All posts for the month September, 2008


Published September 30, 2008 by jean cohen

Wow!  This was the kind of weekend I used to fantasize about when I wasn’t an Italian and I was in exile in Jerseylandland at Exit 145 of the Garden State.


I spent a quiet Friday night at home.  But I spent it with the pulchritudinous blokes in tights from ‘The Tudors’.  Honestly, if I’d known Sir Thomas Moore was so damned hot, I might have been nicer to the boys from Saint Tommy Moore High School when we went there for dances.  (I don’t think that made any sense, whatsoever.)  And, in case you’re interested, Cardinal Wolsey could have had me in a Sixteenth Century minute.  The King’s brother-in-law could too, but he’d have to spring for a Louis Vuitton first.


On Saturday, I was up bright and early for shul.  I am repenting those very few sins I committed this year (mostly outfits that didn’t totally work; hey, you have to work with what’s available here).  Obviously, I want to be inscribed in the book for the coming year.  I must remember to ask Rabbi Jackie at Erev Rosh Hashanah services if the ‘book’ is Vogue or Women’s Wear Daily.  I might have been Jappy (okay, really mean) to a few hapless civil servants or clerks this year but I’m not a damned bit guilty about it.


Anyway, I dashed home from services to get changed for the barbecue at Ed and Claire’s.  I had sort of noticed during the last week or so that it was only necessary to wear three layers.  There is a big yellow thingy in the sky every day, and I’ve almost forgotten what rain is.  In the States, this phenomenon is called ‘Indian Summer’; in Britian it is called ‘A Fucking Miracle’. 


I finally selected an outfit and it was off to Hersham for Killer Hamburgers and Ed’s latest culinary creation, ‘Absolutely the Best Marinated Lamb on the Planet’.  God, he’s amazing.  Besides the usual suspects, Ed had invited some of his biker friends and their Biker Chicks.  It was an experience.


I have to confess that Pinkie and I wound Claire up.  I’m working on getting inscribed in the bloody book.  I’m sorry…kinda.  Claire is great, but she’s a very literal sort of person, and lacks any sense of humor.


“What time are Spanish Joe and Edwina turning up?” I inquired.  Claire turned white.  “Spanish Joe and Edwina???”  I didn’t invite them” she gasped.  Pinkie and I shook our heads sadly at Claire’s gaffe and she panicked.  “Should I ring them now?  Will they be insulted?  Do you have their mobile numbers?”  We let her freak for a good five minutes before we explained that nobody in their right minds wanted to be anywhere with Edwina.  Spanish Joe, of course, is cute and tremendously entertaining when he’s pissed.  Edwina is toxic.  Sadly, Jarvo and Lulu didn’t make it.


And in the ‘You Read It Here First’ category, Mike has a new nickname.  I refer to the ‘Mike’ married to the ‘Mule-ess’, not the Dickweed one Formerly Known as Bagpipe Guy.  The one who loves Notre Dame.  Penn State is Number 6 in all the polls.     


The blokes were entertaining themselves by texting each other stupid jokes and mp3 clips.  They’re so mature.  Anyway, because Mike and Pat’s flat in London is on ‘Drury Lane’, Mike is now called ‘Muffin Man’.  Claire and I didn’t think it was especially funny either.


Pinkie had to work on Saturday night and Amy and Eamonn had a paid gig Irish dancing at a wedding so I’d agreed to go with the Irish Lad and provide emotional support.  Plus, I wanted to check out what people – especially of the female persuasion — wear to a wedding in the UK. 


The wedding was at the Hilton in Cobham.  I swear that in a past life as a tour escort I’d been there before; or it looks like every other Hilton I’ve ever stayed in. 


The venue for the dinner part of the wedding had some white fairy lights strung around and some wimpy flowers in a chintzy vase plunked down on each table.  Voila!  The mood was set.  The guests had apparently all popped into the Princess Alice Charity Shoppe and picked up numbers left over from an off-off-Broadway revival of Saturday Night Fever.  The Groom was wearing a purple silk shirt.  And the Bride… What can I say?  Oh hell.  I didn’t want to be in the book anyway.  She was in grey.  It was a pair of drapes at Windsor Castle in a prior reincarnation.  She gained a lot of weight after she stole the material, or she didn’t get enough.  It wasn’t flattering.  I haven’t seen that particular gown style since my Junior Prom, and it was on one of the Sacred Heart nuns…that really grouchy one.  And she had on white shoes—with sparkly bows.   She will always have to remember that she married a bloke in a purple disco shirt whilst wearing white shoes—after Labor Day.  I couldn’t do it.


The kids danced beautifully, but we had to hustle them out of the festivities quickly afterwards.  I really wanted to check out some more ‘Don’ts’, but I had to get home and change again.  I had a date with Repo Man.


I thought Israeli Guy had defined a ‘long date’.  This one lasted from 9:00 on Saturday night until Monday morning at 1:00.  I didn’t even make that up.  Or exaggerate.  What did we do for almost two days?  Please.


Steve was playing in an on-line Texas Hold’Em Tourney on Saturday night.  He got to mine, and whipped out two bottles of Zinfy from his ‘Weekend at Jeano’s’ case.  Cool.  But he forgot his mouse.  He couldn’t play Texas Hold’Em with a touch pad.  Push hold and ring the Irish Lad.  He might be getting a tad tired of seeing and hearing from me eighty-seven times a week.


