The cool one returns

The Adventures of Coolie Coolstein: Episode 92

April 30, 2017

Coolstein is making a rare public appearance. I’m sure you have all been wondering where the cool one was – lo these many rotations of the sun. His fame (due in no small part to the incredible word of mouth that you, dear readers, have created) became first a giggle, then a source of pride, then quickly turned into a weighty burden. The simple lad had to retreat. He was so advised by the ever-trustworthy and wise Brownstein. When that wizard speaks, Coolie listens.

Where has he been? Hither and Yon. Those are – for the uninitiated and geographically challenged – twin cities in the wilds of New Jersey, which is now a planetoid that occupies the once-Plutonian lane around the sun (sad, so sad about Pluto). Okay. Enough background.

Our boy is back in the known universe. He stopped in to see Sylvia and Morris, his human parental units. They were having one of their world class fights; when they get going, no crockery is safe nor are any breakable human parts such as heads or knees. Brownstein, who was running interference in a sub-visible format, tackled Coolie with a wave of one of her beautiful paws, and he was instantly surrounded by a protective energy field.

“Thanks, B,” Coolie said, giving one of his world-class grins. “That was a close one.”

Before the next thing could happen, Mr. C heard the unmistakable sound of silliness: “Eee – yowsa! The jellyfish are running and I’m hot to trot.” It was Coolie’s best friend, whathisname, whose name had slipped off one of the steep edges of Coolstein’s mind. “Is that you?” he cleverly sidestepped.

“Wait!” came the reply. “Am I ‘you’? I don’t think so. I used to be ‘me’ but you know how fast things can change, so maybe I’ve been re-named. Oh, my smart friend, double C – tell me who I am.”

…an aside: Nothing is ever simple and seldom becomes clear when Mickey Mental (that’s his name) is involved. It’s classic enmurkment, which is just hunky-dory with the two amigos.

“Let’s go to the beach – I need a sandwich (is there),” yukked Coolie.

“Yes, indeedy,” said Mickey. “You can have your sand, but my brain cells are craving those jellyfish.”

It has been famously said that “if you build it they will come.” What has not been said until now is “if you think real hard, you will apparate to the site of your hearts desire.”

And so, a little more quickly than likety-split, the boys were at the shore. It looked suspiciously like Fire Island, but it was actually a doppelganger on Yon. Interstellar travel was no big thing for Coolie, whose parents – you might recall – were Mothership, the truly awesome entity who composed Coolie out of random bits of matter, and DaddythebigDaddywhoseyourDaddy, a being who occupied so much time and space, we just can’t conceive of it with our earthly minds. The “creation” (we don’t really know what word to use, but this human concept will have to do) of the known universe was just a fun project he took on about 7 heptzillion eons ago. Everthing (in its literal sense) was his oyster and occasionally a bagel with a shmear.

The beach was rife with jellies and the Mickster ate his fill. As usual, this caused a veritable transubstantiation: His eyes shone with his newly imbibed brilliance. His powers were (at this precise moment in time) on a par with many renowned geniuses: the human Einstein; the martian Oilventinae; the pupkenik Squimendrafoop (from a small planet circling a star in a galaxy far, far away); and – never to be omitted from the list of all-time great minds – Regis Philbin, that pretender to the throne of the boring and the listless, but who is/was/can be, in reality (or what we could possibly think of as the innards of something that would one day achieve a smidgen of life as we know it), the great gadfly of Tintinitus 3 – home of the ancient ones who slapped some clay together one day and decided to make a couple of peepuls (the spelling has evolved over the eons).

“I blaze with clarity,” said Mickey. “No,” said Coolie – who was never that impressed with the grandiosity of the jellyfish-filled Mr. Mental – “I think you’re actually on fire.”

Sure enough, the energy that the jellyfish had deposited into Mickey’s formerly empty brain had crackled into flammability. His hair was burning brightly with turquoise and purple flames.

“I disavow and denounce this inflammatory state of being,” Mickey declared, more than a bit pompously. “You will cease and desist forthwith.” His powers were such and his command of the forces (both weak and strong) of the universe, that the fire dared not continue to burn.

