Monday, May 26, 2008


Today, offer a silent moment of gratitude for the men and women who have served as well as those who are now serving in our armed forces. We should never lose sight of all the rights and privileges we enjoy as a result of their loyalty, valor, commitment, and sacrifice.


In my childhood the idea of being in the military was cool. I loved to make the garden into a battleground for my army soldiers and TV shows like "COMBAT" were must-see events each week. Unfortunately, once I got older and the grim reality of Vietnam set-in, so a military chapter in my life quickly lost its luster.

I respect those in the military because I doubt I would have lasted ten minutes in basic training...much less facing the enemy in the field. I know this because I can barely handle the regimentation of the casino industry.

Military life is difficult enough without having to fight-off a non-human foe. Just try to put yourself in this situation from the movie "JAWS." Towards the end, there is the scene in which the Robert Shaw character (Quint) and Richard Dreyfuss (Hooper) get drunk and merrily compare shark inflicted scars. Roy Scheider's character (Chief Brody) comments about one of Quint's unmentioned scars. Quint says, "Its not a scar...I had a tattoo removed...the U. S. S. Indianapolis."

Quint goes on to eerily tell his account of surviving the single worst at-sea loss of life in US naval history.


The demise of the heavy cruiser U. S. S. Indianapolis is a true story. It led a long and honored career from 1932 until July 30, 1945. Its last mission on July 26, 1945 was TOP SECRET. On that day, the Indianapolis successfully delivered to Tinian Island, the critical parts (the uranium projectile) for "Little-Boy," the atomic bomb that would be dropped on Hiroshima.

Four days later in the Philippine Sea, a Japanese submarine attacked. It is uncertain whether the cruiser was hit two or three times but from the first on-board explosion to the time she sank...was twelve minutes.

It is estimated that three hundred men died from the attack. 880 others abandoned ship and went into water. In a combination or being victims of circumstance and naval stupidity, the men were left to their own devices for four days.

The main reason they were left there was; the mission was so secret that against normal naval notice was sent to the port of destination...that meant they weren't missing because nobody was expecting them. Plus there was radio silence. The Indianapolis sent out three distress calls any way. At first all of these S. O. S.'s were claimed to have never been received (later it was discovered that for various reasons, these calls were ignored).

For the sake of the movie's tension, Quint goes into some gory shark-related details about the four-day wait for rescue. Wikipedia takes a less Hollywood-ish tact, saying that the men were systematically dying from drowning, exposure and dehydration with the sharks feeding on the corpses.

Of the original 1196 crew members only 317 lived to tell the tale. Ironically, the Indianapolis was the last major war vessel lost in WWII.

The Indianapolis is just one of countless stories of the ultimate sacrifice. Please, never forget what it means to be an American and always take time to thank the veterans you come across...for their devotion to our freedom and way of life.

Monday, May 19, 2008


Help me to congratulate my Uncle Mickey & Aunt Harriet who celebrated their wedding anniversary yesterday. I'm not sure how many years it is now, but I know its big number.


Its not quite what I had in mind but congratulations are in order, yesterday I experienced my first $62.00 gas fill-up. Talk about cultural shock...I wasn't even on "E."

If you are as old as I am, you can remember 38c per gallon gas. Back in antiquity, gas was cheaper than bottled water and the thought of a $20.00 fill-up was mind boggling. Plus, someone was always there to squeegee your windows. Try getting someone to do that these days.


A ways back, I told of a Vietnamese co-worker whose name was Dung. When he found out that his name in English meant; fecal matter...he changed his name to Tony. Luckily for us MORE GLIB ThAN PROFOUND-aholics, another example of being named after hydrogenous waste has again squeezed its way through.

Thanks to DOMTRPT and GALEN, my knowledge of Bulgarian culture now goes beyond its capitol Sofia and their money being called a Lev. The vital bit of information that these fine gentleman have shared with me is the Bulgarian word for poop. Phonetically, its pronounced "aki" or if you like "ockey." Conveniently, there is a marginal professional ice OCKEY player... a defenseman from Finland who last played for the Toronto Maple Leafs named...AKI Berg.


I wonder who named him Aki or if its a nickname?

