The Inseide Dope, by Bob Seidenstein

The Promised Land’s broken promise

From the time I was hatched, I knew what Mount Pisgah was. It was My Home Town’s local ski slope. What else could it be? Well, as I was to learn, long after my hatching, it was a lot more. In the Old Testament, Mount Pisgah was the peak from which Moses got to see the Promised Land. And ...

What’s in a name?

Since I’m an unabashed Saranac Lake chauvinist, there’s no doubt what’s my favorite town. But what’s my second favorite? I’ve never been secretive about that either, but in case you didn’t know, it’s Tupper Lake. Why Tupper? Good question. I have a raft of reasons, but ...

The Original Bug Shirt and an unoriginal joke

If I know nothing else about the climate and entomology, I know this much: It’s been one helluva summer for flies. Black flies, mosquitos, deer flies — the usual villains. But what wasn’t usual was how many there were. It was so bad that, like something out of a Hitchcock movie, even ...

Deepest, darkest and densest …

If you read this column regularly, you’ll notice it wasn’t here the last two weeks. Then again, neither was I. In fact, I was about as far away from My Home Town as I could be without heading back to it. Specifically, I was in Tanzania, on Seidentour. Seidentour, simply put, is a vaction ...

Dog spelled backward is God

When I first heard the word “anthropomorphism,” I began to understand all sorts of things that had previously eluded me. It’s from the Greek words “anthropos” (human being) and “morphe” (form), and it means giving human characteristics to non-human beings and objects. For ...

The boys (and one old man) of summer

Even as late as the mid-’70s, five bucks was a hefty bit of chump change. To give you an idea, for a mere fin you could get five packs of cigarettes, 10 beers in a bar, 20 cups of coffee, a full tank of gas for a VW Beetle, three gallons of milk, or two theater tickets. By contrast, ...

Mad, again

Last week I wrote about our latest national disaster — Mad magazine going out of business. OK, so as far as disasters go, it can’t match the Hindenburg. Then again, since almost no one today knows about the Hindenburg, much less would care about it if they did, the death of Mad is ...

Sad about Mad

This week when Mad Magazine announced it had stopped publishing, I wasn’t surprised. It was bound to happen in a society like ours — post-literate, if not il-literate. So while I wasn’t surprised, I was sad. And why wouldn’t I be, since Mad was one of the major influences of my ...

Put your best Foote forward

It’s been over 20 years since The Foote Rest closed, and no fortnight has gone by that I haven’t mourned its passing. The Foote Rest was a cafe across from the Adult Center, before it was the Eat ’n’ Meet. Its owner, CFO, chief cook and bottle washer was Don Foote, who in my ...

A close call

I got up at the crack of 10, refreshed, renewed and ready to fly over the asphalt. OK, maybe “fly over” is too strong a term. How about “hobble sorta quickly”? Normally, while I want exercise, I don’t really push myself on my daily constitutional. And why would I, since I ...

The Dope with the dope on dope

It happens every time I run into someone in My Home Town. “It’s been a great summer—” I start to say. “Whattaya mean a great summer?” they say. “It’s been raining. It’s been cold. And we’ve hardly seen the sun.” Of course, by cutting me off they don’t hear the rest ...

Smooth operator

Whenever I hear someone say, “You’re only as old as you think you are,” I immediately know two things about them. One, they’re a lot younger than me. And two, they have no idea what they’re talking about. The theory makes sense: If you think young, you are young. It ...

Unholy rollers

It happened by sheer fluke. One night a bunch of us were sitting around, shootin’ the breeze, trying to think of something to do, when Kookie spoke up. “How about bowling?” she said. “How about it?” I said. “Wanna give it a try?” she said. We all looked from one to ...

Sound off!

If I’ve learned nothing else in life, I’ve learned this: Never love a car. You can like a car, enjoy a car, even admire a car. But do not, upon pain of heartache and bankruptcy, love a car. The best proof of this is my childhood pal, Peter MacIntrye. The object of Peter’s ...

Fine Dopish Dining

Two elusive figures mystified me during my youth — one in childhood, the other in adolescence. The first was the Tooth Fairy. I knew he was real, and how could I not? I put a tooth under my pillow and the next morning the tooth was gone and a dime was in its place. There was solid ...

They who laugh last …

“I’ve got tomorrow off,” said Jen-Ex. “You wanna go on an adventure?” “An adventure?” I said. “Where to? Deepest, darkest Africa? Kathmandu? Tahiti?” “Nope,” she said. “Somewhere more exotic.” “Oh?” I said. “And where would that be?” “The garden ...

Comic relief

Last week I did something I rarely do. I left my my mountain lair and traveled to civilization — Portland, Maine. Why Portland? Because that’s where Willie Kendrick, my college bestie from Old Siwash, lives. And what did I do in Portland? Precious little. The purpose of the ...

Makes a fella proud

Our country preserves grudges much better than holidays. Two examples come to mind: Memorial Day and Veterans Day. Veterans Day was originally Armistice Day, commemorating the end of World War I. The truce was declared on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. So Armistice Day ...

Bittersweet memories

From time to time I’ll run into someone who’ll mention a column I wrote about The Good Ole Days. We’ll talk a bit, mentioning this guy,that gal, and those things. And in the course of our chat, the person’ll say, “How can you remember all that stuff? I can’t.” Well, ...

Keys to success … and failure

Half-kidding, I often say I’m a 20th century guy trapped in the 21st century. As I said, half-kidding. Anyone who’d want to go to a mid-20th century dentist would need his head examined more than his teeth. I recall those dentists — and not all that fondly — a bunch of dour ...