Archive for February, 2007

The Dick Summer Connection – February 25, 2007

Sunday, February 25th, 2007

My neighbor Steve starts every day off with a smile, so he can get it over with as soon as possible. He often suspects people of plotting to make him happy. When someone says have a nice day to him, his standard reply is thank you but I have other plans. Our state motto is on our license plates. It says you’ve got a friend in Pennsylvania. Steve added a strip of tape on the bottom of the plate; it says…don’t look at me. I think his problem is he’s bored. And that makes a guy a cynic. And cynicism sucks. Poor Steve.

I could never understand how people can get bored. I was a therapist for a long time, and when I used to take a client’s history, I always asked people what they did for fun. You’d be amazed at how many people looked at me and said… “Oh…not much…there’s nothing much to do.” Now this was in New York…not much to do ? There’s always something happening in New York…of course, a lot of it is unsolved, but–nothing to do ? Come on. If nothing else, there’s never enough time to do all the nothing you’d like to be able to do. Actually, it is impossible to do nothing. Doing nothing is doing something, and in fact, if you’ve been working too hard, doing nothing can be very good for you. You have definitely been working too hard, Steve.

You’re always doing something. And I’m not talking about watching “must see tv.” There is no such thing. Take a hint from tv itself. When you watch tv, you never see people on the shows who are watching tv. Some people even have a tv in their bedroom. That proves to me that some people will look at anything rather than each other. Com’on, look at an actual person. You might enjoy yourself. If you can’t enjoy yourself, enjoy the person you’re looking at. Especially if you’re in your bedroom. Unless that person happens to be Steve.

Bedrooms can be the funniest place in the house. Joan Rivers claimed she caused her husband’s heart attack in the bedroom. She said in the middle of sex, she took the paper bag off her head, which made her husband drop the video camera and he keeled over on the hired hooker, breaking her arm. She said it would have taken an hour to untie herself and call 911, but the Great Dane could dial. But Steve, keep in mind that you’ve got to get into good shape if you get into bondage. As they say, you’ve got to get fit to be tied.But don’t just hang around. As Saddam Hussein recently proved, hanging around can be dangerous. If you have such a good job that you’re leading a comfortable middle class life, with occasional upgrades to business class, use your spare time to help the community. Join a volunteer fire department. Help out at a hospital. Donate your services for the temporary relief of underprivileged local nymphomaniacs.

How can anybody be bored when there are so many problems to be solved and questions to be answered ? For example, what’s going on with our eyes ? Sometimes on a train I’ll look directly at the back of the neck of the guy in front of me. Pretty soon, he’ll reach up and scratch his neck. Sometimes he’ll actually look around. How come he knows I’ve been watching him ? How come there’s always one wacky wheel on every super market shopping cart? What makes people push the elevator button two or three times ? How come there are no Thanksgiving carols ? Why do we laugh? Why do we cry ? How come when we really get into a laughing fit, we sometimes start to cry ?… Even if Steve isn’t around.

I have secret thoughts, and I like thinking about them when other people think I’m doing something else. It’s fun…and it keeps me from getting bored. If you don’t have any secret thoughts, make some up. They don’t have to be dirty thoughts, although they are often the most fun. Secret thoughts can be about anything. You can have secret thoughts about what you’re going to do on your vacation…right there, you could incorporate some good dirty thoughts while you’re at it. Just imagine, you could have secret thoughts about your vacation while you are at work and your boss couldn’t fire you for it, and you could have secret thoughts about work while you are on vacation and your wife couldn’t complain about it.

If you’re a woman who’s waiting for the right guy to come along, great. But why not have some fun with the wrong guys while you’re waiting ? And guys, even if deep inside you know you’re boring, you can have some fun. Tell at least ten girls today that you’re so boring they should kiss you if they want to calm down. DO IT NOW. Remember, according to the Viagra ads, it’s not your knees that go first.

Boredom causes cynicism, and cynicism sucks. Some people claim that the only time you can ever change a guy like my neighbor Steve is when he’s an infant. But I think he can at least do a little better, if he tries dreading only one day at a time.

DICK’S DETAILS QUIZ – (All the answers are in the current PodProgram at www.dicksummer.com .

