Archive for November, 2010

WANTED: Your Christmas Story

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

Let’s do a Christmas story swap again this year. You send me yours ( ) or just add it to the comments on the blog, and I’ll tell you some of mine.

One of the Summer Family’s favorite Christmas treasures is in the next podcast. It gets un-packed each year, along with the long legged little Santa that looks like Lady Wonder Wench’s father used to look. That Santa has hung on our tree for decades. It’s as important a part of our Christmas memories as the delicate, hand made, glass Christmas ball that first hung on my Grandfather’s tree in Germany a couple of generations ago…and the tree top star I cut from cardboard and covered with tinfoil on the first Christmas Lady Wonder Wench and I had together. We couldn’t afford to buy one in the store that year…and looking back…I’m glad it worked out that way. What a memory.

That home made star has graced the top of our tree for decades now. It’s part of our whole family’s memories of Christmas. Christmas is made of memories, hopes, gratefull-ness, magic, and dreams.

Actually, Christmas is only part of what I’m talking about. It’s, “The hopes and fears of all the years…” that’s important here. So it’s really the stories of the heart that count. Christmas is a good focus for stories like that. But so is Hanukah, Solstice, and Kwanza.

The stories of the heart. True ones. Please send yours.  


“D”…the new “N Word”

Saturday, November 27th, 2010

I’m sitting here in my big, comfortable, black leather poppa chair, semi-trembling. I’ve just noticed that civilization, as we know it is tottering at a tipping point. And it’s partly my fault. The ancient Mayan 2012 end of the world prophesy is nothing compared to the impact on our weakened society of what I must call, the dreaded “D Word !” I must even be careful just saying that out loud, because the “Forces For Good In The Community” are always lurking… constantly alert to this incredible opportunity that the use of this new, and dreaded “D Word” gives them to be shocked, dismayed, and offended. 

 We have, in the long history of mankind, faced similar threats to our way of life when we have discovered…hidden…craftily in our midst…the “B Word,” the “N Word,” The “H Word,” and the “F Word.” Words for which, if you say them, those Forces For Good In The Community will righteously punish you by getting you fired from your broadcasting job, banishing you to live in Odessa, Texas, and/or sticking your wet tongue in a hot socket. (Actually sticking your wet tongue in a hot socket might not be such a bad punishment, because the resulting hairdo might win you a place on American Idol.)

 We need to bring in the wisdom of Big Louie, his own bad self, the Chief Mustard Cutter of the Louie-Louie Generation to put this threat into an understandable perspective. If you are new to this podcast, you need to know about the Louie-Louie Generation, because you’re probably a member of it, and you just don’t know it. Check it out. Big Louie always says, “When you get to be somewhere between 40 and 50 years old, something terrible happens to popular music.”

 Louie-Louie Generation Lads and Ladies went to soda fountains where the pouring faucets had big round handles that looked like ice cream cones on top. We bought gas for 24 cents a gallon. We went to double feature movies, with a couple of cartoons and a newsreel thrown in, in air conditioned theaters. We did the “Duck and cover” drill to put our school desks between us and thermonuclear destruction. We counted on our fingers instead of pushing calculator buttons to pass algebra. And believe it or not, there wasn’t any cholesterol, e-mail, or duck tape. And do peg pants, mini skirts, duck tails, and tye dyes mean anything to you?

You’re probably tempted to say “Those were the good old days,”…except for the algebra. Actually, some of thse good old days weren’t so good. But some of the nights were excellent.

 Musically, we had Elvis “Swivel Hips” Presley, who later became a king. We learned the Duck Walk from Chuck Berry, and we got new haircuts like the “Mop Tops” who called themselves, “The Beatles.” We tucked the “truly official words to Louie-Louie” into our wallets and sang them softly to the girls at the record hops. We were having a lot of fun. We had no idea we were destroying civilization until our Social Studies teachers, our preachers, and the other members of the Forces For Good In The Community pointed out that we were reveling in the “Music of the Devil.” 

