Archive for November, 2015


Monday, November 30th, 2015

Time to put your Santa Stories up on the podcasts. Please send yours to . This one is called “An Italian Christmas” It was sent by Proud Podcast Participant– Bill Ervolino

I thought it would be a nice idea to bring a date to my parent’s house on Christmas Eve. I also thought it would be interesting for a non-Italian girl to see how an Italian family spends the holidays. I thought my mother and my date would hit if off like partridges and pear trees. So I was wrong. Sue me.  I had only known Karen for three weeks when I extended the invitation. “I know these family things can be a little weird,” I told her, “but my folks are great, and we always have a lot of fun on Christmas Eve. “ “Sounds fine to me,” Karen says.

I had only known my mother for 31 years when I told her I’d be bringing Karen home with me. “She’s a very nice girl and she’s really looking forward to meeting all of you.” “Sounds fine to me,” my mother says. And that was that. Two telephone calls. Two sounds fine to me-s. What more could I want?

I should point out that in Italian households, Christmas Eve is the social event of the season – an Italian woman’s reason d’etre. She cleans, she cooks, she bakes, she orchestrates every minute of the night. I should also point out that when it comes to the kind of women that make Italian men go nuts, Karen is it. She doesn’t clean. She doesn’t cook. She doesn’t bake. And she has the largest breasts I have ever seen on a human being. I brought her any way.

7 P.M. We arrive. Karen and I walk in and putter around for half an hour waiting for the other guests to show up. During that half hour, my mother grills Karen like a cheeseburger and cannily determines that Karen does not clean, cook, or bake. My father is equally as observant. He pulls me into the living room and notes, “She has the largest breasts I have ever seen on a human being.”

7:30 P.M. Others arrive. Uncle Ziti walks in with my Aunt Mafalde, assorted kids, assorted gifts. We sit around the dining room table for antipasto, a symmetrically composed platter of lettuce, roasted peppers, black olives, salami, prosciutto, provolone, and anchovies. When I offer to make Karen’s plate she says, “Thank you, but none of those things, ok?” She point to the anchovies. “You don’t like anchovies?” I ask. “I don’t like fish,” Karen announces, as 67 other varieties of fish are baking, broiling and simmering in the next room.

My mother makes the sign of the cross and things are getting uncomfortable. Aunt Mafalde asks Karen what her family eats on Christmas Eve. Karen says, “Knockwurst.” My father who is still staring in a daze at Karen’s chest temporarily snaps out of it to murmur, “Knockers?” My mother kicks him so hard he gets a blood clot. None of this is turning out the way I hoped.

8:00 P.M. Second course. The spaghetti and crab sauce is on the way to the table. Karen declines the crab sauce and says she’ll make her own with butter and ketchup. My mother asks me to join her in the kitchen. I take my Merry Christmas napkin from my lap, place it on the Merry Christmas tablecloth and walk into the kitchen. “I don’t want to start any trouble,” my mother says calmly, clutching a bottle of ketchup in her hands. “But if she pours this on my pasta, I’m going to throw acid in her face.” “Come on,” I tell her. “It’s Christmas. Let her eat what she wants.” My mother considers the situation, and then nods.

As I turn to walk back into the dining room, my mother grabs my shoulder. “Tell me the truth,” she says, “are you serious with this tramp?” “She’s not a tramp,” I reply. “And I’ve only known her for three weeks.” “We’ll it’s your life,” she tells me,”But if you marry her, she’ll poison you.”

8:30 P.M. More fish. My stomach is knotted like one of those macramé plant hangers that are always three times larger than the plants they hold. All the women get up to clear away the spaghetti dishes, except for Karen, who instead lights a cigarette. “Why don’t you give them a little hand”? I politely suggest. Karen makes a face and walks into the kitchen carrying three forks. “Dear, you don’t have to do that,” my mother tells her, smiling painfully. “Oh, ok,” Karen says, putting the forks on the sink.

