LOVE’S LABOUR’S LOST!

NO, I’M NOT REFERRING TO BILL SHAKESPEARE’S PLAY!

Yesterday’s strike is over!  I struck out!  Judge Susan (who many of you know) has issued a temporary restraining order (a lot of folks think I should be restrained permanently!)  which requires me to go back to work and write another humorous blog post.  If I do not comply, she will hold me in contempt.  (I’d rather be held in her arms, but I digress.)  Well, you know what they say about the long arm of the law.  So…..

Did you know that Labor Day has NOTHING to do with pregnancy?  The holiday is always celebrated on the first Monday in September.  Oregon was the first state to make it a legal holiday.  (On February 21, 1887)  It became a federal holiday in 1894, when signed into law by Grover Cleveland.  (Cleveland was born in New Jersey, which was very confusing.  Supposedly, his parents wanted to name him Hoboken, but they were afraid that the neighborhood kids would call him “Hobo.”)   All right, I just made that up, but it’s still funny.

In recent years, Labor Day has become a huge retail sales day.  (Second only to the Christmas season’s “Black Friday.”)  It also marks the official end of summer, and in high society, the last day of the year when it is fashionable to wear a seersucker suit.  (I once saw a suit at Sears, and I was the sucker who bought it!)  I used to buy my clothes at Robert Hall.  (Robert threw them out and I hauled them in!)  I also had a pair of Buster Brown shoes.  (Brown on the top and bustin’ out of the sides!)  Right now I’m wearing my summer clothes.  (Summer mine, summer my brother’s!)  All right, all right, I’ll stop with the clothing jokes!

My wife (the health nut) asked me to join her at Pilates class this morning.  I thought she said “pie and latte,” so I went with her.  God, what a disappointment.  They asked me to leave!  Did you know that it is considered inappropriate to take video of a woman in tights?  Sounds like I’m “stretching the truth,” but that class was really weird.  (No coed showers?  What’s that about?)

Hey, my beautiful daughter, Rachel, was featured on KVUE this week.  (A local station here in Austin)  They were doing a segment on local artists and Rachel’s work was highlighted.  She does extraordinary custom paint designs for all sorts of businesses in the city.  (Great interview, but she failed to mention her father or any of his books!)

Speaking of books……  (nice transition, eh?)  My new publisher, Murder Ink Press, has come up with an outstanding new title for the re-issuance of THE PRESLEY PLOT.  (I’m not supposed to let the cat out of the bag until the release date.)  The new cover is also terrific, and I think that all of my fans and followers will be quite pleased.  The revised edition will be released sometime in September.

Well, I must leave you now.  I am off to a wonderful barbecue at Jaime and Gary Rubinstein’s house.  They have a gorgeous new home in Lakeway, and they are superb hosts.  A great time will be had by all.  (Gary does the cooking, and believe me, he makes food fit for a king.  Here King, here King….. )

Again, happy Labor Day.  And remember, if work is so great, how come they have to pay you to do it???     Love to all…..

Doc Yanoff

BONUS BLOG (DUE TO BOURBON!)

GOOD EVENING, LADIES AND GERMS (Shecky Greene, 1965) HOW DO YOU LIKE THE CATSKILLS?  THE CHEF MAKES FOOD FIT FOR A KING!  (HERE, KING, HERE KING….. )  Since I have consumed a copious amount of Kentucky Bourbon (In South Carolina!) I have decided to compose a “bonus blog,” which proves that man does not live by  bread (pudding) laced with rum alone!  So….  here’s what happened today…

The morning began with the consumption of the WORLD’S BEST almond croissant and fresh brewed French roast coffee.  Shortly thereafter, Miss Daisy and I meandered over to the Charleston Museum, one of the finest museums in the South.  I got to view the H.L. Hunley submarine, the Confederate submarine that was the VERY FIRST sub to sink a ship!  (A Yankee carpetbagger that was blockading Charleston Harbor!)  The sub sank in 1864, killing Mr. Hunley and seven other crewmen.  It was brought up in 2000 and fully restored to its natural splendor.  (Truly incredible.)  What a treat to view this historic vessel.

