Archive for November, 2023

Least Inspiring TED Talks

  1. What Yappy Dogs Have Taught Me

    My friend has a swell head.

  2. Men with Ringworm…and the Women Who Love Them
  3. “On the Paper You Urchins!” On Toilet Training Dickensian Orphans
  4. Mom Kept Me in a Refrigerator Box Till I was 8: Learning to Chillax Again in a Big Scary World
  5. Born Under a Zero: Learning to Live Without an Astrological Sign
  6. It Takes Two: Learning to Use the New 35 ft. Intestinal Flosses
  7. Can You Eat Animal Crackers and Still Call Yourself a Vegan?
  8. I was Born a Virgin, I’ll Die a Virgin:
  9. From Shiplap to Beadboard – A Panel Discussion on Paneling
  10. Monsieur Papillion Teaches Fencing – Mostly Chain Link and Stockade
  11. Pharmaceutical Media Influencers Insist: You’ll Be More Popular than Ever, Once You Have Eczema

♫ A Day in My Life ♫


Don’t think. Just remember.

It’s 1969. AD. I’m 8 years old and happily ensconced all alone in the cozy confines of my downstairs game room where I’m playing pool and groovin’ (yes, groovin’) to Beatles music on our state-of-the-art Magnavox Quadraphonic stereoI’m the best company a boy can have. And the beauty part is I’m never without me. And while I appreciate the company of other people, I especially like mine. I always seem to know exactly what I want to do and I never have to wait around for me to show up so I can do it. I’ve always been there for me. I have no choice. And being with myself in this special way (in the basement shooting pool and listening to the Beatles) was like a divinely choreographed yogic practice.


Sometimes the downstairs game room became my sacred subterranean sweat lodge. A place where I’d forget the world and remember myself. A place where sinking the 9-ball in the corner pocket would take on new meaning when set against the backdrop of John Lennon’s seductive lyrics, “I’d love to tuuurn yooou ooon.” Here in this sacred little kingdom I began to resonate with the background radiation of the universe. Tucked so serenely beneath the predictable tumult of a chattering world, life’s challenges didn’t need to be overcome because they didn’t exist; having disappeared into the side pocket by a combination of my trusty pool cue and a satisfyingly eerie dose of A Day in the Life. This downstairs sanctuary became a swirling meditation of colliding spheres and enchanting sounds – a microcosm of the universe with me at the center of my own time zone. And, like an ordinary iceberg whose superficial display belies its unseen massivity beneath, you’d have no idea any of this exalted stuff was going on if you happened to be outside looking in.


When the ethereal opening strains of Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds began to permeate the overly-paneled game room, I’m transported to (or reassume) that naturally happy place I remember from before. And like the uncontaminated soul I was, I just assumed everyone was familiar with this place. As an 8-year-old you assume a lot of things and loving ubiquity is one of them. It’s a wonderful life when there’s nothing to fear. Judgments morph into ♫cellophane flowers of yellow and green towering over your head.♫ I was still open to the possibility of all things. Or should I say I wasn’t closed to the possibility of things yet. My hard case (aka my cranium) had not ossified sufficiently to block out the honeyed joy of my source. The Beatles helped me remember that place – the place I had left just 8 years earlier. Sgt. Pepper’s had a way of evoking that memory.


There was something so magical and mysterious about some of those Beatle songs. In a very cool and unintentional way they were pointing to a more substantial place. Not this clunky earth, which I admit is a great place if you’re suffering from RPS – Restless Penis Syndrome. But it still seems so makeshift and temporary – like some kind of put-up job for me to buy into and play my part. I can’t explain it (obviously). And I don’t know why I interpret it as I do. It’s not like I took any hallucinatory drug (unless you count a couple sleeves of Oreo’s). There was nothing cross-wired in my head beyond a preternatural urge to rediscover that power behind the curtain. Put another way; as welcomed as my mother’s corned beef hash and eggs were (and they were f*ckin’ awesome) no earthly attraction could contend with the calling of a million suns yearning to radiate from my pineal gland. Y’know, that place just behind where the Hindus put that red dot. Well they put it there for a reason.


The Beatles spiritually incendiary songs didn’t seem to be so much created, as they were plucked whole, from a vast ocean of shared experience and presented as the sonic essence of the unseen multiverses at work – not an easy thing for a thin vinyl disc to do. Circling the pool table with what seemed like the cunning mastery of a seasoned pool shark, I absorbed the insistent musical expressions of those Liverpudlian minstrels and felt clothed in the immense power of a warm and knowing presence.  


So all this is going on in my head while I’m stroking billiard balls on my grandfather’s pool table. The green felt pool table we inherited when he died in 1969. Shoot pool and grove to the vibe. It’s all I wanted to do. It’s all I needed to do – I didn’t need to Turn On, Tune In and Drop Out. I didn’t need to Be Here Now. I Was There Then. I knew. I remembered.


After a spell, this tendril of easy rapture would retreat. And in various turns I’d try to recall it, like those colorful snowfalls I remembered from the other place. Back within the klutzy confines of monochromatic earth I was crestfallen to see white snow falling. Especially when I knew the colorful snowflakes were just a click away. After a rousing session of enlightening BeatlesPool in the downstairs kiva, I loathed to reenter the bumptious outside world of drama, calamity and ♫silly people who run around and disagree and never win and wonder why they don’t get past my door.♫ From where I reposed in the buoyant joy of my downstairs amniotic sac, it was getting better all the time. All else was either intrusive or a pale imitation of what it could be. But it was the only game in town – at least the town of Syracuse where I lived.


