FIFTY SHADES OF GRAY….. HAIR!

NO, I AM NOT READING THAT SEXUALLY PERVERSE BOOK!  (I’m too old to learn anything about sex!)  In fact, this is the title of my new book about senior centers down here in Florida.  As many of you know, I have spent the past two weeks taking care of my mother, who is recovering (rather nicely) from hip replacement surgery.  She is now in rehab and doing just fine.  (At least two older gents have “hit on her.”)  She told both gents that she no longer dates because her parents won’t let her.  Mom is 88.  When asked to explain, she told them, “Mother Nature and Father Time!”

My mother began rehab at Regents Park, which is quite lovely, but packed with very old folks.  How old you ask?  One lady had an insurance policy that covered Fire, Theft, and Indian Raids!  (That’s old.)  Another guy was so old that he remembered when Howard Johnson’s only had two flavors!  (That’s even older!)  My mother’s room-mate was so old that she remembered when there were only Five Commandments!  (That’s the oldest joke of the bunch!)

Last Friday we transferred my mother to a place called Stratford Court, one of the nicest rehab facilities in Boca Raton.  The lady that checked us in was from Haiti, and like most Haitians, she was a cheerful, sweet, and caring woman.  We did, however, have one humorous incident involving our language differences.  She was relatively new and not quite sure how to say or spell Boca Raton.  We went through several names, and lots of good natured laughter, before we came to terms.  (She wrote down Boca Chica, Boca Rouge, and my favorite, Boco Loco.)  Nonetheless, we persevered and Mom was finally admitted.  (By then I was ready to be committed!)

In case you’re wondering, THE GRACELAND GANG was the best-selling book at Regents Rehab, and THE PIRATE PATH the biggest seller at Stratford Court.  (I actually donated 20 books to each gift shop, and incredibly, they sold out in one week!)  Of course, I did do some marketing at both facilities.  (I put one copy in every rest room, which one old lady told me was very appropriate.  I’m not sure what she meant by that.)  I also gave the staff some books, and they were very grateful.  A copy of DEVIL’S COVE was sent to the insomnia care unit, and from what I hear, my writing put almost everyone to sleep.  Gosh, my Mom was so proud of me.

Well, my stay in Boca Loca, I mean, Boca Raton, is coming to an end this morning.  When I finish this blog, I will be leaving for Port Everglades, where my ship has finally come in and awaits my embarkation!  I will be sailing aboard the brand new luxury vessel called the Royal Princess, bound for the remote and backward islands of St. Thomas, St. John, St. Martin, and St. Louis.  (That last port should be interesting.)  The weather here in Florida is sunny and warm and the seas look rather calm.  (The rehab center probably dumped some Prozac in the ocean.)  I am looking forward to a week of relaxation, poker, writing, and stealing those little bottles of shampoo that they give you each morning.  You remember those bottles….. the ones you bring home and never use!

I shall write again whence we make landfall or are captured by a horde of considerate pirates…..  Until then, I remain,  (with love to all)

Doc Yanoff, Oceanic Explorer and Bon Vivant!

TRICK OR TREAT!!

WAIT!  DO NOT DISCONNECT ME!  This blog has nothing to do with Obamacare!  (If it did, you wouldn’t have been able to log on to the site in the first place!)  No politics are allowed!  I am strictly neutered.  (Is that the right word?)  Well, in any case, I hope you are having a pleasant Sunday.  I am recovering from another costume party and a wine tasting that got out of control.  Fortunately, this event was followed by a poker game, and the Mighty Cobra struck again!  (I hauled in $25, cash on the barrelhead.  Maybe the barrel was on my head, but you get the point.)

What do you think about the government mandating health care insurance?  (My wife had a few man dates in college, but that’s another story.)  Personally, I think they should mandate the purchase of my mystery novels.  I happen to know that my books have cured a number of patients suffering from insomnia.  Just saying.

I trust you had a happy Halloween?  Did you know that the word “Halloween” means “hallowed or holy evening?”  This would be a Scottish term, dating back to 1745.  Believe it or not, the Scots still celebrate by carving turnips instead of pumpkins!  (Which might account for their frugal reputation.)  I once fell off the back of a turnip truck.  I was young and naive.  Maybe I was young and a knave.  I forget which, but you get the drift.

Incidentally, do you know why ghosts can’t have children?  (Even when the “spirit moves them?”)  Because they have…..  hallow weenies!  (Ouch!)  My neighbor’s kid told me that joke.