Another treat came at lunchtime…..  a mini-feast of Southern vegetables at Jestine’s Country Kitchen.  OMG, the okra and collard greens were incredible.  After lunch we toured one of the historic homes of Charleston, a Winnebago parked on Meeting Street.  (Just Kidding!)  We went to the amazing pre-Civil War home of Joseph Manigault.  (Ever hear of the “Manigault Line?”)  Wait a minute, I think that was the Marginot Line.  Never mind, I was just joking.  (Have I used this “line” before?)

The Manigault family was one of the founding families of Charleston, and all of the streets in the area are named after their children!  (Except Main Street, who was named after their most important cousin.)  Naturally, they were of Huguenot descent, and they made a fortune selling rice.  (One of them became Jewish and sold “converted rice.”)  His name was Shecky Manigault, and he wasn’t fat, just a little “puffy.”  I think he became a “colonel” during the Civil War.

This evening we dined with a prominent Charleston physician and his lovely family.  (Another amazing meal at the Hominy Grill.)  Try to envision a perfect Mint Julep, followed by fried green tomatoes, homemade biscuits, collard greens, red beans and rice, and the best tasting piece of cornmeal crusted grouper with shrimp gravy in the UNIVERSE!  I am almost (key word, “almost”) embarrassed to admit this, but Miss Daisy and I actually split a piece of buttermilk pie for dessert!

In the immortal words of Oscar Wilde, “I can resist anything but temptation!”

We leave for Jacksonville and then Boca Raton tomorrow….. so look for the continuing adventures of “The Galloping Gourmet” and his faithful sidekick, “Crazy Daisy” in the days ahead…..   May the force (and the Alka-Seltzer) be with you!

Col. Rufus T. Firefly, N.U.T.   (a/k/a Doc Yanoff)

HEADS OR TALES?

Well, you can have both when you order a copy of MURDER ON MAIDEN LANE!  There is a colorful head on the cover, (I call it a “skulleton”) and inside you will find a thrilling tale of mayhem, mystery, and murder!  The book, as you have probably surmised, is now available in paperback and on Kindle at Amazon.com!  That’s right, happy days are here again!

Meanwhile, in order to keep THE PRESLEY PLOT front and center, I will soon be embarking on a lengthy book signing/speaking engagement tour, and my first stop will be at the Elvis Presley Birthplace & Community Center in Tupelo, Mississippi.  Yes, my little hound dogs, yours truly will be speaking to the good folks of Tupelo on the weekend of May 11 & 12.  Hopefully, I will also be negotiating a profitable business deal with the gift shop on premises.  (I would like them to feature THE PRESLEY PLOT in the book section.)  Soooo….. if you’re in the area, come on by and say hello.  I will also be judging an “Elvis Look-Alike Contest,” so there should be plenty of levity and some memorable photography.

Shortly after I’m lynched, I mean, lauded, in Tupelo, I leave for my spring book tour in the (not so far) east.  In conjunctivitis with Aberdeen Bay Publishing, I have arranged to make appearances in Baton Rouge, Birmingham, Atlanta, Savannah, and Jacksonville.  Along the way I intend to sample some Southern comfort, and some bourbon, too.

My Dixie Diaspora will continue with a special guest appearance in Boca Raton, Florida.  Whence I arrive in Palm Beach County I will be dining with “The Donald.”  Unfortunately, I am referring to Donald Duck from Disney World, not the guy with the strange hair-do.  The last time I had lunch with Donald Duck I got stuck with the bill. (“The bill?”)

The piece de resistance of my personal and persistent perseverance will be a ten-day period of peace and pleasantness in a perfect playground of pleasure.  (No, not Paraguay.)  The island of St. John!  Now that I am a famous author, I have an entourage, so me and my posse (3 couples) will be heading down to the Caribbean for some R & R.  (Incidentally, the would be “Rest & Rum!”)  While we are there, we intend to soak up some rays, (which is better than stepping on them) snorkel, and consume a prodigious amount of rum.

