Leap For Murray Crocker

There was only one true friend in my life, Gus. Without Gus in my life, I never would’ve invented Rocket Science Cake for Dad. At least, that’s what Gus called my foray into sponge cake science during the summer of 69, when NASA put Americans on the moon to work on their short game. I developed rocket fuel for Space Shuttles earlier in my career after serving time in the war as a medic. Dear Gus, a Holocaust Survivor who managed to remain squeal free after an SS officer stabbed a pitchfork through his leg while hiding out in a farm in Germany within a haystack also called me the boy who raised himself. Gus would always boast to his friends in the Garment district about me going to City College at 16 and how I sang Hebrew more beautifully than our rock star Cantor in the Bronx who gave Dion a good run for his money. But mainly Gus called me the boy who raised himself because my father had the misfortune of having no trade to fall back on after immigrating to New York from Germany. Horse Collar Makers in the Bronx like my father weren’t putting me through MIT or John Hopkins University, even if the Budweiser horses are appearing in more print ads throughout Esquire these days.

I never contemplated tweaking my wife’s Sponge Cake recipe by using my rocket science background until her last batch drove away all the pigeons my dad used to feed in the park. Dad calls and says, “Son, I don’t know what your wife put in her Sponge Cake but all the Pigeons I used to feed in the park have gone AWOL since I fed them some leftover crumbs. Granted, your mom can’t bake either, baking is just not in our DNA, your wife included. I know that you have a kid on the way and enough to worry about Murray and that I was never the provider you and your sister Marian hoped for. I still thought the Candy Shop was a good idea. Who knew, I needed to pay protection money to the Genovese family on a monthly basis versus paying annual Synagogue dues if I didn’t want my store cleaned out every year on Easter Day. It’s just that those Pigeons kept me company Murray. They made feel less miserable than normal, until your mom moaned about how all the modern Orthodox woman in 1969 aren’t interested in upholding the Jewish tradition of sporting the shaved head look post Holocaust Victims enough to buy her wigs anymore. So, without those pigeons in my life Murray, my life is an endless slog like a plain Hebrew National dog with no sauerkraut or spicy brown mustard to relish on top.”

Soon after, dear Gus was over for Shabbat, before we went for Chinese with our wives, our usual routine on a Friday night in the Bronx. I say, “Gus, my dad thinks Ethel’s Sponge Cake scared away the pigeons he feeds at the park and he’s more miserable than normal without them. I wish I knew how I can help him out.” Gus says, “Why don’t you use your chemical engineering background and tweak Ethel’s Spone Cake recipe? You can call it Rocket Science Cake. Nothing’s better than great Sponge Cake. Tweak the sponge cake science Murray. Whatever Betty Crocker can do, you can do better.” “Fine, I’ll tweak the recipe. Who knows, if it’s a big hit, maybe, my dad can open a bakery business with it. 8 million New Yorkers can never get enough of great Sponge Cake.”

I tweaked and tweaked and finally made the perfect Sponge Cake. Man can’t live on his wife’s Sponge Cake alone. I think Maimonides said that once. Anyway, Dad never opened a bakery to sell them. Still, the recipe did become a source of urban legend. I never shared the recipe with anyone but my dad, who took to it his grave. On his death bed at the hospital, he said, “Son, I know you wanted to be an architect and design bridges and I was too much of a useless putz to make enough money to send you to Cornell to study it. But even the Brooklyn Bridge can’t compare to the godly grandeur of your Sponge Cake. Word must have gotten around town, because before I knew it, I was being hailed by the chess players in the park as the Pigeon Godfather. God really knew what he was doing when he made you kid. Nurse, come over and leap for my Murray Crocker. His Sponge Cake recipe is so good, Hitler would’ve called off the Holocaust for it.”

Michael Kornbluth

The Putzy Cup Of Truth

It’s hard to not feel putzy clutzy when your dad’s nickname on the streets of the Bronx was Trips on Curbs. The man never owned a spotless white IZOD sweater past Kosher meatball night for Christ’s sake. Plus, it’s hard to feel empathy for putzy stains of shame when you can’t blame the guaranteed splat attack on perpetual double IPA poundage, because you don’t want to circumcise your happiness, when your wife does that enough already by claiming how she’s the one who’s made sacrifices to. Like an aspiring comedian living in Queens during his late twenties wanted kids ever. And stop calling Queens hot, it’s not. Queens is the sloppy third Kardashian sister similar to the biggest backed one of the big 3, who’s easy to pound at 3 in the morning like a Lamb Gyro in Astoria. Also, there’s no way Bruce Jenner was asexual when he was married to Kris Jenner. But I’m positive Bruce stayed harder and longer after he talked Kris Jenner into cutting her hair shorter, so she’d look more like a dolled-up Ralph Macchio.

