Freudian Slips: December 2006

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Location: Irony, New Jersey, United States

Life takes us many places. It's a box of chocolates and a Hansel and Gretal trail of candy wrappers. I have filmed as an actor in The Happening, Invincible, The Lovely Bones, The Bounty Hunter, The Greek American, Bazookas, Limitless, TV's Its Always Sunny in Philly, Outlaw, New York, The Warrior, The Nail, Game Change, Cold Case, & commercial work includes The Philadelphia Eagles, Septa, Coors, Turbo Tax & Carnival Cruises. Freudian Slips spotlights irony in short story format.

December 28, 2006

2006 Freudian Slips Irony Oscar

The end of each year gives a blog writer pause to ceremonial recognize the best postings for the year. The esteemed members of the Freudian Slips board met the day after Christmas to select this year’s nominees. In careful study of the writing field, delegates poured through over 100 short stories in table talk banter. Honorable Mention went to Dear Great Grandchildren short story of 1-6-06. An anonymous trustee petitioned the magnanimous board to include this visionary story of life in a perpetual changing world. Although the board ultimately denied the request for an Irony Oscar on lack of coincidental folly, it lauded Dear Great Grandchildren as the best posting of the year in terms of quality writing. While the Board considered about a dozen worthy postings in total, I am pleased to announce the first ballot deserving nominees for the Third Annual Freudian Slips Irony Oscar:
Double Swallow of Hard Candy on August 13, 2006. An author’s blind attempt to write a fictional novel that he only later serendipitously discovered contained more elements of truth in an actual published non-fiction memoir called Hard Candy by an accomplished writer. The uncanny ironies proved more than hack writer Joe Tornatore could swallow.
Slim Pickings on August 10, 2006. A writer struggling with writer’s block becomes privy to bizarre dialogue in a doctor’s office with his stalled pen in hand. Board members lauded this incalculable ironic art of the moment in Joe Tornatore’s life crafted in a superlative story that could not have been better scripted with any more irony. The author’s rare medical condition comically juxtaposes the confused man trying in vain using vine to rid himself of poison ivy's pestilence in the backdrop of a doctor’s office.
The Empty Cupboard
posted on 9-26-06 portrays a handicapped couple’s unrecognized dream of raising children verses their parental incompetence to accomplish the same. Heartfelt and moving story interlaced with irony topped only by a twist ending.
Bazookas Joe on 12-1-06 describes the ironic story of how Joe Tornatore starring as a two-bit background actor ended up landing a speaking role in a motion picture. A Seinfeld sitcom- like must read within an eventual must see silverscreen act.
Bang your own drum roll please. The picked winner of the 2006 Freudian Slips Irony Oscar by a slim margin goes to Slim Pickings. As scribe Joe Tornatore hoisted the meager grey silicone statue over his big head, he reminded fans that not every great story falls easily from the vine but he promised faithful readers that there will be no rash of similar stories in the upcoming year.


New Orleans, As I Remember It

-One Bourbon Street, one New Orleans visitor, one pre-hurricane vacation.


December 24, 2006

No Claus for Despair

I don't care what my forty four eyes see in this picture, I still believe in the magic of Christmas. Happy Holidays everyone!


December 21, 2006

Don't Talk To Strangers

My children absolutely abhor me striking up casual conversations with strangers in public. I have imparted to no real avail the following exception to the DON'T TALK TO STRANGERS RULE: A sensible adult can discriminate between strangers to be avoided and the strangers who are just people we have not met yet. In the company of my children, I try to limit my friendliness with anyone else for no good reason other than to avoid their harsh criticism. Likewise, it often does not feel quite natural to remain in this stifling coccoon but I tend to not publicly mingle in order to be privately loved. In the recesses of my mind, however, I started to think about the events of today.
After finding a lost wallet on a stretching mat at the gym, I tracked down the rightful owner and returned it. The grateful man seemed inclined to talk to me at length afterwards about a number of subjects. We had an enjoyeable conversation and he had has wallet.
I shared a double coupon with a woman at the grocery store. It served as an ice breaker for discussion. We spoke about the upcoming holidays and the best way not to overcook a pecan pie.
I stopped to help a stranded elderly woman on the side of the road. I pushed her disabled car about 1/10th of a mile into a gas station. She thanked me like nobody's business for saving her the cost of a tow truck pull.
Idle time prompted me to strike up a conversation with a woman standing in the lengthy bank teller line. We bounced around subjects until settling on the open competitive market with natural gas supplies. Our conversation lasted through the lines and we moved to the side of the lobby to chat. I explained the steps she could take with PSE&G in shopping around for another distributor. With her money and her money saving tip in hand, her smile alone was worth me taking timeout of my life.
In helping four strangers, I probably made four friends today that my children will never know about. I wouldn’t want my children to think differently of their father. To every stranger reading this post right now, Happy Holidays to you and yours from Freudian Slips.