1- What is the dreaded Married Guy’s Mighty Question #1 ?

2- What is the dreaded Married Guy’s Mighty Question #2 ?

3- Why didn’t ancient Egyptian girls use birth control ?

Scoring:

3 right – You’re always a winner.

2 right – Second place means you lost.

1 right – Consider cheating next time.

0 right – It is hard to believe that out of a million or more sperm, you were the fastest.

Please Email your suggestions for beating cynicism to dick@dicksummer.com   If we use yours, we may send you one of our CDs for free. Or maybe not. But give it a shot. If you’re above such things, you’re always welcome to leave a comment below… where it says “comments.” If you ARE a cynic, I know you won’t bother. Too bad, Steve.

 

 

The Dick Summer Connection – February 18, 2007

Sunday, February 18th, 2007

By the week after New Year’s, I had just about all I could take of myself. Even my Lady Wonder Wench was giving me hints, like, “Hey knock it

off…don’t growl at me.” I was so grouchy, I caught myself getting ready to kick our dog. And we don’t have one. So I was growling around

because we don’t have a dog. I’ve been getting that way more often since I’ve become “a little more mature,” and I don’t like it. So that’s why I’m

on this “don’t let the dumb stuff get you down” kick. I don’t want to become a cynic. Cynics suck. And I’m not going to become a sucker. Of

course, as with everything I do, I’ve been over doing it a bit, I guess. 

So, predictably, my buddies are all giving me a hard time…’cause that’s what buddies do. My pal Al is calling me the Crayola Man…he says I’ve

stopped being realistic since I’ve been on my “cynics suck” kick. He claims that lately I have been reminding him of a little kid happily playing

with his crayons instead of paying attention to the fact that the world is about to end, our taxes are sure to go up, and radio as we know it is

dead because of ipods.

 

Well, let “Crayola Man” tell you a true story about Crayolas. As some of you know, I do television commercials. A few years ago, I won an audition

to do some commercials for Crayola crayons. I showed up at the studio, grabbed my cup of coffee, went into the booth, and I asked the producer

for the script. He said, just say Crayola Crayons a few times. I figured he was doing a sound check, so I said Crayola Crayons a few times…then I

said, ok guys where’s the script. He said, “that’s a wrap.” I said, what are you talking about. He said, “that’s it. We just needed a tag.” A tag is

what you call a very short statement at the end of a commercial. They put that tag on the end of five national commercials and ran it for three

years. It earned me almost six figures in residuals before they killed those spots. So I have fond feelings for Crayola crayons.

 

And besides that, I like the fact that crayons have a kid smell about them…like chalk has…and sliced apples and peanut butter. I liked being a kid.

And I’ve always liked apples, peanut butter and strawberry jam, oatmeal and raisins…and I have them every day now for breakfast AND lunch…

because I’m an adult and I can eat like a kid if I want.

 

I also like the feel and smell of crayons. They give them to kids to keep them quiet at Applebee’s…and when we go in there, I usually grab some

for myself. I tell the waiter it’s for “my little guys.” Which is not a lie…I sometimes call my fingers “my little guys,” because like most little guys

they get into trouble fairly regularly. It’s not my fault what they do while the guy who’s supposed to be in charge isn’t watching. They’re like my

eyebrows. I always wanted to say things to girls like the Big Bopper used to say…hellooo baaaybe. But I can’t get away with it, because the little

guy sitting in the back of my head who’s supposed to keep things under control always runs to see who I’m talking to when it’s a pretty girl, and

while he’s gone, my eyebrows flip up and down a couple of times, which makes my Lady Wonder Wench giggle…instead of looking at me

adoringly …like Bergman looked at Bogart in Casablanca. Same kind of thing happens with my fingers.

 

Crayolas are made in Pennsylvania, by the Binney Company. They make around 3 billion of them a year, so little kids all over the world can make

refrigerator art with them. That’s been going on since the 1930s. So you figure all of today’s big shots must have played with them when they

were kids. Bush, the Pope, the Ayatollah … even that nut case in Iran who’s name I can’t say…all of them did it. Can’t you just see them all…little

kids…sticking their tongues out…scribbling like mad… concentrating on their coloring books…then all running over to their mommies…happy

and excited about drawing a tree that you can kind of recognize.

