Thursday, April 17, 2014

Spam email of the week


This could be anything. Turns out it’s everything.

Respected chief editor!

Well howdy to you, too, “Savitsky Nikita!”

And all the staff members! I found a list of all the governors of all the states of USA and tried to send letter to them (but their emails doesn’t work!?). In this letter I inform next: «teachers and coaches tortured your children and all children of the USA with twenty harmful exercises!?...

“Governor Jan Brewer’s office. How may I help you?”

“Respected gubernatorial assistant!”


“My name is Savitsky and I found a list of emails but it won’t go through?! Don’t realize if it’s error on paper or my keyboard contraption device. Anyways, I wish to be granted your USA governor’s correct emails.”

“Okaaaay. May I ask what this is in regard to?”

“Certainly! I wish to send letters to inform about teachers and coaches torturing USA children with twenty harmful exercises!”

“Oh. Alright, uh, are you ready for the correct email address?”

“Yes! Have pen now!”

“Okay it’s:”

“Thank yous!”

Unscientific, inhumane ways and methods!?... And nobody observes it (at least looking at the fat kids)!?

(can’t sleep, turn on TV at 3 a.m., infomercial begins)

HELLO AMERICA! (studio audience claps) My name is Savitsky Nikita and I am here to stop the torture of children! Any of you lazy Americans ever look around to observe all the fat kids? (pulls fat kid into frame by his ear) (fat kid says, “Uh …”) LOOK AT THE FAT ROLLS. (tosses kid backstage) I can fix this with 555 magic steps.

I don't want listen excuses and justification…lies of the governors (about their employment and illiteracy).

USA Today headline: American governors: US kids fat, yeah, but have jobs, can’t read about how fat they are

I'm not interested in this. I want to offer my saving useful sports methods to one governor and create my own "World Center" in your country!

Welcome to Savitsky’s World Center for Fat American Kids, in beautiful downtown Boise, thanks to the efforts of Governor Butch Otter. Please go inside and utilize useful sports methods until you are skinny enough to be seen in public.

Please convey to all (!) Governors (anyone of them will dare!?...)!

If there’s anything a U.S. governor will respond to, it’s an email dare from a nonsensical non-person.

And please remind them - approaching summer holidays!? … The first time summer holidays can be filled with useful thing - performing perfect methods!... Delight, extraordinary and different enjoyment!

“I wasn’t going to approve Savitsky’s World Center for Fat American Kids, but then someone—I think it was Savitsky—reminded me: yo, Butch, summer holidays are coming? Can’t be having a bunch of fat kids running around with their shirts off. Let them enjoy performing perfect methods where no one can see them.” – U.S. Gov. Butch Otter

If this idea does not become a success, then I have to you a specific proposition. How much will cost this advertisement:

“If this idea is a complete failure, I want to advertise it.” Makes sense.

«Dear citizens of our state! I'm selling perfect sports methods (which consist of 555 copyright, magic exercises!) for just a one (five?) dollar.

Person: Hi, I’d like to sign my kid up for 555 magic sports methods.

Savitsky: Sure! That will be one dollar.

Person: Great. (hands Savitsky a dollar)

Savitsky: Five dollars?

Person: What?

Savitsky: Maybe you want to give five dollars instead?

Person: I like one dollar better.

Savitsky: Okay fine, ha, ha, I AM SAVITSKY, COME WITH ME, FAT BOY.

It guarantees any weight loss to any person! It also guarantees: happy life up to 150 years, life in motion!

“Listen, I’m not promising you the world. All I’m saying is that you will lose all the weight and I guarantee complete happiness and that you will live like 40 years longer than is humanly possible. For one (five?) dollar.” – Savitsky

It (even condensed 5 times!) guarantees your child a world title in any kind of sport!?

What if the title match is between two kids who used Savitsky’s metho—

How much will cost this advertisement in your newspaper?

Uh, one million (four million?) dollars.

Confirmation: it is originality, beauty, easiness, a huge amount of exercises and a desire to perform them!... Don’t stopping!.. Always!.. Everywhere! Evidence: it is set of 50 "sports laws" (new, scientific, substantiate and confirmed)! 40 normal children's motivations!? Only children can choose exercises and not sports ministers or primitive scientists!

