Like you, Perry Block is a Baby Boomer who turned around one day in 1978 and suddenly found himself 40 years later at an age he always thought was exclusively reserved for people’s parents.
Through a series of often hilarious essays, Perry tries to make sense of it all, aided by his son Brandon and a host of other real and fictitious characters, including Batman, Cupid, the Legendary Jewish Vampire Vlad the Retailer, Richard Nixon, Moses, and more.
Every Boomer concern is here – aging angst, fatherhood, the singles life, friendships, fading looks and physicality, social trends, the1 960’s, religion, Judaism, the writing life, parody and satire, self-deprecation, and the nagging worry that not only has he measured his life in coffee spoons, frequently the coffee hasn’t even been hot.
Excerpt from Nouveau Old, Formerly Cute
I’ve never been one to believe in tall tales, myths, or urban legends.
I don’t believe the tooth fairy could ever turn a profit on used enamel, doubt the existence of Bigfoot and Nessie, and scoff at aliens crash-landing at Roswell because beings that advanced would know there’s no other place to crash-land than Orlando.
Beware the LOJM!
Today is my birthday. On this day I am 40 years old, just as I have been for many years and always will be. But today somehow the rest of the world will look upon me and see something obscene, loathsome, and truly terrifying!
The world will see a man who is 67.
Beware the LOJM! (pronounced “LOW-JIM”)
Known more formally as the “Little Old Jewish Man,” the LOJM is a foul and malignant creature known to torment and bedevil Jewish men of a certain age.
And I am its victim!
I can no longer have my picture taken in peace. The instant a camera is produced, the LOJM dashes in front of me with blinding speed. It’s like the DC Superhero the Flash if the Flash were endowed with the additional superpower of speaking fluent deli!
The LOJM next positions itself between me and the camera, musters its most hideous visage, and then vanishes as soon as the picture is snapped! Moving at hyper-speed, the monster arrives and departs undetected, leaving only the surrogate image of its gruesome face as evidence of its foul and deceitful visitation.
Then I see the picture! No winning boyish grin, smooth and supple cheeks, or lush brown hair swooping low across my forehead.
But the creature’s evil work is not yet done. The LOJM mesmerizes those around me so they actually believe its foul face is my own!
Even I sometimes cannot detect the deception.
Curse You, LOJM!
A Fine Bromance
“Sorry to hear things aren’t going well in your marriage,” I said to my friend Mark as we sat at the bar one evening.
“That’s an understatement, Perry. My wife is never home anymore. She’s always out shopping.”
“Well, that’s not unusual. Many women like to go shopping.”
“For small arms weaponry?”
“Oh. So what do you want to do? Get a divorce? Look for a woman on the side?”
“No, I can’t afford either.”
“I want a bromance. A close friendship with another man to fill the void.”
“I’ve heard of bromances. But where do you go to meet another guy to have bromance with?”
“Perry, there are bromance bars all over town! Ben Affleck and Matt Damon just opened a string of them. Sometimes they show I Love You, Man on continuous loop.”
“So you’re going to frequent bromance bars and hit on guys to have bromance with?”
“Yeah, baby! I’m gonna be out at night cruisin’ the bars looking for hot bromance!”
“Well, do you have any idea how to hit on guys in a bromance bar?”
“I think I’ll pick out a sensitive looking guy who seems like he’d be swell to discuss the Eagles or Flyers with, and then pitch him a slick line.”
“Something like ‘Where have you been all my life? Shopping for power tools at Home Depot?’”
“Yeah, or maybe ‘Come here to watch televised sports often?’ or ‘Buy you a drink, tall, dark, and platonic?’”
“So let’s say you start connecting with a dude and you’re finding you have a lot in common, how do you then ‘move the party’ elsewhere, if you catch my drift?”
“I think you ask the fella if he wants to go hit some golf balls. Then if all goes well you invite him back to your place for a nightcap and when the timing is right, you pop the question: ‘Would you be my bromance!’”
“I think you’d better wait on that.”
“You want to make good and sure it’s true bromance, not just puppy bromance.”
“Oh, right. Well, I’m off to hit some bromance bars. Care to come with?”
“Call me old-fashioned, but I’m still looking for romance.”
“But, Mark, just in case …”
“Save me a seat.”
Perry Block is a writer living in Havertown PA, which is close enough to the Philadelphia Main Line so that he can wrongly brag he lives there. In his lifetime, he hassucceeded in virtually every sphere of human endeavor, but failed miserably in the rectangular and triangular ones. Writing has been a passion for Perry ever since he learned that it does not require math. His website is at www.perryblock.com. Perry Block – Nouveau Old, Formerly Cute is his first book. Kindly put your life on hold waiting for the next one.
Paul De Lancey