Writing is brutal, but somebody has to do it!  Besides, one must live for today.  Need I remind you that Austin is number four on Kim Jong-un’s bombing list?  (I blame those damn hippies downtown.)  Little Kim is the son of Kim Jong-il, who I nicknamed “Kim Jong-mentallly-ill.”  The young man, who bears a striking resemblance to the Pillsbury Dough-boy, is a tyrant.  Do not be fooled by his recent meeting with Ambassador Rodman!  Kim Jong-un is not a “Seoul Man!”

But I digress…..  Where was I?  Oh yeah, in the Caribbean.  Well, after I damage my liver, I will make my way back to the Lone Star State and begin marketing book number 3 in the Adam Gold Mystery Series.  (This one is called “DEVIL’S COVE,” and it is set entirely in the state of Texas!)  Naturally, I will keep those cards and letters coming while I am on the road.  Which reminds me….  Did you hear that a truck ran over Willie Nelson’s foot?  Yeah, that’s right, he was “playing on the road again!”  (Ouch!)

Well, take care, have a wonderful week, and remember to duck and cover if Kim starts shooting.  Hopefully, we will meet again next Sunday!   Love to all,

Doc (or should I change my name to “Duck?”) Yanoff.   (I wouldn’t mind the change if I get “top billing!”)

GIMME THAT OLD TIME RELIGION!

GOOD MORNING!  PESACH SAMEACH!  HAPPY EASTER!

Verily I say unto thee…  Did you hear about the Jewish gentleman who thought he was a matzah ball?  The psychiatrist told him not to worry, it will “pass over!”  Oy vay, now we’re rolling.  (Which is what some matzah balls do!)  All right, here’s an oldie, but a goodie…

KNOCK KNOCK.

Who’s there?

Matzah.

Matzah who?

“You matzah been a beautiful baby, you matzah been a beautiful… ”

Incidentally, did you know that the above song was written by the great Johnny Mercer, and recorded by Bing Crosby and Bobby Darin?  (Twenty years apart!)

Passover, as many of you know, is the day that Jews commemorate their liberation from slavery in ancient Egypt.  (Yeah, that’s right, we invented slavery, too)  Personally, I have no problem with short-term bondage situations, but that’s just me.  In any case, the Israelites (and their cousins the Stalagmites) were instructed by Charlton Heston, I mean, Moses, to mark the doorposts of their homes with the blood of a slaughtered spring lamb, and upon seeing this, the spirit of the Lord would pass over the first-born in these homes.  My own parents followed this ritual for many years, but before long flies became a problem and the neighbors filed a complaint.  (Anti-semitic bastards!)  Any questions about Passover?

All right, let’s move on to Easter, which is a Christian celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  I’m not an authority on Easter, but I know it is preceded by something called Lint.  Again, I’m not positive, but I believe this is where we get the term “ashes to ashes, dust to dust.”  I think that people who celebrate Easter are often called Easterners.  In any case, just like their Jewish brethren, Christians have some fun customs associated with the holiday.  Easter egg hunting is one of the most popular.  (Rich Christians often hide the whole dang chicken! )  Was that a “fowl” joke?  What can I say, I’m “hen-pecked.”  Where was I?

The Easter bunny has become symbolic of the holiday, and the foundation of a very tantalizing stew.  (Here come the emails from PETA!)  Chill out, you vegetarians.  There are plenty of bunnies (no Playboy jokes, please) and besides, the darn things multiply very quickly.  (They are also good at division.)  Hey, did you know that “vegetarian” is the Navajo world for “bad hunter?”  My wife makes rabbit stew every year.  (The darn stuff is hare today and gone tomorrow!)  By the way, do you know how to make a rabbit stew?  Keep him waiting outside.

