TRUTH IS STRANGER THAN NON-FICTION, TOO!

BELIEVE IT OR NOT…..  3 days after the publication of my first non-fiction book, THE SECOND MOURNING, (The True Story of President Garfield’s assassination) thieves broke into Garfield’s tomb in Cleveland, Ohio!!  No joking.  Vandals shattered a window to get inside a 180-foot-tall monument at Lakeview Cemetery in Cleveland Heights!

Interestingly, Garfield’s casket is the ONLY Presidential casket on full display for the public to view.  (He’s buried beside his wife, Lucretia.)  The thieves stole some silver spoons from a glass display case, but they were not able to reach the coffins.  They couldn’t have lifted them out anyway.  Too much dead weight.  (Ouch!)

In case you’re wondering, I had NOTHING to do with the break-in, and furthermore, I have an air-tight alibi.  Still, you have to admit that the timing is a little suspicious.  Book comes out, grave robbers go in.  Hmmm.

I’d like to thank my friend, and poker buddy, Kevin Evans, for sending me the link about the break-in.  If you want to read the full story, just go to:   http://www.foxnews.com   (Published on 5/11/14.)

Incidentally, I am happy to report that THE SECOND MOURNING has sold over 300 copies on Amazon.com alone!  (Not counting Kindle and Nook.)  I’d like to thank all of my blog followers who have purchased a book, and please remember that anyone who buys 3 or more copies can audition for the movie role of Charles Guiteau.  (The deranged psychopath who shot Garfield.)  Yeah, I know.  They don’t make guys like me anymore.

Speaking of rare guys…  I’d like to say “top o’ the mornin'” to my good friend Max Talbott (and his lovely lass, Barbara)  who are presently vacationing in Ireland.  They are having a grand time, but Max got into a little trouble in Belfast.  Apparently, he walked into a bank and inquired about opening an I.R.A.  (I think they’ve been outlawed.  So has Max.)

My wife’s maiden name was McCloskey, and she told me that she was recently at an authentic Irish wedding where the M.C. made the following announcement:  “Would all the married men please stand next to the person who has made your life worth living.”  (The bartender was almost crushed to death!)   And since we’re on the subject of crushes, please remember that if you love books (or me) you are invited to attend a gala book signing event on Friday, June 6, at 7 p.m.   The event will be held at BookPeople on Lamar Blvd.  (Next to Whole Foods.)  Free admission, free parking, free porches.  (Just kidding about the cars.)

By the way, I’m sorry this blog came out a little late today, but I just got back from another wild weekend in Boerne, Texas.  My brother-in-law, Tim McCloskey was celebrating his 60th birthday, so he and the lovely Miss Hannah threw a lavish party at their one-of-a-kind ranch.  Unfortunately for me, they had some authentic “moonshine,” which tasted mighty smooth going down, but it had a bit of a kick.  (From what I recall, it was a very long night.)

In closing, I would like to mention a new survey that said that 55 percent of Americans think they are smarter than the “average American.”  Damn, that’s almost half.  The same study indicated that 1 in 10 Americans no longer carry cash.  (They’re called Liberal Arts Majors.)   Well, have a safe and prosperous week!  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.

BEWARE THE TIDES OF MARCH!

FRANKLY, MY DEAR, I DON’T UNDERSTAND WHY JULIE CAESAR WAS SO CONCERNED ABOUT TIDAL FLUCTUATIONS…..   But perhaps the emperor was not an “out-going” fellow after all!  In any case, “Idus Marti,” (Latin) corresponds with March 15th (two days from now) so you should be aware of “March Madness” in all of its many forms.  Personally, I think April 15th is a much scarier day, that being “Tax Day” in the good old U.S. of A.    I imagine it would be even more scary if I actually had a job.

Speaking of March Madness, did you know the “Ides” were determined by the full moon, and were usually the 13th day of the month?  (Hence the number “13” being unlucky.)

In Bill Shakespeare’s play, “Julius Caesar,” the emperor is warned about the ides of March by a soothsayer.  Sooth you say?  Yes, and the sooth told the truth, but that was uncouth.  The emperor did not believe him, but he finally “got the point.”  As he fell in the Roman forum (or maybe he fell against ‘um) Caesar said,  “Et tu, Brute?”    Brutus replied, “I’ve never killed an emperor, so I thought I’d take a “stab at it.”    (I don’t make these things up, folks.)  In any case, poor Caesar “got the shaft,” so to speak.  Mark Anthony, who was married to Jennifer Lopez but dating Cleopatra, spoke at the funeral and gave a pretty good speech.  (I think he and Jen sang a duet, but don’t quote me on that.)

I don’t know about you, but I don’t feel too sorry for Julius Caesar.  Granted, he turned red when he was stabbed.  (Some folks think he became an “Orange Julius.”)  However, on the flip side of that coin, how many of us have a popular salad named in our honor?  You see, friends, always look for the silver lining.  (Just pray it’s not a sword!)

Incidentally, did I mention that I was named after Julius Caesar?  True fact.  He was born and named on July 13, 100 B.C.  (And I was born and named “after” that.)  For those of you who went to public school in Chicago, B.C. stands for “Before Christ.”  (I think A.D. means “after dat.”)

