Monday, February 4, 2019

Food Memories (unfinished)

Guinea Red Soup
Phil LaMancusa
My most mind blowing dinner was one Big Red made when I was a kid; I’d have to do the shopping for it. These were the days when we had small Mom and Pop stores selling what we now find in sections of the super markets; I would be sent out with $1.50 in quarters.
First stop: the butcher where I would get a quarter’s worth of soup bones; on to the green grocer for .25 cents of soup greens (carrot, onion, turnip, celery, parsley). Then to the Italian deli for a quarter’s worth of parmesan cheese, a pound of large shell macaroni, a can of tomatoes and a loaf of crusty Italian bread. Typical LaMancusa kitchen magic: this would feed five kids and two adults.
The ritual would be when each would grate their cheese into the fragrant, steamy soup; we would each sing this brief Italian song and grate like crazy, for when the song was over we had to pass the cheese to the next person. It’s a ditty concerning a girl; a fireman and her mother who is gonna tell her father. Amazingly all five kids, now grown and retired, remember the song and the soup.

The Game

Po Boy views
Phil LaMancusa
The Game
            We ducked out of work early enough to catch The Game at half time, our usual hangout, Liuzza’s by the Track. Jonas, Jada and the other smokers are outside huffing some nicotine before the game resumes; our team, the Saints, are in the playoffs, win this one and we’re going to the Superbowl. We’re favored over the Rams; there’s gonna be heartache tonight in one LA or another. I wish I didn’t know now what I didn’t know then.
            We’re in our Saints lucky garb, the same black and gold that we wore the week before, hung up immediately after the last game and worn again, as was, so the luck didn’t have a chance to wash off. Superstitious? You bet.
            Liuzza’s is about the size of an Architectural Digest living room shoot and it’s as crowded as a Big Apple subway.  The usual suspects:  Bobby and Michelle; Genorie and Piret; Joy and Tommy-up from Cajun country—with both grown daughters; Tom, Mickey, Chris Champagne and Byrd are here; Mike and Kathy, it’s a communal affair. One big Saints family. The food tables are groaning with potluck (Liuzza’s kitchen is closed on Sunday); Jeanne’s mac and cheese is already gone; a dozen or so neighborly offerings are in various states of ravage. I considered briefly if I should take the last piece of fried chicken, very briefly, and of course I do.
            Theresa is behind the bar moving in an aerobic running back ballet of service; it’s not easy keeping forty plus customers constantly and consistently served their favorite libations, but she makes it look like a dance: “on the rocks straight up Miller Lite PBR shots McCallan neat and another vodka tonic with extra limes; this round goes on my tab, thanks Babe”.