Goodness, these jokes are really lame.  Speaking of lame, how did a rabbit’s foot become a lucky charm?  (The poor rabbit wasn’t so lucky.)  I think it’s a barbaric custom.  I carry frog’s legs.  (and a chilled bottle of chablis.)  Hopalong Cassidy did the same thing.  (Finish the joke yourself!)

Well, now that I have hopefully shed some light on our religious holidays, I would like to remind our viewing audience that MURDER ON MAIDEN LANE has recently been published and will soon be available on Amazon.com   (The Kindle Version is actually available now!)  I want to thank each and every one of my 4,375 blog followers for your continued interest and support.  None of these literary accomplishments would have been possible without you!  I hope you all have a wonderful holiday and I wish you and your families the very best.  If you happen to be an atheist….. God help you!  (Oops, I’m afraid that won’t be possible.  Sorry, Charlie, you’re on your own!)

Love to all…..   Doc Yanoff.

OUR SHIP FINALLY CAME IN!

WELL, NOT OUR SHIP, THE GRAND PRINCESS, BUT THE…..  CARNIVAL TRIUMPH, which is still illmobile.  (Actually, it’s “In Mobile.”)  Mobile, Alabama, that is.  I feel sorry for those passengers.  At first they had a sinking feeling, and then they had a stinking feeling.  Fortunately, nobody was seriously injured.  (Not counting wounded pride.)  As many of you know, we were down in Cozumel, Mexico, anchored along side of the Triumph.  (Happily, we were NOT down wind.)  Being a writer (of sorts) I quickly wrote a screenplay about the incident, but now I need a title.  (This is where you guys come in.)  Kindly review the below titles and let me know which one you prefer:

A.  “Shitty Shitty Bang Bang.”

B.  “Sh_t   Floats.”

C.  “Ship of Stools.”     (My apologies to Katherine Anne Porter.)

By the way, did you folks know that Katherine Anne Porter was a native Texan?  Yep, she was born in Indian Creek, Texas.  (Spent many years in Kyle, Texas!)  Now here’s the interesting part…..  Did you know that she married a man named….. Pressley??   (As the distinguished author of THE PRESLEY PLOT I make it my business to know this meaningless stuff!)  Ms. Porter married a dude named Eugene Pressley in 1930.  (No connection to our beloved rock ‘n’ roll singer.)  Her first (and only) novel was “Ship of Fools,” which was published in 1962.  The book helped her win the Pulitzer Prize, but to be perfectly honest, it’s not half as good as THE PRESLEY PLOT or MURDER ON MAIDEN LANE.   (Still, it’s ironic that a “Porter” would write about ships, eh?)

AND NOW FOR SOME INTERESTING (NON-LITERARY) NEWS……….    I went to a surprise party yesterday.  (Frankly, I’m always surprised when I’m invited to a party.)  Judge Susan Marquess celebrated her 39th birthday in grand style, complete with homemade margaritas, delicious Mexican food, cold beer, homemade margaritas, birthday cake, and homemade margaritas.  From what I remember, I had a great time, and so did everyone else.  The party was hosted by Her Honor’s wonderful children…..  Kellie, Aimee, Ryan, Greg, and Tyler.  After dinner, we all participated in the first annual South Austin Punchbowl Poker Tournament.

INCREDIBLY……  despite the presence of The Cobra (Me) and the Legal Eagle (Susan) the tournament was won by a relatively new player….. a young man with a very bright future in the murky world of high-stakes poker….. Mr. Jackson “The Whip” Whitaker.   The nom de guerre came about for two reasons.  Mr. Jackson severely “beat us,” and the lad is “smart as a whip.”  Thank God he’s not old enough to go into a casino!

Congratulations to the lovely and talented Mr. and Mrs. Lee Bomblatus (of Round Rock, Texas) who recently discovered that their wonderful daughter, Rita Hennecke-York, is pregnant with a….. baby girl!  (I humbly suggest the name of “Stephanie.”)  Rita and Michael are on “Cloud Nine,” and we all wish them the very best.  They will make wonderful parents!