“Tee Darling, Repo Man’s here.  Do you have a spare mouse?” I enquired.  “Your Maj, you’re really starting to worry me” Irish Lad replied.    “No! No! No!” I reassured him, ‘not that kind.  A computer one.”   After some obligatory piss-taking, I popped over to his to get the critter.


Steve played in his tourney and tried to teach me strategy and basic arithmetic.  “But I can’t see the other players!  I want to know what they’re all wearing.  How much does eight and three make, Sweetie?  Did we win?” (Royal ‘we.’)


Despite being up until 4:00 in the morning and polishing off the Zinfy, I was up bright and early for the Car Boot Sale.  I have to share something truly awful.  Don’t be shocked.  When Steve stumbled downstairs at 8:30, I snarled “Coffee, Sweetie?”  I am not at my sweetest in the morning, but I am at least polite to guests.  “Tea” he mumbled, “A cup of tea, please.”


I was gobsmacked.  Tea?  You drink tea?  In the morning?”  You just never really know about people, do you?   Of course, he is British.  I put the electric kettle on for him and told him to sort the nasty business out for himself.


Then we had a little hiccup.  We got into Repo Man’s car and he said, “Where are we going?”  “Duh” I replied, “The car boot sale.”  “Yes, I know” he said patiently, “Where is it?”  Like I’m supposed to know stuff like this.  I’m not from here, in case anybody didn’t realize.  Push hold and call BooBoo.  “BooBoo, where’s the car boot sale?”  “In Walton.”  Gee, thanks.  That cleared it right up.  “Jeano, you’ve been there a hundred and eighty-seven times.  Don’t you pay attention?”  Why do people always ask me if I’m paying attention?  Of course I don’t bloody pay attention.


Boo gave me ‘Jeano’ directions – carry on past the Princess Alice Shoppe where you bought those skinny black jeans, turn left where you bought the grey boots, past the Woolies with the good Pick & Mix counter, bear right at the Indian Pound Store, etc.  and we made it to App’s Farm.  Just as a point of helpful information, you have to reverse the directions if you’re going home.  Otherwise you end up at Hampton Court Palace and I’m not quite sure where that actually is.


The boot sale was fun; I really had a nice time with Repo Man.  He was very patient while I browsed and bought loads of tatty stuff.  I was so chuffed that I actually made him a sandwich for lunch.  After he drove me to Tesco Express to buy bread and stuff to put inside it.  


Then we played Scrabble.  Again, I’m not speaking in tongues.  If I wanted to talk about the shagging, I would just do it.  He challenged me to a game to see if my claims of killer status were just talk.  I so seriously whipped his tush.  I beat him by 120 points.  I haven’t had a real Scrabble competition since the Garden State and Scary Fairy.


Three moves into the game, Steve got a bingo—‘mourning’ — just missing  a triple word score.  Okay, that was it.  No more Miss Sweetness & Light.  We both play very defensively, and we blocked almost all the triples, although I got him good by adding an ‘a’ to his ‘flame’ and getting double triples for it.  I played his ‘q’ for a double, he capitalized on my ‘x’, and he placed the ‘j’ where it was unplayable for more score. 


And the shagging was damned fine, too.


Sunday night we went to music at the Volly with Cheese Boy and Boo.  I explained very kindly that the chances of me ‘cooking’ any food were slightly less than wearing anything white after Labor Day so we got some take-away for dinner.


It was a fantastic, long, date and a brilliant weekend.




Published September 27, 2008 by jean cohen

I got so many emails from readers back in the States regarding Whatshisname Brown and ‘Englandland’.  They thanked me for clearing up that confusing political stuff here and taking their minds off the fact that they’re now all poor as synagogue mice due to the depression at home.  Not to mention the Presidential election bullshit.


A few unkind people (jealous) said it was a pleasant change from reading about my clothes (fabulous) and my social life (percolating quite nicely, thank you very much).  Seriously…isn’t that the point? If you want to read a blog about someone who’s trekking through Machu Pichut looking for the Aztecs or Incas—whatever.   Nobody’s stopping you.  (Although I don’t think he writes very well. Okay.  Probably not the easiest thing to do from a tent…surrounded by giant snakes and machete-wielding Peruvian guerillas.)


And I got a lot of stuff about Bagpipe Guy.  He’s history.  He’s a Dickweed.  I knew that, but thanks for all the emails confirming it.  In fact, to take the piss, Boy and the blokes would ask “What time should we pick you up?”  “I have a date tonight” I would answer.  “Right” they would chortle.  “After DW cancels again, what time will you have finally selected an outfit?”  Sadly, that’s exactly how it usually went.


It’s only too bad that I didn’t know the last night was the Last Night.  I would probably have paid more attention.  It’s just too easy to zone out and start thinking about that new divine chocolate tweed jacket trimmed in leather and where am I going to find the perfect skirt to go with it.  I could worry about that while I’m brushing my teeth or working a shift at Sam.  I hope it was a pretty good Last Night anyway.  And fortunately I found a stunning brown leather skirt that matches perfectly.