            We walk in, it’s half time, the Saints are ahead by three; it’s pretty plain even to me that this isn’t gonna be the slam dunk that (our) pundits have predicted. On both sides, the defensive teams are monsters that are allowing no quarter. Even to my moronic level of sports knowledge it appears that the game is not gonna be about spectacular passes and heroic touchdown runs; there are more turnovers, do overs, uncaught balls and outwardly botched plays than not. Neither offense can get up to speed. It’s a game that’s gonna be won three points at a time and, for the life of me, I can’t follow all of the whys and wherefores. There are flags thrown every now and again, the crowd in the bar is cheering, cursing, groaning and yelling at the three TVs that are surrounding us, the commercials aren’t entertaining and more of a pain in the ass than anything else. Everyone else in the room seems to know all about the action (or inaction) and I am totally ignorant; I’m here to watch the home team win at home and I’m not seeing it happening. We’re still ahead though and seemingly in control of whatever the situation is; although, I’m never sure what situation that is at any given moment.
            Now, I know about as much about football as the average Brillo pad; heck, every season the Saints seem to change the names of players, positions and rules, leaving me constantly stuck on stupid. However, I can see that handing the ball off and expecting the carrier to run through the defensive line is a jolly good waste of time for both teams; I’m this close to yelling “throw the damn ball, fool!”, but some few people have beaten me to it. The whole place seems to be connected by some primal umbilical cord and when something worthwhile happens (or doesn’t happen) the fans rise as one with their vocal outcries; I try pitifully to keep up my end of the noise and applaud and curse as if on cue hopefully appearing to understand what the teams are doing. One thing I can see is that the game is relying on turnovers and field goals and it feels like a frigging waste.
            What’s that? The F bomb is going off all around me--- something’s happened. It’s the fourth quarter and we can’t hold on to the ball, the other team gets it and then we get it back, Brees passes and the ball is in the air heading to Tomylee Lewis, we’re all holding our breaths and glued to the sets. When out of nowhere, with the velocity of a photon particle, this thing, this person, this defensive back from the opposing team, while the ball is still in the air, head butt body slams our guy, with the whole world (as well as the referee a mere ten feet away) watching and there is no flag! “Pass interference!!!” the crowd is yelling; Sean Payton is shouting, Drew Brees is shouting and the refs are as straight-faced as Buddha. In Liuzza’s the oxygen has momentarily left the room and in a flash returns as a tsunami of outrage carpet bombed by the “WTF!”s and “did you see that?” and “where’s the flag?” and if psychic energy could be physically manifested the entire Rams team AND all the referees would have been Raptured off this planet and into a deep dark black hole in outer space; left to perish in an agony of alligator stomach acid.
            Next, the game’s in overtime and Brees throws an interception, the other team gets the ball and a fifty-seven yard field goal gives the game to the City of Angels.
            There are no words that can express the despair, the depth of heartache, the feeling of being cheated and wronged. A woman’s voice is heard as the television sets grow dim and she speaks for us all: “Son of a Mother F**king Bit*h!” Needless to say, we will be NOT watching the Super Bowl this year.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Louisiana Blues (draft)