Watching his friend consume all those jellyfish had made Coolie a bit peckish. “Can you rustle up some gefiltefish, oh pal o’mine?”

“You don’t have to ask me twice,” answered Mickey, while simultaneously plucking some well- formed gefiltes from the ocean. They were replete with horseradish, and Coolie wolfed them down, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand as he had been taught by Morris.

“Now that my belly is full, my thoughts are turning to the lovely Blue. It seems like ages since I seen her.”

The effects of the jellyfish were wearing off a bit (they were not the long lasting, extra-strength kind), so Mickey looked blank for a moment. Then, his now-slowing synapses made the necessary connections and the light of realization once again shone in his eyes. “I just saw her at the sock hop on Saturn last Saturday. She was looking stellar and stunning and stupendous.”

Now Coolie started to stutter and perspire a little: “Dddddd-did she mention me? Did she wonder where I was?” Coolie was in such a vulnerable state that only a true friend would refrain from torturing him at that moment. Mickey was such a one.

“Well, as I recall she said, ‘Hey and hiya Mick. Where’s the coolest boy in the room?’ To which I answered, ‘I dunno. But if I see him I’ll say hey for ya.’”

“Thanks, my bestie.” Now, the boys were basically talked out. Their conversation took a lot out of them and they needed a bit of recovery time. So……TBC

Look for my new non-fiction book, FEAR OF LANDING, The stories we tell about commitment and their meanings. It’s available on amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/Fear-Landing-stories-commitment-meanings/dp/1539179095/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1476027342&sr=8-3&keywords=karen+krett

Also available on amazon.com is my science fiction novel, RAYMÒN AND SUNSHINE, It’s about the relationship between an autistic man and a female android three hundred years in the future, when what was once seen as a disability is merely a difference. http://www.amazon.com/Raym%C3%B2n-Sunshine-Karen-Krett/dp/0692660887/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1461866431&sr=8-1&keywords=krett+sunshine

You can find more information about me and my books at www.karenkrettauthor.com/

Today I Am An Asshole…Ask Me Why…

Whenever I travel I take with me a list of all those important account numbers and codes and passwords that one needs in order to interact with the world at large. I’ve done this for decades.

For the very first time ever, there has been a grave mishap: the list is missing. No. I think “missing” is too hopeful. It’s gone. Kaput. Vanished. No longer on this plane of existence. I have turned every conceivable thing inside-out to no avail. List – oh, list – where art thou?

My fondest hope is that it got thrown out with the trash. The thought of the alternative is making me quite ill. If someone found it/took it, then my goose might very well be cooked. And, because we are still in Florida, I have no access to a copy of said list. So I can’t even recall enough to start cancelling things. OY!

My dear partner-in-crime is a person of extreme patience. When I told him the distressing news, he was upset but not murderous. I am fairly certain, had our positions been reversed, I would be.

So, here we are, and I – who am not usually a religious person – am fervently praying that the page of magic numbers will miraculously be found. In the meantime, I have encountered my inner assholishness. It was always there, but I could and would deny it. Not any more.

Look for my new non-fiction book, FEAR OF LANDING, The stories we tell about commitment and their meanings. It’s available on amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/Fear-Landing-stories-commitment-meanings/dp/1539179095/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1476027342&sr=8-3&keywords=karen+krett

Also available on amazon.com is my science fiction novel, RAYMÒN AND SUNSHINE, It’s about the relationship between an autistic man and a female android three hundred years in the future, when what was once seen as a disability is merely a difference. http://www.amazon.com/Raym%C3%B2n-Sunshine-Karen-Krett/dp/0692660887/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1461866431&sr=8-1&keywords=krett+sunshine

You can find more information about me and my books at www.karenkrettauthor.com/

The Great Chambermaid Debacle or…Hilton, I Hardly Knew Ye.

As those of you who have been following this blog already know, my partner-in-crime and I have been visiting South Florida for the past week. Tomorrow, we return to civilization…I mean, New York.

