Sunday, January 31, 2010

Gaspa-what?

The rain started at one o'clock and was steady all afternoon. It didn't seem to dampen spirits but it did impact the crowd that assembled for the 96 year old Gasparilla Pirate Fest.

What is Gasparilla ... you might ask?

To Tampa residents, Gasparilla is ... boats,  parades,  pirates,  booze  and "merriment". Up until this year, it was also ... peeing on the sidewalk and exposing various parts of the body for gifts of beads (just like my old home town, New Orleans). When I say "up until this year" it's because this year, the police did an incredible job of reducing alcohol consumption ... the basic source of evil deeds.

I finally had a chance to experience it first hand. This year ... I was asked to be one of the parade judges (an exclusive "secret" honor) by my good friend and Gasparilla historian, Victor Leavengood and his lovely wife, Lee. Vic was a "pirate" since 1965 and was proud of it. He shared a little of the history of the celebration of Gasparilla (and then told me it was all a legend that someone made up as an excuse to throw an awesome party.)

THE (unofficial) HISTORY OF GASPARILLA

The name and foundation of Tampa's traditional Gasparilla Carnival come from legendary pirate Jose Gaspar, "last of the Buccaneers," who terrorized the coastal waters of West Florida during the late 18th and early 19th century. Gaspar, given to calling himself "Gasparilla," served as a lieutenant in the Royal Spanish Navy for five years until 1783 when, upon seizing command of a Spanish sloop-of-war, he with his fellow mutineers set sail for the Florida straits. And so the young Spanish aristocrat-turned-pirate began an adventurous life as outlaw of the sea.

When Jose Gaspar died, he supposedly left an untold fortune in buried treasure somewhere along the Florida coast. Though that treasure has never been discovered, the story of the swashbuckling Gasparilla was unearthed and his memory revived in 1904 when Tampa's social and civic leaders adopted the pirate as patron rogue of their city-wide celebration. Miss Louise Frances Dodge, society editor of the Tampa Tribune, was planning the city's first May festival. At the suggestion of George W. Hardee, then with the federal government in Tampa, she decided to develop a theme for the affair based on the legend of Gasparilla.

Secret meetings gave birth to the first "Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla," whose forty members planned to surprise the populace with a mock pirate attack on Tampa. Masked and fully-costumed, the first krewe arrived on horseback and "captured the city" during the Festival Parade.

So there you have it.

Depending on who you talk to, there was a Jose Gaspar(illa) the pirate ... or there was no such animal.

Either way, Tampa has been captured by businessmen dressed as pirates, smoking big cigars and drinking whiskey since 1904. Their women follow closely behind on the Royal Barge (actually a three deck party boat) as the actual Pirate Ship (a floating barge dressed up like a pirate ship) is filled with 700 swashbucklers who land on Bayshore Boulevard and whisk away the mayor of Tampa ... in a tour bus.

What follows is a parade of 104 floats and bands and beads.

Vic and I judged each ... from our comfy chairs on the top floor of the Royal Barge. Our first place commercial category went to the Hard Rock Casino/Hotel float with Mike Alstott, Grand Marshall throwing rubber footballs to the crowd, the Unsinkable Krewe of Molly Brown (Grand Prize winner for their float with the Titanic sinking), The International Independent Showmen's Association (no, I didn't make that up) float won first place in the Special category for their rendition of carny food and carnival workers ... and so many more.

Here are some pics:




This is me ... pretending to be a pirate capturing the city with the real ship behind me. Anyone surprised that they wouldn't let me carry a real gun?











The Leavengoods ... young octogenerians and such a pleasure to be around. True treasures!










Pirate wenches gather on the dock in the cheap slutty outfits that they complain about the rest of the year when "other women" wear them.















Some of our city fathers.








Other city fathers (.... uhhh state fathers) Charlie without makeup and former governor Bob Martinez center WITH makeup.

Bob .... I'd lose the glasses (and the rest of the costume).

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Joker


My brother-in-law, Tom, is a true practical joker.

He claims to be an attorney ... but based on the number of emails he sends out every day when most of us work, I'm not sure how many clients he REALLY has.  Ninety percent of Tom's emails are interrupted by a screaming face ... which of course fools me EVERY time. He's been known to secretly replace orders in restaurants (like fish bones instead of grouper or Shirley Temples instead of Scotch). He's wrapped his share of toilet seats and scared the hell out of his friends in the middle of the night by putting alarms under their beds.