 Times have changed. We Louie-Louie Generation lads and ladies are now living in the era of the Pimple People, and the Dreadful Drones. Often, Louie-Louie folks from places like Brooklyn are inclined to say, “If we can’t beat them senseless, let’s arrange to have them beaten senseless.” But regardless of what you do, things are going to go, where they’re going to go. Gas, for example is going for around $3 a gallon. We have six foot wide plasma tvs hooked up to Tivos, computer dating, virtual sex, cloning, NASCAR, and cell phones with personalized ring tones…none of which sound like Louie-Louie. And that’s because the Pimple People/Dreadful Drone musical culture is nourished by folks like the well respected pop singer and naked person Brittany Spears, American Idol winners, and Rappy headed ho performers like Public Enemy…who, much to the distress of the Forces For Good, is a multi millionaire because he always uses the “N Word,” the “B Word,” the “F Word,” and the “H Word.” I think he may have missed the new “D Word.”

 Let me be clear. I think Rap is Crap. But this round of “The End Of The World Is Coming Because Of The Devil’s Music” is going to have exactly the same effect as all the rounds before it. That is to say…Zip.  As Big Louie always says, “The Republic will stand. Sex will still sell. And most guys will continue to seek meaningful over night relationships.” Listen…Music makes it’s own nation. And the people of any nation have a right to speak what ever language they like.

 Dick’s Details Quiz. All answers are in the current podcast.

1-    What does your neighborhood terrorist think your omelet says about America.

2-    What do the birds in my driveway like to say ?

3-    Who, among us, do not have to tighten our belts these days?

Dick’s Details. They take your mind off your mind.

 To me, the Forces For Good In The Community are like slinky toys. There’ really not good for anything much, but the idea of pushing them down the stairs does bring a smile to my face. It’s not only some music they don’t like. They evidently don’t like a lot of the stuff in my new Night Connections 3 personal audio album either. Especially one of the stories called, “It’s Cryin’ Time.” It’s in the current podcast.

 Have you ever cried so hard you started to laugh ? That’s what the woman in the story did. And it felt so good. If you like “Cryin’ Time,” you can just keep the current podcast. Or if you want a fresh copy, just go back to , and download it from the Night Connections 3 icon on the home page.

 Music makes it’s own nation, and the people of any nation have a right to speak whatever language they want. The “B Word,” the “N Word,” the “H Word,” and the “F Word” are spoken a lot in the Rap nation. I don’t speak the Rap nation language. I’d be an alien there. And I wouldn’t want to live there. But I wouldn’t be afraid to visit. I also don’t speak Mexican or Canadian French. But I’ve been to Canada and Mexico, and I’ve been able to communicate with the people there well enough to get along quite nicely.

 Proud Podcast Participant Ed Sweeney told me how we got the “F Word.” In the 1700s, the king of England signed a law that required all ladies of the evening to be examined by doctors before being allowed to ply their trade on the king’s ships while in port. The licenses were issued under the title of “Fornication Under Consent of the King. Check out the abbreviation.

 That’s my kind of king.

 Oh yeah…the new letter that’s got us teetering on the tipping point…the “D Word.” My main client’s executive secretary, who is definitely under the influence of the Forces For Good In The Community, calls me Richard, or Mr. Summer…because she can’t bring herself to use the newly dreaded “D Word.” She’s simply can’t call me…Dick.

 Teeter/teeter/totter/totter…tremble/tremble…kaboom !

Giving Thanks

Saturday, November 20th, 2010

I’m sitting in my big, comfortable, black leather poppa chair in the living room, looking forward to the arrival of Mr. Turkey, Mr. Claus, and then the New Year’s eve kid in diapers.

 I have a lot of things to be thankful for…and you do too if you’re reading this in America. And if you and I take a moment out from complaining about everything to think about it…we’ll certainly come up with lots of big things to be thankful for…like the freedom to complain…even about the government…out loud…for example.