My downstairs basement (as opposed to the upstairs basement) was, at times, a serene and contemplatively glorious Walden Pond where I played Walden Pool. With enough Oreos I could hold out there all night. I’d groove to the grooves on the 331/3 rpm LPs I stacked one atop another. I felt supremely alone and yet totally connected – the sublime contradiction undressed. My brother or sister might come home from a night out. They’d bound down the stairs and I’d see their whole experience before me while my sonic séance was unfolding in the sanctum of my groovy grotto. I inherently understood their scene (their concerns, their loveliness, our shared experience being in the same family). It wasn’t the 8-year-old that knew this, but rather the soul (call it what you will) within that understood it all while it revolved at 331/3 rpms.


I was fairly pure back then and seeing things as they were wasn’t anything I tried to do – it was just done. Inherent. As time marched on I accreted the obfuscating rime of everyday life – its praises, its patterns, its reproofs – and the next thing you know old Jed’s a millionaire. That’s not exactly what I meant to say, but you know what I mean. You can fill in the blanks. Remember them? I know you do. It’s twilight. You’re in a small body looking out the window at all the colorful snowflakes falling from the sky. Your dad pulls into the driveway. There’s an outline of presents in the back seat. Presents for everyone. Your best angels are right there and you remember yourself.


Anyway, it’s something like that. Be happy I (or anyone else) can’t describe transcendence in its full dimensional clarity – it’s better than that. Its grace to be savored and experienced, not understood through direct observational perception. It’s that thing you forgot you knew. But don’t worry. Don’t ever worry. The amnesia is only temporary. Meanwhile how about a game of pool? I’ll put on some records. I’ve got’em on mp3 now. And no talking. We’ll just shoot billiards and listen to the waves on Walden Pool.

Japanese Street Sign

May be an image of skyscraper and streetI’d follow these instructions, if I knew what they meant.
Any ideas?
1. Do not ovulate for 20 minutes?
2. Cars must yield to all arrows.
3. $20 resort fee to be paid at end of street.
Note: It’s better to have signs like this and not need them, than to not have signs like this and need them.

Dave Reviews Books

  1. I Married a White Man – Wanda Calvert, a Baltimore washerwoman, explains how it came to be that she married a white man. The fact that she is also white makes the story very uninteresting.
  2. I Loathe Lucy – Willam Frawley takes us on a dark journey into the seamy underbelly of Desilu Studios. He takes particular aim at “Little Ricky’s” incredible growth spurt. More specifically Mr. Frawley decries the implausibility of Little Ricky being born one season and showing-up as a wise-cracking 5-year-old in the next.
  3. One Door Closes, Another Opens – An elderly female elevator operator from Pasadena is forced to retire after she accidentally inhales too much clumping cat litter. Her coworkers now call her, ♫The Little Old Lady with Emphysema.♫ When asked how she was doing the former elevator operator responded, “Well I don’t have as many ups and downs as when I was working.” In the British edition of this book, the little old lady is a lift operator from Wuthering Heights.
  4. This Plant is Closed – The story of a Venus flytrap as seen through the compound eyes of a newly imprisoned fly. And yes, near the end, the fly does eke out a forlorn “Help me!”
  5. This Plant is Closed – The story of a straw manufacturing plant as seen through the hole of the final straw. And when that final straw rolls off the assembly line, a visibly moved CEO picks it up and cries, “We’re closing now. This is the last straw.”



The Not So Good Ones

  1. The Queen Elizabeth Phone Sex Tapes: Naughty, Naughty on the Telly – In these newly discovered recordings found in the rethatched roof of the Pig & Whistle Pub in Ipswich, the Queen is heard sharing tawdry talk with her palace guard Beefeater, Heathclyffe. Listen in sordid salaciousness as Heathclyffe refers variously to the Queen’s undercarriage as Her Majesty’s Pita, the Royal Gash and the Outback Downunder. Some question the tape’s authenticity. Especially since in the background we repeatedly hear someone picking up a phone and saying, “George Santos residence.”


  1. Hair Raising Experiences – Pie weight salesman Osgood Pantene shampoos a woman against her will. Or did he? He says she agreed to it by bending over a portable basin he keeps in his wallet. She says she didn’t know what was happening until he had his sudsy fingers all up in her hair, but by then it was too late and she was all in a lather. This kind of thing happens a lot in the book so I can’t recommend it. I mean it’s just so lather, rinse, repeat. Still, this “He said, She said” shampoo story is Head & Shoulders above anything else we’ve read in the Bathic novel genre.
  2. Letters of Pol Pot – People sometimes forget this little mass murderer who disappeared 1/10th of Cambodia’s population in the 1970s – and just because someone screwed-up his take-out order (who orders blue curry?). In a pique of rage, he channeled his wrath into an indiscriminate cleansing of the population just to get rid of all the sloppy order-takers everywhere in the greater Phnom Penh region. His method was the very definition of overkill, but then again misplaced anger seldom achieves its goals. In this attempt to rehabilitate his legacy, Madam Wat, who ran the brothel Mr. Pot frequented, has released a trove of love letters the young and lovelorn Pol wrote to his favorite prostitutes. If this doesn’t make you reassess the diminutive despot, nothing will.


Rejected Romance Novel Titles

  1. Eat, Pray, Spooj
  2. Really? You’d Let Me Do That to You
  3. When I Pretend You’re Someone Else I Love You Even More
  4. You Slay Me: Especially Your Morning Breath
  5. The Passionate Prenup
  6. I Love It When We’re Dancing Cheek to Cheek. Can I Specify Which Cheeks?
  7. I Said “Get in my Volvo” not My Vulva


The Not So Good Ones

  1. The Telltale Vibrator
  2. Truly: It’s Not Your Smell, It’s My Nose
  3. The Tunnel of Love is Paved with Good Intentions
  4. Necromancy in the Time of COVID: You’re Dead to Me