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  • Jerry Della Femina

MY SEARCH FOR A COLUMN (4/26/22)

It was tough this week. Nothing has changed.


Joe Biden is still Joe Biden.


Donald Trump is still Donald Trump.


Neither one should be our president.


This is a great country that deserves better than these two clowns.


Who can I write about? Who’s in the news?


Johnny Depp? Yuck! He makes my skin crawl.


He’s on my list , along with Will Smith, of people I never want to hear about again.


Maybe I should say something about the Cleveland Indians.


Why the hell did they listen to a group of woke protesters and change their name from the Cleveland Indians to the Cleveland Guardians?


What the hell kind of a name is “Guardian”?


Guardian sounds to me like the brand name of a condom.


I guess the new motto for the Cleveland Guardian players should be:


“We’re thinner and more sensitive.”


I just didn’t have enough for a column, so I searched for and found a great new joke.


But it was a joke that I tried out on my wife, the beautiful Judy Licht, and she agreed it was hilarious but borderline tasteless.


I was still going to run it when she added it was the kind of joke that creepy old guys like to tell each other.


That was it. You’ll never see that joke in this column.


Thank God for my old reliable computer. I searched and found this old column that I think goes back to 2003, when I was a better writer.


MY REVERSE BUCKET LIST


Someone asked me a stupid question the other day: “What’s on your bucket list?”


For those of you who haven’t heard about a “bucket list,” it comes from the term “kicked the bucket,” as in “dead.” Your bucket list is supposed to be all the things you want to do before you die.


There was even a movie about a bucket list where two guys who are dying, played by Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman, escape from a hospital and set out to do all the things they want to do before they die.


What crap.


To begin with, a bucket list is a male thing. I don’t know any woman who has a bucket list. Women are satisfied with their lives. Men, on the other hand, aren’t even honest about their bucket list.


They bullcrap about wanting to climb Mount Kilimanjaro before they die…or how they want to hang glide over El Capitan in Yosemite…or dive into the Pacific Ocean at night, armed only with a rusty penknife to hunt killer sharks.


Bullcrap…bullcrap…bullcrap…


The only thing on most men’s bucket lists that they never will reveal to anyone is that before they die they all want to be in a threesome with Jennifer Lopez and Kim Kardashian.


I will never have a bucket list.


What I do have is a reverse bucket list. I want to have those small special moments in my life back again, if only for a few minutes.


Granted, my reverse bucket list contains some personal things that may only be of interest to me. So if my list bores you, just stop reading and come up with your own reverse bucket list. Think back to those special moments in your own life. Try it. It will make you feel good about the past and not give a damn about the future.


Here are a few memories I treasure. I have thousands of others.


I want to see the movie Casablanca as I saw it for the first time. Especially the scene when Paul Henreid (as Victor Laszlo) leads a crowd of patrons at Rick’s Cafe to drown out the Nazis singing “Die Wacht am Rhein.” Laszlo, with Rick’s nod as permission, gets the patrons to sing a loud, rousing rendition of “La Marseillaise.” That cut to a young French woman singing with tears streaming down her face was magical.


Corny? Sure it was. It was known as patriotism in those days. We were better for it.


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I want to be making out as a horny 16-year-old in the back seat of an old 1948 Chevy at the lovers’ lane in Plum Beach, Brooklyn. Sex? Not much. But one learned how to unhook the back of a bra with one hand while kissing. Those were known as the “just above the waist” years.


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I want to see a young Mickey Mantle beating out an infield hit when he came up in 1951 and was running on healthy young legs.


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I want to be cruising Ocean Parkway in Brooklyn with Georgie, Ronnie, Sonny, Vinny, Guy, Tony and Carl, packed in a car with the radio playing “Earth Angel” by the Penguins and “Sincerely” by the Moonglows.


We were trying to pick up girls who were sitting on the Ocean Parkway benches waiting to be picked up by guys in cars. It was long before we all had to be politically correct. These were nice girls, some of whom some of us married. Their names? Terry, Anne, Maria, Mary.


We were all so young.


We were all so sure we would live forever.


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I want to watch Tom Brady’s last Hail Mary pass to Randy Moss being blocked by Corey Webster and dropping to the ground and once again feel the delirious happiness that my underdog football Giants had just won the Super Bowl against impossible odds.


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I want to be 18 years old one summer night at Roosevelt Raceway, watching the harness race we all had been tipped was fixed. I bet $4 (all I had) on a horse named Volo Yates. Coming down the stretch Volo Yates looked like a loser behind two horses whose drivers were side-by-side heading for the finish line.


Then the drivers visibly pulled their horses – the moved to the side and separated and that left a gap between them. Then Volo Yates came down the middle and hit the finish line first. He paid $42 for a $2 bet. I won $84, which was a month’s salary in the dead-end job I had. It was the most money, at the time, that I had ever held in my hands.


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I want one more Easter Sunday meal at our tiny house on West 7th Street in Brooklyn, with my mother, my father, my little brother, my grandmother and grandfather and my uncle. We weren’t a religious family by any stretch of the imagination, but Easter Sunday would be the only day my grandfather – fueled by two or three glasses of red wine – would take the palm from Palm Sunday and the holy water from Good Friday and bless the table. He splattered us all with holy water and we laughed uproariously. When I was 10, they would give me cream soda with a healthy pour of red wine. I felt so grown up and so, so safe.


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I want it to be a Saturday night around midnight when I was 17. All of the boys met at Joe’s Bar on Avenue U after a long strenuous night of unhooking bras at Plum Beach. It was a male bonding thing over pizza, beer, and delicious capuzzelle (half a lamb’s head, brains and eye included). I always ate all of the capuzzelle except the eye. I always felt the lamb’s eye was staring at me.


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I want to go back to the night my wife Barbara and I took our newborn daughter Donna home for the first time. I was 21, my wife was 18. I was up all night watching my baby breathe.


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Memories. After a while they’re all we have and they’re all we need.





-If you wish to comment on “Jerry’s Ink” please send your message to jerry@dfjp.com

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