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  • Writer's pictureJerry Della Femina


I truly enjoyed the story of Jeffrey Toobin’s return to CNN the other day.

Talk about awkward?

A few months ago Jeffrey made Zoom history by getting caught masturbating on camera, during a business call with his employer, The New Yorker.

He was fired by The New Yorker and suspended by CNN, where he has worked for a hundred years.

Toobin was reintroduced to CNN viewers by anchor Alisyn Camerota.

All is forgiven, none is forgotten.

The CNN story went on to say after his interview with Camerota, all of the CNN employees in the studio rushed up to Toobin and hugged him.

Note, the story says the CNN employees all hugged Toobin.

Nobody shook his hand.

Here’s a column that ran 12 years ago, brought up to date…

What is it with me and dogs that are flatulent? Out of nowhere, with old age, my wonderful, sweet, cuddly little pooch Shlomo has turned into a farting machine.

Shlomo is the sweetest dog and the love of my life. When I sit down to watch television he jumps onto my lap and we watch together until one or both of us falls asleep. Sometimes it’s 1 AM and I wake up and say, “Wake up, Shlomo, it’s bedtime,” and since dogs can’t tell time, he jumps down from my lap, looks up and greets me, tail wagging, as though I had just walked into the room.

Then when I climb into bed, Shlomo falls asleep in bed next to me. Lately I have been awakened from a sound sleep by a strong smell that threatens to peel the paint off my bedroom walls. Shlomo has flatulence, and it’s not noisy. It’s a silent killer and, out of nowhere, one is overwhelmed by this incredible odor.

If any of you reading this has a cure for doggie flatulence, please let me know. Hurry, it’s getting pretty bad. My biggest fear is that Shlomo’s condition will become as bad as my old dog’s, the late but unlamented Oreo. While Shlomo loves people, Oreo was a real bitch and she hated people.

Oreo’s flatulence caused many a hilarious, embarrassing moment.

My favorite one took place on a Sunday afternoon many, many years ago when I decided to take Oreo for a walk on Madison Avenue. I ran into a woman I know ever so slightly, who is something of a snob. She is very rich, very waspy, and very proper.

The woman took one look at Oreo and said, “What a cute little dog.” She then knelt to pet her and that’s when Oreo let loose.

The smell hit the woman first and I saw a look of pain on her face. By the time it rose up to me I looked down in horror at the woman. Did she think it was me?

And of course, the woman was thinking I thought it was her.

It’s that silent stuff that’s so hard to trace and so deadly.

I started looking at my shoe. “Did I step on something?” I asked too loudly. “Maybe it was me,” she said, looking at her heel. Oreo just stared at the two of us. Can dogs smile? I thought she had a smile on her muzzle.

Then I said, “It could be the cheese. I’ve been feeding her sliced Velveeta cheese, as a treat.”

“Oh,” said the woman nervously, “I have a problem when I eat cheese, too.” Now, this is a very attractive woman and this was more than I wanted to know about her faulty digestive system.

Oreo let loose again. The woman looked like she was going to throw up.

“I think I had better go now,” I said.

The woman, holding her breath, said, “I’m late.”

“So am I,” I said.

Then, after an awkward second, which seemed like an hour, we went our separate ways. As I turned around I started to giggle. I haven’t seen her since.

My all-time favorite doggie flatulence story happened when I first met my wife, the beautiful Judy Licht.

When Judy and I first started dating, she showed up one day with a gorgeous little puppy called Panda from the North Shore Animal Shelter. We were happy with Panda until one fateful week a short time later, when we decided to take Judy’s mom and my parents on a get-acquainted weekend at a house we were renting in South Salem, New York.

Now, picture the scene. It was a cold winter night, so all the car windows were shut tight. We were heading north on the Henry Hudson Parkway. Everyone in the car was really nervous.

Judy was chattering nervously from the passenger side of the front seat. In the back, my parents and Judy’s mom were eyeing each other and saying very little.

Judy’s mother had brought an Orange Blossom plant and everyone commented on how nice it made the car smell. At our parents’ feet the little puppy Panda was blissfully sleeping.

We had just passed the George Washington Bridge when I got the first whiff. It overpowered the sweet smell of Orange Blossoms. Apparently everyone had smelled what I had smelled and now everyone was talking at the same time. Sort of saying, “It’s not me.”

“We must be passing through some sort of a gas leak,” said Judy weakly. No one bothered to agree with her.

The smell stayed with us into Westchester. The car smelled terrible. My dad opened his window, deciding he would rather be cold than sick.

It was quite a few embarrassing miles before we realized that Panda suffered from flatulence. The fact that it was the puppy who was the windbreaker turned the situation into an icebreaker. Everyone laughed and admitted they were terrified that they were suspect. As we reached our home Judy turned to me and said, “If I ever write a book about our life together, the title will be Orange Blossoms and Puppy Dog Farts.”

If you have that doggy flatulence cure, please hurry.

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