Saturday, September 25, 2021

Eureka, I am Inspired!




I’ve started writing my next Kaldis book. So far, I have this killer opening:


“He regarded himself as a swashbuckling pirate awash in Mediterranean adventures. Part Errol Flynn, part Johnny Depp, and part good old Hyman Diamondides.  Trouble was, Hyman lived in Brooklyn, and the only boat he’d ever been on was the Staten Island Ferry, an experience that still terrorized him.”


I’m serious folks. Honest.  I cannot say where that opening will take me, but something about it sparked the magical process that inspires so many artists to create.


Those words may never see the final version, but they’ll undoubtedly serve as my guide for negotiating clear-eyed through vast stretches of seductively easy prose, battling bare-knuckled against seemingly insurmountable plot obstacles, accommodating characters with rebellious minds of their own, and resisting the narcissistic draw of on-the-nose preaching.  Yes, in those opening three sentences I place blind faith that the writing gods, in their wisdom and alchemy, will bring me once more to the Promised Land of a finished book. Amen.


Having attained that good mood, I shall not risk losing it by commenting on any of the many deservedly comment-inducing matters of the day. Instead, I shall share with you a half-dozen jokes posted in READER’S DIGEST as among “The Most Hilarious Jokes of All Time, According to America’s Beloved Comedy Writers.”  They may not be to everyone’s taste, but what is?


Joke #1 [All cartoons by Brandon Specktor] 


A turtle is crossing the road when he’s mugged by two snails. When the police show up, they ask him what happened. The shaken turtle replies, “I don’t know. It all happened so fast.

Joke #2

A poodle and a collie are walking together when the poodle suddenly unloads on his friend. “My life is a mess,” he says. “My owner is mean, my girlfriend ran away with a schnauzer, and I’m as jittery as a cat.”

“Why don’t you go see a psychiatrist?” suggests the collie.

“I can’t,” says the poodle. “I’m not allowed on the couch.”

Joke #3

A priest, a minister, and a rabbi want to see who’s best at his job. So they each go into the woods, find a bear, and attempt to convert it. Later they get together. The priest begins: “When I found the bear, I read to him from the Catechism and sprinkled him with holy water. Next week is his First Communion.”

“I found a bear by the stream,” says the minister, “and preached God’s holy word. The bear was so mesmerized that he let me baptize him.”

They both look down at the rabbi, who is lying on a gurney in a body cast. “Looking back,” he says, “maybe I shouldn’t have started with the circumcision.”

Joke #4

A man is walking in a graveyard when he hears the Third Symphony played backward. When it’s over, the Second Symphony starts playing, also backward, and then the First. “What’s going on?” he asks a cemetery worker.

“It’s Beethoven,” says the worker. “He’s decomposing.”

Joke #5

Two hunters are out in the woods when one of them collapses. He’s not breathing and his eyes are glazed. The other guy whips out his cell phone and calls 911.

“I think my friend is dead!” he yells. “What can I do?”

The operator says, “Calm down. First, let’s make sure he’s dead.”

There’s a silence, then a shot. Back on the phone, the guy says, “OK, now what?”

Joke #6

A guy spots a sign outside a house that reads “Talking Dog for Sale.” Intrigued, he walks in.

“So what have you done with your life?” he asks the dog.

“I’ve led a very full life,” says the dog. “I lived in the Alps rescuing avalanche victims. Then I served my country in Iraq. And now I spend my days reading to the residents of a retirement home.”

The guy is flabbergasted. He asks the dog’s owner, “Why on earth would you want to get rid of an incredible dog like that?”

The owner says, “Because he’s a liar! He never did any of that!”

That’s all, folks.  For this week.

PS.  Just to remind you last minute shoppers, only five days remain to purchase an e-book version of my tenth Chief Inspector Andreas Kaldis novel, THE MYKONOS MOB, across all e-book formats for $1.99 via this link.



  1. My choice was the hunter even though you could see it coming! Turtle was a close second because you couldn't!
    Good luck with your opening sentence. You might need it.

    1. Ya think? :)

      On the jokes, Michael, the circumcision got to a manner of speaking.

  2. Novel about Greek Jews? I look forward to reading it. Chag sameach.

  3. Greek Jews? Nikos Stavroulakis please. Artist, humanitarian, and author of the most gorgeous cookbook ….ever. Also single handedly promoted and shepherded the restoration of the synagogue in Chania.

  4. Thanks, needed those jokes,
    Some made me chokes
    On the slobbers that ran
    From a Greek fiction fan.

    1. I think that I shall never see
      A punster quite the same as thee.

      A bloke whose twisted mind is pressed
      To make the world bit more distressed.

      A bloke who spends his every day
      Pursuing fans to say "OY VEY."

  5. Well,Bro. I think the funniest joke is being played on us. And the America’s Beloved Comedy Writers is a self-proclaimed title for a cheeky group of 7th grade boys. On the other hand, I will be happy to read a book about a Greek American from Brooklyn who dreams of being a pirate. What’s great premise!

    1. As I said, different strokes for different folks, but just for the record, here's the list of "7th Grade Boys" who served as Judges"

      Sid Caesar: His 1950s TV hit, Your Show of Shows, introduced America to Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner, Neil Simon, and Woody Allen.

      Monty Hall: Television producer and host of Let’s Make a Deal.

      Arthur Hiller: Directed comedies like The In-Laws and Silver Streak.

      Rocky Kalish: Wrote for All in the Family, Maude, and Good Times.

      Hal Kanter: Bob Hope’s chief gag writer. Wrote Road to Bali for Hope and Bing Crosby.

      Gary Owens: The voice of Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In.

      John Rappaport: Writer and producer for M*A*S*H.

      Matty Simmons: Founder of National Lampoon; producer of Animal House and Vacation.

    2. Probably like you, Bro, I have laughed, often hysterically, at the work of many of those guys, especially Sid Caesar, most of my life. I have however, in the course of all that time, never seen any evidence whatsoever that any of them matured beyond the age of 12. The prosecution rests.