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One From Column A...
by "The Real A"

October 5, 1998 - #54

Oh, I am frantic, dear readers. Frantic because I have an entire column to write before I fly off to New York in two days. So, I fear I must dispense with all drivel for this column. There will simply be no drivel and that is all there is to that. Now that we've got that out of the way, I was eating some beef jerky the other day and I suddenly thought, "why am I eating something called beef jerky?". It tastes like shoe leather, you can't chew it, it's hard to swallow, and, most importantly, it's called beef jerky. Now, I don't know about you, dear readers, but I just want the genius who both invented and named beef jerky to step forward and identify him or herself. First of all, just look at a piece of beef jerky. I mean look at it. Is this something you really want to put in your mouth? It looks like the side of a barn. But, let's just, for the sake of argument, say that this thing, this dried treated beef is a brilliant idea, something that the world cannot live without. How on earth do you come up with the name "beef jerky"? Beef I understand. It's the "jerky" that causes sleepless nights. Someone actually thought of combining those two words and that person would be jerky, now wouldn't he/she/it? I mean, why didn't they name it "beef stupid" or "beef dorky" or "beef silly"? Now, wait just a darn minute here. Am I mistaken or does this ranting about beef jerky not fall under the drivel category? Here I have said, I have avered, I have avowed, I have stated clearly that there would be no drivel in this here column, and thus far this column has been nothing but drivel. And what on Earth does beef jerky have to do with Stephen Sondheim? You tell me. Of course, this whole thing just opens up a can of worms, doesn't it, dear readers? Said can is now open and the worms are running rampant. Because let us ponder the names of some other silly foods, for example, JuJuBees. Why? How did it ever occur to anyone that that little disgusting chewy thing that can rip the cavities out of your teeth should be called a JuJuBee? And how about Milk Duds? Do we even want to go there? And of course other notable names such as Abba Zabba (the mind reels - no mean feat), Dots, Look (pure genius, that), Uno Bar, Almond Roca (sounds like a Latin dance), nonpareils (are there just plain "pareils"?), Jujy Fruits (JuJuBees, Jujy Fruits, are these Jewish candies?), well, you get the point. Who thought up these names? Inquiring minds want to know. It is fascinating to think that some silly food inventor was sitting in his/her workroom, came up with the brilliant idea of putting peanut butter inside of taffy, and then, on top of that brilliant coupling, looked at said coupling and thought "Ah, an Abba Zabba". The mind simply boggles (the mind can only boggle after it has reeled, but since the mind has already reeled it can now safely boggle).

All this talk of candy has given me a sweet tooth. Yes, you heard it here, one of my teeth is sweet. It's the bicuspid ("dipsucib" spelled backwards). So, to satisfy said bicuspid I went to the sweet tooth store and bought a Big Hunk. For those who've never had a Big Hunk, it is chewy nougat with nuts. I, for one, always like a chewy nougat. In fact, I've been called a chewy nougat. To me, chewy nougat is a blessing in disguise. What does that mean? "A blessing in disguise"? The blessing has to disguise itself as a chewy nougat (with nuts yet)? I don't get it. However, where else, dear readers, can you read about chewy nougat but right here in this here column? You want chewy nougat, this here column delivers the chewy nougat goods. Have I mentioned that I leave for New York in two days? I am taking the red eye. What a stupid expression. Why don't I take the green eye? Why am I taking an eye at all? What am I, an eye kleptomaniac? Where was I? Oh, yes, I just ate Big Hunk. Of course, while I was eating said big hunk I thought, what is it, fish? Speaking of fish, here I sit on my brand spanking new couch like so much of it. This couch is really comfortable. That is because its cushions are made with down. Not up, no up would be very uncomfortable, whereas down is just nirvana for tired butt cheeks. This is the kind of couch you'd describe as soporific. It makes you sleepy. This is because its cushions are made with down. Didn't I just say that? Now I'm repeating myself in the same paragraph, for heaven's sake. Next thing you know I'll be saying chewy nougat again. Oh, I don't know, this column is beginning to feel like William Finn's new musical, A New Brain: It's got interesting things in it but it just doesn't work. But enough about me.

Cutting to the Chase

Well, dear readers, I have come to the painful realization that there is no way to finish writing this here column before I leave for NY. You know how I feel about this, dear readers. I abhor not being able to present you with a complete all-in-one handy dandy column. But rather than write a bunch of meaningless drivel (I would never do that!) I'm going to stop the meaningless drivel right here and right now. Besides, we have that other little third of a column hanging around looking stupid, so, with this, we'll have two-thirds of a column. Also, Mr. Mark Bakalor (who's always off doing shows in Kern or wherever the hell he is) is really off doing a show somewhere and was feeling a bit frantic about being able to get this here column up on time. Two Frantic Jews in not a good thing, column-wise, so perhaps this is for the best. But I make this solemn promise to you, dear readers. When I return from NY I will write an extra long column to make up for this heinous (heinous, do you hear me?) short one. We can't even call this a column. We'll have to call it a "col". That is the best we can do. I have been receiving lots of your profiles, and I will be ready to do some potent matchmaking upon my return. I shall also have a plethora of activity pictures to share with you, including one of my brand spanking new couch on which I sit like so much fish.

So, please forgive me dear readers. I feel badly, and will shortly go into the corner and flog myself like Judge Turpin. In the meantime, shall we all ponder about the type of mind that would come up with the name Cherry Nibs? Not to mention the ever popular "gum". "Gum". That is just so brilliant. "Gum". Just look at that word. "Gum". Or "mug" spelled backwards. Or "ugm" spelled from within.

Well, I'm off to pack and will return with an extra long column in one short week.

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Questions? Comments?

Before I go, I just thought I'd write this final paragraph whilst sitting on the plane. Yes, you heard it here, dear readers, I am on the actual plane. What I have discovered sitting on this here plane is that this must be the "returning from Yom Kippur" flight, because every single male has a yarmulke on their head, not to mention their bushy beards. I feel, at any moment, this entire plane load of passengers could suddenly break into a chorus of "Tradition". Oh, a woman just asked me to change seats so she could sit with her friend. Fat chance. Once I am in my special seat (which I book weeks in advance) there is no moving me out of it. I am a creature of habit, dear readers, and must have my special seat (booked weeks in advance). The woman is standing here watching me write this and giving me a perturbed look. I have given said look back to her, as I have too many perturbed looks in my "perturbed look" collection. Well, we're about to take off, dear readers, so fasten your seatbelt and I will be back with a really long column next week.

Until next week, I am, as I ever was, and ever shall be...

Yours, yours, yours, yours, yours.

The Real A

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