 I just a got new set of email posters from Tom ... SOME OF WHICH I can share with you below ... you'll love them:











































































MY FAVORITE!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Rough Cycle

When you're a child, you think about life (when you DO think) in very simple stages: diapers, toilet training, teenage years, getting a job, marriage, being a mommy or daddy and death. Seems like it takes forever to reach the pinnacle of  life ... reaching teenage years ... and old age starts at thirty. When you are well past your thirties (OLD), life stages become more health related (and cyclical): vision problems, multiple trips to the bathroom, forgetting words and thoughts in mid- (Hmmm what was that word?) ... eventually, diapers.

If you're married, you might look at life as ... life before marriage and life during marriage. In some cases (mine included) it might be: life before first marriage, first marriage, life after first marriage, second marriage. Obviously some of us could add a few more numbers and even repeat a few here and there (... fifth marriage, life after fifth marriage and repeat of first marriage which becomes sixth marriage ... etc.).

My life is complicated enough so just handling the "life after first" stage was enough of a challenge for me. I could share some VERY interesting stories from that stage in my life but I'm really afraid that I would be forced into a "life AFTER second marriage" stage quickly if I gave too much information.

So instead ... I'll share a story that will focus more on state of mind (cloudy and rudderless) and less on state of play during those single years ...

After one of those particularly confusing, "intoxicatingly" long nights that happen (sometimes) during a "dating" cycle, I was scheduled to drive down to Ft. Myers to visit one of our telethon station partners. Steph Hall (Telethon Queen) was my driving companion that day. "Do It All" Hall (as she modestly referred to herself on the job in those days) had worked for me for years as a secretary, assistant and ultimately ... the director of the ACH Telethon. I remember when I hired her from Channel 8, she was the first person I thought of for the job (other than a girl named Chris and about 10 other people). By the way ... she truly has done and is doing a tremedous job.

So Steph and I started our journey early in the morning. It didn't take long for her to notice that my eyes were red, swollen and half shut ... so she "tactfully" asked, "Had a rough one last night, huh?"
"I don't want to talk about it."
"Was it that girl who sent you muffins?"
Unfortunately (for me) Steph had a memory like an elephant and I "shared" too much.
"I don't want to talk ...."


Suddenly, the car in front of me blew a tire and pieces of rubber were hurled at my car. One of them hit the bumper so hard that my eyes finally fully opened. I pulled off the side of the road and looked at the bumper. It was hanging to one side and dented in the middle.

I asked Steph, "Do you think it looks okay?"
Steph said ... " I think it'll be okay ... just minor damage."
"Really?"
"Sure."
I shook my head ... "It's not gonna be okay, is it? It's never gonna be the same."

We got back in the car with the bumper just inches off the ground. I kept driving ... "Is it okay? It's not okay is it? Yes ... I think it's okay .... I better stop .... no I think it'll be okay ... IT'LL NEVER BE OKAY."  Steph was forced to listen to my sad monologue.

Miraculously, we reached the TV station with the bumper still attached. The TV station marketing manager came out to meet us and of course was forced to hear my monologue again ... "Hey Mitch does this look okay? ... It doesn't does it? ... Should I go to a gas station? ... It's not okay is it?"

He shut me up, went inside, came back out with a role of electrical tape and covered my bumper with it until it held tight enough to make it back home.


He looked at me and asked ... "Rough day, huh?

Steph just nodded ... "Rough night ... too."



             

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Off Track Driving


Got stuck in traffic yesterday in the middle of Tampa's new Sinkhole District (I-4). Next to me was a car that literally sat inches from the passenger door. The occupants were probably in their 80s ... thick glasses on the driver's nose ... the top of his wife's head was just barely visible above the dashboard. My heart sunk for a minute as I glanced over. I could have sworn it was my dad.

Fortunately for the entire country it wasn't him. He was resting comfortably at Menorah Manor without access to any motor vehicle.

