The Inseide Dope, by Bob Seidenstein

Clipped!

According to the traditional cliche, women are obsessed with hair styles. Well, I can tell you from personal experience, males aren’t exempt from that mania. I’ll never forget my first bout of hair style madness, especially since I came out on the losing end of it. It happened ...

A lad of letters

With their cellphones, computers, tablets, and whatalls-electronic, kids today have access to almost ever piece of information there is, or ever was. And as far as I’m concerned, more’s the pity. Face it: Information, of and by itself, means nothing. There’s wrong information, ...

A class act

I knew I’d be a teacher from the time I was ten. And it wasn’t like I thought I’d be a teacher or I wanted to be one — I knew I would. I don’t think that phenomenon is unique or even all that unusual. I’d bet a lot of adults knew what they’d do from early childhood. ...

The Bey of Biscayne

If you were a denizen of My Home Town in the mid 1960s and heard the phrase “south of the border,” you would’ve either thought of one of two things, or both. If you’d never traveled to All Points South, it would’ve referred to Mexico. If, however, you’d driven down the East ...

Puttin’ on the dog

My dog Lulu and I were in Riverside Park, waiting for our photo op. Actually, it wasn’t our photo op — it was Lulu’s. Photo op for what, you ask? Dogs of the Blue Line calendar? NPR’s Canine du Jour? The cover of the Weekender? It was none of those things; in fact, it was better ...

DNAism and badrappin’ the Neanderthals

It was happy hour in the Rusty Nail, but I wasn’t at all happy. Bellied up with me and chatting like magpies were my “dates,” Joe Dadey and Jack Drury. Jack, as expected, was raving about his motor-assist bicycle and how he never actually uses the motor, or at least not very ...

Backstory Babs and the thousand-to-one shot

I was but a mere slip of a lad when I saw the word “serendipity,” and it was love at first sight. First, the word itself was so odd, so seemingly-unrelated to any other word I knew, kinda rolled off the tongue magically. And its origin, itself, was almost magical. It was coined in ...

Backstory Babs and the uninvited guest

‘Scaramouche is a classic novel — at least according to Mark Twain’s definition. Twain said, “A classic is something everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read.” Not that I didn’t try. I did — at least three times over 50 years. But it was always no-go. On ...

Door jam

For the past half-century I’ve owned cars, all of them used, some of them very used. As a result, I’ve learned two things. One is patience. Used cars are not new cars. As a result, things will go wrong with them, if not off the bat then a lot sooner than with a new car (unless the new ...

The best medicine, the worst comedians

From my vast and objective study of the professions, I’ve concluded the least funny are doctors. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that they can’t have wit, humor, or senses of irony. They can. And some do. But when it comes to thems what can dish out the rib-tickling, side-splitting, ...

King of the road (rash, that is)

It was summer 1968, and Bernie Branch was riding high, wide and handsome, literally, in his ’55 Cadillac hearse. Bernie was the lead guitarist of The Mad Men, a good local rock band who played all over the North Country. Of course, lots of good bands played around the area, but only one ...

Crossing their hearts … and their electorate

There was a time I paid very close attention to politics. I read the New York Times cover-to-cover, daily and religiously. I studied every new development, every new candidate, every new promise, and almost simultaneously, every new lie that came with them. As a teacher I ...

In the hood

It’s only fitting, so to speak, that the quintessential American garment, the sweatshirt, is an American invention. The idea was thunked up in 1926 by a fellow named Benjamin Russel Jr., who played football for the University of Alabama. He couldn’t hack the itchy wool jerseys players ...

Down in the dumps no more!

On Monday, when I opened an email from Joe Spadaro saying he had a great idea for my column, my finger was poised over the “delete” button before I knew it. It’s not that I don’t like Joe or respect his opinion. It’s just that I can almost never relate to what other people think ...

Wishy-washy wishin’

Last week I wrote about my experience at my first Friends of the Library sale, which also happened to be the Friends first sale, back in the summer of ‘55. I told about a little kiddies’ amusement section they’d set up behind the library and its two main attractions. One was a penny ...

The Dope and the dark powers

My introduction to illegal activities in Saranac Lake’s happened in the summer of 1955, when I was eight. The agents of my corruption were the Friends of the Library. Yes, you read that right — the Friends of the Library. Indeed, it was those old babes with the blue hair and cat-eye ...

A fond farewell

When I drove to Pisgah last Thursday for Jack Lawless’s celebration of life, I did so with trepidation. It had nothing to do with Jack himself. He’d led a long fruitful life, died at the tender age of 85, and as far as I knew, never had an enemy to his name. So what was the ...

Poetic injustice

I was blessed by a public school education that exposed me to a lot of poetry. I can’t remember if we read any in early grade school, but certainly in Miss Pattinson’s sixth grade class we read our fair share. I specifically remember reading “Excelsior” by Longfellow, because before ...

A walk on the mild side

I started running at 22 and quit 45 years later, but not because I wanted to. I had a hip replacement and couldn’t run anymore. Actually, strictly speaking I could run. But my orthopod Dan Bullock told me it wasn’t a good idea, since it could wear out the replacement. When my hip went ...

Of lugs and laughs

“I’m returning the rental car now,” my brother said. “So I need you to bring me back.” “OK,” I said, trying to sound neutral. This conversation took place last week in Vienna – Virginia, not Austria. My extended family was there for my great-niece’s Bas Mitzvah, ...