Hey buddy—in ‘MERICA our sports ministers choose the exercises, okay? Ain’t that right, primitive scientist?

Primitive scientist: The sun revolves around the earth, and make sure to use your back when lifting heavy things.


How to improve this announcement or maybe make it shorter?

This announcement could best be improved by me printing it out, crumpling it up, setting fire to it, and scattering the ashes in four different parts of the world. Which, coincidentally, would also make it shorter.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Man in the Garlic Tuxedo - sneak peak

The following is an excerpt from my new book, The Man in the Garlic Tuxedo, which should be available in hardcover at and next week. Please buy it because it will make me happy, and also you happy. Promise.

- - - - -

My mother-in-law, Anna, had me drive her car because it fit us all. We were going to pick up her husband from work in Bay Ridge and then go to the famous Gargiulo's restaurant in Coney Island. This was assuredly going to be Tony in his element, Brooklyn, and my parents would be witnesses to the lion in the jungle. Unfortunately, the stress I had been experiencing had now transferred to Anna.

Picking her husband up at work made sense logistically, but experience had taught her to be wary. If he had a bad day at work, there was no telling what he would say or do in the immediate aftermath. More importantly, she knew there was no way in heck he was going to be ready.

Tony was not ready. It was rush hour in Brooklyn. We had reservations. He recommended we double-park in front of his office while we waited. All I can say is thank God I was driving and not my parents, and especially not my then wife-to-be. She is an anxiety attack waiting to happen when parking in an area where parking is not permitted. She won’t do it. She couldn’t wait near the curb in the arrivals lane of an airport if her life depended on it. She’ll drive away the second she believes someone of authority is approaching the vehicle, even if that someone is a small, lost child. Though not as extreme, I am sympathetic to her plight, which is why it’s always a joy when Tony recommends doing what he would do in a situation: “Just double-park,” or “Tell them you want a discount of seventy-five percent,” or “Don’t worry about what’s on the menu—ask them what they really have.”

So I double-parked, and we waited, and waited. Anna was a ball of stress, hands in the air, checking her watch, apologizing to my parents. My parents were fine though. That’s the thing about my parents, and it’s a trait I most certainly share—if people are waiting for them, the tension between them will explode in a flurry of raised voices and condescending remarks. If they are waiting for someone else, they’re totally cool. Tony is the exact opposite of that.

As we waited, someone pulled up next to us, stopped, and then the driver got out of the car and ran across the street. Triple-park! Man, I love Brooklyn. I thought Anna was going to pass out. It was then that Tony finally emerged from the office. He indicated he was going to drive, which was fine by me. I hopped out and joined my parents in the back. Tony hopped in, threw his briefcase and papers at Anna and joyously welcomed my parents to Brooklyn.

“Jack, Judy! So happy to see you! Ready for some good food and … (cell phone rings, looks down) What the fff … (picks up) Hello? What? I told you already, fifth floor. Apartment 5C. Bring a wrench … (hangs up) So happy to see you guys!”

The only problem was, we were stuck. My guess in that moment was that Tony was going to lay on the horn until the person who had triple-parked reemerged. I was wrong. He put the car in reverse. He was going for it.

A person riding a skateboard could not fit through the space we had, much less an SUV. Tony yelled, “Jack, how’m I looking back there?” to which my dad replied, diplomatically, “Umm, not sure we’ve got enough room here, Tony.” Keep in mind that this was the second time my dad had met his son’s future father-in-law, and he was already being forced to say to him, essentially, “I do not agree with this decision you are about to make.” It was a nice touch though for my dad to say “we’ve,” as if trying to drive out of this situation was a collective decision.

Tony was undeterred. He cut the wheel hard, checking his mirrors. Anna began yelling at him that there’s no way we can make it. Rush hour car horns were beeping in the distance. The chaos of the situation and everyone’s general opposition to this attempt only strengthened Tony’s resolve. Insurance information was about to be exchanged.