It wasn't always that way ... of course. And his reputation for bad driving didn't start when he was an old man. There were numerous stories about his driving. Actually ... it wasn't only his driving. When I was about 10, he slammed my fingers in the car door and didn't realize it until he drove down the street (with me running as fast as I could ... screaming). He backed over my father in law's foot when he was getting something out of the trunk. And although the cars he owned were covered with dents, he always managed to come away unscarred.

But these stories all pale in comparison to the accident he had that caused me to take his keys away once and for all.

About twenty years ago, we were visiting the parents in New Orleans. I noticed that their car was gone when we pulled up. As we sat down at the breakfast table I questioned him, "Hey Dad. Where's the Buick?" 
Dad answered ... "At the shop."
"Having problems?"
"No ... just needed repairs."
"What kind?"
"Just repairs Joel ... don't worry about it."
Mom chimed in ... "He hit a train."
Me ... "You hit a TRAIN?"
Dad said ..."ESTHER ... just be quiet about it."
Mom .... "Sam ... Joel needs to know about this. I almost DIED."
Me ... "You were in the car when he hit the train?"
Mom ...."No ... but I almost had a heart attack when I found out."
Dad ... "I DIDN'T HIT A TRAIN."
Me ... "That's a relief."

"The train HIT ME ..."
I wasn't sure how to respond to that.
"... the train hit me. It was HIS fault."
I REALLY didn't know what to say to that.
I tried anyway ...."Dad ... how could the train be at fault? If he hit you ... you must have been in his way."
"It happened pretty fast ... but he definitely hit me... and now ... THEY WANT ME to pay for the damages to the train."
I brought out a pencil and a piece of paper. "Okay," I said as I started to draw, "Here's the track ... and here's you ... where was the train?"
He drew his car ... "I was stopped in front of the electric arm ... it came down in front of me ... when the train hit my car right here (on the driver's side)."
"But that stops you IN FRONT of the tracks. You must have been on the tracks."
"I was IN FRONT of the sign and the train HIT me."


Well ... we ultimately drove to the two way side street where the accident happened and as I looked at the electronic arm ... it came to me. Dad had driven on the wrong side of the street. When he stopped in front of the sign ... he was sitting on the tracks looking straight ahead. He was lucky to be alive. That was the last time I let him have his keys.


He wasn't happy and he insisted he needed the car to get around. But my son Josh had the answer. "Don't worry Grampy ... I'll give you rides".

HIM ... I trust.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

They Said What?


There's a facebook ad today that reads:

Attention Florida Residents.
If you are a 60 year old male you may qualify for $250 in free gas.


Are you kidding? Gas and 60 year old men? First of all ... I didn't know there was a charge for that ... and secondly ... if there is, 60 year old males could go through $250 in about ten minutes.

Here's another one:


California olive oil pressed October 2009! Fresh unfiltered Sevillano has a full flavor and an aroma reminiscent of artichokes!

Is it me ... or do you really want your olive oil to taste like artichokes?

How about this one:

Rolling Razor

Changing Shaving Forever! Holiday specials 30% off & Free shipping

Yeah ... changing shaving forever as you change your FACE forever. This contraption looks like a cross between brass knuckles and handcuffs with a blade on the end! I particularly like "holiday specials" in the middle of January. Must be a BIG seller.

Here's one you WON'T see on Facebook ... but an interesting way to promote darts:



Next time he'll get you a beer faster.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

What Happens in Vegas


I was born with a gambling gene that many of my fellow New Orleanians share (my mom had it for sure). The technical name is the "Seeya-Raiseya-Splitem-Hitme Blazing7s gene". Not familiar with it? Then you've probably never been to Vegas.

I visit "kind of" regularly ... although last year, we cut back to 14 times.
On our last visit, we decided to see a couple of shows (a major compromise for me) ... one of which was Donny and Marie at the Flamingo. Debbie was a big fan of Donnie's when she (and he) were going through puberty together. I was never a real fan of either ... then again ... I only discovered puberty in the last few years.

Actually ... I had met Marie many years earlier.


When the Childrens' Miracle Network Telethon was first organized, 28 years ago, I was in Chicago with the 10 other childrens' hospital foundation directors who decided to take a chance on a new concept in fundraising ... a national telethon designed to raise money for the local partners instead of the other way around ... a local effort to raise money for a national telethon (like Jerry Lewis). The Osmond Foundation were the founders and Marie was the host. Over the next few years she flew back and forth to St. Pete to meet with our donors.

