HomePublicationBurbankChris Erskine: Pasta, Gin and Joni Mitchell

Chris Erskine: Pasta, Gin and Joni Mitchell

In a recent episode, we established two things: 1) that pasta was essentially bourbon and 2) that Dr. Seuss should have been Surgeon General, since he taught America to read — no small task, knowing this nation.
The news about pasta’s soothing effects came from the great John Tesh; the Dr. Seuss stuff from me. Obviously, two giants of American arts and letters.
So pray not for the children, the less fortunate, the abandoned puppies. Pray for me and Tesh to march gracefully into old age and leave y’all the heck alone.
FYI, Tesh is now offering an online piano program. I was thinking — “Hmm, how can I fleece the American public, maybe like the cable companies do?”
Dad jokes? (Well, I invented those, and there’s no revenue stream there, trust me.) Sex tips? (When I learn one I promise to pass it along.)
My next chapter might be writing, but is that even a profession anymore? My latest book sold six copies and still made The New York Times’ bestseller list, which tells you something about bestseller lists.
Of course, I was recently nominated for a Pulitzer Prize by some idiot (me). On a lark, I spent 75 bucks to enter, which is about what I paid for a burger and martini the other night down by the tire store.
Have you noticed how expensive restaurants have become? Basically, you can win a Pulitzer Prize for the same price.
To be fair, it was a plus-sized martini, the perfect serum for my cognitive dissonance. The blue-cheese olives were staring me right in the face — bam! — daring me to drink it. So I did.
The martini cost $15 plus $4 — I didn’t understand the bill and just sort of waved it off. I suspect the extra $4 was for having to listen to me go on and on about how gas has shot up again, and how the seven things I picked up at the market the other day cost me $44.
No one ever talks about the good side of inflation and how it leads to enlightened conversation about Keynes and Friedman and Marx, in bars like this near the tire store where — as you proselytize — you’re treated to the veeep-veeep of the air tools.
“Capital is dead labor, which, vampire-like, lives only by … blah, blah, blah, blah.”
In my next chapter, I plan to marry for money, something my Aunt Marjie always suggested. Unfortunately, my wealthy fiancé (Angie Dickinson) is “ghosting me,” as the kids say. And my latest sidekick (silvery Suzanne) is too smart to ever marry a simple bloke like me. She claims to have no money anyway (though she dresses quite well, in that classy way that says, in hushed tones: San Marinooooo …).
BTW, my latest crush is the talented young hippie, Joni Mitchell. Since I crush on words and wit, I’m quite smitten with something she said on her website that has since been making the rounds:
“This culture sets up an addiction to romance based on insecurity — the uncertainty of whether or not you’re truly united with the object of your obsession is the rush people get hooked on. I’ve seen this pattern so much in myself and my friends and some people never get off that line. …
“I recently read an article in Esquire magazine called ‘The End of Sex’ that said something that struck me as very true. It said: ‘If you want endless repetition, see a lot of different people. If you want infinite variety, stay with one.’
“What happens when you date around is you run all your best moves and tell all your best stories — and in a way, that routine is a method for falling in love with yourself over and over.
“You can’t do that with a longtime mate because he knows all that old material. With a long relationship, things die, then are rekindled, and that shared process of rebirth deepens the love. It’s hard work, though, and a lot of people run at the first sign of trouble. You’re with this person, and suddenly you look like an a______ to them or they look like an a______ to you — it’s unpleasant, but if you can get through it you get closer and you learn a way of loving that’s different from the neurotic love enshrined in movies. It’s warmer and has more padding to it.”
Ladies and gentlemen, that’s from the bright and charming Joni Mitchell.
Bravo, kid.

With olive eyes the mega martini stared back at me

To receive John Tesh’s free newsletter, go to go.tesh.com/newsletter. To receive my new book, “What the Bears Know,” go to any bookstore or thrift shop. Thanks.

NOTE: We are having technical problems getting photos online and apologize for them not being posted immediately.

First published March 14-16 in Outlook Newspapers.


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