Now for the important stuff…..          The five finalists for “Outstanding Book Design of the Year” have been announced by Murder Ink Press and listed in the New York Times Book Review Section.  Incredibly, both THE GRACELAND GANG and THE PIRATE PATH have made the final cut!  The winner will be announced in December, and three prizes will be awarded.  I hope I win a trophy, but I would prefer cash, that way I can buy my own trophy and still have some money left over for tequila.

Just a thought…..  I feel sorry for people who don’t have dogs.  I hear they have to pick up their own food if they drop it on the floor.

Speaking of people, dogs, and food…..  I had a lovely visit to Stephenville this week.  Not only is the whole town named after me (I think) but it is also the self-described “Cowboy Capital of the World.”  Fortunately, these cowboys love a good mystery, so our book signing was a big success.  Stephenville is roughly 3 hours north of Austin, and is the home of Tarleton State University, the Cowboy Walk of Fame, and Lone Star Arena.  If you decide to make the trip, don’t miss lunch at the world famous “Beans and Franks” restaurant.  The food is really good, and you won’t need to stop for gas on the way home!  (Just make sure your power windows are working.)

Since we’re on the subject of cowboys, I have a trivia question for you…..  What do they call a dull cow in Stephenville?  (Answer:  “A milk dud!”)  All right, I just made that up, but it’s still funny.

Next week I will be posting from a remote and tropical setting, so stay tuned for another exciting road trip/literary adventure…..  I will not disappoint my fans!  Even if it means posting a blog and a bail bond!   Until then, have a safe and prosperous week…..       Love to all…..

Doc Yanoff

DISCOVERY DAY, 2013!

NO, I DIDN’T FIND ANOTHER GRAY HAIR…..  October 12th was actually “Discovery Day” in the Bahamas.  (The site of my second mystery, THE PIRATE PATH.)  In the U.S., we celebrate this day as “Columbus Day.”  Did you know that Colorado was the first state to officially honor the great explorer?  (1906)  Back then, they gave out free beer, which might have led to the phrase “Rocky Mountain High.”  (Hey, anything’s possible.)

Columbus Day became a federal holiday in 1937, giving federal workers ANOTHER day off.  (Personally, I wouldn’t grant a day off unless you were of Italian heritage and you discovered a New World.)  But that’s just me.  In any case, here’s a little trivia question for you…..  Name the four states that DO NOT recognize Columbus Day.  No cheating!  (Answer:   Hawaii, Alaska, Oregon, and South Dakota)  People in those states have poor vision, so they don’t recognize a lot of things.  (The rest of the country is more “farsighted.”)

Last Wednesday, October 16th, was National Boss’s Day.  (In my house it’s called “Wife Day.”)  Oddly enough, this holiday is celebrated in the United States, Canada, and Lithuania.  (No joking)  Don’t ask me how Lithuania got involved.  They were probably trying to outdo Latvia and Estonia.

Speaking of celebrations…..  Our blog site has now reached a very special plateau… we have (slightly) over 6,000 followers!  Wow, what a wonderful accomplishment!  Thank you!   By the way, what do you folks think about the new book covers for THE GRACELAND GANG and THE PIRATE PATH?  I would love to hear your opinions, so don’t be shy!  Both covers were originally conceived by Mrs. Rachel Zell, a beautiful and talented artist who lives here in Austin.  Keep up the good work, Rachel.  (Conceiving is a wonderful thing!)

While we are on the subject of conceiving….. I would like to acknowledge a few of my younger blog followers.  (babies!)  Uncle Steve sends his best to Stella, Brooklyn, and Evan.  Make sure you stay dry and finish your mashed bananas.

Hey, did you hear that Native-Americans want to change the name of the Washington Redskins?  No joking.  They’re embarrassed to be associated with the city of Washington!  (I have certain “reservations” myself.)

Those of you that live or work in Austin, Texas, should keep your eyes on our award-winning newspaper next week.  A reporter will be coming up to my house on Wednesday for a feature-length interview.  I will be discussing my first two books (see above) and my last display of literary brilliance, DEVIL’S COVE.  She (the reporter) is bringing along a photographer, which means that I will have to groom myself.   Achieving fame and fortune is never easy!

By the way, last night we attended the Austin Music Festival, sponsored by Central Market.  Our group managed to wine and dine is splendid fashion, and most importantly, nobody got arrested.  I would like to thank the store management for featuring flyers of my books at the checkout counters.  Any publicity is good publicity  when you’re trying to sell books.

Finally, I would once again like to say thank you to the doctors and nurses at the Boca Raton Regional Hospital.  You took great care of my mother last week and I will never forget your competency and kindness.  What a great bunch of people…..  God bless you all!   (Mom is now in rehab, training for the 2014 Senior Olympics!)