Thankfully, in the nick of time, the triple-parker got back into his vehicle and rejoined the traffic flow. We all breathed a sigh of relief. Tony viewed it as only a minor convenience. He definitely would have made it, he assured us.

My dad was cracking up, and so was my mom. They had officially met Tony, and they really liked him.

Oh, and we had a great time at dinner. My dad had an allergic reaction to the shellfish. Tony made sure to alert him as to how swollen his face looked.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Spam email of the week

Subject: We market for you, We close your sales ! ! !

Willie, is that you?

Hello this is Willie,

Hi, Willie!

My business partner has generated over 32k in just the last 6 weeks and you will see proof and you an do the same if you follow our simple instructions.

Willie, hold on. Back it up, okay? Beep-beep-beep.

First of all, I am good. Thanks for asking (rolls eyes). Classic Willie, getting right down to business.

Second of all, what the crap are you even talking about, Willie? Who is your business partner? Is it Mark Cuban? If it’s Mark Cuban, I am in. If it’s not Mark Cuban, I am also in because this sounds amazing.

I want to see proof. Also, I want to follow your simple instructions. You’ve always kept it simple, Willie. Hit me off with the simple instructions.

We market for you.

(writes on notepad “let Willie and Mark Cuban do all the marketing stuff”)

We  create your website and auto responder

What is my website and what is auto responder?

(pop-up box emerges on computer screen)

Hello Michael. This is auto responder. Your website is www.bizmarkets4u.blerg. Willie says hi. Auto responder, out.


We  close your sales YOU keep 80% of the money and I keep 20%

So let me get this straight, Willie. You do a bunch of stuff that makes no sense as I stand idly by, and then I get 80 percent of the profits of whatever the heck it is you are even selling? Why don’t we eliminate the middleman—me—and then you can buy a helicopter?

This is a match made in Heaven!

You’re right, Willie, it is! (looks up to Heaven, God says, “Listen to Willie, for he is wise.”)

The first step is to is to visit my website to get all the exciting information!

==>Click Here For The Details <><==

(looks back up to Heaven) God, “global cash dot net?" Really? (God says, “Oh yeah, totes legit.”) (hears rustling in bushes, megaphone drops on sidewalk) Willie! Get out of the bushes, brah!

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

The gong show: Bringing dad-in-law along for the ride

My new book, The Man in the Garlic Tuxedo, which is about my father-in-law, will be released soon. I hope this column, which does not appear in the book, whets your appetite. 
Next week I'll be posting a sneak peak directly from the book.

My father-in-law, Tony, recently accompanied me to the local car dealership. This is why.

Initial salesman: (with semi-strong accent) Hi, can I help you guys find a car today?

Tony: You are from the Philippines.

Salesman: Uh, yes, I am actually. How did you know?

Tony: Heh, don’t worry about me. My son-in-law needs a car.

Salesman: Okay. (to me) Which car are you looking for?

Tony: How is Manilla? Is it nice? How long have you been here, at this dealership?

Salesman: Three and a half months.

Tony: Oh. (licks chops)

We find the car I want. Unfortunately, the first salesman did not have authority to discuss numbers. Enter his manager, Phil.

Phil: (approaches a bit on the arrogant side, motions for first salesman to move out of the chair so he can sit down) Fellas.

Tony: (so disgusted with Phil’s attitude he doesn’t even bother to guess his ethnicity) Hmph.

Phil: (to me) So what kind of monthly payment are you looking at? You putting any money down?

Tony: Pffffffffffft.

Phil: I’m sorry?

Tony: We already discussed all this crap with Gary (not first salesman’s name). Why are you asking us again? What is your deal? Why is my time being wasted right now?

Phil: Okaaaaay, I’ll uh, be back with some numbers, alright guys?

While we wait, Tony begins telling me about a movie he saw the previous day. When Phil returns, Tony catches him through his peripheral but continues to tell me about George Clooney’s role in the movie while Phil waits, and waits, and waits. Finally, Tony turns to Phil.

Tony: Well … ?