Po Boy Views
Phil LaMancusa
Louisiana Blues
Lay On MacDuff
         Today marks six weeks without sugar. Running 3 miles a day, no meat, dairy or flour. No caffeine! The change has been fantastic! I feel great! Zero alcohol! A healthy diet, gluten-free, and a 2-hour workout every day. Never felt better!! ---
I didn't know whose status this was, but I picked it up on FaceBook and was really proud of them. So I decided to copy and paste. I got more ‘likes’ than when I posted a clip of Midnight the Cat playing piano. What I did know is that the person who wrote it was either playing with my tomahawk, was someone that I would never, ever run into or lived somewhere other than New Orleans.
        Meanwhile as reported in Gambit Magazine : Louisiana came in last place in United health Foundation’s annual America’s Health Ratings, taking the bottom spot away from Mississippi. According to the survey, Louisiana has the highest percentage of children in poverty in the nation as well as high rates of smoking, obesity, mental and physical distress and low birth weight in babies.
As far as I can see, neither pieces of information have caused a ripple in anyone’s daily life as we all go on our merry way. We’re number three in poorest education; according to U.S. Bureau of Justice, we are far and away the state with the highest per capita of imprisoned populations. According to Neighborhood Scout (.com) chances of being a victim of violent crime in New Orleans is 1 in 88; property crime: 1 in 23. I’ve bet on horses with less chances (and won!).
Is this because of poverty, poor role models, substandard education, inadequate wage compensation and/or weak city service infrastructure?  Could be. Is this because of people that are without being easily victimized by people with? Slumlords; drug dealers; arrogance and the prospering income of New Orleans hustling? Could be. Is it because we as New Orleanians conduct ourselves with no concern for consequences of our actions? Do we have a distorted self image or just a warped sense of humor? Is everything dysfunctional around us either somebody else’s problem or not worth our time and energy to be concerned enough about making a change for the better? Do we just not pay attention or do we just don’t give a sh*t, not even about ourselves? Has anyone considered spreading the word that linear thinking is counterproductive and that we need more of a quantum mindset to change our world? Consider this: why are all the toilets in bathrooms set at right angles instead of forty-five… because it is foolish or has just nobody ever thought of it? Think about thinking about it; while you’re at it, think about thinking.
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over the same way and expecting different results from your actions, and that is what I think, and believe, is what holds us back as a people; that, not learning (quickly enough) from our mistakes and a hesitancy to reboot immediately when necessary. It’s our falling short of passion for living a successful life; a life of promise, peace, tranquility and freedom.
A wise person once said that all misery stems from greed; and if you quantum that thought it stands to reason that greedy people not only create misery for themselves but also create misery in those who become the victims of their greedy actions. And on and on; the greedy boss wants more from his worker that wants more compensation for his labors; boss mistreats the man; the man goes home and out of frustration and a feeling of impotence, mistreats his wife; the wife yells at the kid; the kid kicks the dog; the dog bites the cat; the cat chases the mouse and the cheese stands alone. Hi ho, the derry-o.
What are we to do? I don’t care; it’s carnival time and I’m alright so I don’t care. Check me out during Lent and when I’m atoning for my shortcomings and I’ll be more philosophical about Life, The Universe and Everything. Right now it’s King Cake and turkey necks; because, what is easy and convenient is a whole lot more fun than