December 19, 2006

Shedding Light on Hanukkah

The forces that put two people in the same spot on the planet have always mystified me. My standing on the sidewalk of an institution for the developmental disabled one unseasonably mild day last month brought a strangely familiar shuffle of feet behind me. Before I turned around, I recognized the shuffle and who it belonged to even though I had not seen this person in about fourteen years.
He greeted, “What is your name again?”
“Joe Tornatore.”
“Joe, I know you, don’t I?” I must have triggered his long term memory synapses because he shot off a short list of people we both knew in the past. Mutual friends quickly turned into a grimace. “I’m worried abut my Hanukkah man. My Hanukkah.”
“Don’t worry about Hanukkah, Franklin. It will be here soon enough. Hey, I thought you were Lutheran anyway.”
Franklin repeated his concern. “But I’m worried abut my Hanukkah man. My Hanukkah.”
I took a half step back to evaluate the confusing situation. While Franklin looked scared massaging his descended belly, his aliterating manner of speech came storming back to my memory banks.
I spewed almost triumphantly. “Now I understand. You have a hernia, don’t you Franklin?”
“That has been what I have been telling you all along. I’m worried about my Hanukkah, man.”
Sometimes even a Lutheran needs some light shed on Hannukkah.


December 17, 2006

The First Mobile Home

Believe it or not, the small blue sign tweaked my attention. The fact that this home is advertised as handicap accessible makes all the difference in the world.


December 14, 2006

Handyman on a Swivel

By taking extraordinary measures with little aptitude and even fewer tools, I keep my house in working order. With that being said, it is trying times when your front door, bathroom toilet, and refrigerator break on the same day. That is exactly what happened to me. Talk about being in a jamb, off and running, and coming in from out in the cold.
Of course, I didn’t have the right Phillips screwdriver for the front door, my biggest pipe wrench proved too short for the toilet throat, and my best fixit job on the sophisticated refrigerator involved pulling it out from the wall and cleaning behind the box. One stubborn strain about me is that I do not like to ask for help but after resigning myself to calling in reinforcements, OCD and me started to breathe a little easier. With the help of my handy father-in-law and the right fitting tools, we got the villa back on line again one project at a time.
Now it’s off to the showers…assuming it works.


December 12, 2006

Skating on Thin Ice

As the male waiter approached me, I noticed his unusual garb, a Rowan University brown and gold sweatshirt. The lettering on the shirt read Rowan University Ice Hockey. I read it like it was some practical joke. I didn’t know any college in the Northeast south of Boston College sponsored collegiate ice hockey let alone my alma mater.
So my roaring mouth let out the following brashness. “I didn’t know Rowan University had an ice hockey team?”
The waiter turned silent grabbed a menu and started to usher me to my seat. He did not answer me, choosing instead to turn his back on me. I felt like I was skating on thin ice or something. On the way to my seat, I stared straight ahead. That is when I saw the boldfaced font lettering on the back of the sweatshirt:
Yes, we have an ice hockey team.


December 10, 2006

To Hell in a Hand Basket

The world today....warning signs on baby seats and infants advertising for a daddy. Posted by Picasa


December 07, 2006

Head Over Heels

There was nothing better than putting in a good day’s work as a paperboy. Throwing that last folded newspaper from my carry bag onto a covered porch was a feeling of accomplishment. All of about fourteen years of plenty, I pedaled into the proud sunshine one afternoon after my run. Riding my bicycle with no hands, I started to twirl my empty denim carry bag over my head. It made a cool helicopter blade noise that occupied my adolescent attention. Not satisfied with life unfurling in the moment, I increased the speed of my bike. Catching the varied directions of the wind, I spun that bag in every direction with my free hands. That is until the bag wedged between my bicycle spokes and I felt a violent jar. In essence, I inadvertently slammed on the brakes at 15 mph. I actually left my bike behind me as I dove overtop of my handlebars damn near in front of the house of a hot-blooded Italian girl who caught my fancy. I traveled such a great distance in the air that I actually had time to ponder my cruel landing or wave tragically to the girl I was smitten with. Flying headfirst without the safeguard of a helmet, I had little choice but to land on my arms and elbows. I slid harshly across the blacktop and the road ate my flesh with hardcore efficiency. I laid prone, a bloody mess with gravel touching bone.

When you are happy and you know it and you really want to show it clasp your hands. Temper your emotions on a paper route and around women or risk going head over heels.


December 05, 2006

Get a Grip

While I was on the set filming an AIDS Awareness commercial last month, an interesting dynamic unfolded. During one of the few breaks in the shoot, I wound up noticing the painfully long face of a grip guy standing to the side of the staging area.
“How are you doing?” I inquired in a friendly tone.
“Not too frigging good.” he grimaced. “I can’t believe I am here and I can’t wait to be done this commercial.”
“Why?” I asked with candor.
“Be for real.” he retorted. “Everywhere you turn there is another photographer taking more digital stills. I better not be in any of the uploaded pictures. Are you really enjoying this?”
I corrected, “I am having the time of my life.”
“I can’t believe you would even want to be in this commercial.” His feet started to pace. “What do you think the voiceovers are going to be talking about when the camera is on you? This commercial is a train wreck. I wouldn’t want to be you. No way. Every single viewer is going to think you have AIDS. Say goodbye to your love life. You aren’t going to be able to get the scent of a woman near you.”
“Get a grip.” I responded. “I’m an actor raising awareness.”


December 03, 2006

Bombs Away!

This could be a well-traveled road in a doomsday scenario.


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