And since we are on the subject of Rome…..  Please, do not join the write-in campaign to have me elected Pope!  I would love to live in Italy, and drown my sorrows in Chianti, but I must finish the 4th “Adam Gold Mystery Novel.”  (RANSOM ON THE RHONE.)    To paraphrase General William Tecumseh Sherman…..   “I will not accept if nominated, will not serve if elected, and if served, I will not eat my pasta!”  I trust this puts an end to the rampant speculation about yours truly becoming the next Pope.  In all likelihood, the next Pope will be Catholic, which is probably very important to the Cardinals.  Don’t worry about me.  I have a lot of yard-work to do.

Thank you friends, Romans, and countrymen for lending me your ears.  (Actually, it was your eyes, but who’s keeping track?)  I leave you with a sincere blessing to enjoy your week.  (Hey,  I like this blessing stuff.  Maybe I should reconsider my position about becoming the next Pope.)  Go forth and multiply, or if you don’t enjoy math, read a good book.  (I’d start with THE PRESLEY PLOT!)  I wish you well and would remind you of one salient fact…..  Please remember that the difference between a rut and a grave is the length and depth!

Viaggio in pace, my fellow pilgrims…..    Love to all…..

Doc Yanoff

DO NOT READ THIS SENTENCE!

OOPS, TOO LATE… NOW YOU HAVE TO READ MY ENTIRE BLOG POST…

SO….. Have you noticed since everyone has a camcorder or smart phone these days no one talks about seeing UFOs like they used to?  Well, almost no one.  CNN reports that there are 500 “sightings” per month, but alas, most are aircraft (earthly ones) or weather balloons.  I recently read that both Jimmy Carter and Dennis Kucinich are among the political class who swear to have seen a UFO.  Somehow, this does not surprise me.  I always wondered where their “home districts” really were.

Of course, there is another explanation… perhaps our intergalactic visitors have been furloughed due to the sequester?  Takes a lot of fuel to go from Mars to Earth, and then there are the tolls.  Not an easy trip.  (The AAA map weighs 75 pounds!)

Well, in any case, I am not interested in heading north.  No sir, my motto this week was “Go west, young man!”  Heeding the words of Horace Greeley, I packed up the old Ford pickup and drove west, bound for a sold-out book signing/speaking engagement in the lovely town of Wimberley, Texas.  (No, I did not go to Wimberley on a whim!)

I was actually invited, and I must admit, Wimberley is quite whimsical in a wonderful way.  (Whew!)  This was not my first trip to the lovely burgh, but the last time I was there I went swimming in the famous “blue hole,” a charming, spring-fed spot on Cypress Creek.  If you haven’t seen this little gem, you owe it to yourself to take a drive out yonder.  (If you go in April, you will see some truly amazing fields of Texas wildflowers.)  Did you know that they named a flower after Dennis Rodman?  (It’s called a “bloomin’ idiot!”)

So what else is new…..  Well, last night we celebrated not one, but two birthdays!  Miss Barbara (Talbott) and Miss Patty (Yanoff) reached an important milestone.  (Actually, they are both several miles down the road, if you know what I mean.)  Together with a large crowd of well-wishers (led by Judge Susan, and Helena and Lee Bomblatus) we ate, drank, made merry.  (Merry was our waitress.)  Thank God she didn’t complain about my tip.  Geez, that would have been embarrassing!

During the birthday festivities, Judge Susan gave me a box of cheese pockets from a famous Dallas bakery (No, I will NOT post the name…. the lines are getting too long!) and as I peck away, I am devouring the last tender morsels of my morning treat.  Bless you, Susan.

I will be sharing a beer or two with Larry Brill on Tuesday, so if you would like to meet this (semi) famous television personality, or learn about his forthcoming literary efforts, drop by North by Northwest around 5 p.m.  (We should still be erect by then.)

After my sterling (make that silver-plated) performance at the poker table last week, I will be putting my title on the line this evening…. as I play in another W.S.O.P. tournament, challenged, as it were, by a host of pretenders-to-the-throne.  Knaves!  Varmints!  Visigoths!  (What the hell is that?)  Do these fools really think they can beat the mighty COBRA?   Have they read THE PRESLEY PLOT?  Have they read MURDER ON MAIDEN LANE?   (I couldn’t think of any other way to get the book titles into the blog.)  Never mind, those are just rhetorical questions.

I will leave you with a thought I recently had.  As I was driving back from Wimberly, I spotted a herd of cattle.  Have you heard of cattle?  I digress… So as I’m driving down the highway, I says to myself, “Steve, I says, who was the first person to look at a cow and say, ‘I think I’ll squeeze these dangly things and drink whatever comes out.’ ”   Now there’s a fellow I’d like to meet.  (Need I mention that he had a “lot of pull?”)  Got Milk?

Well, I must run… another grueling day of writing, eating, drinking, and poker awaits the mighty Cobra!  I hope everyone has a great week….   don’t forget to set your clocks ahead or back, depending on your political persuasion.  Love to all…

Doc Yanoff