Saint Joe

Po Boy Views
Phil LaMancusa
Saint Joe Street Cred
Blessed Be
            “Jesus, Mary and Joseph!”  Big Red would yell in frustration when, as a kid, I had done something particularly dim-witted; and face it, often times stuff I did as a youngster was considered dumb. Of course, I saw myself as clever, smart and extremely witty; others around me, when not considering that I was just another pretty face, believed I was as dim as a box of rocks; a tree stump; a sack of hammers; a Brillo pad. You get the picture.
            I was raised in the Catholic religion, which was even then losing parishioners faster than a sinking ship; my family was intractable in their loyalty and all the children were subjected to a fair amount of religious instruction, coming away with scars to prove it.
            Be that as it may; picture a younger me mulling over the story of Jesus and Mary being ferried around by this guy, this carpenter, this fatherly figure to a savant savior child, born of a virgin who, after the kid kicks money lenders out of the temple, totally disappears from the gospels. Who is this guy? Where did he go?
            Where did he come from is more like the question; some writings say that a man named Joseph was married to the virgin, before she gave birth. Some recount a Joseph of Arimathea, purportedly Mary’s Uncle, a disciple and spreader of the gospel into Britain. He is not the Saint; he’s the guy that paid for the tomb to house the so called dead body of the thirty-three year old King of the Jews. I think it was the first one that became the saint because he brought the mother and son through trials and tribulations and taught the kid how to use a hammer.
            I grew up Catholic, we looked up to Saint Joseph; I was raised Italian, we celebrated Saint Joseph’s Day. I wound up in New Orleans where Catholic Italians, especially the Sicilians, would take a bullet for Saint Joe. Growing up, we couldn’t have explained St. Joe if our ice cream money depended on it; my question is still: who is this guy?
            Let’s go with what we know and what’s been told to us. Saint Joseph’s Day is March 19th, every year. In New Orleans we celebrate with altars of food and public meals. We make special dishes, savory and sweet. We essentially pay back St. Joe for all his blessings bestowed upon us during the year.  March 19th: payback time; the job we got, the school that our kid got accepted to, the pregnancy that did (or didn’t) happen, business deals, living arrangements, debts paid or forgiven, blood unshed. ‘Thank you Saint Joseph, I will build an altar of food, donate it to the less fortunate and invite strangers to eat at my table’. Churches, homes and businesses participate; it’s during the Lenten season and so there’s no red-blooded animals consumed.
            Here’s what we’re told: Saint Joseph is the Saint of the everyman, the patron of unwed mothers, a model for fathers, protector of children, keeper of secrets, married to that blessed mother (after she became preggo) and the one who gives us strength when we are sick and/or leaving this earthly coil. He is considered the legal (not spiritual) father of Jesus. Chief David Montana once explained to me why the Mardi Gras Indians came out on St. Joe’s Day: “because he was black!” Take your pick; I’m only here for lunch.
            Saint Joseph is considered patron of the universal church of Catholicism; the Sicilians believe that he saved them from starvation by giving them the fava bean and some believe that if you want to sell your house you plant a statue of St. Joseph, head first, in your back yard. I’m a fan and look forward to St. Joe’s Day for the cookies (sesame and fig) if nothing else.
            Logistically Saint Joseph and Saint Patrick days are March 19th and 17th; there’s not enough Italians or Irish in New Orleans to have enough participants to throw individual parades, so they combine them. Correct me if I’m wrong, that’s my story. So, here come the two cultures parading; Irish giving potatoes and cabbages as gifts and Italians trading flowers for kisses. It’s a good day for Italians.
            On March 19th I go to whatever Catholic church is nearby and I am served, sometimes up to a dozen different morsels of lunch (of course, pasta rules) with lemonade and/or sweet tea; I’m as happy as a clam. I donate money, light candles and generally feel part of the family of man (and woman) all in the name of this guy who heard God’s voice and did what he was told. I’d like to think that he held down the fort with the lovely Mary while ‘his son’ went traveling for 18 years preparing for his ministry and eventual execution.
            Back to the day of lunch: because I have greased the celebratory wheels  I’m given a little paper bag of goodies containing a prayer card, cookies, a blessed fava bean and a slice of French bread. I bring that home (after eating the cookies) and place it on my home altar; I put the fava bean in my wallet to bring me luck and money during the next year. The significance of the bread has something to do with casting bread upon waters to calm them. Here, we believe that the bread is used to ward off hurricanes; that’s correct, when a storm is approaching we take that slice of bread and throw is out our back widow and the tempest will pass us by. It works too (but not for ‘outer bands’). For the sake of St. Joseph we all remember that we’re all part of the same tribe; at lunch we say to ourselves “welcome home and thank you Joe”.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

