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  • Writer's pictureJerry Della Femina



A Jewish girl tells her mom that she thinks she is pregnant.

Very worried, the mother goes to the drugstore and buys a pregnancy kit.

The test result shows that the girl is in fact pregnant.

Shouting and crying, the mother says, “Who was the pig that did this to you? I want to know!”

Without answering, the girl picks up the phone and makes a call.

Half an hour later, a Mercedes stops in front of their house.

A mature and distinguished man with grey hair and wearing a yarmulke steps out of the car and enters the house. He sits in the living room with the father, mother and the girl and tells them, “Your daughter has informed me of the problem. I can’t marry her because of my personal family situation but I’ll take charge. I will pay all costs and provide for your daughter for the rest of her life. Additionally, if a girl is born, I will bequeath two retail furniture stores, a deli, a condo in Miami, and a $10 million bank account.

“If a boy is born, my legacy will be a chain of jewelry stores and a $25 million bank account.”

“However, if there is a miscarriage, I’m not sure what to do. What do you suggest?”

All silent at this point, then the mother placed a hand firmly on the man’s shoulder and tells him, “So, you’ll try again.”


An elderly Italian couple are at the doctor for their annual checkup. Maria’s finishing her physical with Dr. Feldman. “Mrs. Russo, all your blood work and vitals look good. I have just one question left for you…Do you and Mr. Russo still have Intercourse?” Maria jumps out of the examining room half-naked and runs out into the waiting room yelling, “Mario…Mario…the nice young doctor wants to know if we still have Intercourse?!” Mario looks up from his magazine and calmly replies, “Maria, how many times do I gotta’ tell you…We have Blue Cross!”


I just found a few old columns and since I’m feeling lazy this week I pulled out a few of my favorite parts. I was a little embarrassed calling it “The Best of Me,” but then I remembered I once bought a record called “The Best of Tom Jones.” And once, very drunk and maybe slightly stoned, I bought an album called “The Best of Alvin and the Chipmunks.”

That’s it. If I paid money for the best of the Chipmunks, you can have the best of me for free.


When I was a kid we couldn’t afford to have a telephone in our house and had to go to Barney’s Candy Store on the corner for phone calls. When one of the kids who hung out in front of the candy store was dispatched to our house to tell us we had a call, my mother and father would say in unison, “Somebody’s dead.” My grandmother would fall to her knees and start to scream and cry for all of our relatives, calling their names out in sort of a roll call of her favorites. She would prayerfully add the word “Not” in Italian before each name. “Not Pasquale. Not Guiseppi. Not Nina. Not Ida. Not Cheech…” By the time my father came home with news about the call, we were all exhausted with worry. It was never a death, most of the time it was just a relative who wanted to talk. Once my father came home to proudly tell us that he had “hit the numbers” and had won $600, which was about six months’ salary for him. My grandmother continued to cry even as we celebrated. She just didn’t want to waste a good wholesome bout of hysteria.


This is from a column I wrote a few years ago, a true story about a dog named Benji, a 60-pound poodle whose master bought a new gun and was demonstrating how to use it to a friend. Benji, who was stretched out semi-snoozing on the rug, looked up, came running across the room, and took a dive into his master’s lap – causing the gun to go off, killing his master instantly. Can you just see the NRA coming up with a new slogan:

Guns don’t kill people, 60-pound dogs with guns kill people.



I don’t know what got into me. I’m so ashamed.

One minute I was a normal, upstanding citizen politely seeking information on the telephone. The next I was screaming out incredible profanities. And then I was a defeated, broken man. But in the end I emerged victorious.

The only excuse I can make for myself is that at no time did I ever converse with a human voice.

Have you tried to call anyone for information about anything lately?

There are no humans answering phones these days. They all have these voice systems that are activated by any sound you make. So I called Delta Airlines 1-800-221-1212 and all I wanted to know was, “Does the Delta shuttle fly to Washington on the hour or on the half hour?” A simple question that a human could have answered in a second. What I got was a recording of an incredibly deep, fake male voice asking me if I wanted to use their web site for discounts and to warn me that this call may be recorded for quality assurance.

Let me get this straight: This is a fake voice worrying about the quality of the message I was going to get from other fake voices?

Mr. Testicle Throat (my name for him) gave me a menu choice of four numbers that I could push. None of the choices was about whether the plane to Washington was leaving on the hour or the half hour. I pressed number two because he mentioned schedules.

Now came this recording of a woman’s voice, who I will call Deaf Dora. She came on the line with a breezy “Hi!” as though I was her next-door neighbor in her totally fake world. She was too cheerful and sounded like she had swallowed a handful of uppers.

However, maybe I was being too hard on her. The fake automated voices that are now in charge of giving us information live in a nice world where they have no responsibility and they don’t care what people are screaming at them. They never take breaks and, as far as I understand it, none of them have been programmed to tell you to “stuff it” when you curse at them.

Deaf Dora asked me if I had a flight number and what was my departure or arrival city.

Now you must understand this voice recording stuff is in its infancy and all of the equipment is so sensitive it can pick up the slightest sound and then translate it into the name of a city. At that point I coughed and the fake automated woman’s voice immediately said, “PITTSBURGH!!!! Is that your arrival or your departure city?”

“Oh damn,” I said.

“SPOKANE!!!” she said happily. “Is that your arrival city? Do I have that right?” she wondered. “You are departing Pittsburgh…What is the arrival city?”


“Let me repeat that,” she said. “You are departing Pittsburgh and you are arriving in Pittsburgh? Is Pittsburgh your arrival city?”

“OH…” I screamed (the word that rhymes with “luck”).

“Let me see if I have this right. You are departing Pittsburgh and your arrival city is Gulf Port Biloxi.”

This simple call was now taking over 15 minutes and I was heading for Gulf Port Biloxi – a place I didn’t even know existed before I made the call. It was like a conversation with my 92-year-old father who was deaf in both ears, and when I kiss him on the forehead and say, “I love you Papa,” he answers, “She went to the store. Why do you ask?”

Of course the smart thing to do with Deaf Dora was to hang up and quit, but I couldn’t let go. The voice was now in complete control of the conversation and I must admit I was intrigued. Just what could I say to this automated voice and what would she hear?

This is my dirty little confession. I said, “You sound cute. I’m a fake voice too. What if the two of us find a place where we can talk privately?”

That’s when, I swear, the automated voice said, “PLEASE HOLD WHILE I CONNECT YOU TO A DELTA REPRESENTATIVE.”

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