 But how about the little thankful things? Like the ice cream sandwich with little flakes of dark chocolate I had the yesterday, or walking on a beach…with somebody special…on Christmas…how about sharing a bag of hot popcorn with that same somebody beautiful, sitting next to you…waiting for a movie to begin…how about flinging a frizzzzzbeeee…or the sound of ice cubes bouncing against a glass full of fizzy soda…or the word ‘yall, in a sentence that goes something like, “We’re sure glad to see y’all. Hey…and thanks for the sound of a real belly laugh when somebody actually gets one of my jokes…and the smell of the sudden summer rain we had last August 31, when the first drops hit the warm freshly cut grass.

 But today…we’re talking turkey. As my great, great, grandfather, Myles Standish Summer used to say, “Turkeys are really dumb. They even walk up to you and they say, gobble gobble gobble”…and so we do.” If I were the Big Turkey, I’d tell my guys…look …enough with the gobble gobble. Shut up. And while you’re at it, go get yourself a trick or treat costume with big eyes and a funny little tail. And learn to take funny hops like the Easter Bunny.”

 It was on Thanksgiving night a number of years ago, that I started the infamous Men Are Saints campaign on WNBC radio. I called it the M.A.S. appeal. Men are saints.  The idea came from remembering a Thanksgiving watching what happened when my Lady Wonder Wench, and our daughter Kris, and our Daughter in law Brenda were scurrying around preparing dinner, while the guys were…otherwise occupied. Here’s the point:

 Men are seldom given credit for our sensitivity, our intelligence and our selfless behavior. For example, here in the Northeast, Thanksgiving is usually celebrated on a cold day. So where do we men traditionally encourage our women to spend the day? Right. In the warmest room in the house. The kitchen. While we, on the other hand, in a manly display of selfless courage, throw ourselves in front of the tv screen to protect our loved ones from the terrible effects of the cathode rays that squirt out of the picture tube.

 And how much credit do we men get for that traditional self sacrifice ? Right. None. And think about this: How often have you seen a relatively innocent Louie-Louie Generation man at a raunchy bar go over to a woman he has never even met, and invite her to the safety and comfort of his very own apartment to get her out of that dangerous environment ? And what reward do we get ? Right again. None. But we soldier on s we always have, even in the face of this shameful lack of appreciation. That’s the basis for the M.A.S. appeal.

 As you can imagine, the M.A.S. appeal is frequently not well received by certain people with more evolved levels of social sensitivity, and mostly higher voices, although Big Louie, his own bad self, the chief mustard cutter of the Louie-Louie Generation has tried to explain that it’s testosterone that causes the bad reputation that many guys enjoy, and we’re therefore not responsible for our sometimes strange thought processes, and the things that we frequently can’t help doing.                                                                                    

 Louie says a guy’s brain swims in this sea of testosterone, which absorbs some of the shocks of a guys life to which we are all exposed…like hitting a button on a radio and getting an unexpected blast of Yanni’s music, or getting hit in the head by a baseball, or being exposed to high levels of excess verbal communication. Testosterone, you will remember, is a preservative. And a preservative stops stuff like fungs and things from maturing. I seem to have a lot of testosterone,  which protects me from fungus, and many of the other harmful effects of maturing…which is probably why the Men Are Saints campaign seemed like such a good idea to me in the first place.                         

 Dick’s Details Quiz. All answers are in the current podcast.

 1-    How come so many people are sleepless in Seattle ?

     2- What would any saintly man be glad to do for 78% of American women ?

     3- What made Ty Cobb such a nasty man ?

 Dick’s Details. They take your mind off your mind.

 There’s a story about a rather special kind of a Thanksgiving in the Night Connections 2 personal audio cd. It’s in the current podcast. It’s called…”Giving Thanks.” I think the woman in the story is going to give a young guy a nice, warm serving of thanks, as soon as he opens his front door. And I wouldn’t be surprised if he came back for seconds… a least. “Giving Thanks” is from the Night Connections 2 personal audio cd. If you like it, you can just keep the current podcast. Or if you want a fresh copy, just download it from the Night Connections 2 icon on the home page.

