Spirit of Sal Balsamo

My dad didn’t care for Heavy Metal, but Sal Balsamo did. He loomed large over Mount Metal outside of Seely Place Elementary School, a sprawling rock formation dominated by his jean jacket worshipping brethren, decked out in Metallica, Slayer and Overkill patches on all. It was here where Sal Balsamo delivered his metal front men with 10 Commandments of Metal to burn into their burnout craniums forever.

Commandment 1:  Thou shall not steal metal riffs from Twinkle Toe Rhodes.

Commandment 2: Thou shall Not Disrespect thy Father and Mother of Heavy Metal, Deep Purple and Lita Ford.

Commandment 3: Thou shall not carry hatred in your heart for Metallica’s brothers in arms after the killer commercial success from the Black album and beyond.

Commandment 4: Thou shall pray to the programing manager of MTV for playing the Cherry Pie video on one endless loop during the winter of 90, which even made Kareem Adul Jabbar crack a smile during Ramadan that was eight miles wide.

Commandment 5: Thou shall request DJs at Bar Mitzvah parties to play Cult of Personality even if they insist on not knowing who the fuck Vern Reed is yet.

Commandment 6: Thou shall kiss your guitar more than your girlfriend’s ass after she puts on the freshman 50 at the University of Buffalo.

Commandment 7: Thou shall find a new groupie to love if they deride Heavy Metal music as awful despite GNR, Motely Cru, Cinderella and Poison rocking your world more than they ever did.

Commandment 8: Thou shall consider blowing Desmond Child for penning Hair Metal classic hits like Poison by Alice Cooper, Dude Looks Like A Lady by Aerosmith and Living On a Prayer by the long haired cowboys from New Jersey, Bon Jovi.

Commandment 9: Thou shall laugh when you hear Jim Norton roast Sammy Haggar on Comedy Central with, “I don’t drink, but my hunch tells me Sammy that your Tequilla Cabo Wabo, is Van Halen light.”

Commandment 10: Thou shall pay Ace Frehley’s medical bills, if Gene Simmons screws him out any future touring money ever again.

The Spirit of Sal Balsamo burned on at his fort in the woods behind Seely Place one unseasonably warm December afternoon before Christmas Break. A fire erupted after a scatter of fiery ash landed on top of some old, discarded rugs used for after school hook ups with Elisa Velle on Valentines Day. Sal and his metal head Disciples watched in holy shit man aw as the fire raced up a giant oak tree, rapidly approaching his old Kindergarten classroom at Seely as it roared with Metallica Kill Them All rage up high in the sky. Sal Balsamo’s father was a retired fireman from Yonkers, NY and former roadie for Led Zepplin, so blazing inferno’s, backdrafts and fiery satanic altars his father would walk into as Jimmy Page pleaded with the Devil for more electric slaying chops than Hendrix or Tommy Iommi ever possessed didn’t dampen Sal Balsamo’s metal worshiping spirit one bit.

Then, a voice emerged from the fire that screamed, Run For The Hills, Run For Your Life, which freaked out Sal and his crew because the voice sounded exactly like the human air raid siren Bruce Dickenson from Iron Maiden because his super natural voice pierces through the clouds of Heavy Metal Heaven. So, Sal and his crew run for the hills as the fire roars on with Gene Simmons fireball blowing delight. Now, in the fire Gene Simmon’s face emerges and yells, “Loud, I wanna hear it loud, right between the eyes.” And Sal Balsamo’s crew started screaming the chorus in the unison while looking up to this Heavy Metal light show for the ages, no longer running for the hills with such divine powered pushed authority anymore.

Do It All Dad, a 46-year-old self-stylized Hair Metal Comedian takes a break from retelling the Spirit of Sal Ballsano and his son Hardcore Hunga Rocks says, “So what happened to the fire Daddy? Did Gene Simmons burn his tongue on it or what?” Do It All Dad says, “Eventually, the fireman extinguished the fire and what you see is the original Seely Place still standing.  But Heavy Metal never dies and it sure is fuck ain’t noise pollution. So, it’s on with show Hardcore Hunga Rocks. I think you’re finally ready for Nightmare on Elm Street, but let’s blast Too Fast For Love in the car first. Their leader guitar player Mick Mars is the Freddy Kruger of shredding. Hardcore Hunga says, “Let’s get on with the show already daddy. But when we get home, you get to play Van Halen on vinyl and use me as an air guitar appendage for Eruption, then we watch the movie, or I’ll be your worst nightmare, moron, got it.” Do It All Dad says, “Only if you promise to shout at any future devil bitch who tries to tell you Heavy Metal sucks.”