 

Beats what they’re up to these days.

 

Maybe we should have a Crayola rocket. When things get tense, we’d launch it with a payload of millions of crayons…the thing would explode

high up in the air, and millions of crayon boxes would float down under little parachutes…and everybody would chuck their guns, run out and

grab some crayons, stick their tongues out and start scribbling.

 

Then while the bad guys are in kid mode, maybe we could deal with them like kids would do. We could take them out to play hide and seek and

then just sneak away. Especially that North Korean guy.

 

There was always one kid who was so good at hiding, nobody could find him…even after the game was over and all the other kids went home.

Johnny T was that kid in our neighborhood. He hid so well one day, nobody has seen him since the third grade. When it got to be the North

Korean guy’s turn to hide, we could just tip toe away and let him keep hiding for a few years.

 

Com’on…I know it’s childish. But give Crayola Man a little giggle. Giggles are good…except when caused by out of control eyebrows, or “little

 guys” that your girlfriend says are “too cold.”

 

Dick’s Details: (The answers are all in the current PodProgram at www.dicksummer.com

1- What do some Americans seem to do with the ton and a half of food they eat each year ?

2- What’s different about some politicians’ brains ?

3- What’s strange about 75% of American women’s bras ?

Scoring:

3 right – Brain surgeon.

2 right – Airline pilot.

1 right – Talk show host.

0 right – Disc jockey.

So, what have we learned ?

 

1- No matter how accurately you kick your dog, your wife won’t award you an extra point.

2- Guys cannot be held entirely responsible for their eye brows or their “little guy’s” actions when a pretty girl is around.

3- Realism is not the same thing as cynicism.

 

Would love to hear from you – Email – dick@dicksummer.com  – or just post a comment below. I read em all.

The Dick Summer Connection – 2007 #6

Sunday, February 11th, 2007

I just made “Penny” cry. And I love it.Proud PodProgram Participant “Penny” from Long Island (New York) sent an email that said, “I was listening to the ‘Good Night’ PodProgram in my car, and it was still playing when I got home and I had to sit in my car until it was over.” Then she said, “Your stories always make me cry, even the happy ones. It’s embarrassing.”

Tears are worth the embarrassment.

When I was on the air, I loved making people cry. Because that meant I was making some kind of emotional connection with them. Radio was good at that. Especially middle of the night radio. But weirdly, that’s one of the reasons I got fired from so many radio jobs. Big boys don’t cry. Radio is run by big boys. Big boys who are afraid of being embarrassed.

I understand the Big Boys Don’t Cry mentality. I’m a member of the “Louie-Louie Generation” and I think we invented it. (Louie-Louie was an old song that was supposedly “dirty” and was therefore the perfect anthem for my pre-politically correct generation.) Louie-Louie Generation guys NEVER cried. We were tough, silent, and completely insensitive to pain…and everything else. We had both of our feet firmly planted on the ground. Our middle names were John Wayne.

And that was me. Cry ? How embarrassing. Ha!

I was in the third grade when my dog “Whistle” ran after a car… and caught it. I stood there biting my lower lip…right in front of a couple of my buddies…including Johnny T. Johnny was the toughest third grade guy in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, New York. He looked like the front end of a 1955 Buick… and he weighed about the same. He liked to start every marble game by crushing two of somebody else’s “shooters” in his left hand. Johnny was the only guy I ever knew who hit almost three sewers in stickball… sometimes one handed.

“Whistle” was a little black and white mutt puppy that my Dad brought home from the ASPCA one day. All the guys liked Whistle. When we went for bike rides, Whistle would run along behind us barking at every step. Every other block or so, he’d stop at a fire hydrant to mark his spot, then he’d run like mad to catch up, barking and jumping and running around our bikes.

The vet put Whistle “to sleep” right there while we watched… on the front stoop. And everything got very quiet for a couple of minutes. And I lost it. And so did Johnny. I saw him do it. And he knew that I caught him. He just walked away…fast.

I saw Johnny again years later, at the St. Gregory’s 25th reunion. He’s a successful dentist now, living on Long Island. Nice guy.

But I made the mistake of mentioning Whistle to him, and after all these years, he actually got a little hostile. He denied even remembering Whistle. And when I mentioned the fact that it was the first time any of the guys had seen either one of us cry, he actually walked away…after all these years.

