With all the time on my hands, I have resorted to reading news outlets ad nauseam.  I have read all the news that’s fit to print (the New York Times’ promise) and some news that’s not so fit to print (I think People Magazine’s promise). I want to share with you two news items which especiall…

Although my Mom was well read and well educated and skipped two grades in school, nevertheless she suffered from what I called the “Mr. Magoo syndrome.” Mr. Magoo was a cartoon character who, to put it mildly, could not see very well, and got into trouble because of his misidentifying all ki…

The problem with being housebound for too long is that you start to imagine things. I might have been hallucinating the other night when I turned on my television set only to see what seemed to be Matthew McConaughey playing virtual bingo with the residents of a senior citizens facility outs…

I received a very strange email the other day. A business acquaintance wanted to know if I would be available next week to take his phone call. Was this some kind of a trick question? Was he putting me on?  “Would I be available” he was asking. For God’s sake, LeBron James is available.

It seems like eternity since we Malibuites first commenced the practice of social distancing. I thought it a good idea to call some friends to see what they are doing to avoid a total meltdown.

You have all heard the expression “out of the frying pan into the fire.” Well, I have just jumped from the fire into the pandemic. Just when I thought I had recovered from the fire which destroyed my home, just as I thought I was returning to some sense of normalcy, I find myself hiding in m…

With so many people contemplating the end of the universe, I thought it a good time to look into its beginning, and so I opened my Bible—the Old Testament that is.  I was looking through Genesis, because I am curious about how we all got here. I have to say I am especially inspired by God’s …

I’m going nuts, although my friends would say I’ve been nuts for years. This virus named after a Mexican beer and caused by the Chinese (how I love blaming everything on the Mexicans and Chinese) is pushing me right over the edge.

There seems to be a virus going around, or at least that’s what everybody, from my kids to the folks on the news, keeps telling me 24 hours a day. So what is a humor columnist supposed to do? 

As we mature  (a euphemistic term for getting older), we have a tendency to look in the rear view mirror to see what our proudest moments have been. I would have titled this blog/column “My Proudest Moments,” but since I only have one, I went with the singular.

My life as I knew it came to an abrupt end a few days ago when my constant companion of the past seven years died suddenly. I am referring to my iPhone. No matter how hard I tried to resuscitate it, this all purpose gadget had expired. I no longer could communicate with anybody, read a menu …

Now you need to read this very carefully so you can understand what happened the other day when I was leaving Pavilions with my daughter, son, and son’s girl friend. My son Isaac was pulling out of the parking lot when a young lady pulled in front of him blocking his departure. 

As bad luck would have it, I got a flat tire a couple of weeks ago. AAA came and put on my spare tire, and I immediately drove to the Toyota dealer in Thousand Oaks. As more bad luck would have it, I arrived around lunch time, and all the service people were enjoying their repast.

Last year my brother Phil lost his wife only a few days after he became an octogenarian. We were all worried how he would survive alone in his house on a small lake off a dirt road half an hour northwest of Lake George, New York.

Last year my brother Phil lost his wife only a few days after he became an octogenarian. We were all worried how he would survive alone in his house on a small lake off a dirt road half an hour northwest of Lake George, New York.

A couple of weeks ago an article “Street Talk” by Julie Ellerton, The Malibu Times’ Multimedia Director, appeared on our front page. In response to the question “What’s your wish and hope for the future of Malibu (or the world) in 2020?,” six Malibu youngsters from preschool to the 7th grade…

It was the first day of 2020, and I was looking for omens. They were everywhere. I weighed myself first thing in the morning as is my daily habit, and things were not looking too good. I had hit an all time high, but that was only the half of it. My two adult children arrived from New York C…

Welcome to the new year. There are plenty of good things to go around. For one thing, the holidays are over! I am a creature of habit, a man of routine, and now finally I can return to my everyday routine of doing absolutely nothing, and nothing gives me greater pleasure than doing nothing.

Okay, let’s get something straight right now. I am not making this stuff up in order to sell copies of this esteemed newspaper, although I am certainly not above appealing to your prurient interests to increase my readership.

The powers that be have asked me, as is their custom, to write a “year in review” column. Now you might think this is a relatively easy task, but for me who cannot begin to remember what I had for dinner last night, this is a monumental challenge. I think the best way for me to prepare for t…

I recently got my building permit, and I can already tell you  that I am not going to enjoy the rebuilding process, not even one little bit. That is a gross understatement like saying the Titanic took on a little water.

Okay, there it is. I have finally spat out the four letter word. Yes, I am going bald—not Yul Brynner, Telly Savalas, or Jonathan Banks bald, but bald enough. When you can count your individual follicles, then you are bald- plain and simple.

My only sibling is “no average Joe.” His name is Phil, and he isn’t even your average Phil. Rather, my brother is a character, but if you know me at all, you would assume that any brother of mine would be a character.

When we encounter somebody who has experienced a misfortune, we are often at a loss for words. Simply saying “I can’t even imagine. So sorry for your loss,” seems grossly inadequate, and so we tend to ad lib. That’s when we get into trouble.

“Why? Why? Why?”, comes the chorus of questions from my friends and relatives back East. How can somebody with a modicum of intelligence live where you can burn to death any second, to say nothing of earthquakes, mudslides, rattlesnakes, and mountain lions. My questioners look at television …

It’s been a year since our community was devastated by the Woolsey Fire, the worst calamity in the history of LA County. The aftermath will be felt by all of us for years to come, and we don’t know how long it will take for a “new normal”  (whatever that means) to take hold.