“Deal daddy, deal.”

Michael Kornbluth

The Spirit of Sal Balsamo

My dad didn’t care for Heavy Metal, but Sal Balsamo did. He loomed large over Mount Metal outside of Seely Place Elementary School, a sprawling rock formation dominated by his jean jacket worshipping brethren, decked out in Metallica, Slayer and Overkill patches on all. It was here where Sal Balsamo delivered his metal front men with 10 Commandments of Metal to burn into their burnout craniums forever.

Commandment 1:  Thou shall not steal metal riffs from Twinkle Toe Rhodes.

Commandment 2: Thou shall Not Disrespect thy Father and Mother of Heavy Metal, Deep Purple and Lita Ford.

Commandment 3: Thou shall not carry hatred in your heart for Metallica’s brothers in arms after the killer commercial success from the Black album and beyond.

Commandment 4: Thou shall pray to the programing manager of MTV for playing the Cherry Pie video on one endless loop during the winter of 90, which even made Kareem Adul Jabbar crack a smile during Ramadan that was eight miles wide.

Commandment 5: Thou shall request DJs at Bar Mitzvah parties to play Cult of Personality even if they insist on not knowing who the fuck Vern Reed is yet.

Commandment 6: Thou shall kiss your guitar more than your girlfriend’s ass after she puts on the freshman 50 at the University of Buffalo.

Commandment 7: Thou shall find a new groupie to love if they deride Heavy Metal music as awful despite GNR, Motely Cru, Cinderella and Poison rocking your world more than they ever did.

Commandment 8: Thou shall consider blowing Desmond Child for penning Hair Metal classic hits like Poison by Alice Cooper, Dude Looks Like A Lady by Aerosmith and Living On a Prayer by the long haired cowboys from New Jersey, Bon Jovi.

Commandment 9: Thou shall laugh when you hear Jim Norton roast Sammy Haggar on Comedy Central with, “I don’t drink, but my hunch tells me Sammy that your Tequilla Cabo Wabo, is Van Halen light.”

Commandment 10: Thou shall pay Ace Frehley’s medical bills, if Gene Simmons screws him out any future touring money ever again.

The Spirit of Sal Balsamo burned on at his fort in the woods behind Seely Place one unseasonably warm December afternoon before Christmas Break. A fire erupted after a scatter of fiery ash landed on top of some old, discarded rugs used for after school hook ups with Elisa Velle on Valentines Day. Sal and his metal head Disciples watched in holy shit man aw as the fire raced up a giant oak tree, rapidly approaching his old Kindergarten classroom at Seely as it roared with Metallica Kill Them All rage up high in the sky. Sal Balsamo’s father was a retired fireman from Yonkers, NY and former roadie for Led Zepplin, so blazing inferno’s, backdrafts and fiery satanic altars his father would walk into as Jimmy Page pleaded with the Devil for more electric slaying chops than Hendrix or Tommy Iommi ever possessed didn’t dampen Sal Balsamo’s metal worshiping spirit one bit.

Then, a voice emerged from the fire that screamed, Run For The Hills, Run For Your Life, which freaked out Sal and his crew because the voice sounded exactly like the human air raid siren Bruce Dickenson from Iron Maiden because his super natural voice pierces through the clouds of Heavy Metal Heaven. So, Sal and his crew run for the hills as the fire roars on with Gene Simmons fireball blowing delight. Now, in the fire Gene Simmon’s face emerges and yells, “Loud, I wanna hear it loud, right between the eyes.” And Sal Balsamo’s crew started screaming the chorus in the unison while looking up to this Heavy Metal light show for the ages, no longer running for the hills with such divine powered pushed authority anymore.

Do It All Dad, a 46-year-old self-stylized Hair Metal Comedian takes a break from retelling the Spirit of Sal Ballsano and his son Hardcore Hunga Rocks says, “So what happened to the fire Daddy? Did Gene Simmons burn his tongue on it or what?” Do It All Dad says, “Eventually, the fireman extinguished the fire and what you see is the original Seely Place still standing.  But Heavy Metal never dies and it sure is fuck ain’t noise pollution. So, it’s on with show Hardcore Hunga Rocks. I think you’re finally ready for Nightmare on Elm Street, but let’s blast Too Fast For Love in the car first. Their leader guitar player Mick Mars is the Freddy Kruger of shredding. Hardcore Hunga says, “Let’s get on with the show already daddy. But when we get home, you get to play Van Halen on vinyl and use me as an air guitar appendage for Eruption, then we watch the movie, or I’ll be your worst nightmare, moron, got it.” Do It All Dad says, “Only if you promise to shout at any future devil bitch who tries to tell you Heavy Metal sucks.”