February 2019

Po Boy View
Phil LaMancusa
Gung Hay Fat Choy
Nguyen Ever

Cats and Hats: It’s February! Happy New Year! Wherever you are, whoever you are and whoever you want to be, New Year’s Day on this planet is like Happy Hour in the French Quarter… there’s always one going on somewhere.
If you are Christian countrified you’ve already celebrated your New Year’s Day on January 1st   and are pretty much done with it. What rubbish. If you don’t approve of the previous New Year’s celebration (that you probably screwed up somehow), pick another and do it all over again! Who said that the first day of your calendar year had anything to do with what space (and other people) believe is the first day of the year. What(?), the beginning of a year of the cycling of this globe that we live on that’s shooting through space at 67,000 MPH, while spinning at 1,040 MPH, going around a Sun that’s orbiting the center of the universe along with the rest of our galaxy (100,000,000 planets or so) at 480,000MPH? I’m dizzy all the time; it’s always friggin New Years!
Jewish calendars have four New Year’s days (Nisan, Elul, Rosh Hashanah, Tu B’Shvat); Islamic folks have Al-Hijra/Muharram starting on the 31st of August and is celebrated for 29 days. The Hindis have at least eight New Year’s days (mostly in mid April) depending on what part of India you’re in; Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Laos are also celebrate mid April.  Celtic New Year (Samhain) is November1; Thailand has Songkran (twice). My astrologer tells me that the New Year begins at the Spring Equinox March 20-21. She says “it’s lunar, fool”.
So, missed any New Year’s celebrations? Maybe you were busy slinging drinks for drunks? Well you’re in luck because; here comes another one, just in time for the February edition of Where Y’at; Chinese and Vietnamese (Korean and Tibetan) New Year, February 5th! Rock on with your Bad Self!
For those that might be unsure and possibly insecure, Asian cultures celebrate a twelve year lunar cycle and each year is symbolized by an animal; we’re just coming off the Year of the Dog and going into the Year of the Pig. Other animal years are horse, rat, snake, ox, dragon, monkey, goat, tiger, rabbit and sheep; their outlook on animal attributes are completely different than you might think and the best way to start understanding this  form of astrology is to find out which sign you are and what it means (talk amongst yourselves). For an example, if you were born in the year of the pig, you fall into one of five categories of pig corresponding to the five elements (metal, water, wood, fire and earth). Pigs are considered a wonderful astrological sign (what’s yours?) they are generous, diligent, loving and giving; compassionate and entertaining. It’s a good thing to be a Pig Sign; if you are one, this is your year!
As you know (or should) we have a generous Vietnamese population and this New Years promises to be big; it promises to go on for days.         Last year, Mary Queen of Vietnam Church, 14011 Dwyer Blvd, was the location for a weeklong celebration with dragons dancing, wishes granted, flowers, parades, fireworks and festivities that thrilled throngs. This year is gonna be more of the same--- family friendly fun and participatory events, activities and games will abound. And there is no admission; it’s all free to attend but be sure to bring some spending for souvenirs and the delicious treats: Ban Mi, Pho and spring rolls supplied by vendors!
Now, those of you that have watched David Chang’s Ugly Delicious will already know this; but, for you others—let me be the first to clue you in--- Viet Cajun Food.
This is a twist on our local fare that has not caught on in New Orleans, they say, because we’re too steepid (combination of steeped and stupid )in our traditions to adapt or change our tried and true what works for what may be something that will possibly blow our minds with its uniqueness. Viet Cajun--consider this--suppose, just suppose, you take five pounds of our spicy boiled crawfish in the shell (yum) and you put them in a sack and add ginger, lemongrass and lots of butter and eat them like that. Yummer, huh? But noooo, according to folks in Houston, where this adaptation is going strong, us folks in New Orleans are stuck in our ways.
            Tell me this: how come when you go into a convenience store operated by people from other cultures (Asian, Islamic, Mediterranean) you really only find fried chicken, ham hocks, beans and rice? Why can’t I find Ban Mi or Shwarma in corner stores? Is it because the citizens of my ward and precinct are too thick to try something in their bowl other than gumbo?
            Let’s make a New Year’s resolution this February 5th: ask that Vietnamese counter clerk that makes that dynamite shrimp po boy to put some pho on the menu; in the same vein, find out from that Islamic guy at Brothers by the overpass where they keep the Harissa to spread on your fried chicken. Dammit, I want some gochujang available as a condiment; is that so wrong?
Granted, there are a handful of ethnically run small convenience stores and filling station outlets that have fried rice or egg rolls or even a few with Ban Mi sandwiches; but, by and large, if I want non mainstream Saigon selections (my favorites or new ones to try), I’ve got to drive out to Dong Phuong (which James Beard Foundation calls “a vital part of the local culinary landscape”). Do you know where Dong Phuong is? Well you had better find out before February 5th because that’s where the festivity epicenter  for our own Vietnamese New Year’s celebration is gonna be. Chuc Mung Nam Moi!