Phil: Okay, I got some numbers for you. (slides sheet across the desk)

Tony: (looks at sheet, sits back in his chair and lets out exasperated sigh) Why don’t you go back there and see what you can do, okay? And let’s be serious here. (turns to me) Mike, can you believe this guy? Anyway, so the movie is really about art …

Phil leaves. A few minutes later a new person emerges, Phil’s manager, Corey.

Corey: Hi there Tony, Mike. I’m Corey. Nice to meet you both.

Tony: (impressed with Corey’s demeanor) Hello there, finally someone worth talking to! You seem to be … Irish, maybe? You have beautiful blue eyes.

Me: (in my head) Yikes.

Corey: Uh, thanks. Listen, I've updated the numbers here, and we’re really close to your bottom line, guys. But it seems like we’re the ones making all the movement here. You gotta meet us, if not halfway, just a little bit, ya’ know? We’re talking dollars and cents at this point. Mike, can you put just, say, $300 down so we can get to where you need to be?

Me: (mistakenly interprets ensuing five seconds of silence as license to speak) I guess I could do th—

Tony: No, he cannot. Despite what Mike has just said, he would rather not, cannot actually, do that. Please go do what you need to do so we can make a sale. I like your haircut, by the way.

Corey leaves, comes back and congratulates us, and hands me a mallet to bang the dealership’s sales gong, which scares but also pleases Tony to no end. A long while later, we are finally invited into the leasing manager’s office. There, the leasing manager tries to upsell us on additional coverage and, in doing so, misinforms us that the payment we had agreed to did not include tax. This sets Tony off to the point that the leasing manager’s manager—everyone at this dealership is someone’s manager—has to intercede. Steve, when he arrives in the office, thinks he recognizes Tony from somewhere.

Steve: Good afternoon, gentlemen. (looks at Tony) Hey, I know you. Did I sell you a car a few years ago?

Tony: (in stride) Absolutely! For my uh, daughter, I think. It’s Fred, right?

Steve: No, Steve.

Tony: That’s right, STEVE!

A few minutes later, I had additional coverage for free and my initial lease payment was waived because we were, apparently, repeat customers.

We took my new car directly to P.F. Chang's at Tony’s request, where we ordered beers at the bar and toasted to Fred.

Note: This column appears in the 4/10 issue of The Glendale Star and the 4/11 issue of the Peoria Times.

Friday, April 04, 2014

Facebook meme of the day















Thursday, April 03, 2014

Spam email of the week

Subject: 123436 To the China Market Developer

I’m sorry—is this a children’s song?



To the China Market Developer!

Clap along, everyone!


Kid: This song doesn’t even rhyme. And the numbers are wrong.

Other kid: Yeah, this song blows.


2014 iFresh Fruit and Vegetable Expo

Shanghi International Exhibition Center,China

12th-14th June 2014

What is “iFresh Fruit”? Is that a—wait for it—Apple product? LOLZ.


iFresh Fru and Veg Expo

Fru and Veg!!!!


(slow voice) FRU AND VEG

We have officially crossed the threshold of acceptable abbreviations. Congratulations, everybody!

had booked out 143 exhibitors with 183 boothes( 117 boothes left)

Looks like the iFresh Fru and Veg Expo overbooked. Classic Fru and Veg mistake. You can’t make digital fruit plans before you have commitments! It’s putting the digital fruit cart before the iHorse, as the saying goes. And everyone knows the digital fruit community is a fickle bunch. They tell you they’re gonna be there when they’re drunk off iFresh smoothies, and then they’re nowhere to be found when it comes time to book their “boothe.”

New booking Fruit and Vegetable suppliers companies including:


Ain’t no Fru and Veg party like a YANTAI FULL RED SEEDLING BREEDING FARM Fru and Veg party cause a YANTAI FULL RED SEEDLING BREEDING FARM Fru and Veg party uses only the freshest vegetables, and also don't stop.

Tailand: Tailand Embassy Group

Chile: Foodinvest Chile SA, Chilean Cherry Committee..

I have just recently decided that the Chilean Cherry Committee is my favorite Fru and Veg supplier in the world. I am totes going to visit their booth. (For the cherries.)