Well, dear ones, have a great week, drive carefully, and keep those cards and letters coming.  God willing, I will have a special announcement for you next Sunday!  Love to all …..

Doc Yanoff

DOOM WITHOUT GLOOM!

CHEER UP, MY FELLOW AMERICANS…..  I just received word that my Sunday blog will continue to receive funding even if our government shuts down on October 1st!    Nice to see that someone in Washington, D.C. has their priorities straight.  I understand they are taking some money from Homeland Security and putting into Homeland Humor.  Smart move.  Now I can continue producing sub-standard humor for the masses.  Hey, if a joke can’t stand on its own two feet, would that be considered a “lame joke?”  Hmmm.

Boy, some people are sooooo immature.  I’ve been trying to convince my family and friends that a semi-famous author like me needs a concubine.  (which is TOTALLY different than a porcupine.)  They think I’m being silly.  (Me, silly?)  If I had a concubine I would go from being an aspiring author to a perspiring one, and after all, isn’t that the goal of fame?  Look what hyper-sexuality did for Miley You-Can’t-Be-Serious, or Cyrus, or whatever her name might be.  (Meow.)

In case you’re wondering, my shoulder injury is behind me.  (Then again, both shoulders are behind me.)  I have been fully healed thanks to the magical touch of Will Ravenel, the world’s greatest rolfing therapist….. and a darn good magician, too!  Between coin tricks, Will works wonders with woefully worrisome and weary women and men who are willing to wander into his winsomely wonderful world.  (I dare you to say that ten times fast!)

Some of my fans are wondering if I am still planning to coat the back cover of my latest book (THE GRACELAND GANG) with Elmer’s Glue.  I’m not sure.  I’ve always wanted to write a book that people can’t put down.

Speaking of “put downs,” if those knuckleheads in Washington can’t reach an agreement, I will have to cancel my upcoming book tour to the Capitol.  My publisher was planning to hold a modest book release party on the steps of the Library of Congress, but if the government shuts down, the library closes.  Just between you and me, I sometimes wonder if the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on, or by imbeciles who really mean it.

Personally, I’m starting to dislike politics, even though I was named after George Washington, the father of our country.  (He was named in 1732, and I was named after that.)  I’m fed up with all of the bickering, yelling, threats, and accusations.  But enough about that concubine, let’s conclude on a happier note!

Did you know that the average person takes 17,280 breaths per day?  Well, now you do, so don’t forget to brush your teeth and gargle.  You need fresh breath to “scope” out the opposite sex.  Trust me, I’ve “brushed up” on this subject.  Feel free to cut and “paste” this paragraph.  All right, I’m running out of bad puns, so it’s time to leave…..  Have a great week and travel safely!

Love to all…..

Doc Yanoff

YANOFF WINS NOBEL PRIZE FOR LITERATURE!

HEY, WAIT A MINUTE… DIDN’T I USE THIS SCHTICK LAST SUNDAY?  (I thought it sounded familiar!)  Well, fuhgetaboutit.  I never use a joke twice… unless I’m visiting my mother in south Florida.  (A lot of seniors in Boca Raton are hard of hearing, so I am forced to repeat most of my jokes.)  Do you realize that if the cities of Baton Rouge and Boca Raton merged the new city would be called Baton Raton?  Jeez, they would have gators and waders.  (There would also be some reptile dysfunctions, but I digress….. )

Speaking of awards (ones that I have actually received) my newest book, DEVIL’S COVE, was recently chosen as the “Mystery of the Month” by the Lake Charles (Louisiana) Book Club.  God willing, I will actually make it up to Lake Charles in the near future, and will be signing books for the group.  (Thank you for the honor!)

And since we’re discussing books and honors…..  It was my pleasure to recently donate some books (MURDER ON MAIDEN LANE an DEVIL’S COVE) to Angela Plunkett, a fellow member of the River Place Garden Club.  (The club that has added so much beauty to our community.)  Angela is a tireless supporter of a wonderful organization called the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.  (The books will be used in a gift bag at an upcoming fundraiser.)  Thank God we still have people like Angela who try to make the world a safer place!

So what else is new?  Well, my newest novel, THE GRACELAND GANG, is now with my new publisher and we have about two weeks of final revisions ahead of us.  The book cover is outstanding, and with the revisions and new chapters, I feel confident about the Pulitzer thing.  (Confident that SOMEBODY will win the award this year!)

