WHY DID JULIUS SEIZE-HER?

I’M NOT SURE….. Maybe it’s because the Emperor had “Roman hands?”  (I knew a guy that had “Russian fingers.”)  In any case, “Julius Caesar” is one of my favorite plays by Bill Shakespeare, so to paraphrase…..  ‘LEND ME YOUR EARS!’  Wait a minute.  How can you ‘lend’ someone your ears?  That would be awfully messy and hurt like hell.  (Rather, dare I say, ‘ear-ritating?’)

Where was I?  Oh yes, I have some good news to share.  My marketing contract with BookPeople has been finalized.  Starting tomorrow, you can find all 3 of my mystery novels on their shelves, and also in their domestic and international book catalogues.  Furthermore, I shall be featured at two (2) speaking engagements in their Austin store sometime during the spring!  I might have mentioned this last Sunday, but it bears repeating.  (I once saw a bear repeating in Yellowstone Park.  Too many blackberries!)

Speaking of parks… I have volunteered to address a group of Boy Scouts next week.  We will be at Bastrop State Park, on Wednesday or Thursday, so if you’re in the vicinity, come on by and help us plant some trees!  (Bastrop was the site of the horrendous forest fire back in 2011.)  I might be bringing Baker, my grand-dog, with me.  The little pooch loves trees.  (He has some bark, too!)

Did you guys watch Downton Abbey last week?  The main characters are getting a little grouchy and short-tempered this season.  They may have to re-name the show “Downton Crabby.”   Since we’re on the subject of royalty, I would like to send my best to Judge Susan (the queen of our hearts!) and wish her a speedy recovery.  She had a torn mucus.  (Probably from blowing her nose too hard.)  Hang in there, your Honor!  This will soon blow over.  (Oops, I shouldn’t have used that word!)

Finally, in closing, I would like to remind all of you pet lovers (and who doesn’t love petting?) that almost 65% of American households own a pet, and that 44% of dogs sleep in bed with their owners.  (I was going to insert a joke about my wife, but then I remembered that she belongs to the NRA)  Honey, put the bullets away!  (The caliber of these jokes has got to improve!)

Well, my dear friends, have a safe and wonderful week.  Next Sunday, God willing, I will have a VERY special announcement that has absolutely nothing to do with my tax evasion case.  Until then, love to all…..

Doc Yanoff

WHEN YOUR NUMBER IS UP…..

IT’S GREAT NEWS!  (IF YOU’RE A WRITER)  Otherwise, not so much.  The year end blog statistics have recently been published by WordPress, and once again, our little blog has achieved immorality!  Make that, immortality.  How you ask?  Well, first of all, our blog finished in the top 5% of all blogs on the Internet!  An amazing accomplishment that I wish to thank you for… no joking, I couldn’t have done it without you guys.  Secondly, we had a very healthy increase in readership.  We now have…..  (drum roll, please) ….. 6,500 followers in 40 countries!  All I can say is Wow and Thank You!

Last week, our esteemed publisher announced that THE GRACELAND GANG, THE PIRATE PATH, and DEVIL’S COVE have been translated into several foreign languages….. French, Spanish, Italian, and German!  All 3 mysteries are now available in those countries in their native tongue!  (I once felt some native tongues, but that’s another story…  I was on a study-abroad trip.  So, naturally, I studied some broads!)  Anyway, this is wonderful news, and all of my books can now be ordered in the above languages on Amazon.com or Barnesandnoble.com

NOW FOR THE BIG BOOK NEWS…..   My recently paroled literary agent, Black Bart Berkowitz, scored a major publishing victory on my behalf.  My first two books have been approved by some sort of screening committee in Beijing, and they will now be available, in Chinese, throughout the country of China!  Hot dog!  I mean, egg roll!  If our commie friends like inscrutable mysteries, then I’m their man!  Seriously though, I would like to thank Mr. Berkowitz (who I never stop teasing) and the government of China.  Hopefully, we will make a small fortune, cookie!

Finally, a word of thanks to Mr. Gary Rubenstein, the “Lobster King” of Austin, Texas.  He played Santa “Claws” last week and concocted a marvelous lobster casserole for New Year’s Eve.  Today, we are celebrating his wife’s 39th birthday at our house… and we went overboard with the food.  (Actually, we threw the food overboard, but I digress.)  Not to worry, though.  Miss Jaime will be pleasantly surprised.  (If she likes fast food.)