Dr. Laura Talbott is in town this weekend!  As many of you know, the beautiful and extremely talented violinist is a professor of music at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater.  When she comes to visit, there are “no strings attached,” and she always hits the “right notes.”  Dr. Talbott will be “fiddling” around with her family today, and we wish her a safe and pleasant visit.

SINCE A FEW OF YOU HAVE ASKED…..   THE PRESLEY PLOT continues to inch toward the best-seller list, and believe it or not, I now have 12 blog followers in Afghanistan!  (Including a brilliant new friend, Steven W. Barnes, who I met during our last cruise.)  Be safe, Steven, and send back some of my money!  (The guy is a dang good poker player!)   MURDER ON MAIDEN LANE (Book Two) is at the publisher and should be available sometime in March.  DEVIL’S COVE, Book Three, has just finished the editing process and should be ready for submission by the end of the month.  I will send a post when the books are ready to be ordered.

As I type this blog post, I keep wondering if illiterate people get the full effect of Alphabet Soup.  (Is that odd?)  Finally, since we have mentioned babies today, I would like to leave you with a rhetorical question to ponder…..  If corn oil is made from corn, and vegetable oil is made from vegetables, then what is baby oil made from?

Just asking.

Have a wonderful week!  Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

DRIBS AND DRABS…..

HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED ABOUT THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A DRIB AND A DRAB??   (Me neither)  Well as they say in guitar class, don’t fret.  They basically mean the same thing.  (“A small drop”)  Some folks think that the word “Drib” is short for “Dribble.”   They are wrong.  You can’t get much shorter than a drib.  And by the way, speaking of shortening words….  How come the word “Abbreviation” is so darn long?  Does that make sense to you?  (Me neither)  Such is the English language, which just happens to be one of 2,700 languages in the world.  (Composed of roughly 750,000 words!)  Oddly enough, I can only spell 10% of them.  Bummer dude.

AND NOW FOR SOME DRIBS AND DRABS…….   I had my hour-long telephone interview with AMAZON BOOK CLUB on Monday.  The conversation went very well and the good folks at Amazon will be dedicating a FULL PAGE to THE PRESLEY PLOT sometime in the next week or two.  (I will keep you informed.)  They intend to run a full book cover, my photo, and a lengthy review of the book.  The Amazon Book Page will be sent to…..  100,000 websites across the world!  I am very excited about this development.  Book sales should swell.  (Along with my ego!)

Playing under the nom de plume of “THE COBRA,” I entered a huge poker tournament this past week.  The prizes were substantial (But I am loath to mention the amounts, due to my recent I.R.S. Blog followers)  and as usual, I made a fine and slithering show of myself.  I placed SECOND, and would have won if not for a damn “river king.”     Ah well, I still had a great time and raked in some moola.  (Do cows ever rake in “moo-la?”)  Just asking.

Ravi Shankar passed away this week.  The New York Times (a commie rag) described him as a “prolific sitarist,” but I don’t think he was that clever or funny.  The lad was 92, which meant that he “strung us along” for many years.  (So much for satire.)  Speaking of the Times, do you guys remember William Satire, the columnist?  Now he was clever and funny.

Hilary Clinton must be writing a book, too.  I heard she fell down and came up with a conclusion.  (She should quit while she’s still “ahead.”)

I just finished my third mystery novel yesterday!  (Titled…..   “DEVIL’S COVE.”)   The tale is centered around the planned theft of the Gutenberg  Bible from the Ransom Center in Austin.  After I finished it, I realized that I could write a “healthier” sequel for folks on a special diet.  In the second book, the bad guys would try to steal a “Guten-free Bible” made of protein-less wheat!  (They hope to get a lot of “dough” for the book.)   Do this sound like an interesting “slice” of life?  Will Adam Gold “rise” to the occasion?  Will he protect the “upper crust” of society?  These, and many other bad puns, await my dedicated followers!