Saturday, December 1, 2018

New Religion

Po Boy Views
Phil LaMancusa
Original Whim
Amen I Say
            Oh God, I think that it’s time for me to start my own religion; I’ll call it New Orleans Culinary Pagan Buddhist Hokey Pokey (that’s what it’s all about!) or Children of a Lesser God LLC Inc. (CLG). It’s high time, high time I say, for the children of a lesser god to band together and take their place among the Big Boppers With Beards that haven’t done squat except foster hatred, fear, war, oppression and persecution. Can I get a witness? Add to that misogyny, prejudice, environmental destruction and slavery (get the picture?). They’re generally subject to a dreadful fashion sense and eat questionable food products; with that, you have pretty much all the world’s major religions in a nutshell; as we (CLG) say: “how sick is that?        
We (CLG) are better than that. The first thing we’ll do is eliminate the death penalty; no, not the abominable retribution penal system archaic “get even” approach to crime, although that’ll have to go as well. I’m talking about the life sentence we get the Styx crossing. I say “Screw that!” If indeed life’s too short, why die? The way I see it, the concept of Heaven and Hell are simply a way to keep us in line by promising an afterlife in which we will have to pay or play because of our behavior on this mortal coil; why buy into that if you’re not going to leave? Believe what you will: I aint dying, I’ll live forever until I make a liar out of myself. My God, although a lesser one, does not have death in store for me; rather, a life of friendliness, craftiness, irreverence and gumbo. I don’t need an incentive to be good; lord, I’ve been told enough times that I’m good for nuthin’ so I’m goin’ with that.
Next: we’ll find a cure for bacon or for pork in general. Oh, I know it’s the tastiest food product ever invented; but, hogs are fine sentient beings that we over feed, keep in  unsociable living conditions, slaughter (against their wills) and stuff their own flesh into their own intestines, smoke them, grill them and put them into our own bodies; how sick is that? We say: leave that piggy to go to market, stay home and eat what they damn well please before going “wee wee wee (all the way home)”! I realize that smoked dead pig will be a hard habit to cure; but, folks, we gotta do it!
Speaking of smoking: “take finely shredded vegetable matter, roll it into a tube of paper, light it on fire and stick it in our mouths and suck that smoke in” --- and it doesn’t get you comfortably numb like marijuana--- how sick is that? NO SMOKING TOBACCO!
We will also observe a Monday Sabbath with the blessed sacraments of red beans, rice and our holy water of Crystal Hot sauce. We cannot help that the rest of the world takes Saturday and Sunday as days of rest; we’ll take Mondays as well and have a religiously sanctioned three day weekend—every blessed week!
We’ll build an altar to patience, which will take a longer time than the construction on Louisiana Avenue; have an anarchists mass (which no one will attend) and sing hymns according to the Gospels of James (Brown) Nina (Simone) Frank (Sinatra) and Stevie (Wonder or Nicks, take your pick). We’ll create the creator in the image of an eight month old child; you know, the age when wisdom is ours, we communicate in coos and cries are gender neutral and have no facial hair.
An eight month old is the perfect image of a lesser god; those of you that have had children know how perfect and knowing they are at that age before they forget all the wisdom that they learned in their last life. All hail Eight Month Olds! When life is as simple as mother’s milk, and the changing of a diaper is a major event; plus, eight month olds have reached a plateau where they sleep the night through and are just learning to get upright, after that they become prejudicially influenced (f*cked) by their environment. Everything’s perfect at eight months.
Each Monday service will be an adventure of discovery: avocados, chocolate, breadsticks, applesauce and finding our big toes. We’ll meditate on the meaning of meanings, the in between of the in between, the sounds of silence and the wonders of cookie dough; we’ll play nice, share and won’t abide by anything that can hurt another person.
Holidays: Valentine’s Day, Thanksgiving, all the solstices and Santa’s Birthday… the Easter Bunny will officiate; we’ll all have deviled eggs with Jam.
 However; being children of a lesser god does not exempt us from working for the common good; we’ll teach our children well, give comfort to the sick, feed the hungry and learn the words to Village People songs. We’ll dance the Funky Chicken, Pony, Surfer Bird, Monkey, Jump Back Jack and See Ya Later Alligator. From the gospel of James we’ll sing “I Feel Good (“cause I Got You!) and “Papa’s got a brand New Bag”. No one need die for our sins because we won’t accept any doctrine that defines sin; being good for goodness sake and being harmlessly crazy but not stupid is our lane and we’ll stay in it.
We’ll wear mismatched socks, play with jacks and yoyos and avoid social media (we’re sociable enough without media). We’ll spend our off time shopping at farmer’s markets and cooking things that are good for our bodies and spirits and sharing them with our brethren (everyone).
There’s no dues or tithes, we’ll worship wherever we are, each body a temple and every home a church; we’ll change the world and we’ll do it dressed to the nines!