Tears can turn you inside out. Or maybe it’s the other way around. When you’re very sad you tend to cry…and when you’re very happy, you also tend to cry. And sometimes right in the middle of laughing as hard as you can, you start to cry…and occasionally it works back around the other way. Wouldn’t you say that means tears are pretty special? Doesn’t it mean that if tears are a reaction to both sadness and joy, they must be very natural, very human, and very important ? So why should we be embarrassed when we’re “caught” crying? Especially men.

Summer’s Theory: Anger is the only emotion men are “allowed” to show. That’s why talk radio, sports and war are so popular with men. But like it or not, even men have buckets of different emotions sloshing around inside. And when we start huffing and puffing, and we heat up all those buckets of emotion, they start making steam…and the pressure can build pretty high. So a guy has to hang on with both hands to keep the lid on…otherwise… “Boom.”

But you’ve got to let go of yourself…at least with one hand… to make a connection. And that’s why so many men have such a fear of reaching out…connecting…touching…with their wives, girl friends…or any body. Pressures get nasty. Let go for even a moment, and an explosion can blow up your life.

That’s what happened when my Lady Wonder Wench came into my life. It wasn’t supposed to happen. But it did, and the pressure inside went way up into the red. When I let go of myself long enough to lean across a table… to touch her hand…and she didn’t pull away…I blew… sky high. That was a long time ago.

And ever since that night all those years ago, I’ve loved it up here…in the air…like I loved being on the air. Screw being embarrassed…even when it got me fired. It was the touch…the connection…I needed it. I still need it…more than I need to avoid the embarrassment of crying…sometimes.

So… thank you Penny for letting my PodProgram story make you cry.

Summer says: “Show me somebody with both feet firmly planted on the ground, and I’ll show you a person who can’t get his/her pants off.”

DICK’S DETAILS – The answers are in the current PodProgram.

1- What do I insist you keep away from my hamburger ?

2- What medical procedure am I pretty sure first happened in Central Park at midnight?

3- If 3/4 of the men in the US are content with their lives, what about the rest of the guys ?

Scoring: 3 right – First Class Non Stop.

2 right – Non Stop Coach.

1 right – Stops in Atlanta, Chicago and Dallas – Standby Coach.

0 right – Anchorage – Cargo Bay. February departure.

What have we learned: I got fired from a lot of radio jobs. Big deal. Be careful of playing marbles with dentists on Long Island. And most important, The Guy Who Made you gave you tears. It’s a gift. Nice touch. It’s really not polite to be embarrassed when Someone gives you a gift.

Would love to hear from you. You can leave a comment by clicking on the “Comment” button below, or just drop an e-mail to www.dicksummer.com

The Dick Summer Connection – #5

Sunday, February 4th, 2007

The Dick Summer Connection – Valentine’s Day – There’s an old song called “My Funny Valentine.” Appropriately, the lyric was written by a guy named Lorenz Hart. Mr. Hart had a pretty good understanding of the fact that love can be an exploding cigar… but it lights up our lives anyway.“My funny Valentine, sweet comic valentine, you make me smile with my heart.”

Know why guys try to be funny ? Two reasons: 1- It gives you bragging rights if you can be funnier than the other guy. 2- Laughs turn a girl on. Robin Williams could have so much sex he would be seriously injured by the friction. It figures. Sex is a funny looking thing. The biggest difference between “adult” porn and eroticism is good lighting, and a sense of humor. There is nothing funny about sex with children.

“Your looks are laughable, un-photographical, yet you’re my favorite work of art.”

Somebody once said that “If a woman lets a man look directly into her eyes for two whole minutes, she’ll be in his bed in an hour.” Eyes can be very sexy. My Lady Wonder Wench sometimes gives me a look that you could pour on a waffle. That shouldn’t be a surprise, because “erogenous zones” are either everywhere or they’re nowhere. And never forget the power of aural sex. Aural…words. (I’m told the other kind is good, too.) That’s not to say there isn’t a wee beastie about sex. If smarts, laughs and charm were all that’s going on between men and women, every guy in town would be chasing Barbara Walters.