“Deal daddy, deal.”

The End

Michael Kornbluth

Busted Beauty

Busted Beauty, otherwise known as Becca Kornbluth, was in no singing mood on Saint Patrick’s Day, especially during the chanting portion of her Bat Mitzvah without a Torah Scroll to hide her nose behind, which she inherited from her mom’s black Irish side. Still, Becca wasn’t too green with envy on her 13th birthday compared to Ivanka Trump’s daughter, who most likely chanted her Haftorah portion in Mandarin. In fact, Becca was feeling a tad luckier than most since she struck up a platonic relationship with her best and only real friend, Joshua Prize, who turned her on to Phil Lynott’s soul man and a half’s stylings as the lead bassist and head front man singer songwriter behind Thin Lizzy, who actually looked black Irish from head to toe in real life, sporting the super-size, fly guy 70’s afro to match.  Getting Becca into the Thin Lizzy wasn’t the easiest sell despite Phil Lynott being considered Dublin’s answer to the biracial Bruce Springsteen of his day because she associated everything Irish with her busted looking nose with a bump on top, that no amount of Irish Spring when applied to it, could smooth her ruptured soul, after the time she was forced to feel excluded because of it during a game of spin the Guiness bottle on Saint Patrick’s Day on her birthday no less, which is the double whammy of in your face shame.

It was one year ago when Becca was forced to hide in the closet at Joshua’s birthday party, who was born on Saint Patric’s Day to, so maybe there was some truth behind there being a thing called luck of the black Irish after all. Normally, Becca didn’t attend many birthday parties, instead spending her free time at home listening to Neil Diamond’s record Hot August Nights while reading Cracked Magazines as her black Irish mom who possessed a piss poor tolerance for even low alcohol lagers like Killian’s Red yelled at her dad, Michael Kornbluth for not “touching” her anymore, which made her feel like the busted, broken beauty inside. But tonight, was different because Joshua Prize was a transfer student from Park Slope, Brooklyn, and not having any friends in this new suburban hamlet otherwise known as Croton Falls, 45 minutes north of New York City, home of the ultimate Sain Patrick Day’s parade, he struck up a friendly conversation with Becca after the teacher announced the classroom birthdays, despite both of them refusing to wear green on Saint Patrick’s Day. Joshua Prize’s excuse was that he didn’t think green was the most flattering color on him. Plus, his Jewish father, who married an Irish lassie also, was beat up by Irish kids non-stop growing up in Brooklyn, who called him a Christ killer ad nauseum, insisting his ancestors 9 degrees separated from Don Rickle’s ancestry family line, were responsible for heckling the Romans into crucifying Jesus to death.  So, sporting green on Saint Patrick’s Day, didn’t make Joshua Prize feel so money mighty on beat up on the Jew day for being associated with alien blood colonizing blood suckers who controlled the Federal Reserve and all the banks in the North Pole to. So, when Joshua Prize was given the opportunity to make an impression when introducing himself to the class, he did. Joshua says, “You’re probably wondering, why am I not wearing green today? A classmate yells, “Because you’re a dirty gay Jew bastard.” Joshua says “I was going to say, Celtics shirts darken my inner light and look too regular drab for my taste, but close enough. Anyway, I’m having a Saint Patrick’s Day Birthday at my parent’s house tonight, which also happens to be my birthday. We dyed the pool green, hired House of Pain to DJ and imported a brick oven pizza hand tiled in Italy that will be serving all the pesto pizza pies you can eat. Party starts at 7, hope to see you all there, especially Becca. She’s an extra loosy goosey live wire one, I can tell.” The entire class laughs with surging derision despite Joshua letting off a winkish smile at Becca from afar while looking directly through her soul which screamed, new love is back in town. 

2 seconds into the party, the class bully Liam O’Reilly insists they play game of spin the bottle, but only if Joshua and Becca hide in the closet, because they refused to wear a shirt that says, “Kiss me I’m Irish.” Becca and Joshua oblige.

