nothing more than cry, cry, babies.

Michael Kornbluth

The Divorce Immunity Quesadilla

Last night, with mama at work, my daughter asks, “Daddy, what do you love about mommy?” All of a sudden, I felt like a gay Tony Soprano, splathering, “I love that she’s the mother of my children but I’m not loving her more for mama saying in mean spirited, call back jest, “Don’t worry, Matilda, I won’t divorce Daddy if he keeps on making Quesadilla’s like this.” You can make an argument that a comedian should be able to take a joke at his own expense to. Still, when, my precious Bashert daughter gets involved, knowing she was the one who retrieved mama’s smartphone search history involving, how to do divorce unemployed, lushy, stay at home, she male comedians, made the offhanded on the surface innocuous reply, personally offensive to me because I don’t consider my daughter’s happiness plummeting through the equator without me in her life in my standard, beautifying at home fashion a laughing matter to derive self-serving chuckles with.

But just to reminisce a little, my love for the Quesadilla doesn’t start with one’s flush with bomb fresh, not too tarty goat cheese and glistening, piercing green zucchini blossoms, which you always spend a spleen on at the Farmer’s Market to get, the 2 days a year they’re for sale at the Farmer’s Market in Union Square and beyond. No, the roots of my fetching, surging interest in recreating some Quesadilla love on my own from home, stems from the various salsa’s I fell int love with during my IT Headhunter agency days after college throughout Southern, California, before it resembled an extended, roadside mall tent city.  The Black Dog Café on Wilshire across the street from E Entertainment Television where I scored my 1st temp job in LA, which lead to me dating a casting director who used to date Gabriel Byrne from Unusual Suspects, is where my lifelong fixation on replicating the side herbed, darkened hued, tomato salsa to dip their bomb scallion, diced up chicken breast, medium sharp cheddar, always tasty, never lump or dried up, scrambled egg lined Quesadilla began. I’ll never forgive my younger brother for giving me grief for taking him to the Black Dog Café when he visited from NY once, going completely ballistic over the fact how I made the affordable, posh, no line hassle, brunch dining experience all about my needs instead of his, because I dared to order him something different than his standard, bacon egg and cheese on a roll. Granted, my younger brother had no clue about the incredibly annoying fact how in 2001 in LA, deli’s that served bacon, egg and cheeses didn’t exist, forcing me to try a microwaved egg sandwich, once, which tastes like zapped happiness on the spot. The Quesadilla was never burnt, their in-house, dark roast coffee blend to help digest this meaty, scrumptious, protein rich breakfast offering, made any meh deli back east, with their freaking faded Goodfellas posters, clinging for dear life on the walls, a far flung, easily discarded, memory. When I lived in Sherman Oaks in the Valley, I would schlep over the Laurel Canyon up to borderline Koreatown to hit up my old school stomping ground at the Black Dog café, just for that blended, concentrated blast, of brain deepening dark roast coffee again and again, so go woke yourself little bro, you unsophisticated hick, who orders angostura bitters to put in the Woodford Reserve with one cube I ordered for both of us to celebrate the birth of my lucky number 3, my chest.  

Tito’s Taco’s in Culver City also offered a simple yet bomb Salsa, which you could’ve always order a larger side portion with for less than 4 bucks, which was a consistent no-brainer like hitting on the chesty MILF at the Black Dog Coffee, only for you to regret receiving her phone number after she insisted, we do more than meet for a drink, as if I’d waste a Benjamin on taking her to Six Flags in Valencia either.   I used to live in West Hollywood and would take my ex-live-in girlfriend to a local Tex-Mex joint on Santa Monica, which boasted a beautiful retractable roof while serving the freshest, sliced, heat packing Jalapeno’s that every chicken and steak fajita felt incomplete depressing without them dancing on top.

So yeah, back to the Divorce Immunity Quesadilla, sauteing red, yellow, orange, any sweet pepper with red onion in butter alone and you’re set it the veggie department, throw some freaking Arugula in there to make your soul feel healthier than usual. Shredded cheddar is nice, but so is the killer combo from Stew Leonard’s, which boasts Queso, the Mexican Mozzarella, light Cheddar and Monterey on my mind.  Making homemade salsa for the Divorce Immunity Quesadilla proves, you’re not above being cheesy romantic either.

Michael Kornbluth

Gender Fluid Pink Ziti

If identifying myself as Gender Fluid will increase my chances of getting a job interview for a paid remote writer position, then I have no problem filling out that hole. Why not write myself a starring part in a modern update remake of Tootsie, except instead of an out of work actor dressing up like a woman to get work, I’ll play a Gender Fluid blogger who dresses up like Bobby Doll from Poison for Zoom calls based on his make up complexion on the record cover Look What The Cat Dragged In? I’ve also been a stay at home dad and our in-house gourmand chef for my 3 kids much longer than your typical paid time off maternity period. So I’m more than accustomed to my nurse wife treating me like her gimpy, bitchy underling for sometime actually, the way weapons maestro maker Destro would constantly belittle Cobra Commander’s commanding heft or leadership authority of the Crimson Twins, relegating them to nothing more than, “Overrated, Trust Fund Terrorist Babies.”

Stay At Home Dads, regardless if they more than 800 followers on their WordPress blog or not, are more than used to subduing their urge to dominate a conversation and play the role of submissive puss next time the subject of whether stay at home mom’s should get paid because they’re not fake feminists who suffer from severe egotism as much either.

So now for the million dollar question, how you can make baked ziti at home for your kids while in the process of making it feel more manly about doing it? Easy, make gender fluid pink ziti. Wear out the pseudo feminent label on your rolled up button Ted Baker sleeve or live the remainder of your life scared of being outed as a shishy bitch enricher. Also, get extra flamboyant with your presentation and announce to the world in a loud and proud fashion, ” Blanket your Baked Ziti with herbed Rosemary bitches. It’s only Alice Water’s favorite herb, which she told Bill Maher on Real Time once. Oh, that’s right, only gay guys know the names of brand name female chefs, my bad.”

Using an excessive preponderance of over the top spreading of ricotta in your gender fluid pink ziti, doesn’t make the preparation of making this old school Italian classic, make you feel anymore rough and tumble manly, that’s for sure. I’d also refrain from considering the subbing the use of cream to add that pinkish, alluring glow, in favor of using Coconut Milk, if sticking with the Koshertarian Diet to please God isn’t a predominant consideration if you decided to throw meh diced up chicken bits of protein in there either.

Frying up some peeled off bits of garlic, diced fine bits of shallot in butter and virgin, cold pressed olive oil, interspersed with cut off specs of rosemary dust before plopping the pre-made Rao’s marinara sauce, doesn’t make you feel like Rocky pulling Pauli in a sled during his training sequence in Rocky 4 either.

Using locally sourced pecorino from Yonkers, DMX’s hometown, adds some salty, hardcore edge to your overall gender fluid baked ziti presentation but not nearly as much as you’d think. It’s getting pretty hot pink in here, I thought while revealing my gender fluid pink ziti, which my family inhaled with scrumptious glee. So if making delectable pink gender fluid ziti, makes it hellish hot up in here, so be it. The endless sporadic Mmmms, were worth losing whatever masculine edge I have left.

Michael Kornbluth

Memories Of Meh Brisket 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