 I’m a very lucky guy, and I know it. There are lots of those little giving thanks things in my personal life. My Lady Wonder Wench’s special spaghetti sauce is a good example…and flinging well worn lines from our favorite movies at each other…and climbing into our little airplane, and watching fourth of July fire works from on top…and seeing a spring rainbow the same way…from on top…some days, taking five minutes in the middle of the day to just sit on the couch like a couple of kids…holding each other…tight…and maybe best of all, watching her wake up slowly…with her head over on my pillow… in that very gentle light of dawn…I have a lot to be thankful for.

 If you’re reading this in America, you do too.


Tuesday, November 16th, 2010


Lots of big things to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. Freedom, good friends, and the fact that wrinkles don’t hurt. We have lots of big things to be “Thankful Four”. But how about the little things…things that should make us “Thankful Three?” For example, I’m “Thankful Three” for spreading chunky peanut butter on half a slice of rasin bread, and spooning some strawberry jam on the other half…folding it over, and licking the stuff that slips out of the crease. That small pocket knife on my key ring makes me “Thankful Three“. It has repaired an airplane, (sort of) opened a cold beer on a hot day, and picked a painful seed out from between a couple of back teeth. The solid sound a towel makes when I snap it at somebody’s rump makes me  “Thankful Three.” How about thee ? Hast thou any “Thankful Three-s” that you can tell me about ? You can just add them to the “comments” box right here, or send them to

No More Dog House

Saturday, November 13th, 2010

I’m sitting here in my big, comfortable, black leather pappa chair in my living room, watching my Lady Wonder Wench sitting on the couch across the room. She is pretending that she doesn’t notice that I’m watching her, because I am in the dog house. Actually, it’s because I’m NOT in a dog house…because there is no dog in this house…and my Lady Wonder Wench has been hinting that we should fix what she calls, “that problem.” I don’t see that as a problem, and by hinting, I mean she has been saying things like, “Why don’t we get a dog ?”

 Now, I realize that what I am about to say will put me high up on any decent person’s list of surly, soulless, scoundrels. But I don’t want a dog in my life right now. I also realize that it is statements like that which cause a great many…mostly unnecessary, fatal fights between men and women. And I understand that one of the things she’s thinking now is, “If I throw a stick will he run after it…and just keep running ?”

 My buddy Al and his wife have a dog, which they treat like their child. My feeling is that I have had enough children. And besides, I fear that the mixing of human and dog DNA could well result in the creation of an animal, which, instead of barking, would look up at you and say, “Let my people go.”

 Dogs are smart. I think some of them can count. I remember how snotty my dog Whistle got one day when I put three dog biscuits in my pocket, and fed him only two of them. Whistle was the family mutt while I was growing up. I realize now that a dog is an almost equal partner with the rest of the family in raising a kid. I learned a lot from Whistle…obedience, loyalty, and the need to turn around 3 times before lying down.

 Please don’t misunderstand. I like dogs. I just don’t like dog poop, dog hair, and the dog-gone hassle of taking walks in the rain, looking for fire hydrants and trees. I have done those things. For years. I taught Whistle tricks…like “Sit Whistle”…and he would sit, and pant, and try to find that missing dog biscuit. I thought it was a trick, but maybe he did not. I’ve been sitting all my life, and Whistle never once looked at me like maybe he thought I was tricky. I think dogs figure people are just tall and surprisingly smart other dogs. But I do wonder if ordinary, Whistle type mutts think poodles might be members of some kind of weird religious cult.

 Dick’s Details Quiz. All answers are in the current podcast.

1- Why should elephants pitch only in the American League ?

2- Why might you hear a leopard purr…”here spot ?”

3- How do some Los Angeles ladies get around certain lingerie laws ?

Dick’s Details. They take your mind off your mind.

 Did you hear about the cowboy who got a dashund, because al his buddies kept singing, “get a long little doggie ?” How about the three legged dog who walked into a bar in the old west, and said “I’m here to find the man who shot my paw.” Probably not. There is a story in the brand new Night Connections 3 personal audio cd called, “The Bra Dragon.” And I would say the guy involved could reasonably be called a dirty dog.

