From pink sparkly to gray wrinkly.

Pickles are just a bunch of sad cucumbers, who went out for a couple of shots of vinegar one night, and came back home, completely, and utterly soused. Yes. Pickled. You can smell it on their breath, as soon as you open the jar. Some of them even went so far as to get busy with a clove of garlic. The life of the Party Pickle. Lampshades on their little green heads, dancing on tables. Classic. Vlassic.

That’s what they say about Rhino’s too. Yes. Rhinos are Unicorns that have just let themselves go. It might have been that the Unicorn was just tired of staying hidden all the time. Or perhaps, she grew weary of watching her little svelte hindquarters. A girl just needs to binge on a box of chocolates every now and again. But the Unicorn can take it too far, and before you know it, they are out in some dried up field in Africa or India, bumping into trees with that massive horn. It didn’t stop with the chocolates. The moved on to the freezer section where Ben and Jerry live.

Don’t even get me started on the whole grape to raisin thing.

All of this because today is Dustin Hoffman’s birthday. He is 82 years old today. (I know.) But. My question is this. When did Dustin Hoffman get to be 82 years old? This simply can’t be true. Why, just yesterday, he was so young and boyish, and worrying about Mrs. Robinson, in The Graduate. Shoot, even 20 years after that, which seemed like a blink, he was completely whimsical in Tootsie. And now, another 30 years have passed.

I know how this happens, and I am here to tell you.

Let’s talk about Beef Jerky. That’s how it happens, if you want to know the cold, hard truth. Normally, it would take a cow 200 years to get all dried up like that. But Beef Jerky happens in a flash. They put that young, tender, piece of beef in some horrible machine, and a few blinks later, Beef Jerky comes out.

Here is the thing. I think ALL of us are in some kind of Beef Jerky Machine.

The rest of the world seems to be falling apart, in other ways, all around us. Every which way. But it is merely a distraction, so that we don’t notice the adverse effects the Jerky Machine is having on us. Some of us are affected more than others, I can tell you this.

You know when it really came to me? The year they quit putting prizes in Cracker Jack’s boxes. That’s when it hit home.

They took the toys away.
Pickles were getting pickled.
Unicorns were completely letting themselves go.
And Dustin Hoffman got old.
Joan Rivers died too, which should have been the big warning for the Apocalypse.

It’s not the Aliens that are going to get us. It’s the Beef Jerky Machine.
We may as well all let loose, and run with the Rhinos.


“I am not young enough to know everything.”
― Oscar Wilde


“When I was a boy the Dead Sea was only sick.”
― George Burns


“Some guy said to me: Don’t you think you’re too old to sing rock n’ roll?
I said: You’d better check with Mick Jagger.”
― Cher