American: FreshWorld Inc,

Really, America? FreshWorld Inc. is our only representative at the iFresh Fru and Veg Expo? This is embarrassing. There was a time when this country prided itself on its iFresh fruits and vegetables. Now look at us—one measly booth at the most famous expo in the world. Thanks a lot, OBAMA.

Anyhoo, the rest of this email is just an unintelligible, unending list of fake, worldwide Fru and Veg suppliers, and I’m not even sure what this email is asking me to do. That said, yeah, I booked a booth. I felt bad. But before I head to China, EVERYBODY SING ALONG:



To the China Market Developer!



Cherries in the Chilean tree!

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Insects in outer space, on our kitchen counter

My wife bought the kids an ant farm. Actually, I guess they don’t call it an ant farm anymore for political correctness reasons—ants can live in hip, urban environments, too, you racist—so it’s actually called Ant Universe. The tagline of Ant Universe is “A Space Age Habitat For Ants!”

Indeed the space theme is well represented via a small, vertical block of hard plastic, which is filled with a solid blue gel. A mere glance at this magnificent structure will take your mind on a journey into the beautiful, infinite abyss of outer space. Also, I think the ants are supposed to wear tiny space helmets or something.

Speaking of the ants, they were only thing missing. Like the various marketed toys of my youth, the main attraction of Ant Universe was not included in Ant Universe. On discovering this, I couldn’t help but hear that fast-talking Micro-Machines guy voice say “antssoldseparately.” As such, my wife had ordered the ants from the ant factory (“$5plusshippingandhandling”), and we waited anxiously for their arrival.

And waited, and waited. Each day my wife pleaded with me to retrieve the mail, as she was very concerned the “poor ants would die in the mailbox.” Unsure what a package of ants looked like, I carefully opened each piece of mail daily, even junk mail from car dealerships, fearing a colony of ants would emerge seeking revenge.

Three weeks after placing the order, the ants finally arrived in a small tube. A label on the tube read, “CAUTION: Ants sting. Parental supervision required.” My wife allowed our older daughter to hold the tube of ants while she attended to our younger daughter, who had somehow managed to fall in the toilet. Our oldest was under strict instructions to hold the tube carefully and not shake it. I parentally supervised this, and it was literally 20 seconds before she started shaking the tube and I removed it from her grasp.

My wife carefully opened the ant tube, placing it at the entrance of the ants’ new space home. Apparently, the ants did not want to live there—possibly because they had just been violently shaken and had lost their capacity for reason—and several of them escaped, running rampant on our kitchen table.

Chaos ensued. The girls shrieked while my wife frantically removed the dog so he did not eat the ants. I furiously moved around, accomplishing nothing, feebly trying to corral the ants with a paper towel while yelling, “CAUTION, ANTS STING! CAUTION, ANTS STING!”

One by one, my wife calmly corralled the ants under the lid of her take-home Starbucks iced coffee container, which is just how they did it in the olden days on the ant farm when the ants became unruly. (It should be noted that if this had happened while my wife wasn’t there, I would have panicked and killed all the ants.)

The ants were all safely inside their space habitat. Now what? My wife and I checked the Ant Universe manual for helpful instructions, such as:

Check to see that an ant is dead before removing it from the Ant Universe.

OK. (I asked my wife if we would be forced to host several ant funerals in the near future, and she told me to be quiet because she was watching the ants.)

Ants in your Ant Universe dispose of bodily waste matter just like any other ant.

Out of their ant butts? Do ants have butts? I know nothing about ants.

Evidence will be in the form of small, brown spots/streaks (usually in the corners).

Duly noted. One thing I definitely needed in my life was to care for another living thing incapable of cleaning its own feces. 

Anyway, this is going to be the best spaced-themed ant habitat ever! I’ll let you know how things progress. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have an ant funeral to host. (opens Bible) 

“Family and friends, we all loved ‘George Clooney’ …"

Note: This column appears in the 4/3 issue of The Glendale Star and the 4/4 issue of the Peoria Times.