 The lady in the story had nice hips. She was a nice girl…who learned a nasty lesson with this guy. If there is a moral to the story, I guess it would go like this: “If it’s just as hard to cheat, as it is not to cheat…it’s better not to cheat.” Sometimes that’s easier said than done. “The Bra Dragon” story is from the brand new Night Connections 3 personal audio CD. If you like it, you can just keep the current podcast. Or if you want a fresh copy, just download it from the Night Connections 3 icon on the home page.

 Big Louie, his own bad self, the Chief Mustard Cutter of the Louie-Louie Generation has his own favorite animal story. He says, “If you go hiking, camping, or fishing you should take special precautions and keep alert for bears. You should wear noise producing devices like little bells on your clothing to alert, but not startle the bears unexpectedly. You should also carry pepper spray in case you run into a bear… and of course look for signs of what kind of bears might be in the area. You should recognize the difference between black bear droppings and grizzly bear droppings. Black bear droppings are smaller and contain berries and possibly squirrel fur. Grizzly bear droppings have little bells in them and smell like pepper.” Don’t  blame me for that one. It’s Big Louie’s story. And no, if you throw a stick I will not run and chase it and keep running.

 I will, however, keep you informed as to the progress in this impending dog-gone struggle that seems to be looming between myself and my Lady Wonder Wench. I am not really a terrible person for not wanting a dog in my life right now. I may be a terrible person, but not for that reason. I’ve just been a highly responsible guy all my life. And now four out of the five voices in my head are telling me it’s time I let the little kid inside me out to play. Just me, and my Lady Wonder Wench. Take her for a candle lit dinner, at the kind of restaurant where she gets to wear that black dress with the sheer sleeves in the candle light…jump in our little airplane and go flying in a clear night that’s full of a full  moon. I want to go necking with her at every opportunity… including long stop lights.

 I have nothing against dogs, or any other animal. I am one myself come to think of it. But we’ve had dogs…and kids…and you’ve got to treat dogs and kids responsibly. We have a little time left…Lady Wonder Wench and I, and I’d like to spend it with just her. And she’s looking at me like…let’s talk this over like a couple of responsible adults. No…I have been a responsible adult all my life. I have to be careful here, because I know there are things husbands and wives have to be careful about saying to each other in tricky situations. And I hope Lady Wonder Wench pays attention to what Big Louie, his own bad self, says about that. He says “There are two words, that more than any other words, make life awful for men in situations like this. The two words women should never say to their guys are, ‘Don’t’ and ‘Stop’. You women should never say those words “Don’t and Stop” to any guy with whom you are in a committed relationship…unless those words are used together with no space in between.”

 But experience has taught that there are three words that are even more wretched, that some heartless women have occasionally said to their men. And Ms. Wench knows…and has used those three most wretched words that men dread the most. And she said them to me the other night just as we were walking into the diner we always go to. I opened the door for her, and she smiled sweetly and, right in front of everybody she said those three words…”hold my purse.”

 I asked her, “Why are you doing this? Am I in the dog house?” She smiled even more sweetly, and said, “We don’t live in a dog house.” So, ok…I am a surly, soulless, scoundrel. But actually, I’m a Louie-Louie guy, so that makes me a semi-studly surly, soulless scoundrel for not wanting a dog in my life right now.

 I can’t help it. Right now, I want to be the only animal in Lady Wonder Wench’s life.

I know how to deal with this.

 Gold fish.


Friday, November 12th, 2010

The blog and podcast going up Saturday night/Sunday morning is going to get me into trouble. And not just because of the two worst jokes in the history of giggles. But…this just has to be said.  

Politics As Usual

Saturday, November 6th, 2010

Excuse me while I climb up on my soap box for just a minute. The great Hall of Fame baseball pitcher, “Satchel” Paige, once said, “Don’t look back, they might be gaining on you.” But I can’t help looking back…in horror…at this past election’s political television advertising. What kind of people do these pathetic politicians think we are ?

