The Inseide Dope, by Bob Seidenstein

Hijinks jinxed

It was late April 1967, after a very long, very hard Old Time Winter. Now a note of enlightenment: I’ve been hearing all around town about what a long hard winter we just had. Hate to be the one to tell ya, but we didn’t. First, it wasn’t hard. We didn’t have a lot ...

Damn! What a column!

I have always been fascinated by words, in any form: puns, anagrams, palindromes, rhymes, rhythms and especially word origins. The only word activity I don’t like is crossword puzzles, since they’re either too easy or too hard, and each is as frustrating as the other. Lots of people are ...

In the Lions’ den

While most performers have a lot in common with each other, magicians are in a class of their own. Let’s say you’re a vocalist giving a recital and you hit the wrong note. If your audience notices, it’s no big deal. They’ll give you a pass, and you’re still a singer. Or how ...

It’s nothing to sniff at

People complain that our national politicians are a bunch of self-righteous thieves who aren’t responsive to the people, but I disagree. Sure, they are self-righteous thieves, but they’re also responsive to the people — especially if “the people” are lobbies, corporations and ...

Nothing to LOL at

A couple weeks ago my attention got snagged by an Enterprise headline: “Students detox from cellphone use.” Turns out our local high school, as an exercise in enlightenment, encouraged students to give up their cellphones that Friday, and approximately 65 percent of them did it. ...

And then along came Russ

Last week’s column was about my struggle to get accepted into a Master’s program. The struggle had only one cause — I wanted an MA in English lit, but I’d been an American history major. Here’s the thing: Grad schools are fueled by a near-bulletproof fiction. It is in ...

Student, teach thyself

Rarely does life give us a perfect match, but it happened with me and Paul Smith’s College. And it happened by sheer coincidence A week before second semester 1973, without giving notice, three English teachers walked out. Two days later, having been told of the walkout, I walked into Dr. ...

The water test

I went to grades one through 12 in Petrova School. But even though all grades were in the same building, for the difference between grades one through six and the others, I might as well have gone to school on different planets. For me, grade school was a diddy-bop through paradise. I ...

A set of real Navy blues

It was early July 1969, in Pensacola, Florida. I was there for Navy Class A School, and once I stepped off the plane I realized how far out of my Adirondack element I was. I was wearing wool dress blues, and both temperature and humidity were in the low 90s. As soon as I hit the tarmac, ...

It takes a whole village …

I rapped my gavel three times, and my two colleagues fell silent. “This Executive Committee meeting of the Brothers of the Bush is now in session,” I intoned gravely. Joe Dadey and Jack Drury gave me their undivided attention. Actually, I just embellished a bit. First, I ...

Iced out

Last Saturday and Sunday if you saw a bunch of folks milling about in Prescott Park, you might’ve wondered what was going on. Well, I can tell you – they were either building the Arctic Golf course or playing on it. And what, pray tell, is Arctic Golf? Essentially, it’s ...

A pro con

One of my favorite quotes from Damon Runyon is: “Someday, somewhere ... a man is going to come to you and show you a nice brand new deck of cards on which the seal is never broken, and this guy is going to bet you that the jack of spades will jump out of this deck and squirt cider in ...

Schooling in the classroom of life

I remember when and where I first saw the word “maelstrom.” I was a pre-teen in a town barbershop, reading a men’s magazine. The magazine was one those that featured “true” articles that were actually fiction of the uber-macho kind. Titles ran along the lines of “Shipwrecked in ...

Wrap artists

The Scandinavians have an expression, “There is no bad weather, only bad clothing.” Supposedly, in Scandinavian languages, it rhymes. But rhyme, shmyme, all that matters is if it’s true – which it is. And it was just this that Jane Mandeville and I were talking about in Aldi’s ...

Seven’s company

Two things I inherited from my mother are my support of charities and my love of animals, but my approach is different from hers. With charities, I pretty much give only to local organizations. If you don’t know why, just look up what percent of contributions to national charities ...

A cold hard look

Unlike meteorologists, I can’t predict our cold snaps. But I can predict what inevitably follows them on Facebook: My news feed gets clogged with postings from all my local “friends” who have since settled south of the Mason-Dixon Line. They all say the same thing — how glad they ...

A Norman Rockwell dream come true

It didn’t seem like it’d happen, but it did. What happened, you ask? The Old Adirondack Winter Cold Snap, that’s what. How long it’ll last is anyone’s guess, but it has for the past few days and (at least according to the weather wizards) it still has a ways to go. It ...

When more is less

The subject came up in a coffee klatch with Brother Clark and Sistah Lisa. I don’t remember the specifics of the convo; I only remember the flash point, which was the word “choice.” Essentially, after rappin’ ’bout this and that, we agreed that while having no choices is ...

Albert E. and me

I’ve always been a modest lad, if I do say so myself. Which is why I’d never say I’m smarter than that famous part-time resident of My Home Town, Albert Einstein, even though it could be true. Me, the Dope, smarter than Einstein? How can that be? Simple. While he may have ...

Seeing the light

If you’ve bent an elbow in downtown Saranac Lake, you already know where Adirondack Hamlets to Huts’ headquarters is. And how could you not, since it’s directly across from the Waterhole, right next to Saranac Lake Wines and Liquors, and two doors down from Grizle T’s. But even if ...