My 8-year-old son, Arthur Morrison Kornbluth, AKA, The Boy Who Raised Himself said, “The Putzy Cup Of Truth never lies”, which is beyond wise or else why would he throw a tighter spiral than you when you’ve had a 4 decade head start, regardless of hiding behind lame excuses such as being a late bloomer spill prone putz at heart. The same guy who got fired from his bartender job in West Hollywood for breaking too many Boudreaux wine glasses as if I was trying to nail my audition tape for Super Putz Get’s Married to a gentile from Australia who could help uproot my putz plagued family tree for good.  We wanted to get married in Australia, but my mom had other ideas.  She calls and says, “Son, Australia is a long flight from New York and your father doesn’t love you that much.” So, I calm my Aussie born wife down and say, “Hey babe, assuming we have a boy one day, which uproots my family’s putzy stains of shame for good, will pass on getting a Rabbi for the circumcision and instead hire Crocodile Dundee, who should be available last time I checked on IMBD. Just so we can hear a room full of Jews say in a collective state of stupefied awe, “Now, that’s a knife. You can chop it all off with that thing.”

Woody Allen claiming, he could “throw a football a mile in his youth”, in his memoir Apropos of Nothing when you can’t, serves as another humiliating reminder why the Putzy Cup Of Truth never lies. Granted, I was never caught stashing pictures of a half-naked Soon-Yi in my top sock drawer to tap for future film project titles such as Crimes and Misdemeanors, The Early Years. Shit, the only thing missing from Woody’s sticky icky collection of Polaroids was Soon-Yi crying on the cover of Time Life magazine, but I digress.  Yeshiva students shaming your chicken scratch scrawl next to you on the Subway proves how the Putzy Cup Of Truth is never too far behind, as you try to scribble away one ha inducing joke after the next only to hear Yentel’s younger brother say out of the blue to you, “What language is that Hebrew?” I say, “Yeah, it’s Hebrew Schmendel. I write deli reviews for the Kosher Planet.”

But today, I’m hosting a Burning Mask Party on July 4th and forced my daughter to invite all her friends, especially Andrea, whose father is a volunteer fireman. I want to kick his ass in The Putzy Cup of Truth to prove uppity fireman aren’t immune to sweating under pressure either, especially after he yelled at his daughter to “hurry up”, because he was running late to a “meeting” on a Sunday afternoon while my daughter’s 11-year-old birthday party was still in progress. Why was the Volunteer Fireman Dad acting so distressed exactly? Was he doing a power point presentation on Zoom for his local firehouse to prove how ANTIFA vigilante wannabes who never outgrew their pyromania phase are bigger fire hazards than posting election fraud charges on Twitter since the day Democracy died?

Fireman bust balls, go grocery shopping and try not to fuck up their Grandma’s Sunday sauce recipe for the firehouse. So this much I can do as a Stay At Home Shemale Comedian and host of the Do It All Dad Time podcast, which spits non-stop fire and non-stop truth bomb joke blasts Gen X Dads understand. I’ve also had to endure heckles on stage and plow through a karaoke set while the crowd threw napkins at me during my valiant attempt to finish singing Only God Knows Why at a Cheesecake Factory in Woodland Hills, so I can the handle pressure of increasingly damning animosity hurled in my being’s direction from every angle possible better than most. I also bombed with a Ron Artest joke at the Rainbow Room, where the stage is 3 feet below the actual audience, only to win the fire ready audience back with an inspired ad-lib for the ages when I said, “I love black guys because they don’t discriminate against pussy.” So, there’s no fucking way, I’m going to let this asshole wannabe alpha dog red headed volunteer fireman who’s not a Fire Chief try to exert a more manly stable, putz free aura on my home turf ever again. 5 million space bucks, he got triple vaxed despite real deal first responders who actually ran into the second tower never fearing the prospect of catching an itchy esophagus post COVID either. It’s not my fault his yoga teacher wife bends over backwards to shoot suck me off eyes in my presence knowing my lack of blinding red pubes with the lights on or not in the sack would be a welcome change pace as I pulverized her box into middle earth China.