I am not a political guy. This is not a political podcast. But give me a break…no matter what your political views might be, if you believed half of what the politician’s commercials said about their opponents, you would want to pack your bags and sneak out of the country under cover of darkness to someplace safe. It’s sad. Also dumb. And it gets my Louie-Louie Generation Brooklyn attitude going. So please hear me out for just a few minutes.

The political “experts” all say negative advertising is the only kind that works. I say, “HOGWASH !”  Fear fails in America. Always. You and I have seen that over and over again. We’re just not cowards…no matter what they think. But these pathetic politicans keep trying to scare us into voting for them. Actually, they just want us to vote against the other guy. It’s pathetic. But I think I know why they keep doing it.

 The people who specialize in political advertising…the “experts,” make up a small, but powerful “Old Boys Club.” They usually work for one party, because that’s how they develop their client base. Some of those guys are brilliant. But as far as I’m concerned, all of them are contemptible. They sell fear. They either don’t know what kind of people we are, or they simply don’t respect us. That’s a mistake bad guys have made ever since the days of the Red Coats. 

 People who use fear in advertising are like comedians who rely on dirty jokes to get laughs. Those guys see boogie men in black helicopters everywhere. Lots of times the boogie men are the “ALIENS!” (As in people who are not like us.) Of course, aliens have always been a problem in this country. Ask any Native American about that. Or, better yet, remember that another word for “Alien” is “Immigrant”…as in what people probably called your grandparents and mine, when they walked off a ship docked in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty.

 With all due respect to the great “Satch,” I’d say that right now it would actually be a good idea to look back, so you can get a positive I.D. on these guys. That way you’ll recognize them if they’re around again next election day. Which, unfortunately, will probably be the case.

 Dick’s Details Quiz. All answers are in the current podcast.  

1-    How do you get sexy perfume to hit hardest ?

2-    What do the guys who make Viagra have against the asprin guys ?

3-    Why do male missionaries assume the missionary position ?

 Dick’s Details. They take your mind off your mind.

 Pathetic politics is nothing new. One of the heros of America’s fight for independence was Patrick Henry…the guy who said, “Give me liberty or give me death”…he owned 65 slaves at the time. Even Jefferson owned slaves while he was writing the Declaration Of Independence. I guess sometimes independence is a matter of your perspective. There’s a story about that in the brand new Night Connections 3 personal audio cd. It’s called…Independence.

 The guy in the story is learning the hard way that before somebody else will respect you, you have to respect yourself. Sometimes that’s not so easy to do…especially when inside…you understand that you are also, spoiled, manipulative, and selfish. “Independence” is from the brand new Night Connections 3 personal audio cd. If you like it, you can just keep the current podcast, or if you want a fresh copy, just download it from the icon on the home page.

 The first few mornings after a big time political campaign can be really tough to take. It’s like you wake up and find that your grammar school class is now running the country. You can’t help but remember Big Louie’s explanation of the word “politics.” He says it’s a combination of two words…”poly” which means many…and “tics” as in small, nasty bugs. Big Louie has good explanations for most things.

 Of course, so did Satchel Paige. “Satch” said a lot of things besides, “Don’t look back, they may be gaining on you.” One of his most interesting sayings was, “Age is a matter of mind over matter. If you don’t mind it doesn’t matter.” I guess he didn’t mind. He threw his last major league pitches…a three strikeout inning, at the age of sixty.

  “Satch’s” life was full of strike outs, smiles, and stories. He overcame poverty, race-ism, and…fear…he was human after all. And he got death threats every day. The Boogie Men tried to scare him out of living his American, major league dream. But they couldn’t. The bad guys just didn’t understand the kind of guy he was.

 Here’s my point: No one remembers the bad guys who made those death threats. But we sure remember “Satch”. Because that’s the way it is in America. Fear always fails in America. Even our pathetic politicians should be able to learn that simple lesson.

 All they’d have to do is go to any Major League Baseball game, and listen to 50,000 of us making thunder…standing up and singing that song about America that starts every game. The one that ends with the line about, “the land of the free, AND THE HOME OF THE BRAVE.” 

 THAT’s the kind of people we are.