underground publisher

In 1991, while still a reporter at the Sun-Sentinel, I created an underground magazine that I later sold to the paper (after it threatened to fire me). I just wanted to cover my county for the others who were my age. To this day, newspapers assign their youngest reporters  to cover news for their oldest readers. What I wrote was admittedly juvenile (and ocassionally scandalous for the time and the community).  But those my age liked it, and that’s what still matters to me.

Tech trumps cash

For the first time since a sixth-grade field trip, I visited the Henry Morrison Flagler Museum last week. The 55-room Palm Beach mansion, called Whitehall, is largely unchanged since it was built in 1901. That’s obvious when you walk into the huge Marble Entrance Hall (left) and start sweating – after all, there was no air-conditioning in 1901.

I decided right then that I’m glad to be me, a middle-class person at the beginning of this century, instead of a rich person at the beginning of the last century.

Holy crap!

Last Saturday, the Catholic Diocese of Palm Beach celebrated a daylong tribute to “the contributions of women to the church.” All 51 of the diocese’s parishes were represented at the International Pavilion in West Palm Beach to hear local Bishop Anthony J. O’Connell and watch a satellite feed from the Pope’s visit to Bethlehem.

The theme of the day – and I’m not making this up – was “Women Saying, ‘Yes, God!’ ” Leave it to a bunch of celibate priests to miss the double entendre in that.

If this was like most slogans, it probably went through several revisions. I can only imagine some of the rejects:

  • “Women Saying, ‘Oh God, Yes!’ “
  • “Women Saying, ‘Jesus Christ, That’s Good!’ “
  • “Women Saying, ‘Lord, That’s It Right There!’ “

3 annoying questions

1. Former JFK Middle teacher Maurice LeFlore was acquitted last week on charges of fondling four schoolgirls’ breasts and buttocks. Seven other charges were dismissed. LeFlore’s defense was that he “accidentally” brushed up against them. I’m no math professor (or bookie), but what are the odds that he would “accidentally” brush up against 11 girls and no boys?

2. The Bally’s Scandinavian in Boca Raton offers valet parking for its members, who can take an elevator to the second floor where the treadmills and Stairmasters are located. With this logic, shouldn’t the doors to the weight room open automatically, like in Publix?

3. Palm Beach County commissioners are considering a new law that would require strippers to pay $25 for “work identification cards” that prove they’re at least 18 years old. Where are they supposed to keep these cards when they’re working?

Too late to learn

Apparently, the federal government believes you can teach an old dog new tricks. They’re giving Palm Beach County $20,000 to pay a pair of tutors to teach elderly illiterates how to read.

“This grant will extend literacy tutoring service in PBC to adult learners, over 55, for the period of Dec. 15, 1999 through Sept. 30, 2000,” read last Tuesday’s county commission agenda. Commissioners eagerly approved the grant. Hey, it’s not their money, right?

I hate to be crass, but why are we wasting tax dollars on this? These oldsters have successfully retired from the workforce without ever having learned to read, so who cares if they learn it now? And it’s not like we’ve wiped out illiteracy among the young, and we have all of this literacy money just sitting around. Besides, if these old farts do learn how to read, how many years are they going to be able to apply this new skill before they go blind or even keel over?

What’s next? Sex-ed classes for seniors?

Instead of spending $20,000 to teach the elderly to read, I wish the government would spend it on teaching them how to drive.

Fun with math

Cosmopolitan magazine recently reported that the average depth of an American woman’s vagina is eight inches. According to sex researchers Masters & Johnson, the average length of an American man’s penis is six inches. By using 1990 Census data, I’ve calculated there are 3.6 miles of unused vagina in Palm Beach and Martin counties. Waste not, want not…