I’m Art Kumbalek and manischewitz man oh man what a world, right? So listen, I’m on a special reporter assignment to research the whereabouts of the future not to mention, more immediately, a clean, matching pair of socks; so I’m running out of money to write an essay for you this week
Thought I would take a look at the Uptowner Charming Tavern / School, where today is always at least a day before tomorrow and yesterday may very well be today. The future may be hiding there. Problem is, the Uptowner isn’t open yet, so I’m thinking of stopping by my favorite 24-hour restaurant, where a guy like me can start girding himself up in preparation for the daily shit storm. to be continued. . Come if you want, but you leave the tip. Let’s go.
Be a: Hi Artie, what is your pleasure?
Art: How about shoveling me a nice spoon from the darkest, thickest cup of all you call good old American coffee today. Thick coffee you could sculpt, if you wanted to.
Be a: Future. Want a putty knife or spoon?
Art: Give me the knife, Bea.
Be a: No problem. So Artie; what do you mean, what do you say.
Art: My pal Little Jimmy Iodine’s birthday is Christmas Day, so I was looking for a birthday card. I wanted it a little more serious than what I usually send: the sad-eyed bull dog wearing a party hat on the blanket and inside says, “In dog years, you’re dead.”
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Be a: I sent this one.
Art: But screams, Bea. The serious cards read like a Sunday school teacher wrote them – they keep yapping about the “gift of life” until I’m ready to throw up, I’m not kidding.
Be a: They can get a little sappy, that’s for sure.
Art: “Gift of life,” give me a damn break. I’m telling you, the one I was sure didn’t come from a fancy boutique.
Be a: Is it true?
Art: It looks like the “giveaway” I received was discounted in the abandoned bin – all final sales. If it was truly such a beautiful gift, how come I can’t return it for a better or at least one that looks better on me, like a life where I earn a million dollars a day for sitting around do nothing.
Be a: Good question, Artie. After my shift, I help my landlady with her fruit cakes. I’ll ask him.
Art: Fruit cake. If Cro-Magnon man thousands of years ago had the technology, the knowledge – not to mention the stomach – to make fruit cake, I would bet two hundred and eighty dollars that the archaeologist would discover, next to the fossilized bones and fossilized tools, Cro-Magnon fruit cake. Perfectly preserved and just as edible as if it had been cooked yesterday. This is the so-called food for which the scientist has not yet determined an expiration date.
Be a: You do not say.
Art: Do you see all the stories about hopeful travelers on the news? It must be nice to have that kind of dough. I wouldn’t mind stepping out of this town somewhere far, far away once in my life. Like the movie what’s his name they always show for Christmas, where George Bailey plays this character who wants to see the world but every time he tries to leave town someone or something chews a new one on him and he is obliged to stay.
Be a: It’s my favorite movie, but for me what’s interesting is not what the world would be like if you weren’t born yet, it’s what the world looks like if you weren’t born yet. . You are always luckier if you are born as far in the future as possible, because the future is always better than the past.
Art: Formerly, anyway. Make me another cup of this coffee, will you, Bea? Yeah yeah, the poor slobs that were born as a couple three thousand years ago as opposed to today for sure got screwed, right? For starters, a guy has more ways to piss off his free time these days. A long time ago, a long time ago you wouldn’t even want have free time on a regular basis because you were too busy enslaving, fixing something, starving or getting butchered. And when maybe you had some free time once every two years, all you had to do was paint reindeer on a wall inside your damn cave.
Be a: So I hear.
Art: Earning a living in the past was not really a wonderful life in the future. The future comes from always that must be better, right? Because if not, what’s the point? What is the point.
Be a: I wish I had an answer, Artie. I really do.
Art: Anyway, I have to get away, so thanks for the coffee and for letting me listen, Bea â helpful.
Be a: My pleasure, Artie. Always nice to be talked to by you. Now, be sure to celebrate this holiday well and in abundance. You can never be 100% sure that it might not be the last you get; so make a good one. Take care.
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(Let’s go to the Uptowner, if I see you there you buy me one because I’m Art Kumbalek and I told you.)