Repo Man had asked me out again on Sunday night.  When Cheese Boy rang to inquire what my plans were, I said “I have a date; unless he cancels.”  “Why would he cancel?” the Boy asked.  And I actually had to think about that for a minute…several minutes.  How had I allowed myself to become conditioned to expect a man to cancel at the last minute or just not show up?  And without making him pay dearly.  You know what I mean.  (What’s the definition of ‘foreplay’ to a Jewish American Princess?  Eight hours of begging.)  That was a very close call; I almost overlooked that it was me who was getting treated like crap.  And all for the lack of a foreskin.  Maybe that whole subject is overrated or enlarged in people’s minds.


Note to DooWop Steve:  Thanks for the suggestion to publish his email address and cell phone number in the blog so everybody could reach out and touch Mike and assure him he’s a Dickweed.  Nah.  I’m sure nobody needs to tell him.



Repo Man and I had a lovely date on Sunday night, too.  He’s two for two in the Turning Up sweepstakes!  He must be a keeper.


My new Sweetie inquired about my plans for the week, and I rattled off my social engagements.  “A pub quiz?  I like pub quizzes.  Can I join you?”  Steve asked.  I did not make that up.  Really.   He wanted to brave an evening with my piss-taking mates, in hostile enemy territory, at the Quiz.  I said “Sure!”.


The week was pretty uneventful, a shift at Sam and Tea Lady duty at the Senior Centre.  Well, there was that unpleasantness at the Senior Centre.  Eve, my co-worker, and I sold the last sausage roll at the same time.  It got ugly.  Neither woman would back down and have a sponge roll instead.  They glared at each other, Zimmer Frames poised and ready to knock each other on the bum and creep away with the prize.  Eve and I panicked.  Sanjay came over to disburse the rock-throwing crowd (Nobody likes Miss Wallace, anyway) and got the Kitchen to microwave a few more sausage rolls.  It was terrifying.


And I had a committee meeting for my Thanksgiving Feast.  It’s shaping up nicely.  I got some more volunteers to cook Laura Bush’s Sweet Potato Puree or String Bean Casserole or Corn Pudding.  I’ve another meeting on Thursday morning to discuss entertainment.  The Choirmaster at Christ Prince of Peace RC Church has volunteered to handle music duties.  And a famous, published author (I met her through American Women of Surrey Association) has offered to read stirring, patriotic American poetry.  So far, I’ve come up with ‘Paul Revere’s Last Ride’, which has diddly-squat to do with Thanksgiving, reminds Brits that ‘hey, you lost!’, but is a really cool poem.  I would be grateful for some other suggestions.


Speaking of grateful—I’m not.  Instead of obsessing on the sorry state of my wardrobe, please take five minutes and go on and put ‘The War Inside the Walls’ on your bookshelf.  Some people I don’t even know have.  And they’re reading it.  And they’ve commented on it.  Please?

Repo Guy turned up on Thursday night to come to the Quiz.  And go to dinner first.  Oh.  Right.  That’s what blokes who aren’t dickweeds are supposed to do.


So Steve got to meet Cheese Boy, BooBoo, the Irish Lad and Pinkie, and even Bald Rob, who had transported down from Planet Strange-o when he heard the news I was bringing a bloke.  He’s writing a White Paper on ‘Dating Rituals Amongst Earthlings’.  He also had to cope with the team members from The Scary Fairies, Forgotten, the Scooby-Doos, The Bar Staff, etc, as well as that really strange man who is pissed every bloody Thursday night and tries to chat me up with the novel line “American, are you?”


We didn’t win.  But we came second.  We were tied for first through the early rounds, and Steve actually knew a lot of British stuff.  We didn’t get the anagram, amazing considering Pinkie and I obsessed over it for twenty minutes. 


Leyla, the Quiz Master, had warned me that there was a question in the Wipeout Round that was going to nail everybody.  I shared this tidbit with my mates, and we over-analyzed every damned question.  Lou knew the one about service stops on the M1, even though Tee wasn’t convinced.


But the one ‘which Monarch was the first head of the Church of England’ started a war.  “Elizabeth I” Irish Lad said definitively.  Rheims…Rouen” I countered, subtly reminding him that his brain is in his tush.  “It’s Henry VIII”.  Bald Rob, who read English History at Strange-o University, agreed with me.  Besides, I’m watching ‘The Tudors’ on telly.  How can one program have so many pulchritundinous blokes in tights?  We took a vote.  Pinkie eschewed wifely loyalty.  “Henry VIII”.  Repo Man wanted to get shagged.  “Henry VIII’.  Cheese Boy was seriously pissed.  “William the Conquerer.”   We left it blank.


Of course it was Henry VIII.  We would have been right.  And of course we wiped out.  On a question about ‘Dad’s Army’ which I’ve never even seen, and which the rest of the team forgot to analyze to death.  At least they bowed to my American-ness on the one ‘What is New Orlean’s nickname?’

What is this obsession you Brits have with nicknames for American cities?

Do you boast to friends “We were on holiday in the States!  We went to ‘The City That Never Sleeps’, ‘The City of Brotherly Love’, ‘The City on a Hill’ and ‘That One Where Mickey Mouse Lives.’”


Repo Man said he had fun.  He didn’t leave mine ‘til 3:30 in the morning.  He said he enjoyed the quiz too and would come again.  I’m seeing him again on Saturday night and Sunday.  Draw your own conclusions.