Becca hunches over in a rather spacious closet while fighting off hanging minks and leather jackets to get a clearer view of Joshua, whose father Steven Kornbluth was a big time TV development executive in Manhattan for FX who greenlit It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Rescue Me. Finally, Becca fights through the endless jackets and her eyes meet Joshua’s piercing hazel lit eyes. She goes in for a kiss but Joshua backs away from it. Becca says, “Why don’t you want to kiss me?” Joshua says, “I’m just nervous about kissing you Becca because I’ve never kissed a girl before.” Becca says, “That makes 2 of us for now.” Joshua can sense he’ll wreck Becca’s self-esteem for the foreseeable future if he doesn’t try to get into kissing her immediately. Joshua leans in to kiss Beca with his eyes closed and they clank their teeth together, almost shattering them into the smithereens, showcasing 0.0 kissing chemistry between them. Becca says, “So I wasn’t born to be your main squeeze after all? We can still be friends, right?” Joshua says, “Do you want to try jamming this Guiness bottle up my ass to see if I’d like that?  I saw it happen to this girl in a movie once called, I Spit on Your Grave. They both exude a nervous yet hearty laugh, neither of them being able to tell if Joshua wasn’t more half serious than half joking or not.

Now, Becca stands tall over the bema, which is the elevated stage in Synagogue where she performs her speech to commemorate the completion of her Bat Mitzvah and says, “One time a dear friend told me, “Rejection toughens you up for more rejection”, yet I stopped feeling excluded from a Happy Saint Patrick’s Day since Joshua Prize came into my life. All of a sudden, my birthday felt pregnant with feel good possibility again. Now, I no longer wanted to burry my nose in AP chemistry books till science camp to hide my mark of shame. I’ve wanted a nose job for the longest time. Origiinally, it was the only reason I decided to study for my Bat Mitzvah, after my Dad bribed me with Bat Mitzvah money to pay for it.  But I don’t mind my nose anymore, since my friend Joshua gave it a positive spin after a game of Spin The Bottle on our birthdays when we were forced to sit out the game in a closet at his parent’s house amongst ourselves. Joshua said, “Don’t blame your mom for your busted nose, Busted Beauty. Blame your gay closeted dad for getting too drunk to pull out again. Who cares if you inherited your mom’s busted nose or not? Your dad’s the one you should be pissed off at, especially knowing how he wants you to use your own Bat Mitzvah money to pay for corrective nose surgery that was his glaring production oversight in the 1st place. At the same time, you can’t be too mad at pops, because he gave me you. Granted, our kissing chemistry is non-existent. But love was back in town the day we met in chemistry class, and we could always produce a test tube baby together if you’d like. Like the late great Phil Lynott said, “If you’ve got nothing but a sense of humor, you will survive.” And we’ve got each other’s back, no matter what. Who cares if you prefer girls, but not when I dress up like one in a pink wig either?  Pervs stick together. Hey, we just outed ourselves while still stuck in the closet. Regardless, you’ll always be my favorite busted beauty Becca.” And I said, “Joshua, stop being such a drama queen already. Then, we remerge from the closet while the game of spin the bottle resumes among all the party goers who continue to ignore the totality of our collective existence. Then, I go into kiss Joshua on the lips, but he arches his back away from me before cracking his head on the corner of the wall, which required 13 stiches soon after.” So, what’s my takeaway hypothesis ladies and gentlemen? He’s only a fag hag if you marry him. Besides, no busted beauties are perfect.” Billy Wilder lives as a gender fluid comedian, Challah. Thank you very much.

Michael Kornbluth

Hard To Handle Hannukah

How do you trigger a gym teacher today?

Dress your son up in a Kyrie Irving shirt from the NBA store for Hanukkah.

Maybe now, Coach will remember my kid’s name.

Coach yells.

Get that Kyrie Irving shirt off.

Son says.

Do you need mental health counseling like Ben Simmons?

I think Stephen A lost his mind to.

He thinks Kevin Durant is living out a Greek tragedy.

Teaming up with Chipmunk Chucker in Golden State was so oppressive.

Kyrie Irving betrayed Kevin Durant.

If Fredo and Mike Pence had a baby.

At least Karen’s don’t know who Kyrie Irving is because they never watched ESPN in the 1st place.

Coach cracks.

You’re banned from the NBA.

Son says.

But I’m not Kyrie Irving.

I’m Arthur Kornbluth, remember?

So, you’re just another wise ass Jew like the rest.

But coach. If you fire 5000 rockets into Israel’s backyard.

Don’t expect an edible arrangement gift basket in return.

With a thank you note written in Farsi.

With all the hardened pineapple tops chucked into the Red Sea on your behalf.

Hard To Handle Hanukkah Day, Challah.

Thank you very much.

Michael Kornbluth