It has been a fine visit, with just a few exceptions…the most distressing having occurred last night at midnight. After a full and quite pleasant day, it was time to get some shut-eye. As soon as I turned back the covers it became quite apparent that something was terribly wrong…with the sheets. They were, to put it mildly, askew. Helter-skelter would not be too strong a description. nothing was straight or tucked in as it should be. It was completely untenable. Tired as we were there was nothing to be done but to completely remake the bed.

Amidst a number of what-the-fuck’s and other exclamations of extreme displeasure, we corrected the situation. In the morning, I called the Hilton concierge and reported the housekeeping failure. I searched online for an email address and sent a note of irritation as well.

A few hours later, there was a knock at the door. It was the offending chambermaid herself, sent to reassure us, no doubt. What she did, however, was confront us: Did you call and complain? How is your bed now? What was the problem? She said any number of similar things, which I found extremely unpleasant to deal with.

And now, to you – dear Hilton, I ask: What the fuck? Why add insult to injury with an in person confrontation? Why not send a manager or some other individual? Why did I have to deal with the trying-not-to-show-how-pissed-off she was maid?

Get your interpersonal shit together – for the other guests. We won’t be returning.

Look for my new non-fiction book, FEAR OF LANDING, The stories we tell about commitment and their meanings. It’s available on amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/Fear-Landing-stories-commitment-meanings/dp/1539179095/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1476027342&sr=8-3&keywords=karen+krett

Also available on amazon.com is my science fiction novel, RAYMÒN AND SUNSHINE, It’s about the relationship between an autistic man and a female android three hundred years in the future, when what was once seen as a disability is merely a difference. http://www.amazon.com/Raym%C3%B2n-Sunshine-Karen-Krett/dp/0692660887/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1461866431&sr=8-1&keywords=krett+sunshine

You can find more information about me and my books at www.karenkrettauthor.com/

THERE WAS A FARMER HAD A DOG…

…you guessed it, Bingo was his name. OH!

It was a steamy and – dare I say – sultry night in Tamarac, Florida. My visit with Mom was about to reach its zenith with a 7pm date with Bingo at Ye Olde Club House. I have had an unnatural love for the game since childhood. Fond memories flood me when I think back to the pure fun and excitement of being taken to the Officers Club at Ft. Hamilton on an evening for dinner – to be followed (be still my heart) by an only slightly militarized version of Bingo. The room would be packed with officers and gentlemen and their families. Winning was only slightly better than being in that room.

Fast forward back to the present – well, yesterday:

Dinner was called for a preternaturally early hour: 5pm. This was to make certain that we (mother, partner-in-crime and me) would arrive on time for the 7pm start of The Game. We made it – with just minutes to spare – and were soon ensconced at one of the large round tables. We had our Bingo cards: 3 for 6 bucks. One woman at our table was playing with 8 cards simultaneously. She was gracious as the looks of admiration and wonder swept over her. As the evening progressed, she maintained a consistent patter, interspersed with “God is good.”

Commentary on the numbers – called by the lovely white-haired man on the raised stage – varied between muted and an excited crescendo. There were a dozen separate games – some were of the plain vanilla variety; others more complex and requiring acute attention. Winning came in the form of a “layer cake,” a “crazy L,” and other arcane shapes in addition to the standards: a row or diagonal, four corners, or a full card. The experienced players were both helpful and a bit bossy as they checked and corrected the newbies (that would be me).

Now, it is not without significance that winners received a cash award. That $10 or $15 dollar prize was received as if it was a million bucks. I confess to feeling a flush of achievement when I found myself yelling “BINGO.”

Now for the color: I am 70. In that room of players I was, perhaps, the youngest person. Average age looked to be 80. My 92-year-old mother was definitely not the oldest. Intermixed were some younger caretakers; there was also an outdoors contingent of same – who opted out of playing, but sat smoking and chatting during the “calling of the balls.” I should mention…that phrase was a source of much sly merriment. These were oldies, but not deadies.