After synagogue on Saturday, I’m invited to a barbecue at Ed & Claire’s.  Steve is playing in a Texas Hold ‘Em tournament. Ed’s Killer Burgers! I can’t wait. 


Finally, I want to wish everyone a Happy 5769.  Leshanah Tovah Tikateyvu.   May you be inscribed for a year filled with joy, health, and peace.



Published September 22, 2008 by jean cohen

Primeship has started here again; honestly, it’s enough to make me want to come home.  The blokes all huddle around the tellys at the pub, shrieking and sighing as some bloke kicks the white ball…up the field…down the field…at another bloke’s head.  Whatever.


I’d thought the Primeship had finally finished when some team or other won a cruise to Russia.  Guess not.  There was a very important match today; the future of the Free World depended on it.  It was Samsung vs. AIG.  Cheese Boy said it was ManU and Chelsea, but that’s not what their shirts said.  Even the blokes wearing a different color.  I, of course, fan of Proper American Football which makes sense and is bloody exciting, refused to spend four hours in a pub with a bunch of pissed blokes bored to tears. 


I saw on the BBC News (don’t even get me started on the news here; it’s a joke) that the match ended in a 1-1 tie.  How catastrophic must that have been.  Then I started to ponder…  I couldn’t ring The Boy; he over-celebrated, big time. 


So I rang the Irish Lad.  “Tee Darling” I inquired, “Why didn’t they kick P.K.’s?”  “What?”  he mumbled.  He was napping.  “In the Samsung-AIG game.  Why didn’t they kick P.K.’s?  I like P.K.’s.  Or did they, but just nobody made a fieldgoal?” 


Tee sighed.  “Do you have too much time on your hands, Your Maj?”  (That’s the Irish Lad’s special nickname for me.)  “No” I assured him.  “I have a date tonight and I’ve been trying on all my clothes.  I’m not bored.  I thought I’d write a blog before Steve got here.”


“I thought your date was last night” Tee said.  “Well, it was last night” I said getting testy.  “And I have another one tonight.  They aren’t rationed, you know…”  Then, “P.K.’s, Tee.  That’s what I rang about.”


So, the Irish Lad launched into a long (and frankly, rather boring) explanation about some kind of cups and the AIGS and Samsungs weren’t getting any of the cups so they weren’t allowed to do P.K’s.  You have to have one of these special cups to do P.K.’s.  I don’t think you do the P.K.s in the cup, but, hey, what do I know?  I narrowed it down to the Versaces or the D & Gs while he was nattering on.


I just hope Cheese Boy isn’t too hung over to remember to record the Eagles-Steelers game tonight.


I went to synagogue on Saturday morning.  I was feeling a little guilty that I’d ditched shul a couple weeks in a row to do car boot sales.  Cousin Bernie was the Gabai, the person who organizes the prayers and aliyahs, and after some Scottish piss-taking about where I’d been, he coaxed me into doing a prayer, even though I hate doing it.  “Jeano, would you like to say a prayer?”  “No.”  “Which one do you want to say?  You can say it in English…”  Big sigh; he’s tenacious.  And he looks so damned cute in a tallit and yarmulke.  Like a Jewish-Scottish pixie.   “Oh, okay.  You win.   Just not the one for ‘Our Sovereign Queen’.  It makes me feel like I’m cheating on George W.” 


Of course, while we were standing at the sanctuary for the prayers, I got a tiny bit distracted thinking about what on earth I was going to wear on my date (I have absolutely nothing to wear.  Really.)   Anyway, Bernie coughed, poked me, then finally whispered “Jeano…you’re up!”.  I read the prayer for World Peace and, while You’re at it, Please Open a Nordstrum Rack in London with some decent clothes (I always add a rider to my prayers; it saves a cosmic postage stamp) trying not to sound too Right Coast American/Philly Girl.  Afterwards, the Rabbi and the other Aliyahs all congratulated me for a job well done.


There was a baby naming ceremony after services, and a gorgeous luncheon. 


I got home, and Boo was sitting in my garden reading the Jewish Chronicle.  Note to American readers: Think Jewish Exponent but, unintentionally, way funnier. 


She greeted me with “What are you wearing tonight?”  Obviously, she’d been worrying.  I’ve certainly taught her to get her priorities in order.


Okay…the date.  I managed to cobble together a “Going on a Proper Date That Includes a Meal and on a Saturday Night (!)’ outfit.  You can all relax; I looked stunning.  We went to the posh Indian restaurant.  And I actually ate some Indian food.  We went for a long walk after dinner, and as he seemed to be relatively normal, I did invite him in for coffee, after making it absolutely crystal clear that coffee was the only thing on offer at Chez Cohen.


I had a really nice time.  We sat and nattered for hours, about… everything imaginable. Repo Guy is sweet.  Yeah, that’s what he does.  He’s a Bailiff.  Hey…at least he doesn’t drive a cab and hang out at Heathrow.  And he swore that he never cancels dates because he has to go repossess some drug dealer’s Jaguar.


He said he would ring me, and he did on Sunday morning, inquiring if I’d like to go out again on Sunday night.  Or play Scrabble.  This is not a code, Irish Lad, like ‘frying onions’ for shagging.  The guy plays Scrabble.  