A ten year veteran, he was never a star, so maybe his name coincides with his less than spectacular stature in the league (NHL). Or, perhaps there was a Bulgarian scout with a wry sense or humor when he was coming up? In any event, Mr. Berg needs to be congratulated on his good fortune to be mentioned in my high-brow column and let's hope when he visits the Balkan region that he has a thick enough skin to ignore the snickering when he introduces himself. Or if he has any sense at all, to stay out of Bulgaria all together.


I recently read that the movie E. T., THE EXTRATERRESTRIAL was voted the #24 greatest movie of all time by the American Film Institute (AFI).

I only saw it when it first came out and really liked it. Now, 26 or so years later, I couldn't recall the finer details of the plot--so we watched it on TV.

Now that I've (and I stress the I've) re-seen it...Andrew fell asleep during the third commercial (dozing off in the middle of movies is a family tradition), I congratulate myself for my excellent choice and I encourage you all to re-see it or see it for the first time.

Don't get fooled, this is NOT a kiddie movie. It works on many levels. Yes, on the surface the cuddly alien, sci-fi angle is aimed at children but the greater universal message is acceptance, friendship and loyalty.

E. T. is bundled with humorous , cute and clever writing as well as a fresh young cast that includes the adorable Drew Barrymore. If she had more lines, she could have stolen the movie!

The plot is science fiction. Usually what makes sci-fi work is...that the central concept can be seen as plausible to the viewer. This is made abundantly clear in JURASSIC PARK, with the notion of dinosaur DNA being siphoned from fossilized mosquitoes. However, in E. T. such is NOT the case. The movie is pure fantasy with flying bicycles and E. T., a gazillion light years away, cannibalizing normal earthling-level household items to put together a device to "phone home," (yes that's Debra Winger doing his voice-over).

All this wonderment is accomplished in a sweet and sensitive way without being predictable and sappy. Of course even tough guys like me might get a little teary eyed...but that's okay!

Monday, May 12, 2008


I don't know the criteria for knighthood but the English badly missed the mark when they over-looked comedian Benny Hill. I'm certain if he was American, he'd be on the new three-dollar bill or at least have him on a series of postage stamps.In our country, Benny is a stranger to today's generation. Maybe there's a problem with the rights to his old TV shows or perhaps the powers that be, think his cutting-edge humor wouldn't be relevant today.

To test the latter possibility, I introduced Hill to my son through U-TUBE. As I expected, Andrew liked it a lot and wanted more. What I can't fathom is, that despite the enormity of his success in the U. K., (The Benny Hill Show, in one form or another viewed consecutively from 1955-1988), the program (or programme as the English spell it), slipped into obscurity, got cancelled and even worse...soon Benny Hill became a persona non grata. To find out why this great talent was tossed aside, let's go back to the beginning.

Alfred "Alfie" Hawthorne Hill was born on January 21, 1924 in Southampton England. He worked in a wide range of odd-jobs before getting into show business. Once he got his foot in the door, Hill, in honor of comedian Jack Benny, changed his name to Benny Hill.

In his early television years, Hill produced four shows a year on the BBC. These shows, because of his unique style of humor (or humour as the Brits spell it) were greatly anticipated by his tremendous following.

Down through the years, especially in the mid-eighties, Hill was prodded into doing more and more. When Thames Television took over for the BBC, he was encouraged (monetarily) to produce a weekly program. The cleverness of the routines wore thin due to over-exposure...which lead to redundancy, sameness and the most dreaded...repetition. But beyond the material, there was something else causing mass negativity towards Hill.

In Hill's shows, a common theme included scantily clothed women being chased by him. This is especially true in his signature closing credits segments with "YAKETY SAX" music in the background. Somehow, in "sexually progressive" England, this concept was deemed by "experts" to be degrading to women. This accusation is particularly wrong because most of the time, the women turned the tables on Hill and started chasing him.

In Britain, a grass-roots movement to oust Hill was started by certain entertainment critics. They claimed this sort of humor, in addition to be sexist was passe...even though independent researchers would prove that a new generation of viewers loved the Benny Hill Show.

Four years after he was off the air, Benny Hill was found dead in his apartment, April 19, 1992.

Similar to two other English comedians, Charlie Chaplin and Peter Sellers, Benny Hill led an odd, perhaps unhappy and/or unfulfilled personal life. A work-aholic, he was remembered by his small circle of close friends to be, a happy hermit and completely dedicated to his craft. He never married (he proposed twice but both women turned him down) and he never owned a car or a house. Benny even lived with his mother until she passed-away in 1976.