Now for the less than sunny sluice of emotion. As the minutes ticked away, I found myself feeling increasingly glum, verging on depressed. When I examined the cause for this state, I realized it was a reaction to being deeply immersed in the energy of the very old. Even though we were participating in a distraction, there was an awareness that hung over the space like a thick fog: these were short-timers.

I left feeling the need to intake large gulps of fresh air. Bingo is no longer “Bingo” for me. The bloom is well off the rose. My childhood associations have now been repealed and replaced. Bingo is just another word for nothing left to lose.

Look for my new non-fiction book, FEAR OF LANDING, The stories we tell about commitment and their meanings. It’s available on amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/Fear-Landing-stories-commitment-meanings/dp/1539179095/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1476027342&sr=8-3&keywords=karen+krett

Also available on amazon.com is my science fiction novel, RAYMÒN AND SUNSHINE, It’s about the relationship between an autistic man and a female android three hundred years in the future, when what was once seen as a disability is merely a difference. http://www.amazon.com/Raym%C3%B2n-Sunshine-Karen-Krett/dp/0692660887/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1461866431&sr=8-1&keywords=krett+sunshine

You can find more information about me and my books at www.karenkrettauthor.com/

The bounty of the early bird special

Guess where I am? I’ve been enjoying the languid lifestyle in lovely Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. It’s been almost a week and my nervous system is complaining with increasing frequency. “Where,” it asks with a plaintive but essentially pissed-off tone, “is the noise – and I don’t mean the crashing of the waves? Where are the stone-faced, make-no-eye-contact denizens? What’s with all this – ‘hello, how’s your stay, where are you from?’”

Let me assure you, no one you don’t already know asks you anything back in NYC – unless you count, “WOULD YOU MOVE THE FUCK OUT OF THE WAY!”

So, I’m almost saturated with the niceness. Am I twisted? Am I – okay, I’ll say it – sick? To yearn for the prickly-at-best energy that hits you in the face as soon as you step out your door in Manhattan. Maybe. But, here in the land of palm trees and sunshine, there is little that I can feel in terms of palpable energy of any kind. I’m sure it’s me. I’m just so used to the jarring and the loud that it feels a little like death to be in this quiet zone. Wait a minute! Maybe I HAVE crossed to the other side. Maybe this is…(I’m inclined to think it’s hell not heaven)… the afterlife.

Oh boy. Oh no. Don’t tell me this is it forever. I understand the old joints do better in the heat and humidity. I recognize that it may be comforting to be on the four-meal-a-day plan and to spend the rest of the time thinking about and discussing the next meal. But I must, with respect, say: HELP! GET ME OUTTA HERE!

Nothing personal, Mom, I know you like it – and, I am glad we got to spend some quality time. It’s not you, it’s me. But I need to get an infusion of New York or else I’m going to start to disappear. What’s that you say? It’s only Wednesday and I’m not going home until Saturday? This is not the news I was hoping for. I will tough it out. What’s the alternative? Succumbing is not an option I can consider.

In the meantime, I’ll scour the airways for news stories about my crazy home town. I’ll listen with the requisite horror, but with secret longing. And I’ll count the days. My partner in crime offered me this method of counting he learned long ago in Vietnam. It lessens the pain by considering the last day of the stay as a “wake-up.” I’ve got three days and a wake-up. I can do that. Can’t I?

Look for my new non-fiction book, FEAR OF LANDING, The stories we tell about commitment and their meanings. It’s available on amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/Fear-Landing-stories-commitment-meanings/dp/1539179095/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1476027342&sr=8-3&keywords=karen+krett

Also available on amazon.com is my science fiction novel, RAYMÒN AND SUNSHINE, It’s about the relationship between an autistic man and a female android three hundred years in the future, when what was once seen as a disability is merely a difference. http://www.amazon.com/Raym%C3%B2n-Sunshine-Karen-Krett/dp/0692660887/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1461866431&sr=8-1&keywords=krett+sunshine

You can find more information about me and my books at www.karenkrettauthor.com/