Finally, I thought I would end this entry with a true story (not) about British politics passed on by the Irish Lad.  If you thought you were confused about what happens here politically before…


In advance of a trip to Washington, profiles of the Prime Minister have been

> appearing in the U.S. This column tuned in by satellite to Eye-Witness News,

> Palm Beach , for a preview of the visit:


> ‘Good morning America , how are you? This is your favourite son, Chad

> Hanging, reporting. The President of Englandland, Norman Brown, is arriving

> in our nation’s capital this afternoon to meet with President Bush.

> But just who is this guy? Let’s cross to our special correspondent Brit

> Limey.’


> Hey, Chad . As you can see, I’m standing in the world-famous Trafalgar

> Circus, with the House of Fayed directly behind me.


> So what can you tell us about Norman Brown?


> Well, Chad , he has been President for some nine months now. He used to be

> Chancellor.


> What, you mean he’s, like, German?


> No, that’s what they call their Treasury Secretary over here.


> And is he a Conservative, like President Tony Blair?


> No, Chad . He’s Labour. President Blair wasn’t a Conservative, either. He

> only pretended to be.


> So how did Brown get the job?


> He just kept shouting at President Blair until he stood down.


> But he won an election, right?


> No, Chad , there wasn’t an election. He did think about calling one, but

> decided against it because he was frightened he might lose.


> How can you change Presidents without having an election? I mean, it’s not

> like President Blair was assassinated.


> That’s just the way it works in Englandland. The leader of the party with

> the most seats in the House of Lords gets to be President.


> So Norman Brown was elected leader of the Labour Party?


> Negative, again, Chad . He did raise money and have a leadership campaign,

> but no one stood against him.


> What, nobody? No primaries, no general election, nothing?


> Affirmative, Chad .


> Let me get this straight. His party hasn’t elected him, the country hasn’t

> elected him, yet he still gets to be President. Sounds like a tin pot Commie

> dictatorship to me.


> You could say that, Chad . Norman Brown doesn’t really like anyone being

> given the chance to vote on anything.


> Someone must have voted for him, some time.


> Oh, yes. He was elected to the House of Lords by his constituents in

> Scotlandland.


> He’s Scoddish, then?


> That’s a big Ten-Four, Chad.


> So is he President of Scotlandland, too?


> No, that’s a guy called Alan Salmon.


> Hang on, if Brown’s from Scotlandland, how can he be President of

> Englandland?


> That’s just the way it goes in this crazy country, Chad. Brown can make laws

> for Englandland, but not for his own people in Scotlandland. Not that it

> matters much because Brown has signed away most of Englandland’s lawmaking

> powers to unelected European bureaucrats in Brussels , Belgiumland.


> That would be like stripping Congress of the power to make laws in America

> and handing it over to Mexico .


> I guess so.


> How in the Hell did the people of Englandland vote for that?


> They didn’t. Brown wouldn’t let them, even though it was a solemn promise in

> his party’s manifesto the last time people were allowed to vote.


> Couldn’t the Supreme Court have stopped him?


> Not really. The Supreme Court of Englandland is now in Strasbourg, where the

> geese come from.


> Isn’t there any opposition?


> There’s a guy called Boris.


> Sounds Russian.


> I wouldn’t be surprised, Chad . There are millions of Eastern Europeans

> living here now, mainly in Peterburl. Englandland has seen mass immigration

> over the past ten years, but no one voted for that, either.


> What in the name of Ulysses S. Grant is going on over there, Brit?


> We’re talking about the country which gave us Magna Carta, saw off the

> Armada, stood alone against Hitler and invented parliamentary democracy.


> How does Norman Brown get away with it? He must be a popular guy.


> Far from it, Chad . According to the latest opinion polls, he’s the most

> unpopular President ever. His approval ratings are even worse than George

> Bush. There’s talk about him having to stand down soon. He’s already

> promised the job to some guy who works for him – name of Balls.


> Say again, Brit, you’re breaking up.


> Balls.


> You’re damn right there, buddy.



Published September 17, 2008 by jean cohen

BooBoo and I ran out last night on a Tesco’s Express run to pick up some nibblies (we were going to watch a film).  We got back and right smack in the middle of my lounge stood a very large red suitcase.  I’m pretty sure it wasn’t there when we left.


“There’s a very large red case in your lounge” BooBoo told me.  (Brits don’t say ‘suitcase’), in case I hadn’t noticed.  Sadly, I could probably walk around the very large red suitcase for a week, or trip over it, and not notice it.  “Yeah.  You’re right” I agreed.  “Where do you suppose it came from” she wondered.  I simply adore BooBoo.


“It came from Newark” I told her.  “First class.  On British Air to Heathrow.”  I read the baggage tag.  I took pity on her.  “Like the Jews for 4th of July…” I coached her.


“Oh!  Right” she agreed as the penny dropped.  The mule-ess and self-professed G-men fan had come through again. 


Apparently, the Irish Lad had rendezvoused with the Mule-ess at an undisclosed location (The Running Mare in Cobham) and dropped the contraband at mine.  In a convo later with the Lad, I asked suspiciously, “While you were wandering around mine while I wasn’t home, you didn’t go through my underwear drawers, did you?”  I can’t publish Tee’s response.