So as we stood in line waiting to enter the club where Donny and Marie were performing, Debbie said to me ... "Tell them that you know Marie and maybe we can talk to her ... and DONNY!" I reluctantly gave my card to the girl at the hostess desk and asked her ... "Would you give this to Marie? I know her ... at least I used to know Marie ... that is ... we kinda did business together ... it's been a while ..."

She answered without looking up ... "She doesn't take messages before the show. Try afterward ... NEXT!"
I'm sure she tore up my card as soon as we took our seats for the show. I sat there and mentally kicked myself  ... I must have sounded like an old groupie.

After the show finished Debbie said ... "Let's see if we can find them." Sure. Just what I wanted to do after getting shut down by the front door girl. But we wandered out the door and toward the back of the theater where there was the lineup for the meet and greet. Everyone had on badges and lanyards looking official ... like a "fan club" ... and we .... hung around.


Finally a little guy with bad acne asked us if he could help us ... I confidently handed him a card and said ..."Would you give this to Marie? I know her ... at least I used to know Marie ... that is ... we kinda did business together ... it's been a while ..."


He said ... "Sure .... just wait here and maybe you can see her." He left with my card ... at least he pretended to want to take it.
 
Debbie said to me "You think Donny will be there too?"
I said ... "Drink some water and just cool down ... he'll be there."


A few minutes later ... a guy dressed in a Hollywood looking sportcoat came up to us and said: "Hi ... I'm Dony and Marie's tour manager. Come back with me."
I felt so relieved ... she must have remembered when he showed her the card ...
"Now you do KNOW Marie right?"
I had a moment of panic ... she didn't see the card ...
"Sure .... sure."
The manager said ...  pulling us aside ... "Good ... Okay ... here's what I want you to do. The woman who will be in front of you is a crazed Marie fan. She follows her everywhere and always brings a ton of Marie dolls for her to sign. Marie can't ever shake her ... so when I give you the hi sign I want you to come up and interrupt her and talk to Marie about old times okay?"
"Well ...."
" It's okay ... really .... she won't mind at all."

He left and I sweated in line worrying about Marie not remembering me and NOW I had to knock over some poor fan. I told Debbie we should go ... maybe sneak out .... no way Debbie was gonna leave ... not with the chance to see Donny.

Just then I hear a voice and see a familiar face. Joe Lake, the co founder of Children's Miracle Network comes up to say hello. I was thrilled to see him. We talk about old times ... I tell him what we're doing here and the "plan" to see Marie ...... he said ... great should be fine ... and then he dissappeared.

I'm left again with the urge to run as we inch up closer to Donny and Marie. Debbie is like a school girl .... and I am sweating like a stalker .... the REAL stalker walks up to Marie .... giggles and talks and pulls out all the Marie dolls and then I got ... THE PUSH from behind and I was staring right at Donny ...

He didn't miss a beat .... "JOEL. Is that you? How have you been (hugging me)?"
I whisper in his ear ... "Donny ... You don't know who the hell I am do you?"
He whispers back  ...."No ... Joe told me about you ... now go rescue Marie."

I did as I was told .... Marie was just lovely ... remembering some of our past experiences together or just being polite ... either way I was relieved to have finally gotten this over with ...



It only took a few more hours to get Debbie away from Donny.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

A Kick In The Grass


I ran across soccer pictures the other day when I was "cleaning out" some albums.  By the way ... for those of you who know me, "cleaning out" a photo album means moving pictures around and putting them in exactly the same cluttered place  ...

This picture of the three kids was taken at one of Josh's 4,732 soccer games ... They played teams like Mayakka Mullets or Land O' Lakes Butter Eaters.

Actually ... each of my kids played soccer at different times and different places. To be exact: CLUB SOCCER. We soccer parents KNOW the difference between rec soccer and club soccer.
Club Soccer = thousands of miles of travel, celebrating every major holiday playing tournaments in large metro areas like Nohouseformiles, Tennessee or Scaryville, Georgia and meeting interesting people from every part of the world (many were on parole or were kicked out of their anger management classes).


Some of the games got pretty physical. Elbows flying, punches thrown, vicious insults  ... and those were from the parents. I remember many games where mom and dad were thrown out of the area ... having to watch the game from an adjoining field. Funny thing is ... I remember one Dad (who will remain nameless) getting a lecture from his son on correct behavior.