As she re-enters the dining room, a wine glass flies over her head, and smashes against the wall. From the kitchen my mother says, “whoops.” I vaguely remember that line form Torch Song Trilogy. “Whoops?” No. “Whoops is when you fall down an elevator shaft.” More fish comes out. After some goading, Karen tries a piece of scungilli, which she describes as, “slimy, like worms,” My mother winces, bite her hand and pounds her chest like one of those old women you always see in the sixth row of a funeral home. Aunt Mafalde does the same. Karen, believing that this is something that all Italian women do on Christmas Eve, bites her hand and pounds her chest. My Uncle Ziti winces, and my Father’s teeth fall out and chew a six inch gash in the table cloth.

10:00 P.M. Coffee, dessert. Espresso all around. A little anisette. A curl of lemon peel. When Karen asks for milk, my mother finally slaps her on the face with cannoli. I guess it had to happen sooner or later. Karen, believing that this is something that all Italian women do on Christmas Eve, picks up cannoli and slaps my mother with it. “This is fun,” Karen says.

Fun? No, fun is when you fall down an elevator shaft. But amazingly, everyone is laughing and smiling, and filled with good cheer – even my mother, who grabs me by the shoulder, laughs and says, “Get that bitch out of my house.”

Sounds fine to me.

snowman baby


Sunday, November 29th, 2015

Time for your Christmas, Hanukkah, Solstice, Kwanza stories. Some are already in today’s podcast. My email is Some stories will be on the podcasts, and some will be here on the blog. Time to make merry.

eggnog (2)


Saturday, November 28th, 2015

Time for a non-commercial Christmas. Looking for your Christmas memories for the podcast again. Here’s one from my Lady Wonder Wench: 

Of course I believe in Santa Claus. I still look under my bed just in case the jolly old elf left something there. Even when times were bad, my mother never let me down, although it took years for me to figure that one out. And my very own Santa Claus made me keep Christmas even when I’d stopped believing. It’s not “getting” something – it’s “having” a piece of the special night that returns light to the world. 

nasty 2 carolors

Black Friday Dickie-Quickie

Friday, November 27th, 2015

Today’s podcast is in honor of going shopping.

boob pit

Thanksgiving Dickie-Quickie

Thursday, November 26th, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving. Have some pumpkin pie.

pumpkin pie


Wednesday, November 25th, 2015

It was on Thanksgiving night a number of years ago, that I started the Men Are Saints campaign on WNBC radio. I called it the M.A.S. appeal. Men are saints.  It’s in today’s podcast, and in my book Staying Happy Healthy And Hot. The idea came from remembering a Thanksgiving watching what happened when my Lady Wonder Wench, and our daughter Kris, and my Sister 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. I think those harmful rays must be the reason for the pain so many of us get during commercials for erectile disfunction medications, which if not used under a doctor’s HMO plan, can cause us to get permanently stuck in the upright condition, therefore making it necessary for us to walk bent over at all social functions till the following March. And how much credit do we men get for that traditional self sacrifice ? Right. None.

carrying 17 grocery bags


Tuesday, November 24th, 2015

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 New Year’s Eve. As I’ve mentioned in today’s podcast 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.” But that doesn’t happen. Those guys never learn. They’re like the deer around here. I could never figure out why Bambi doesn’t take the little bambinos aside and tell them, “You know those big, noisy machines with the two bright eyes that come roaring around at night? Don’t stand in the middle of the road and look at them. Get out of the way.”   DD algeBra


Monday, November 23rd, 2015

This is Monday. Mondays are a lousy way to spend one seventh of your life. Among other things they are confusing. This Monday is the beginning of a  number of Black Fridays we’ll be celebrating this week by beating each other up to spend money. Lots  more about this week in today’s podcast. cosco


Sunday, November 22nd, 2015

Today’s podcast is to remind you what  Big Louie says in my book Staying Happy Healthy And Hot, “You can never tell when something wonderful is going to happen.” I’m sitting here in my big, comfortable, manly, black leather poppa chair in my living room, thinking about the wonderful stroke of luck that happened to me…that I was born in America. I could just as easily have been born in Syria, or Iraq, or some other Godforsaken place. Or I guess I could just as easily have not been born at all. “You can never tell when something wonderful is going to happen. That’s what Thanksgiving is all about of course. As Big Louie says in my book Staying Happy Healthy And Hot, “You can never tell when something wonderful is going to happen. big yellow


Saturday, November 21st, 2015

This can be a vicious, vicious life. The warning signs are in today’s podcast.

Barb at 3