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Archive for the ‘True Conversations on Blogfinger’ Category

Paul Goldfinger ©. c 2015. Asbury Park seen from Founders Park in Ocean Grove.

Scene: Friday night, Labor Day weekend on our porch in OG.  It’s 10 pm and it is dark out. There is an orange streetlight at our corner, and the moon is 3/4 full. But looking west on Mt. Hermon Way  (North End) it’s quite dark.

My son Stephen has been walking his dog Poojah in Firemen’s Park when he stops  to converse with a young woman who can’t find her car.

She’s been visiting a friend on Lake Avenue in A. Park.

She crosses the bridge to the Grove and finds Stephen.  He invites her onto our porch while they discuss her situation.  He calls me down.

Stephen said, “Dad, I don’t know the geography around here; can you help?”

She is in her twenties and she is alone. She is petite and pretty and she is calm and confident. She is lucid and oriented, but she doesn’t share her name.

She:  “I can’t find my car  (smiling.)  I parked it over here on a street named White-something.”

Me:  (thinking, she must mean Whitefield, one block away).   I can tell her where to go, but we are worried about her in the dark.   “Can I drive you around to find your car?”

She: “No thanks, just tell me where to walk.  You know, I crossed the bridge from here  into Asbury  because here the  parking  is free.”

Me:  (thinking–I’m glad she is comfortable enough in our town to trust us.)

“Just go down a block to find Whitefield  Avenue”

She: “Thanks so much, guys.”

She begins to walk into the darkness.

We watch her disappear.

MEL CARTER      “I Worry About You.”

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She got lost searching for her car in OG. Months later she turned up sitting on a bench outside the Pathway Market playing scratch-off.     Blogfinger photo

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.net

Scene:  An Ocean Grove corner on a perfect beach day, July 16, 2017. Parking gridlock.  A women looks around and sees no open spaces. She sees a man walking along a long row of cars, looking around.

 

She:  Are you leaving?

He: I need to find my car first.

 

Does this happen?  It sure does.  I saw two befuddled women stymied.  One told me that her car was parked “by the church.”

M  (for me)  “Oh,” I said, “Do you mean the Great Auditorium?”

S  (for she):  “No, I mean the church.”

M:  “Oh. It probably was St. Paul’s Church?”

S: Uh, which way is the Ocean?

M:  OK, here’s the story. Cross Main Ave. and then walk three blocks to Webb Ave.  You will see the church. The bells are ringing. (Now you know for whom the bell tolls.)

S:   Three thank you’s.

 

BLIND BOYS with directions to the “Promised Land.”

 

 

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A tiny  light in her brain could explain her unusual interest. Paul Goldfinger photo. Rumson, NJ. Summer 2016. ©

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

Scene:  Checkout line at Wegmans.  A young female worker, high school age,  was gamely trying to place a variety of objects into bags.  She seemed to be determined to fit every item into just the right place, sort of like a jigsaw puzzle. I watched her intensity as she forged ahead with her task.  At times she would remove something and rearrange the packing.

It actually was complicated if someone could translate the process  into a blackboard full of mathematical equations.  As she packed the bags I put them into a small cart which was a challenge, requiring a switch to a giant cart.  Eileen said that she only needed a “few things.”  Sure.

I was fascinated by the checker’s job and I said to her:

Me:  You must be really good at jigsaw puzzles.

She:  Not really

Me: Oh..so what are you really good at?

She: Untying knots.

Me:  laughing—you’re serious.

She:   (smiling)   Yes—I love to untie knots, like the one around your neck.   (She was referring to the small items I wear on a chain. They had become tangled.)

Me:  Oh, that is unusual and it is funny. (Wondering—how does she keep busy pursuing what she loves?)

She:  (As Eileen finished  paying the bill)   Have a good day.

Me: I was thinking that she needs to find another avocation. Surely she has some other favorite things.

JEWEL:

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Did anyone ever take you to the cleaners? Paul Goldfinger photograph. Ocean Township. c2014. ©

Did anyone ever take you to the cleaners? Paul Goldfinger photograph. Ocean Township. 2014. ©

 

Eileen brings her sweater to the little mom and pop Korean cleaners. It’s a  Tuesday.

Eileen:  Please clean my sweater.

Little lady behind the counter:  When do you want to pick it up?

Eileen:  Thursday

Little lady:  No—Friday after 4:30.

STEPHEN SONDHEIM  from the show “Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.”  Album “Putting it Together.”