Our club was called Northeast Raiders. There were numerous rec teams and club teams associated with the Raiders and (as in all the soccer programs) there was always a great need for volunteer support. I did my part as a coach and manager and even served as vice president of the league. I made it clear that I would only do the vice president board appointment and that was it. Two weeks later, the president was "fired" and I was appointed acting president.

It was the most miserable time of my "volunteer" life.

There were over 50 coaches and 600 players ... and what seemed like 567,987 parents. They ALL called me at some time during my tenure ... all hours of the night ... about important things like:

Where can I get REALLY good shin guards?
Why is my daughter not playing enough?
I want my kid to switch teams. Do I have to sell my house?
My son needs to eat during the game. Can I pack him a lunch?    

Funny thing is ... these are all TRUE.


Eventually I resigned my post when I found a way to transition. I gave it to a guy who did a great job until he sold his house and moved out of the country.

The  Catholic Church took over the league the next year.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

I Want A New Drug


I thumbed through the St. Pete Times this morning as I was lying on the gurney awaiting my turn to get a tube with a camera shoved down my throat. Believe it or not ... I did this voluntarily so that my friend and stomache doctor, Scott Halgren could afford to work less days this year.

There's another descriptor for this pagan act ... an upper endoscopy. For those of you that have not had the pleasure of having this procedure done, you don't feel a thing. You get a little Michael Jackson cocktail first and (unlike Michael) you should wake up a half hour or so later (it seems like a only few seconds) feeling "groovy" and a little hoarse.

So ... patiently awaiting my turn ... I focused my attention on the editorial page. There were two big editorials : One was about my present employer (USF)  and the other was about my former employer (All Children's Hospital). The USF editorial was about the end of an era (Coach Jim Leavitt's departure) and the ACH editorial was about the beginning of an era (Opening the new hospital with incredible state of the art equipment and facilities). There was a reverse irony here ... my USF carreer had just begun a year ago when my 30 year ACH carreer ended.

Great memories.

I thought back to the time I joined the staff at All Children's as the Public Relations Coordinator and one of the first things I remember doing was meeting an incredible group of teens who were battling cancer. They had formed a support group and invited me to a group discussion to share ideas for a "project" that they could do together to tell their stories to other teens. We talked about writing a book together, speaking to classes, filming their life stories,  ... and then the light bulb came on.

A music video.


We would produce a music video and they would be the stars. They picked the Huey Lewis song, "I Want a New Drug". We got permission from the music publishers to change the lyrics to mirror their feelings about Chemotherapy:

"I want a new drug.
One that won't make me sick.
One that won't make me lose my hair ...."

We re-recorded it with THEIR voices, had funny routines planned and caught the attention of NBC who came to the hospital to film it all ...

Great memories ...


"I want a new ... "
"Mr. Momberg, we're ready for you ."
"Oh ... okay ... "
"What was that you were singing?"
"Just a little tune ... say ... do you have any Michael Jackson music?"

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Latkes Anyone?


So here's one for you ....

IOWA CITY, Iowa - Two Midwestern families are hoping for a little leftover holiday spirit -- and cash -- after they found what appear to be crosses inside potatoes. Bidding for the two potatoes kicked off on eBay this week. One was found by an Iowa family and the other by a police detective in Ohio. Jim Gross of Marion, Iowa, says his wife was peeling the potato on New Year's Eve when she found the mysterious cross shape in the potato's eye. It's now on sale on eBay for $2.

Det. Dennis Bort of the Berea, Ohio, police department, says he found the cross shape in the potato on Christmas Day. Bort says he's selling his spud for $1,000. He hasn't yet found any bidders, and says he's happy to keep it if no one buys it.


I found this out from my good friend, Nancy Alexander of WMTX Radio (Mix 100.7) in Tampa. (Being in radio means that Nancy doesn't have a real job ... so she's got lots of time to cut out articles from Iowa newspapers about potato crosses.) She is also one of the funniest people I know.

She sent this message to me because I am Jewish (probably the only Jew she knows) and knew that I would of course want to protest the blatantly biased media coverage of this Christian event ... an obvious insensitivity to the feelings of my people who were ONCE AGAIN excluded in holiday religious events of huge proportions ... like the potato cross story.