No, this is not a Disney animated short about a little boy and the sun. Rather it is a story about my daughter the doctor (a proud Jewish parent never forgets to tell the world his kid is a doctor) who the other day looked up at the sun and let forth “achoo.” One “achoo” was not the end of i…

There are famous people, and then again, there are really famous people. Imagine that you have been dead for over forty years, and the very mention of just your first name immediately reveals your identity. So when an acquaintance of mine asked, “Did you hear that Elvis will be campaigning f…

Those of you who know me understand that I am easily overwhelmed. Why, when I wake up each morning, I am overwhelmed with the realization that I am still among the living and, of course, getting out of bed is also overwhelming. In fact, life for me is simply one overwhelming experience.

A few days ago, I paid a visit to my doctor. To be literally correct, I didn’t pay for the visit—Medicare did. I see my general practitioner every few months, and this was simply a routine check-up, not much different from bringing in your car every so many miles.

This is a cautionary tale, so read it carefully and learn from it. We all tend to believe what we read in print. (I certainly hope so, since my columns appear in print.) But we occasionally forget that something in print, as Ira Gershwin wrote, “Ain’t necessarily so.” That also goes for what…

Those of you who know me know that I am not fast afoot. Nobody confuses me with Fred Astaire or Dick Van Dyke. Because of polio, I have no muscles below the knee in my right leg and so my schlepping through the woods of Sequoia National Park earlier this month did a number on my poor, aching body.

After the fire destroyed our home and everything in it, Karen York had my bride and me over for dinner and gave us some sage advice. She urged us to leave town every now and then to clear our heads from the task of rebuilding that lay ahead. We followed her advice.

Now I know this is going to drive my editor crazy and my exceptional journalism teacher Ernestine Robinson will turn in her grave but I no longer see the need for punctuation and so I insist that this column be without it

I was dreaming the other night, and when I awoke, I had an uncontrollable urge to buy Greenland. You cannot imagine how startled I was to learn that Donald Trump had the same craving. Coincidences abound.

You’re not going to believe it, of this I am certain. Last Friday morning, I was in my rental home minding my own business, doing what I like most—absolutely nothing—when the phone rang or vibrated, or whatever phones do today. My dear friend Oscar Best sounded anxious.

I belong to Diamond’s Malibu Gym. I use the word “belong” not because I pay a monthly fee, which I do, but because I have come to know many of the staff and members, and it seems a bit like belonging to a family.

I am no rocket scientist, to say the least, which is the very point of this column. Read on. Recently, David Dreier, my friend and neighbor until we both lost our homes to the fire, (he is still my friend), suggested I meet another friend of his named Dan Goldin--so far, so good. David thoug…

At my advanced age, I can use any kind of enhancement I can get, so you can imagine my extreme interest—make that delight—when I heard a commercial touting some product that would enhance my brain. Of all my bodily parts that need enhancement, most assuredly, my brain needs it the most.

We have wimps in our midst right here in Malibu. Yes, you heard me correctly—wimps. The other day, I heard a woman complain that it was too hot outside. At the time it was exactly 75 degrees with a mild ocean breeze. That is not hot. That is perfect weather, and why many of us live here in M…

My bride and I just returned from back east—New York City and New York State, to be exact. It was so hot, the cliché “hot as hell” comes to mind. If hell is as hot as New York was, then I had better improve my behavior—immediately. 

I wish I could say it weren’t so, but I am still having trouble with my native tongue. I just don’t understand half the expressions out there. 

OK, that’s it. I’ve had it. Enough already. Give me a break.  Polio, Bernie Madoff, fire and now earthquakes. I am too old to shake, rattle and roll. I am tired of being tested by the power upstairs. Either pass me or flunk me, but enough with the tests. I am expecting locusts any minute.

The downside of writing a weekly column is that it is entirely possible to miss experiencing life. What I mean by this is I am so busy thinking of whether every conversation, sight or smell might possibly be fodder for a column, I do not absorb life directly but rather through the filter of …

It is once again time for me to confess: I am not particularly fond of dogs that are so tiny I cannot sit down without the fear of crushing them, thereby sending them prematurely to doggie heaven; I don’t care for fountains, since whenever a man my age hears running water, a man my age runs …

I was recently reminded of a story which proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that sometimes we can learn wisdom from the very young.

Free food is a killer—an absolute curse. Let me explain what I mean. Occasionally, I have stayed at hotels where the meals were included in the price.

My father was very much my mentor. He was philanthropic, loyal, reliable and honest, and I have spent a lifetime trying to live up to his example. We had similar voices, the same dark brown eyes, identical builds and so on. There was one major difference—Dad had good luck and I did not.

Frankly, I don’t care whether taxes go up or down, whether the seas are rising and will drown us all or whether we have single payer health care or no health care at all. It is about time somebody addresses the single most important issue confronting mankind in our time.

No, no, no! I was not literally in the belly of a whale. I am just going the metaphor route once again. The other day, I found myself in what is commonly referred to as “The Blue Whale,” a humongous building situated in an even more humongous complex called the Pacific Design Center. For the…

Sign up for our Daily Newsletter

Newsletters