A word to some of those followers……   Our thoughts and prayers go out to my great friend Max Talbott, who is now in Indiana handling a family situation.  God’s speed, cousin!   Happy belated birthday to a brilliant and beautiful lady named Christine Nickles!  (One of my oldest and dearest friends!)   Hard to believe she’s sixty.  (That means I’m getting older, too!)  A big kiss to Miss Rebecca Lee.  (Suffering from allergies)  I hope you are feeling better today!   A huge “Thank You” to the Fort Worth chapter of the Presley fanatics.  They purchased a large amount of books recently.  If you need some autographs, just let me know and I’ll meet you at the Stockyards!  (And buy you a big steak!)

SPEAKING OF ELVIS PRESLEY……   On this day, in 1956, The King made his 50th (and final) appearance on “Louisiana Hayride.”    And more importantly……  Elvis must have been a little chilly, because he was just about to be contacted by his local “draft board!”   (You’re in the Army now!)     One last item….. also on this day, in 2004, Lisa Marie Presley announced that she would keep Graceland, but sell the bulk of the Elvis estate.  (Which she did, for…..  $100,000,000!)   Not bad for a hillbilly singer.

Well, I hope I have brought some cheer into your lives.  (This has been a rough week for a lot of us.)    Please take good care of yourselves and have a wonderful week.   (As the Jewish gastroenterologist once said…..  “This too shall pass!”)

Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

VIVA LAS VEGAS!!

WHILE ELVIS WAS THE UNDISPUTED KING OF LAS VEGAS…….   There is another person who certainly deserves to be mentioned with reverence…..The great poker player named Steve Gee, who just finished 9th (out of a zillion other players) at the World Series of Poker!  If you have been following this blog (and let’s face it, who hasn’t?) you know that Steve is the talented brother of my beautiful and brilliant friend, Diane Gee.  Steve made a fantastic run for the gold and played against some of the best poker players in the world (luck for him, I was busy that week) and we are all proud of his accomplishment.  And don’t feel sorry for the lad!  Steve walked away with……  $754,798 for his efforts!!   Not bad for one week’s work, eh?   In case you’re wondering, that’s the same amount of my book royalties for THE PRESLEY PLOT.  (Hey, a guy can dream!)

If you want to see Steve’s “farewell” interview at the tournament, just Google:   “Steve Gee, World Series of Poker.”   There is a “live” interview posted on this website.  The interviewer forgot to ask him about his favorite author (would you like to guess who that might be??) but it is still worth watching.

NOW ON TO ELVIS…….   My beautiful and brilliant cousin, Susan Wilson, the woman who single-handedly runs JRS Investments in Nashville, sent me a most interesting article about the  King.  For those of you in Tennessee (Five Tennessee Fan Clubs are on my blog) please note that the Tennessee State Museum is offering an exhibit (starting on November 8th.) called…….  “ELVIS AT 21:  Photographs by Alfred Wertheimer.”    The exhibit will include 56 images of the King, most of them captured before Col. Parker took over and limited the number of photos that could be taken.  I have seen a few of these photographs, and I can honesty say that they are quite fascinating.  If you’re interested, the exhibit will be at the museum until January 8th.

By the way, the most interesting photograph in the exhibit shows ELVIS in New York City (my “home town”) on the very day that the old boy made history by recording not one, but two songs that would become number one hits in a very short time…….  Would you like this to be our trivia question of the week?   Very well, please fill in the blanks listed below this paragraph and mail them to:     ATTN:   JILL KELLEY

56 FLOOZY BLVD., TAMPA, FLORIDA

 

You will be notified by the Pentagon if you win the trivia contest.  Please note that if you do enter the contest you will immediately be subject to being drafted.  If you are chosen for military service in a country with many goats, please do not despair.  The contest sponsors are offering free air fare to and from Islamabad.

Well, on that semi-humorous note, I shall bid you adieu.  I would like to remind you that last Sunday was Veterans Day, so if you know someone who served in the military, please thank them for their service to our country.  God knows we all owe them a huge round of applause for a job well done.  (Way to go, Cousin Max!)

Have a wonderful day and do not ask why “sour cream” has an expiration date!  Love to all,

Doc Yanoff