New Years 2018-9

Po Boy Views
Phil LaMancusa
New Jeers
Guy Friday
            I’ve decided for 2019, I’m gonna put myself up for adoption; it’s the only way out of this mess and I think that it would be mutually beneficial for me as well as my new family. Of course, we’ll have to set some ground rules and conditions; that would be as simple as knowing what would be expected of me balanced by what I would expect from my new family.  Believe me. I am a catch and will be an asset to wherever I land and to whomever I land on. I travel well and can learn languages… but I don’t do windows.
            First of all, you (whoever you are) would have to be able to afford me; I am not going to trade poor for poorer and if that doesn’t make sense, you can stop the application process right here. In return for my services which include cooking, simple errand completions and maybe a little light housework, I definitely need some financial stability in my life. You can be singled, coupled or nuclear familied in condition or number; although, I don’t do well in crowds or Eight Is Enough type situations, so, size does matter.
            Picture it: you get up in the morning, your coffee is made just the way you like it; I’ll know what you like for breakfast, I will have picked up your clothes from the cleaners, sorted your mail and have your newspaper ready at your place at the table. POINT 1: there will be no electronic devices at mealtimes, AT ALL (deal breaker). If there are dependents involved, whether they be four legged or bipedial, I expect that you will already have housebroken and trained them; I don’t mind reading to them, helping with studies, walks or chauffeuring them to their sanctioned outings. POINT 2: I don’t change diapers, clean up after or take crap from your kids.
            As you return for the evening after you’ve busted your hump for the man, I’ll have your favorite beverage on hand, dinner will be in its final stages of preparation and softness and peace will prevail in your household; your mail will have gone out and your expenses analyzed and laid out on your desk for your consideration in your short ‘attention to life’s details’ time in your office. At this point I will ask you if you’d like a bath drawn, then if nothing else is required of me I’ll clear the table, lock down the kitchen and retire to my quarters. POINT3: I fulfill a finite function in your life and am not on call 24/7, after all I am human (or so I’d like to believe) and need some down time of my own.
            Imagine: I will do your shopping, I will remember birthdays, special occasions and make reservations and such; I’ll take care of (getting someone else to do) your laundry, carpets, windows and heavy lifting.  I’m not sure who’s going to make up your bed (it’s not me) or clean your toilet but we’ll find someone (else). I am a quiet person who likes things organized and neat and intend on maintaining that sort of life and environment for you. I ask nothing in return except one day off a week, a stipend of a reasonable amount, and perhaps my own wing of your castle. POINT4: Sanitation of your area is your responsibility, I am your functioning ward (for life) not your husband or your wife.
            Reflect that now you will have time to do all those things you’ve been trying to fit into your ridiculously mundanely cluttered and busy life; you now can exercise, read, paint, study piano, go sailing and/or binge watch the Blacklist while drinking beer and eating potato chips. Relax, I’ll pick up the (reasonably mild) debris and make things comfortable for you. Tobacco use is NOT allowed ever in your life (or any other self destructive influences).  POINT 5: You will not jeopardize my tenure by screwing up your health and well being; if you feel the need to talk things out, I’ll be in the kitchen doing the dishes, grab a towel and I’ll impart some life lessons.
            Well, you say, if I’m going to live by all those rules (POINTS) why the @#$!%&# do I need you? Well, I say, you’ve obviously got money but no time and I offer you a way to have both. Who’ll keep the pool cleaned while you’re on vacation? Who’ll take charge of the floors being done for the holidays; hell, who’s gonna make sure you have candy for the Trick or Treaters, flowers for you anniversary or getting your bills paid on time--YOU? Oh, and speaking of my living arrangements, I come with a couple of critters and a mate (she likes to clean so perhaps a package deal?), so, I’ll need room (I’m also thinking a little garden space as well).
            Seriously, don’t you (or someone that you know of means) need an older (wiser) more organized than you (clean shaven with minimal tattoos) music loving (no rap or twerk stuff), educated and personable live in Mister, who is non combative, emotionally stable, politically correct and a fabulous cook to boot? Listen, all you’ll have to do is make some dough to support us all and I’ll take care of everything else; kind of what you’d expect from a clone of yourself. If you’re independently well off or just some Dude(ette) that wants to focus on your own egocentric driven existence, you need a guy like me OR someone like me; for goodness sake, I need someone like me, except, I can’t afford me!
            So, I have a passport, a set of knives and the ability to prepare virtually anything that suits your palate; and, oh yes, I forgot to mention: I will polish your silver (as long as he’s not your horse).