Back to the very large red case, it was packed with lovely bags of Pepperidge Farm Stuffing Mix…for the turkeys for the Thanksgiving dinner in aid of Sam Beare Hospice.  Lots and lots of them.  Plus a supply of truly awful Thanksgiving paper tablecloths, napkins and paper plates to set the right mood.  According to Mike, the Mule-ess has finally scored the perfect turkey centerpieces, the kind that hook together with garish paper feathers sticking out of the back, but they’re coming separately, probably on a flight from JFK, but definitely first class.


What a mate!


Speaking of mates, I’ve been back to the Big House in London to visit Chris.  It wasn’t nearly as exciting the second time, although I did get the deluxe full body search this time.  It might have been because I was wearing four layers; I was cold. 


It’s a little confusing to me.  Chris is being ‘punished’ for something they say he did.  He’s just been promoted to the highest status, gets to wear his own clothes, (I do so like a man in an orange jumpsuit) go all around the prison unescorted, make himself whatever he feels like eating, and has a private cell.  There’s a private lounge with a big screen TV in the private wing.  Chris said one of the inmates, who is American (I believe he criticized the Queen’s hats or made tasteless jokes about Immigration Service), sets his alarm so that he can get up at 1:00 in the morning to watch proper American football on Sky.  Mischa, on the other hand, has Mia, bills, selling the flat, creditors, car problems, etc. to deal with.  I wondered who actually got punished in all this mess.


Well, I’ve had three dates interviewing for Replacement Guy.  One was really, really good.  After ensuring that he didn’t drive a cab and hang out at Heathrow, we met for coffee at the Slug & Lettuce. 


Note to British readers:  Yes, Sharon was working, so you can pump her for details.  And Keith was there too, having coffee.  And we ran into Gemma, Paul, Pia and Eve on the High Street when we went for a walk in the park. 


His name is Kieran, and he’s very good looking—and tall.  He’s 6’3”.  We have another date on Friday night. 


And I have a lunch date on Saturday with another candidate.  This one is called Steve.  There’s a third one in the wings, called Mike, but I haven’t been able to fit him in yet.  I might be making a quick trip to Sunderland with BooBoo to visit her family next week. 


It’s probably a good thing that I just address all Guys as ‘Sweetie’ so that I don’t have to concentrate too hard.  Until I give them their own personal nickname.


In an email from my friend Janet at home, she so nailed it.  Commenting on the late, practically unlamented Bagpipe Guy she wrote: ‘I’m hopeful that you’ll find someone that will press all the right buttons for you–sexually, financially and culturally.  There must be a man in England to fit that profile.’  Obviously, it took another JAP to analyze my requirements and word them so succinctly.


I do confess to sorta missing BP Guy; at least parts of him.  And it’s not exactly ego-inflating to have him just accept being dumped with absolutely no whinging or begging.  It’s so lovely when they grovel.  Oh well, I guess I’ll just have to go shopping to cheer myself up.


Finally, I need to talk for a minute about the Numero Uno man in my life – Cheese Boy.  Although we are no longer engaged since I’m Italian now, he’s my best male mate.  He actually recorded nine hours of American football for me this weekend, including the Eagles-Cowboys Monday night game.  (Okay.  We lost.  Shut up about it.)  I rang Stuart and turned up the telly while I was watching so he could hear it.  I had such a brilliant time watching the various games.  I even tried to explain the rules and teach Boo some basics like calling the officials ‘Motherfucking blind zebras’ and other cute colloquialisms.


REMINDER:  Please log on to   Register and put ‘The War Inside the Walls’ on your bookshelf.  Yahwah will reward you, and I’d really appreciate it.



Published September 13, 2008 by jean cohen

Gosh, interviewing for a Replacement Guy is hard work.  First of all, it required several Search & Seize shopping forays, because, obviously, I had nothing to wear.  BooBoo timidly suggested “But, Jeano, the candidates haven’t seen any of your clothes…”  “So?  I have.  And I hate all of them” I told her impatiently.  “Maybe we should pop up to London and try Harvey Nicks.” 


I have a promising-sounding date on Tuesday night.  At least if he doesn’t suit either, I’ll look stunning anyway.    I went to dinner with Lulu and wore one of the fifty-six new outfits to get an unbiased opinion.  Lulu said it conveyed the perfect JAP impression and I looked really skinny.  So I’m primed and ready.


I’ve worked out a few pre-live interview questions for the phone interrogation to save time:


1)    Do you drive a taxi?  (Yeah…I know.  What was I thinking? He drove a goddamned cab.)


2)    Do you hang out at Heathrow or Gatwick and talk about accidents on the M25 and rude French tourists a lot?


3)    Do you define a ‘date’ as coming to mine for a shag-and-a-cup-of-coffee?


If the answer to any of 1, 2 or 3 was a ‘yes’…  You get the idea.


The most exciting news in Oy-Veybridge is that Waitrose is now carrying rye bread.  I know; I plotzed too!  I will definitely get up there pronto to take a snap of the aforementioned rye and post it for your viewing pleasure. 


I have been buying little stuff from the Kosher section so they know it’s appreciated.  The other night, BooBoo was at mine for dinner.  “Are you cooking?” she asked suspiciously.   “Yes, of course” I told her loftily.  “Well…Mr. Waitrose and me.  But I opened the packages and put everything in a 190 degree oven.”    Then I added, “We’re having chicken and kugel.”  And just to take the piss, “Don’t worry.  The kugel’s parve, so we can eat it with meat.”  Poor Boo.  She never knows what I’m going to say or do next.  She started to look a tad frightened.