My poker career has taken another unusual turn…. during the past week, I played in 3 tournaments, and placed third, fourth, and fifth!  I’d better stop playing for a while or I’m going to end up in last place!  Nonetheless, my fortuitous victories have earned me a great sum of money, which I will be donating to the S.S.C.F.  (Self-Serving Cruise Fund)

Last week I had the privilege of conducting a book signing in the lovely burg of McKinney.  (north Texas)  If you’re ever in that part of the state, you should check out Churchill’s British Restaurant & Pub.  Very interesting spot, and they have some great beers on tap.  (Not to mention Cragganmore single-malt Scotch!)  They also have other “spirits”……..  On the second Thursday of each month they host something called “Psychic Night.”  My aunt was a psycho, I mean, psychic, and she used to read palms.  (Lots of palms in Boca Raton.)  She wasn’t very good at predicting the future.  In fact, she was only “medium.”

In any case, if you enjoy psychic readings, then this is the place for you.  (They used to do Ouija, but folks got “bored.”)  You get it, Ouija Board?  Never mind.  (I’m predicting a few groans!)  Well, it’s time for me to dig into a cheese pocket, so I will bid you adieu.  Have a wonderful week and enjoy life!

Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

YANOFF NOMINATED FOR PULITZER PRIZE!

WELL, THIS IS A HEADLINE WE WILL NEVER SEE, BUT….. YOU HAVE TO ADMIT IT GOT YOUR ATTENTION!

Look, my life is an open book.  I can’t help it if nobody wants to read the darn thing.  Speaking of books…  (wasn’t that a clever segue?)  I regret to announce that my upcoming book signing in Syria has been cancelled by the State (of confusion) Department.  Just as well.  My last engagement in Syria was a bomb.  (Oops, poor choice of words.)  Our tour bus broke down in Jerusalem and we had to walk all the way to the Syrian capital.  The road to Damascus was the turning point of my life, and me and a guy named Paul (our bus driver) found the experience rather heavenly.

But I undress, I mean, digress…..  Where was I?   First, I would like to thank Dr. Gary Rubenstein for the healing shoulder patches he provided to lessen the discomfort of my recent rotator cuff injury.  They worked wonders, and I am now back on the parallel bars, training for the Tokyo Olympics.  (Talk about “stretching” the truth!)

Second, I am proud to announce that DEVIL’S COVE  (Book three in the Adam Gold Mystery Series) was recently chosen as the “Outstanding New Mystery of the Year” by the Baytown Book Club of Harris County.  (Near Houston.)  Thank you, folks.  I greatly appreciate the award!   Incidentally, THE PRESLEY PLOT is in the final stage of revision, and if all goes well, it should be re-released at a gala book party sometime in October.  (Hopefully at Graceland in Memphis or at the Elvis Presley Center in Tupelo!)

My (semi) professional poker career took a direct hit last Thursday evening.  Just as the Mighty Cobra (me) was closing in on the final table and the championship, I ran into “The Black Widow.”   (The new poker name of the beautiful and talented Sharon Francia.)  I had 3 eights, and was reaching for a mountain of chips, when Sharon announced that the third “8” gave her a straight!  (Thereby sending me “straight home.”)  I’m telling you, life just ain’t fair!

But, please, do not feel sorry for me…..  Last night we attended a delightful pool party, given by the Prince and Princess of Portugal, Lee and Helena Bomblatus.   The food, conversation, and weather were perfect!  We dined on gourmet cheese, prosciutto and melon, insalata caprese, corn pudding, and marvelous grilled salmon.  (Washed down with some darn good wine!)  It was a memorable meal, and a lovely way to slide into September.  Our host and hostess are on their way to Portugal for an extended vacation, and we wish them well!  (Bring back some olives for me!)

Tonight is another party, but this one is downtown….. at a terrific new brewery in Austin.  (Pale Dog IPA)  I know what you’re thinking….  when does this man have time to write?  To be honest, I write between naps.  Not an easy task, but somebody has to do it.  (Now that Vince Flynn and Elmore Leonard are gone.)  Granted, there is a great deal of pressure on me, but I can handle the stress.  I’m tough as nails.  (fingernails!)

Well, my dear friends, I must leave you now…..  I am on my way to Castle Hill Fitness Center, where, upon my arrival, I shall receive a wonderful deep tissue massage.  I’m sure this will be a “touching” experience.  Please keep those cards and letters coming, have a safe week, and enjoy life!

Love to all……

Doc Yanoff

P.S.   I’d like to wish all of my Jewish acquaintances a Happy and Healthy New Year!

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