He enjoyed traveling abroad but used those experiences to sharpen his foreign language skills and develop more material from observing the locals.

Hill named his predeceased parents as the primary beneficiaries in his will, (approx $20 million {US}). Curiously, his secondary beneficiaries were already dead too. Therefore, his fortune slipped into the hands of his tertiary beneficiaries; seven nieces and nephews. Hill did however provide a tidy sum for his close friends especially cast members and other associates of his show. Unfortunately for them, the proper legal procedure wasn't followed, (a legitimate oversight? Or Hill's warped sense of humor) ? Nevertheless, this "technicality" allowed the nieces and nephews to contest that portion of the will. They fought it out in court and his family won the entire inheritance.

In the end when Benny Hill's career soured, I can't help but think there was a conspiracy against him. To say his style of humor was passe is ridiculous! In the good old U. S. of A., even the low-brow "THE THREE STOOGES" are considered to be classics with each generation developing new "stooge-a-philes."

I say, "Don't pull Sir Benny down, pull him up.  Out of the cracks of the abyss and celebrate his comic genius. Make him what he deserves to be remembered as, (albeit posthumously) an English national treasure."

Hopefully, PBS or someone else will start showing the old re-runs again. If not, I'm sure there are DVD's out there somewhere and I guarantee he'll make you laugh. I just wish I had the "Yakety Sax" sound effect dubbed over this last paragraph.

Monday, May 5, 2008


If you watch "LAW & ORDER" re-runs as often as I do--then you realize that the strength of a prosecutor's case rest on the following items: motive, opportunity and murder weapon.

In today's episode of "EDELBLUM MYSTERY THEATRE," you the viewer, get to weigh the evidence against the accused while playing judge, jury and if necessary--executioner.

My relationship, over the last six-plus years, with BOOB, my evil, classless and stupid next-door neighbor has been strained to say the least. Of course I don't want to say or do anything that might cause you to be biased against him but it should be noted that he's also *stupid, a control freak and may be of Austrian descent...yes, he has no basement...but, he DOES have an attic! And I bet, that attic is off-limits to his strange wife.

* I repeated "stupid" purposely because he's more than merely stupid--plus, I like calling him stupid.

The shenanigans in question occurred yesterday, the day I chose to get my sprinkler system up and running. Before getting to that task, I left the house to walk our dog (Roxy). Coincidentally, my neighbor BOOB was pulling debris out of a sprinkler head that lies side-by-side with one of mine. I don't want to further influence you negatively against this moron but I walk the dog the other way because he once said to Andrew (my son) that he'd kill the dog if it ever peed on his lawn.

Later yesterday afternoon, I turned on my water. I remembered that at the end of last season that my system was intact and in fine working condition.

The area away from BOOB's house is the first zone to get watered. One sprinkler head needed to be adjusted and then I noticed that the protective lid was cracked and was no longer attached to the unit. This undoubtedly happened from being driven on AND, on top of general wear and tear, it should be taken into account that it was an original (19+ years) piece of equipment.

I was satisfied that zone-one was up and running as zone-two (near BOOB) belched and farted as water ran through it for the first time. However, the stream coming from three of the four heads was weak, but non-existent from the one next to where BOOB was working...a mere ninety minutes earlier.

The protective lid on this (three year old) sprinkler was also detached but wasn't cracked. Inside, the actual mechanism had been broken into three parts. This evidence does NOT lend itself to being crushed by a car.

So I beseech you fine readers of MORE GLIB ThAN PROFOUND, does BOOB have enough of a motive to do such a dastardly deed...or is he just STUPID, stupid?

Did BOOB have opportunity...well he had the time it took to walk the dog. This becomes more plausible if you're a conspiracy theorist...because Bob could have been clocking my movements for months waiting for his chance to sabotage my sprinkler.

And of course, what about his weapon of mass destruction, well, he was clearly seen with the tools necessary to repair/adjust his own sprinkler problems. Which could have just as easily been used as the implements of doom to mine.

Or is it all a coincidence? Because if it isn't a coincidence how should I proceed against him. Considering I do not have corroborating witnesses and the evidence is purely circumstantial because, I didn't actually see him tampering with anything. Plus, I have been unmercilessly and unnecessarily MF'ed by this "gentleman" on several previous occasions and therefore would prefer to avoid a confrontation--especially if I'm wrong.

I value your input, please help me decide what to do.