I explained what a kugel is, twice, but she didn’t look convinced.  Maybe she didn’t believe me it was parve.  It was delicious.  It tasted like ‘home’ and like proper food.  I had pondered, during my shifts at Sam, why we always had so many cookbooks and why they were all brand new.  The answer: because Brits don’t know how to cook and they don’t really want to learn.  Just feed them some greasy fish and chips and they’re happy.  Hell.  They’re in Gastronomic Heaven.  And has anyone ever said “Let’s go out to dinner tonight.  I’m in the mood for English food”?  Exactly.  That’s why all the good restaurants are Italian or Thai or Indian.


The other news this week is that we won the quiz.  Sorry, that should have read WE WON THE QUIZ!!!


  Really.  We did.  Pinkie was at work, so it was just Cheese Boy and me for the early rounds.  I picked our name, Bitchimus Maximus (it always has to have a ‘bitch’ in it for Trigger).  But we were first after the picture round, and still first after the next two.   We got the Top Five question, and we got the Connections Round.  We usually end up sniping at each other “I don’t have a fucking clue.  It’s your week to do the Connections Round.”  The connection was ‘Chicago’. 


I texted Pinkie to get her ass there PDQ, and oh…by the way, what were the top five singles on the charts by Wet, Wet, Wet?  (I’d never even heard of them.)  Pinkie said later, in the flush of victory, that she’d thought of posing the question to the entire car on the underground for a concensus.


We strategized in the Wipe Out round, only answering the ones we were 100% sure of.  And I had an amazing amount of General Knowledge for a change.  I usually don’t know anything about ‘Generals’ unless it’s the Irish Lad’s favourite, Ulysses S.   I knew the only monarchy in Europe ruled by only queens in the 20th Century.  And other stuff.


One funny occurrence was the question about which state John McCain is the senator of.  I whispered the correct answer to Lou, who whispered back, loud, “How many ‘S’s?”  “Four, you twit” I whispered back, really loud.  Four teams put down ‘Mississippi’ and two put down ‘Massachusetts’.


We ended up in a three way tie for first, and it was up to Lou to punch it in by knowing which year Charles Dickens was born in the tie-breaker.


It was thrilling.  Trust me; it was. 


So we won about 20 quid, a free drink next week, and bragging rights for this week. 


And I think ‘Bitchimus Maximus’ should become our permanent name.



Published September 11, 2008 by jean cohen

I debated whether the dumping of Bagpipe Guy was blog-worthy.  I mean…I don’t want to whinge – not that I ever do – and it met my exacting journalistic standards; it happened, and it’s all about me.


BP Guy lasted about five months, a personal best for me, not counting Israeli Guy who lasted eight, but only because I knew I was leaving and he was horny.  Oops…I meant handy. 


To be honest, the Widowed Jewish Dermatologist – Rheumatologist- Cardiologist of My Dreams is proving somewhat elusive.  I’ve revised the criteria because a friend in the States wisely pointed out that Dermatologists hardly ever get called out in the middle of a date for an emergency relating to a Giant Zit.  And this was BP’s biggest failure; turning up.


Not that he didn’t have other deficiencies.  But there’s no point in detailing the real, or even only real to me, indignities that man could dish out without a qualm.  And, of course, he is free to comment publicly on the blog if he feels he’s been maligned.  He reads it, or at least he did.


Of course, most of it was my own fault for allowing him to control the relationship.  He kept swearing that things were going to get better and his work schedule would be more manageable.  That never happened.  And if I got pissed off, he got shirty and I got ‘the silent treatment’.  I have a PhD in ‘the silent treatment’ from JAP University. 


Note to Mike:  I got it, Mike.  But the point is, Sweetie, that only the person who got fucked (I’m using ‘fucked’ figuratively here, not literally) gets to do ‘the silent treatment’.


I had dusted the cobwebs off my profile on the dating site and posted some new pictures (yes…they were really of me) and half-heartedly started  Coffee Dates interviewing for a Replacement Guy.  It’s a miracle I didn’t get caffeine poisoning.   I sure as hell got the jitters from all the wankers out there in cyberdating land. 


As I’d mentioned in the blog, BP Guy went off to Devon on holiday for two weeks.  Amazingly, when he had things that he wanted to do, he always managed to ‘clear his work schedule’. 


When he got back, it was just ‘same old, same old’; the first date cancelled because of work.  Foolishly, I suppose, I had expected him to plan ahead before he went on holiday for some ‘quality time’ when he got back.  I guess not.  And it’s not exactly flattering to discover that he’s turned up on the spur of the moment because ‘the German bloke cancelled his reservation’.  (Wow!  Thank you, Fritz!  I forgive you for World War II because Mike popped in for a quick shag! I feel really, really special!)  He cancelled the next date at the last minute, again.  That’s when I went ballistic.  He wasn’t even apologetic.  I got a text, not even a goddamned phone call, and it was flippant and dismissive.


Unbelievably, and in the pattern I had come to know and detest, he reacted in the usual way…he did ‘the silent treatment’.  I dumped him in an email.  I probably should have just sent him a text.


