Cardella: Mocktober Monologue

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By Tom Cardella

The UN issued a report last week saying that in 20 years or so, our planet will suffer a huge environmental disaster. The reaction from Trump fans is, “Yeah, but how about that great stock market? This would be fine except that Wall Street – the actual street – is going to be under water in 20 years. What is it that you don’t understand? It’s a little like saying, I moved into this new house that has termites, but hey, there’s a Trader Joe’s on the corner. I’m not going to be alive in 20 years, but I don’t want my coffin to be floating down Oregon Avenue either.

Speaking of Trader Joe’s, the store’s a little too friendly for me. Everybody is smiling – the staff, the customers. Why, I ask? Is this because the peanut butter is organic and the oil doesn’t separate? What is there about shopping in a store that sells ravioli filled with Brussels sprouts that makes people lose their sense of misery that we cherish so much? Is it TJ’s seasonal FEARLESS FLYER? I know a lady in town. She reads the FEARLESS FLYER like it’s a college textbook. She actually highlights sentences in the FEARLESS FLYER. You ever read this thing? The apple sauce is described in iambic pentameter.

I’m kidding. I love Trader Joe’s. You go in there lately? I’m guessing that 75 percent of their products contain pumpkin. Is there something about pumpkin the rest of us downtown have been missing all these years? In our family, we used to celebrate Fall by eating a slice or two of pumpkin pie. Nobody worshipped the pumpkin. Mom never thought to fill her ravioli with pumpkin or ditching the red gravy for nutmeg cream. Now I walk around South Philly and it seems like there’s a pumpkin in every window. At first, I thought they were busts of the President.

I mean I’m not trying to be disrespectful, but what is it about the color orange that Trump thinks is so attractive? You telling me CLINIQUE doesn’t have a makeup that is closer to the normal person’s skin tone? There used to be one of these artificial suntan products around. It was called MANTAN. If you put too much on, your skin would turn orange. I had to hide in the house for two weeks after the first time I used it. Uncle Nunzi started calling me Jack O’Lantern. Now we have a president who looks as if he’s using a whole bottle of MANTAN. Maybe orange is the new white?

So, the Saudis are now claiming that the journalist for the Washington Post died “accidentally” during interrogation? Who knew that if you stuck an electric prod up a guy’s anus for two days, that it could kill him? And why was his body being dismembered? The Saudis say, the guy just fell to pieces after the interrogation. Trump didn’t say it, but I think he was wondering – could I arrange for the Saudis to invite CNN’s Jim Acosta for a cup of tea at their embassy? I’m just kidding. Trump has more important things on his mind, like should he record a hip-hop album with Kanye West? I know for a fact that the only reason Taylor Swift came out for the Democrats is she’s jealous of Kanye’s relationship with the President. Don Jr. has set up interviews in Trump Tower. Some say with all of Swift’s ex-boyfriends to dig up dirt on her.

How about the big news of the week that Elizabeth Warren really has Native American blood in her DNA? Apparently, the test showed she’s anywhere from one thirty-second to one-five thousandth Native-American. Which means either her fifteenth cousin on her mother’s side had a relationship with Crazy Horse or she once got upset after reading BURY MY HEART AT WOUNDED KNEE. She wanted to collect on that promise from Trump that he’d pony up (if you’ll pardon the expression) a million bucks if she could prove she’s Native American. She’s got as much chance of collecting that bet as Trump showing us his tax returns.

I had a good time at the Marconi Plaza a couple of weeks ago on Columbus Day. Some folks say it’s politically incorrect to celebrate the birthday of Christopher Columbus. But since when is enjoying the company of neighborhood friends and eating a roast pork sandwich like joining Hitler’s SS? We were at the parade to wave to Jerry Blavat, not jump for joy at the slaughtering of Native Americans. A little perspective is needed here. The only things we like about Columbus are he was born in Genoa and he sort of discovered America after it was already discovered, even though he thought he was in India. The only crime committed in Marconi Plaza that week was when some idiot(s) thought it was a good idea to spray paint the statue of Columbus. THAT was un-American.

I’m not thrilled with developer Orie Feibush either. Feibush wonders why much of the Point Breeze community doesn’t particularly like him. Maybe one of the reasons is that Feibush rejected their request that he include affordable housing in his latest development plans. Why should he when the City gives wealthy people a 10-year tax abatement for buying Feibush’s unaffordable houses?

I’d settle for no INCREASE in my property taxes for the next 10 years. How about you?