One last item…..  I want to send my love and kisses to a potentially new blog follower who was born last week….. my niece, Lindsay, just gave birth to a beautiful baby girl named Scarlett.  Welcome to our world, Miss Scarlett!  I hear you read my last blog and threw up?  Personally, I think it was the mashed carrots, but then again, I’m an optimist!  Don’t forget to change your diapers frequently, and I wish you well in the maternity ward.  (Watch those male babies, and don’t give out your phone number.)

Happy New Year once again!  Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

A HAPPY HILL COUNTRY HOLIDAY!

HOWDY BUCKEROOS AND BUCKETTES!  I hope y’all had a wonderful holiday.  Ma and Pa Kettle (Patty and I) spent the last few days on the McCloskey Ranch, in the heart of the Texas Hill Country, wining and dining with family and friends.  Our most groovy adventure began on the Riverwalk in San Antonio.  Hey, am I dating myself by using the word “groovy?”  I used to date myself in high school, but that’s another story.  (I was very lonely.)  Anyway, where was I?  Oh yes, the Riverwalk.  Well, we strolled along the lovely river and then made our way to Mi Tierra Mexican Restaurant, the world’s BEST Mexican restaurant!  After two (fabulous) margaritas, we feasted on a truly memorable meal.

Now don’t get mad at me, but… I ate a kid!  I know it sounds cruel, but the kid was stewed to perfection and the meat literally fell off the bones.  This particular kid was served with rice and beans!  Well, you know what they say, “kids should be stewed, not herded.”  (Don’t call the police, a “kid” is a baby goat!)  Which reminds me, our waiter really “got my goat!”  There wasn’t a baaaaad piece on my plate!

We spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at Tim McCloskey’s humble abode, and his very significant other, Miss Hannah, rustled up some mighty good grubs, I mean, grub.  We dined on a magnificent rib roast and maple ham, and then had the pleasure of watching Colton McCloskey drink an entire bottle of port!  (almost)  After dinner, we entered a cut-throat poker tournament, featuring the “Magical Minard Brothers,” (Andrew and Jeff) who just happen to be fine fellows and great card players.  (I think their mother cheats, but I will tell the story of the 3 queens at a later date!)

Being a true cowboy, I decided to go horseback riding on the way back to Austin.  Unfortunately, we stopped at a place that only had one horse!  A mare named Molasses.  She refused to gallop during the day.  (She was a “night mare.”)  Definitely not a “stable” animal!  I rode bareback for a while, but then I got cold and put my shirt back on.  All right, enough horsing around…..

In closing, I wish to thank Sarah Doolittle, a prominent reporter from the Four Points News, for her wonderful article, illuminating my illustrious writing career.  Sarah recently penned a great article about me, and if you would like to read it, just Google:  Four Points News.  Click on the December 25, 2013 issue.  You will see my mug on the front page (in color!) and a long article about my books.  Thanks again, Sarah!

Finally, my next blog will be a special year-end treat for all of you Marx Brothers fans out there.  You won’t want to miss this one!  As I bid you farewell today, I ask that you ponder the following enigma…..  What makes teflon stick to a pan???

Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

THE GRATEFUL GRAPPLER!

WELL, IT’S OFFICIAL….. My wrestling days are over.  As many of you know, I am a former collegiate wrestling champion.  (I was also collegial on the mat.)  I recently decided to try out for the Senior Olympic Games and began to train for my first match.  On day two of my rigorous workout schedule (which began at noon) I incurred a minor shoulder injury to my rotator cuff.  From that moment on, I didn’t “get around” as much as before. (There are very few rotator cuff jokes.)  I am happy to report that I am fully healed, and as they say, wiser for the experience.  In truth, wrestling is a tough sport.  I need to find a happy medium.  (or a pleasant fortune teller.)  I’m considering badminton.  Sounds like an easy “racket.”

So what else is new?  Well, my third mystery, DEVIL’S COVE was recently chosen as “Outstanding New Mystery” by two Florida book clubs!  (I’m starting to love the Sunshine State.)  Book two, MURDER ON MAIDEN LANE, is about to be sent to my new publisher, and from what I’ve seen so far, it looks wonderful.  Book three, THE PRESLEY PLOT, will be revised and re-edited shortly, and per the publisher’s request, I have added two new chapters.

