Facebook the Nation

By Larry Teren


Ma called the other day to ask a question. Our conversation went like this:

Ma: what’s an IPO?

Me: oh, you must have heard about Facebook, the number one social media company. An IPO means an initial public offering. It’s when a company decides to open up ownership through stock shares to the general public and not just officers and employees of the company.

Ma: uh, huh. How come Facebook is in trouble with their IPO? Continue reading “Facebook the Nation”

Nobody’s Pefect

By Larry Teren

Some say that the most famous last line in movie history is from 1959’s Some Like It Hot when Joe E. Brown says to Jack Lemmon “nobody’s perfect!” on a motor boat as they speed away under the THE END credit. Lemmon is dressed in drag as the character he plays is hiding out from the Mob who want to kill him for witnessing the famous St. Valentine Day Massacre. Up until the very end of the film, the viewer is not sure if Brown ever realizes the folly of having the hots for a cross dresser whom he thinks is an attractive female. Brown’s retort is in response to Lemmon exasperatingly telling Brown that his charade is finally over. “But, I’m a man!” he shouts. It seems as if Brown doesn’t care. Continue reading “Nobody’s Pefect”

A Walk in the Park

By Larry Teren

baberuthIt was the last baseball game of the Babe’s career. Now about 50 pounds overweight, his swung gulped hard like a whirling dervish and missed on the first pitch at his first appearance at the plate that day. He ended awkward lying flat on the ground, spitting blood down his cheek, needing help to get back up to his feet. The pitcher was that fellow who three years earlier in the World Series the Babe had mocked by first pointing to the right center-field bleachers and then stroking a mammoth home run to that exact location. Now this same hurler was mocking and taunting him with sadistic pleasure as Ruth stood helplessly at the plate waiting to continue his at-bat.

Continue reading “A Walk in the Park”

Red Dots

By Larry Teren

I see red dots everywhere. No, I don’t hallucinate about the chewy candy eaten while watching a movie at a theater. Nor do I dream of playing in a fast pitch 12 inch softball tournament that uses red dot tightly wound balls.
reddotsoftball In fact, until I was about 20, I thought small softballs were for girls and sissies. Real men played 16 inch softball without gloves in Chicago. A couple of broken fingers later, I resolved who were the true idiots. No, these red dots are the ubiquitous LED lights that glow in the dark. Continue reading “Red Dots”

“Where Have You Gone, Jackie Robinson…”

By Larry Teren
Remember the Simon and Garfunkel song “Where have you gone Joe Dimaggio” from the late 1960’s? It was sort of an anthem for baby boomers weighing in on the changing of the guard from the 1950’s rock and roll culture to the hippie drug craze. Dimaggio retired from playing ball with the New York Yankees  in 1951 after a World War II shortened career grabbed away some reachable goals in the annals of baseball records. He had another fifteen minutes of fame in the mid-50’s as one of Marilyn Monroe’s husbands. Joe kept his iconic status burning in the 60s and 70s with Mr. Coffee commercials as well as the annual trek to Monroe’s grave site to lay a garland of flowers on her tombstone.

Continue reading ““Where Have You Gone, Jackie Robinson…””

A Swank Life

By Larry Teren


“Relief recipients were warned yesterday that they must get rid of television sets, telephones, and other ‘luxury’ items in their homes or face being dropped from relief rolls.” So began the newspaper article on September 25, 1962.

At that time, Harold Swank was the executive secretary of the Public Aid commission. He ordered his staff to begin canvassing their clients for failure to comply. He also told them to warn the Public Aid beneficiaries that if they did not sell all such items within the month, the relief checks would stop.

An exception was made for telephones if needed for health reasons or to help get a job. “Luxury” items would be allowed to be kept if purchased before the person went on relief or were received as gifts.  But, the aid recipient must be able to prove this. Continue reading “A Swank Life”

A Tale of Two Immigrants

By Larry Teren


Some immigration stories turn out well; others, just plain make you shake your head.  Take these two people and learn from them:  Gac Filipat (pronounced Gus Felipi) and Eduardo Saverin.

Mr. Filipat came to this country from Yugoslavia twenty years ago. He took a job as a custodian at Columbia University because they offered up to fourteen free college credits a year for employees. Columbia only accepts ten percent of applicants a year. He took them up on it while he went about his business of cleaning toilets and the like. By the way, a full year’s tuition at Columbia as of 2011 was pegged at $45,290. Slightly more than half the students were entitled to some type of financial assistance to a maximum of $40,259.

Gac came to this country speaking little English but ended up taking a heavy dose of English literature classics. He has fulfilled only half of his dream. He intends to stay on as a custodian and continue with graduate courses which are also payment exempt for employees. Not bad for a man of 52, huh? Continue reading “A Tale of Two Immigrants”

“Give An Inch, Take A Mile” is Idiomatic

By Larry Teren


“Give an inch and take a mile” is one of those common phrases found in a dictionary of idioms. It very well expresses the disparity found in situations where someone is getting taken advantage of (usually me). One must speak it in frustration sprinkled with a dash of sarcasm.


For example-you can pretty much tell what takes up much of my mind- let’s say you are driving your car on a major road and are behind three others as the light turns red. As the drivers ahead of you quickly slow down and put on the brakes, so do you. There is a hamburger drive-thru joint at that corner and while you have been sitting there for thirty seconds wondering when the cross light is going to warn the intersecting traffic with a yellow signal, all of a sudden a car inches up to the exit area of the drive-thru. The driver lets his foot off the brake gently so he can move his car off the driveway closer to the street. This is universal way of letting the car that is on the street know that when the light turns green, the car yearning to get out of the drive-thru is going to attempt a mad dash into traffic. No harm, no foul- maybe. Traffic in our direction wasn’t moving anyway.   Continue reading ““Give An Inch, Take A Mile” is Idiomatic”

More Lottery Lunacy

By Larry Teren


The lottery seems to bring out the devil in too many people. The following true lottery incidents all point to underlying desperation of too many souls affected by an economy running in place.



A man claimed he won a $254 million first prize in the Powerball game. The store where the winning number was issued did not deny that he visited there regularly. He may even have been on the surveillance camera filming the checkout counter at the time the ticket was sold. But, he could not produce the ticket because he lost it. You know what they say- “no tickee, no washee!”

Continue reading “More Lottery Lunacy”

“Hello, My name is Vishnu- Do You Mind Taking a Survey?…….”

By Larry Teren


The phone rang and woke me out of a dream while taking an afternoon nap. (The nap, not the dream is one of the perks of working at home. In the interest of fair reporting, I split up the day so that a good portion of the work I do is in the evening hours when it is convenient to remote in to clients’ computers without interfering with their processing.)

I picked up the phone on the nightstand to the left of the bed and answered the call.

Me: “Hello?”

Caller: “Hello, this is Vishnu. I am calling on behalf your health insurance company. They want to know if you are willing to take a three to four minute survey on the quality of the customer service they recently provided to you.”

Me: “Sure, if it is not going to take more than three or four minutes.” Like I was otherwise busy, huh?

Caller: “Yes, it will not take more than three of four minutes. Let us begin…” Continue reading ““Hello, My name is Vishnu- Do You Mind Taking a Survey?…….””