All the kids are done plopping the masks in a huge pile on our front yard, itching for my long-awaited Burning Mask Party to begin. I light a bunch of Washington Posts, NY Times and issues of Atlantic Magazine on top of the masks and spray it down with Kerosine to take this Burning Mask Party so much higher.  Sly Stone lives, Challah. Thank you very much. Fireman Dad comes to crash the party early again and says, “Do you need help putting out that fire? This half ass bonfire looks like a fire hazard in the making to me. You’re surrounded by woods and your playground set is made out of wood, which is only 2 feet away from it, max.”  I say, “I got fire insurance despite ANTIFA attack premiums for homes that used to sport 2020 Trump flags going through the roof.” Fireman Dad says, “Hazel, were leaving, get in the car now. I’m running late for a meeting.” I say, “Stick around for a drink 1st. We just tapped the keg, it’s Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, the pale that never get’s stale.” Fireman Dad says, “What kind of party are you throwing?  You’re surrounded by a bunch of 11-year-old girls? I said, “I work as an in-house copywriter for Disney now, so I’m fucking fireproof for wining and dining minors as long as I’m educating them on my sex life, which is non-existent anyway, unless you’re interested in giving your wife a pseudo celebrity lay on her birthday for a part in my new movie the Yoga Scout. Disney is producing my movie about a stay-at-home shemale comedian turned Yoga Scout who recruits divorcees looking to make their sex live above average again by meeting other willing bang, bang partners in love at his all nude, hot Yoga studio, Spread Eagles. Does your wife want to spread the love in my Hebrew Hammer’s honor or what? Fireman cocks his fist and winds up to take a swing before his daughter points out how his leg has caught fire from the Burning Mask Party gone wild.  Daughter screams, “Duck and roll daddy, duck and roll.” But Fireman Daddy trips over my kids bike and falls flat on his face in front of all the kids who start laughing uncontrollably. The Fireman father yells, “Somebody help me put out this fire already, these are favorite pair of broken in jeans from Banana Republic, which are made out of Japanese cotton no less.” So, I showered him with mercy and poured a bucket of water on his jeans and put the fire out before saying, “Japanese cotton is more breathable.” Do It All Dad’s daughter hugs her dear daddy’s leg and says, “Daddy, you saved Andrea’s dad’s favorite pair of jeans from disintegrating on the spot while he shrieked like a teenage groupie when Cheap Trick played live at Budokan. You won the Putzy Cup Of Truth challenge after all Daddy. You’re like a gender fluid version of Pat Benatar in the form of a hardcore hilarious comedian, “Come on hit me with your best shot and fire my putzy plagued past, away. Challah, thank you very much.”

Michael Kornbluth

Beyond Beautiful

Beyond beautiful or giant genius at 11 years old isn’t the question.

Especially when all her teachers since Pre-K have confessed to wanting to clone her, which gives new meaning to honorable mention.

What’s beyond beautiful anyway? Natural beauty from within, that shines through her loving eyes before you tuck her in at night as your next of kin.

Beyond beautiful is your daughter doing cartwheels in the sand that scream go f yourself to, my daddy is a one-man rock and roll band.

Beyond beautiful is your daughter keeping your me centric ego in check, by stating on her birthday, “Spare me the talk today about your life before me was a perpetual wreck.”

Beyond beautiful is a proud New Yorker on the rise. So, when Singing Rose makes her name shine among the bright lights, don’t act so freaking surprised.

Beyond beautiful is a daughter who cares about her daddy being happy despite not making it yet while discarding baby Samuel’s nappy.

Beyond beautiful is a daughter loved by her friends who require zero amends.

Beyond beautiful is a girl who her brothers adore for including them in forms of creative play which never bores.

Beyond beautiful is a daughter who makes her Daddy beam with pride for birthing a light spreader who’s got God on her side.

Beyond beautiful is the birth of a family that started with Singing Rose, who inherited my perfect nose.

Beyond beautiful are hugs with your daughter that last, that make all past hurts, insults and shows of disrespect minor annoyances of the past.

Beyond beautiful is perfect laugh lines on your daughter’s face, after you instruct her brother, Female Flash, to pick up the pace.

Beyond beautiful is a daughter’s love for dad that’s a pure holy glow, that only increases in specialness the more she grows.

Beyond beautiful is a daughter born to woo, who will do more with her life than become a lawyer who sues.

Beyond beautiful is a daughter Matilda Kornbluth, who I can claim as my own. She blesses me with heaven on earth without having to be flown.

Happy 11th Birthday, Matilda Singing Rose, my funnier, sweeter twin, more bonding time with you is always a win, win. I’ll always be your biggest fan, especially for insisting I make it as a big-time comedian in New York versus bolting to Texas or Florida for a better tan.

Mommy, Daddy, Arthur, Samuel and Miss Kitty love all that you are, yet the best is yet come from my beyond beautiful genius star.

All My Love,

The Unholy Father, Daddy