Meanwhile, our blog site now has close to 6,000 followers!  I would like to take a moment and welcome some very special folks who have recently become new followers…..    (I don’t show last names for privacy reasons)

First, Steve R. of Fort Wayne, Indiana.  Steve is one of my oldest and dearest friends.  We met almost 50 years ago in Valley Stream, New York, and I have treasured his friendship through the years.  What a truly great guy!

Second, Mary M. of Austin, Texas.  Mary spent over 20 years in the U.S. Army and served her country with distinction.  She’s got beauty, brains, and backbone, and I would personally like to thank her for her service!  Quite a lady.

Third, Mrs. Nola F. of Cooper City, Florida.  Nola was a student of mine when I taught at Miami-Dade C.C.  She is the epitome of a caring and courageous wife.  Smart, sweet, and completely unselfish.  What a class act!  (No pun intended.)

Finally, I would like to extend a belated birthday wish to Mrs. Kellie H. of Austin, Texas.  Kellie is the beautiful and talented daughter of Judge Susan, one of the best poker players in the Lone Star State.  Happy Birthday, Kellie!  Say hello to the boys for me!

Well, gang, that’s about it for now.  I am off for my morning walk, and then it’s pool time, followed by writing time, followed by cocktail hour, followed by……  Indian food at the Clay PIt Restaurant.  (I know, life is hard.)  Nevertheless, I shall eat some naan and dal on your behalf!  Namaste, my friends!

Have a wonderful week and keep dreaming of a better tomorrow….. where chickens can cross the roads and not have their motives questioned!

Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

First,

A TAXING SITUATION!

     WELL, THIS IS ANOTHER FINE MESS YOU’VE GOTTEN ME INTO!   Thanks to you, my nearly 4,000 faithful blog followers, my new mystery novel, MURDER ON MAIDEN LANE, has sold over 300 books this past week.  Wonderful, you say?  Have you considered the tax implications of becoming a famous author?  My accountant, Jesse James Lipschitz, tells me that I now owe the I.R.S. a substantial amount of money.  (Which is why I’m not filing a tax return this year.)  What can they do to me?  Throw me in jail?  Come to think of it, Al Capone ended up in Al-catraz!

     Please don’t worry about me or my finances.  Just keep buying as many copies of THE PRESLEY PLOT and MURDER ON MAIDEN LANE as you can afford.  I’ll worry about the tax thing after I’m caught, I mean, after the books are bought.  By the way, did you know that Al Capone only dated bank tellers?  That’s where we get the term “safe sex.”  (Jeez, that joke should be “barred!”)

     Incidentally, the new book (Murder on Maiden Lane) came out just beautiful.  It’s much thicker than The Presley Plot and it’s printed on high quality creme-colored paper.  Aberdeen Bay did a wonderful job this time around, and there are no mistakes in the text.  (I actually proofread the book this time!)  If you need an autographed copy, just contact me and I’ll see what I can do.  (If you live in a foreign country, you can always sign it on my behalf.  Who will know?)

     What else is happening in the world?  Well, last Thursday, Barbara Talbott, a/k/a The Dragon-Slayer, won second place at the Waterloo Loose-Woman and Hopeless Hombre Poker Tournament in Austin.  I made it to the final table (what else is new?) but my “big slick” (suited ace and king) did not hold up, and I was crushed by a lousy pair of fives.  Life ain’t fair.

     I don’t know about you, but I feel sorry for those pesky North Koreans.  The New York Times reported that because of food shortages and poor nutrition, North Koreans are now, on average, two inches shorter than South Koreans!  But wait, there’s a silver lining to this story… if we wait a few years nobody in North Korea will be tall enough to reach the missile launch buttons on the console!  Speaking of short turds, did you know that Kim Jung-un has officially banned “capitalist celebrations.” including Christmas?!  Who bans Christmas?  Only a grinch.  (I read that Kim Jung-un was an ugly child.  How ugly?  During Christmas, they would hang him up and kiss the mistletoe!  (There I go with the missiles again!)  I pity his poor wife, Holly.  She has to bow whenever he enters the room.  (Surely you’ve heard of the “bows of Holly?”)  Dang, if I keep going, I might start a war!

     Due to an unexpected tooth extraction, followed by a slight case of “dry socket,” I was forced to cancel my one and only speaking engagement this past week.  (You might have seen them celebrating in Giddings.)  Nonetheless, I am now “well-healed,” and ready to resume my illustrious career as a literary diplomat!  So, look for my next missive (again with the missiles?) as it will be a good one…..

     Have a safe and happy week…  Love to all,

     Doc Yanoff

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.