 

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Save our environment. Photo in Ocean Grove by Moe Demby, 2015. Blogfinger staff. ©

Save our environment. Photo in Ocean Grove by Moe Demby, 2015. Blogfinger staff. ©

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.

Scene:  Neptune Township Mother Ship.  I am at the counter occupied partly by the Assistant Land Use Administrator–George Waterman. On the counter are some educational  fliers.  One of them seemed interesting: “Solutions to Stormwater Pollution.”

It said, “Stormwater pollution is one of New Jersey’s greatest threats to clean and plentiful water, and that’s why we’re all doing something about it.”

It also said, “Pollution on streets, parking lots and lawns is washed by rain into storm drains, then directly to our drinking water supplies and the ocean and lakes our children play in.  Fertilizer, oil, pesticides, detergents, pet waste, grass clipping: You name it and it ends up in our water.”

PG: (thinking)  “It says, ‘Easy Things You Can Do Every Day to Protect Our Water,’ so what about Wesley Lake?”

GW (walking over to the counter where I am perusing his flier)   “What have you got there?”

PG  (handing it to him)  “George—What is Neptune Township doing about dirty street water runoff?”

GW (smiling; he removes all copies of the flier and jokingly begins to walk away)  “I think we should dispose of these.”

PG:  (With a name like Waterman they could give him that job……)

 

RUSS CARLYLE with BLUE BARRON  “Garden in the Rain.”

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Who is this woman?

Who is this woman dressed in scrubs ?

 

Everybody's a doctor.

Everybody’s a doctor.

By Paul Goldfinger MD

 

Scene: The waiting room of a large  orthopedic group.    I am waiting for my appointment with a PA (Physician Assistant) since none of their 16 doctors could see me for an acute knee problem.

Young woman from the back  (YWFTB) wearing scrubs emerges from the back and gazes over the waiting room: “Paul,” she says.

PG: “Here”—I stand up

YWFTB: ” Follow me”   I follow her into the back.  We enter a maze of rooms. The walls are covered with “best doctors” certificates.   She points to an examining room and in I go.

She says, “Larry the PA will be in.”  She leaves and shuts the door.  Nobody wears name tags or introduces themselves..

Then another young woman dressed in scrubs   (AWDS)  walks into the room. She does not identify herself. Maybe she is chief of surgery.

AWDS :   “Why are you here today?”   (So, who is this person and what qualifies her to ask me medical questions?)

PG: “Who are you?”

AWDS : “I am assisting Larry, the PA”

PG:   (annoyed with being questioned by someone who probably isn’t trained to take a proper medical history from me ) “My knee hurts. I fell on it.”

AWDS (Sensing that I am not thrilled with her questions): “Larry will be with you soon.”   (So that’s how it is—the doctor has an assistant, and the assistant has an assistant; I bet they bill for a doctor’s visit—-it’s all Obamacare’s fault.)

Larry enters the room wearing a white coat and no name tag.  He looks like a regular guy.: “What’s the problem today? ” (Thinking to myself–“Please don’t roll your eyes at this pseudo-doctor in a white coat. And doesn’t this guy get a last name? Only the doctors get last names here? My patients called me “doc” even though the nurses said, “Doctor Goldfinger” will be in soon.—we had no pseudo-doctors. I liked “doc,” but I had a name tag with my actual name on it.)

Larry examines my knee. He seems to know about knees. Larry suspects a small fracture not visible on the xray.   He orders an MRI and says that the next visit will be with a doctor. ( I’m thinking: “I hope that doctor has a last name, because I don’t want to be seen by a doctor who only has a first name.”)

PG: “Thanks” (I won’t call him doctor, PA Larry, or just Larry) No title will do.

Back in the waiting room I wait for the official  MRI  request. 15 minutes go by. I turn off the TV–no one notices.  I go to the desk and say, “Why am I still sitting here?”

GSD: (Girl in scrubs at the desk—-They all wear scrubs as if they are  going into the OR very soon)

GSD:   “Oh—nobody gave me your chart. I’ll get it now”—She goes in the back. She returns and gives me my MRI paper. I really want to leave.

Finally I get on the elevator—going down.    A woman about my age gets on with me. (I mean, she enters the elevator with me.)

WMA (woman my age): “That was fun.”

PG: “Did you see a real doctor?”

WMA: “No, just the assistant. It’s not like it used to be.”

PG  (Thinking “Well, at least we’re both walking out of here. Be thankful for the bottom line.”)

