Executive Produced by:
Charles H. Joffe
Written, Directed, and Starring:
Y’know, the title of this article has always, humprh, reminded me of this joke my great grandmother would tell me when I was little. “This Joke has nothing to do with this Article.” She was always very self-aware; and not to mention a low-functioning alcoholic who usually spoke in Yiddish riddles, but, I think, hmprth, to me, at least, to me, that, at least, that, that is why the joke has everything to do with this article.
[Cut To:] That’s me, there, walking across the Brooklyn Bridge with the first real love I’d had in years. I mean, for as long as I can remember I’ve been an old man, somehow, but I’ve actually found that women are attracted to the old and decrepit — it helps them believe that they, because they still have nicer, smoother skin, will never meet the same dolorous end as the rest of us. (Beat.) You could say that beguiled moment right there was the beginning of the end: of our relationship, of my belief in anything good or beautiful, and of this article. But to me, because it’s my article and my life — it all begins in Brooklyn in the 1930s.
[Cut To: Brooklyn, 1938]
While everyone else in America grew up in happy, immaculate, normal families, I grew up in a dyspeptic Warner Brothers cartoon. I swear I remember my father slapping my mother with a Burbot Cod while Benny Goodman played on the radio. [Show man slapping woman with Cod while a red-haired, freckled kid with glasses watches (a young Seth Green)] However, eventually, I discovered that I could understand and use bigger, more ostentatious words than most boys to save myself beatings [show] and to impress girls [show].
From a very early age, I always had a thing for younger women. Nancy Sniedermann. She was eight and a half when I was ten, but, in a recurring theme throughout my life, I found myself chronically stuck in an unhappy and unfulfilling relationship with an older, overbearing, intellectually abstruse ice queen who believed that just because she’d taken 7th grade Arithmetic she knew that my sexual desires were driven out of Freudian lust for my mother’s breasts. [Show.] At least that’s what my psycho-analyst thinks — but I contest that the diagnosis is at least up for debate.
[Beat — “I’m Getting Sentimental Over You” by Tommy Dorsey plays]
Now, back to the bridge. [Show.] That’s the younger, prettier, polymorphously perverse model. Nineteen years-old and she could already quote Balzac with just the right amount of cynical irony. (Beat.) And the way she would laugh at my jokes! [A pigeon almost defecates on them; but they avoid it. Woody Allen compares the pigeon to Nietzsche: “always shitting on us from a perch atop the Brooklyn Bridge.”]
My wife — the older, histrionic model whom I’ve been given the Sisyphean task of arguing with over where we should go out to dinner — liked to remind me that I was nothing but an old shut-in who, without her mind you, would be a two-bit comedian sitting alone in a Soho apartment listening to Shubert and reading Dostoevsky on Saturday nights.
And while she might be right a good amount of the time, she forgets that — like my good, Wagnerian bubbeh used to say — it’s in this wonderful, dirty, magical city that we find ourselves time and time again, like a Fellini film, or a good Jazz album, stumbling as we dodge pigeon shit, tripping and falling into the East River [show].