So I’ve had a few proper dates; one of them took me to the Casa Romana, the poshest restaurant in Weybridge.  Unfortunately, he didn’t float my boat.  A shundeh, really; he looked a great deal like Eric Clapton.  (That’s true; he did.)  Cheese Boy has been keeping score.  He said I’m too fussy.  My response:  “And that’s a bad thing because…?”


Moving right along to important business, I want all of my fans to go right on to a website called and register.  Harper Collins here in the UK has started a site for aspiring authors.  You go on and actually download your manuscript.  Editors, agents and the general public can read it there.  Hopefully, if it has merit, it will be ‘discovered’.  I’ve uploaded ‘The War Inside the Walls’.  I honestly don’t care if you all read it.  I know how busy everyone is. 


But please, please register on the site and add my book to ‘Your Bookshelf’.  This moves it up in the rankings and increases it’s exposure.



Published September 7, 2008 by jean cohen

Well, Pinkie returned home from the States and I was thrilled to see her…and the suitcase full of stuff she brought me.  I got two of the books I was dying for, some lovely tops, Hershey Bars (mmm!) and my very own precious bottle of isophrophyl alcohol (double mmm!  Just kidding there.)  I got other stuff too, including plastic carrier bags from all my favorite stores; Century 21, Target, RiteAide, etc.  Not that I would ever put trash in them.  Most thoughtfully, she brought me a selection of Bar and Bat Mitzvah cards and got my New Year’s cards!  I seriously was afraid I was going to send out red and green cards that proclaimed “Father Christmas wishes you…” with the ‘Happy Christmas’ crossed out and ‘L’shanah Tovah’ written over it.  What a relief.  I really did miss her.


Otherwise, my life goes on as usual—pubs, lunches, shopping, and shifts at Sam.  Yes, we lost the damned Quiz again…even with Pinkie back.


One interesting thing is that my Passion Fruit vine finally got some ripe passion fruits.  I mentioned this to Carol, one of my co-workers at Sam, and she came round to mine to pick them.  She is going to bake some sort of sweet in a 190 degree oven using them.  (That means a cake or a pie.) She promised to give me some.  This must be what people mean when they talk about ‘nature’.  Who knew?


Proper American football is starting at home this weekend.  I will miss it dreadfully.  I’ve already had the piss taken by The Muless (feminine form of the word) and my friend James, both of whom couldn’t type fast enough to send emails boasting that the yecchy G-men won their season opener on Thursday night.  Ho hum.   We play the Rams on Sunday.


There was a fabulous article on MSN about ‘Best Team Fan Bases’ and guess who was Number One?  Exactly.  The Eagles.   I quote:


The most passionate fans in all of sports are without question Philadelphia Eagles fans.  They’re cold blooded and probably give KC a run for their money as being the loudest.  They are, by far, the most knowledgeable fans in the league, and invented the perfect ‘Boo’.  What cemented Philadelphia fans’ reputation as the most amoral, loathsome collection in sports is famously called ‘The Booing of Santa Claus’.  You would boo and throw snowballs too if Santa came out drunk in a half-done costume.  Eagles fans must deal with sports owners whose actions have not produced a champion in 25 years.  The Eagles haven’t hoisted a championship flag in 48 years, but the waiting list for season tickets is so long that you could sell out three stadiums full of Eagles fans for games.


So…Yo…Pat and Jimbo.  I scieve your team.  


(Super secret note to Pat:  I was taking the piss.  You’ll still bring all that stuff I asked for when you cross the pond next week.  Right?)


The G-men didn’t even make the list.  The other nine teams on the top 10 included Da Bears, the Cowboys, the Chiefs, the Raiders, the Browns, the Packers, the Steelers, the Broncos and the Bills.  And the 5 worst?  The Lions, the Patriots, the Falcons, the Cardinals and the Jaguars.


Note to British readers:  You can wake up now.


Other exciting news is that I’m going to become a warden.  At the synagogue.  I’ve always dreamed of marching around officiously in an orange vest and humongous walkie-talkie stopping dark skinned people and demanding to see ID and peeking into their ticking backpacks.  That’s sort of true.  I AM going to be a security warden but I never, ever wanted the vest to be orange.  Or vinyl.  I thought maybe alligator or sealskin.  Died a ‘Vogue Do’ colour like maybe cranberry or teal.  Trimmed in fitch or …yeah, okay, I admit it, mink.  Maybe I’ll just put sequins on mine to jazz it up a bit.


There is an Exhibition coming up in October for Volunteer Programs to Israel.  It’s part of the Tikkun Olam Initiative. Tikkun Olam means ‘repairing the world’. I’ve read about it before, and from the UK it’s really not a difficult trip.  It would be a month volunteering in Israel, all expenses paid including transportation.  We were talking about it after services last week.  I hadn’t been interested before.  I didn’t really see myself milking cows on a kibbutz in Podunk, Israel.  But this wouldn’t be on a kibbutz.  And there wouldn’t be cows, except probably some of the other volunteers.  It would be working on an Air Force Base in the Negev, near Beersheba.  Wearing a uniform.  Surrounded by loads of Israeli Air Force Guys.  Who are all circumcised.  Does that not sound like The Promised Land? I’m giving it some serious thought.