THE CLOVERS.   I wonder if Medicare will pay for this treatment  prescribed by the pseudo-doctor in the song.  That potion should help my knee, because the “doctor” and all those girls in scrubs gave me nothing for  my pain.  Like the song says, “It’s all about the bill.”

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Transcript below  is obtained from the official CD-R recording made available to Blogfinger by the Township Clerk.  See our original post about this confrontation between a citizen and the Neptune Township Mayor.    Confrontation link

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @blogfinger

Scene: This exchange took place at 3 hours and 20 minutes into the meeting, during the public portion. Mr. Jack Bredin was called to the microphone. Presiding was Mayor Mary Beth Jahn.

Bredin had 5 minutes, and he began by quickly questioning Committeeman Randy Bishop about the New NERP concept plan which had been announced. After that he brought up the subject of a recent Redevelopment meeting that Bishop attended regarding the NERP but at which the Mayor, a member of the negotiating team, was absent.

The exchange below lasted about one minute and occurred about midway during Bredin’s 5 minute allowed time. At no time during the exchange did his time expire.

JB : Mayor, were you at the meeting?

MBJ: No I wasn’t able to be there.

JB: You had something busy to do? Did you arrange the meeting? Did somebody write you a letter and tell you not to go or to go or what?

MBJ: First of all, watch your tone, OK, ’cause I’m not in the mood tonight.

JB: Well yeah, you could watch your tone too.

Two loud bangs of the gavel.  (a signal for the police officer in the room to remove the speaker.)

MBJ: Thank you so much Mr. Bredin. You can take your seat now.

JB: I can take my seat?

MBJ: Yes you can.

JB: My 5 minutes are up?

MBJ: Yes they are.

JB: You’re calling the police?

MBJ: Yes I am.

JB: You’re calling the police to remove me?

MBJ:  I am. I am.

JB: What a terrible thing.

MBJ shouts: I’m a bitch. Sit down.

JB, as he moves away from the mic to go to his seat: I agree

Sound is muffled after that until the next speaker comes to the mic.

LOUIS PRIMA

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By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

SCENE: Wegmans under 15 checkout line. An African-American woman, perhaps age 40, was at the register. She had a pink flower in her hair.

Me: So, you’ve got the Billie Holiday look today.

She: (smiles) Do you like Billie Holiday?

Me: Very much.

She: What song of hers do you like?

Me: Uh (remembering my last blogpost) “April in Paris.”

She: How about “Good Morning Heartache?”

Me: Sure–that’s beautiful.

She: Begins singing a verse of that song. She is wonderful! The lady behind me and I stand there mesmerized. Then she finishes the verse and smiles, resuming her packing.

Me: That was so good!  Thank you. (It was the first time I was ever mesmerized in a grocery store )

Billie Holiday

Billie Holiday

GOOD MORNING HEARTACHE:   Diana Ross played Billie Holiday in the movie “The Lady Sings the Blues” and she sang this song for the film, but in the version below we hear Billie Holiday herself.

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Scene:  I am leaving a shop in downtown Fort Myers when I notice a man entering my peripheral vision.  He is on the sidewalk walking backwards towards the corner where I am.   He is holding onto the handlebars of a backwards motorcycle which he is pulling backwards as well.  I cannot resist saying something as he reaches my location.

Me:  “Did you know that you are in reverse?”

He stops, looks at me with cold eyes and says nothing.  Then he keeps walking backwards until he reaches the corner at which point he redirects into forward gear and crosses the street.

Sometimes people don’t know when I am kidding—especially in Florida.

That, I believe, is a one-way conversation for a two-way event. Can one person have a conversation with another who doesn’t speak?  I think so.   Below is a YouTube video of a man who only goes one way—backwards for 25 years.

–Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

 

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group

Paul Goldfinger,  Editor @Blogfinger

I guess a recorded phone message playing in your ear could be considered a form of conversation.

Today I was left a message from a call center in India. The man was named Janel, and he left me a brief message.  At the end of the recording he said,”Have a gay day.”

I listened to it over and over to see if he said “great day.”   But no, it was “gay day.”  I asked Eileen for a second opinion, and she agreed as to what he said.

I know that call centers often are from India, and his accent definitely proved the point.  I don’t know what is politically correct in India, but I assumed that the caller was just being kind in wishing me a gay day.

So I concluded that I should have a happy day and not one that involved any change in my usual preferences.

JOHN SEBASTIAN  “Welcome Back”

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