I mentioned to Nancy that once ... many years ago ... I found the entire printed works of the Five Books of Moses inside of a Japanese Plum which had fallen in my back yard ... and NO ONE covered it. Not one media outlet ... big or small ... came to interview me.

It now resides on the doorposts of my house.

The Japanese Plum ... as Nancy related ... reflects the similarities which exist between Buddhists and Jews. That point had escaped me at the time ... but her references to Yid and Yang brought it all home.


And ... as the Buddhists teach ... suffering is part of life. I must get used to it and understand it.

Oy ... how I know dat!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Oh Canada


Flew in from Toronto the other night.

We were there for the International Bowl ... doesn't ring a bell? Well ... no one in Toronto heard of it either and it was played in THEIR stadium on January 2nd between USF (University of South Florida ... my employer) and NIU (Northern Illinois University ... somewhere outside of Chicago). That should narrow it down ... outside of Chicago ... like the rest of the country, perhaps?

I won't keep you in suspense ... We won.

And the win was the only thing that warmed our hearts and our bodies ... Toronto was cold. I was outside for a total of 5 minutes in the 4 days we visited. Thank God the city is almost entirely connected by underground PATH's. They are not always in a logical sequence but if you leave breadcrumbs you can find your way back to the Fairmont Hotel (which looks exactly like it did 80 years ago ... same plumbing and even thinner walls).

Here are some pics of our trip ...


This was our taxi.

Our driver refused to turn on the heater. Visibility was terrible but we managed to make it the two blocks to the Westin Hotel where we celebrated New Year's Eve.



Once we got to the Westin ... we danced all night (mostly holding our noses).

One of the couples (maybe a couple of the couples) had apparently been protesting underarm deodorant ... STAUNCHLY protesting ... by the smell of it. We were all later checked by the hotel staff before midnight to determine just who the culprit(s) were.

Game day.

Fortunately, The Rogers Centre is an indoor stadium. It's comfortably built for enjoying hockey and baseball. Unfortunately, football happens once a year and is not well attended. At our game, the announcer didn't use any sound equipment to give the play by play. He simply stood on one of the 20,000 empty seats and used a bullhorn. We heard everything just fine.


It wasn't until later that we found out where all the Torontonians spent game day. They celebrated outside in sub-zero weather with their buddies in the Polar Bear Club.

Makes sense  .... Why would you spend the day in a comfortably heated stadium when you can take off your clothes and jump in an icy lake?


Happy New Year!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Toilet Training for the Young at Heart


Just got back from visiting my dad. It's been a few weeks since Mom died and he seems to be handling things just fine at the nursing home.

We bought him a shirt he's been asking for ... it's a lime green beauty from Penney's that has been permanently pressed enough to be worn three hundred and thirteen times without washing or drycleaning. Last week we bought its purple twin and he's been wearing it ever since. He told me that I should really get a few myself because of the way these "simonized shirts" feel. I didn't have the heart to tell him that this one wasn't waxed and polished.

He had company at his table in the dining room this afternoon ... his friend Rita (who also complains about the food, the staff, life ... just about everything) and his only male friend Sidney (a retired physician). Before Sidney arrived, Rita and Sam exchanged pleasantries:

Rita: "Sam ... are you gonna eat this barbeque stuff ... or whatever it is?"

Sam: "Yeah ... did you order it for me while I was in the bathroom?"

Rita: "No ... I was afraid to. You'd be mad at me if I was wrong."

Sam: "What? I'd be sad if you were gone?"

Rita: "No ... MAD IF I WAS WRONG"

Sam: (Talking to me) "You see ... Rita doesn't ever know what she wants to eat."

Rita: (Scowling at Sam and shaking her head) "Sam ... that's not what I said ...."

Sam: (Ignoring her and still talking to me) "So my new roommate uses a portable toilet. I was afraid he might use the regular one since we share it ... but I think we worked that out and we can go at different times."

Me: "I suppose that's a good thing although I don't really understand the mechanics ... and actually I don't think I want to know much more about that subject ... why don't you just eat your lunch before it gets cold." 




Sam: "Rita ... maybe I'll use your toilet ... what kind of toilet do you have?"

Rita never even looked up ... she just kept eating.