We can talk about sex on tv now, as long as there are no laughs and the person talking sounds like he’s wearing a lab coat and a stethoscope. (And trousers.) I understand that stuff. But I figure that if “Erectile Dysfunction” gets bad, be sure to see your doctor just like they tell you. And if it gets worse, you should see a nurse. (Check first to be sure she’s a she.)

It was the venerable Bob Dole who made Viagra ok. I think the fact that none of us could imagine him actually using it was a help. It really was a breakthrough, though. Americans are completely hung up on sex. When I was at WPIX, the station was billed as “Love songs, nothing but love songs.” And the tv commercials featured little animated cupids. The station was flooded with complaints that the little animations were NAKED. Forces for good in the community were outraged. Fortunately, a giggle saved the day. The General Manager told everybody that if they could explain exactly what parts of the little animated cupids needed to be covered in order to preserve New York’s high standards of morality, decency and purity, he’d be glad to oblige. Nobody took him up on it.

I remember the first night I had a pantyhose commercial on my show at WNEW. When I saw the commercial on the log, I called the program director to be sure it wasn’t some kind of practical joke. He said “just do it…and no laughs.” See, that’s because laughs make things sexy. Which is exactly why Sister Mary Attila’s sternest command at St. Gregory’s all those years ago was…”NO LAUGHING.” She was Brooklyn’s first line of defense against sex.

“Is your figure less than Greek, is your mouth a little weak, when you open it to speak, are you smart ?”

I always liked smart girls. Except for Jeannie Campbell. I didn’t know if she was smart or not, and I really didn’t care. She was 5 and I was 6. She was struggling to learn which way the hat goes on the number 7. I knew that, but at that time I had no idea why it was so nice teaching her. I found out later, when I took her to my first high school dance. What a difference ten years made. I often wonder what ever happened to Jeannie. The way the Internet goes, maybe she’s reading this right now. Hey, Jeannie, drop a note to dick@dicksummer.com . It would be fun to see you again.

Some of the things that happen when you fall in love are more like bombs than exploding cigars. As I mentioned in the current PodProgram, a buddy of mine just told me his wife left him…after 20 years. Here’s part of his e-mail: “We’ve talked about how infidelity would forever change our relationship, and probably end it. But I swear if she came to me tonight and told me the truth, and said she’d rather be with me than with him, I’d suspend that stupid statement…I love her more than I love my beliefs about the perfect relationship. I want a life with her more than I want revenge for something that was probably, at least in part, my own fault.”

Then there’s a short news story that just grabbed me by the throat. I’m shaky on the details, because it went by so fast that I didn’t have time to take notes. It was on the BBC channel… and it was about a guy in Africa….it might have been Darfur. It seems a bunch of bad guys attacked a village and killed everybody there…except for one man. This guy had run off and made a successful escape…but his wife tripped and was killed…and he went back…he couldn’t leave her. They spared him because they figured he must be some kind of holy man. They couldn’t believe it. He had it made. They had no idea why he’d go back to face his own certain death.

They couldn’t understand that he just loved her…he wanted to hold her in his arms one more time…he needed to cry more than he needed to live…he simply didn’t care about living without her. Come to think about it, maybe that’s part of what “holy” is all about.

“Don’t change a hair for me, not if you care for me, stay little Valentine, stay.”

I’m looking at my Lady Wonder Wench…sitting on the couch across from me now…doing her needlepoint…and I understand.

“Each day is Valentine’s day.”

Dick’s Details Quiz – All the answers are in the current podcast on the website. ( www.dicksummer.com )

1- What’s the fastest way to be sure you have a cold snap on your hands?

2- What’s the evidence that we’re gaining on the termites?

3- What does Woody Allen claim he wants all his friends to say at his funeral ?

Scoring:

3 right – Two dozen Valentine’s Day roses.

2 right – A big Valentine’s day box of candy.

1 right- One grungy looking jelly bean.

0 right – Tickets to a Julio Iglesias concert.

So, what have we learned ? Love can be an exploding cigar. Or it can be a bomb. Some movie stars deal with that by getting married in the morning, so if things don’t work out, they haven’t ruined the whole day. Giggles can turn up the steam in sex. Hold somebody very special this Valentine’s Day. Go for it. Do it.