Letter From Milo: Mr. Kafka

March 26th, 2019

I’m not 100% certain, but I think it was the great Franz Kafka who said, “Man, there’s always another layer on the shitcake.”

As if having heart surgery isn’t bad enough, now I’ve got something else to fret about. You see, before having heart surgery you have to have a dental examination. The purpose of the exam is to see if you have any oral infections, which can complicate the surgery.

So, I grabbed a cup of coffee at the corner beanery and a Sun-Times (for the crossword puzzle) and headed down to the Jesse Brown V.A. Hospital. I waited in the dental clinic for about half an hour, spending most of the time trying to figure out a seven letter word that means “Yo Mama” in Urdu.

When I finally entered the dentist’s office, I was gratified to see that the dentist had his diploma prominently displayed on the wall. It stated that his name was Dr. Frankie (Disco) Lopez and he was a graduate of the Triple A College of Dentistry & Bait Shop in Gary, Indiana.

After examining me for a few seconds the good doctor smiled sadistically and said, “Looks like I’m going to have to pull all four of your wisdom teeth and maybe a couple of others, just to be on the safe side.”

“What! Are you fucking crazy!”

“Dude, don’t get so excited. What’s the big deal? They’re just teeth. I pull a couple of hundred every day.”

“That’s not the point. You’re a dentist. You’re supposed to try and save teeth.”

“Save your teeth? Is that what you want to me do?”

“You might consider it.”

“Okay. No problem. I’ll save your teeth for you. I’ll leave them with the receptionist. You can pick them up on your way out.”

Needless to say, I’m going to get a second opinion, and a third and fourth if I have to. I’m not giving up a single tooth without a fight. Fuck ’em.

Now, I want you to understand I’m not afraid of having my wisdom teeth pulled. Matter of fact, I’m not afraid of anything. I may be one of the roughest, toughest men you’ll ever meet. I’m mean as a snake. I eat leather and shit pointy-toed cowboy boots. I don’t use napkins when I eat ribs. I once fought Waterfront Alice to a draw in a savage street fight on Lincoln Avenue. I drink tequila without lime or salt. I prefer two-week old sushi to the fresh stuff, I am, in all respects, a bad, bad man.

There is, however, one tiny, itsy bitsy little thing that makes me a bit nervous. It’s called pain. I don’t want anything to do with it. Pain makes chickenshits of us all. I’m going to have enough pain when I undergo heart surgery. The pain of having wisdom teeth extracted is just going to add to the misery.

My eldest daughter, Nadia, had three impacted wisdom teeth extracted a couple of years ago and it broke my heart to see the pain she suffered. The worst thing a parent can experience is watching a child suffer and not be able to help.

The second worst thing is to suffer pain yourself.

So, I’m going to see if there are any alternatives to having my wisdom teeth yanked. I know wisdom teeth are worthless. All they do is cause problems. But i’ve grown fond of them over the years. I’d like to keep them a while longer.

NOTE: Big Mike, the Barn Boss of this decrepit outfit, and his lovely wife, Mrs. Barn Boss, recently relocated from Louisville, Kentucky to Bloomington, Indiana. According to Benny Jay, Big Mike snuck out of town in the middle of the night, owing seven-months rent on The Third City’s corporate offices in downtown Louisville. You’ve got to hand it to the Barn Boss. He’s always looking out for our best interests. Let’s all join in and wish Big Mike and his beauteous Mrs. health and happiness in their new home.

Leave a comment

Letter From Milo: Worry Warts

March 21st, 2019

The piece I posted about my upcoming heart surgery elicited more responses than anything else I have written. Letters and emails poured in to The Third City blog site, and I’d say more than 60% of them were supportive. People wrote to ask if I was okay. They worried about my health. They worried about my state of mind. They worried in general. Most of my readers, apparently, are worriers.

I can’t tell you how much it meant to me to have all of these wonderful people write to express their sympathy and offer best wishes. Marjorie Synakiewicz and Mary Beth Sundstad sent lovely notes. Meryl Streep sent me some used panties. Monica Lewinsky offered to drop by for a few minutes and cheer me up. My good friend, Bruce Diksas, sent me a Hallmark Card with a joint and a ten dollar bill enclosed.

Even Big Mike, the Barn Boss of this shabby outfit, sent me an endearing note, telling me to cut the bullshit and get my next blog ready or else he’d come over and perform the surgery himself.

Anyway, I thought I’d share a few of the letters from well wishers and concerned readers. Here are a few of the heartfelt notes along with my snappy replies.

Letter #1:

Motherfucker, where’s my money!

Snappy reply:

Oops. I’m sorry. That was a letter from a previous piece.

Letter #2:

Great scam, dude! You cam make a lot of money from that heart surgery thing. I made about six grand last year, collecting money for my liver transplant. The funny thing is, I was planning a benefit for myself later this year to collect some bread for a quadruple bypass. I was thinking that maybe we should get together and hold a super benefit. We can make some real money, man. There’s a lot of chumps out there. How about it?

Snappy reply:

Count me in.

Letter #3:

Hello to you. I am presently being Ibeku Nayana, President of the Third National Bank in Lagos, Nigeria. The situation in concern of your heart was pointed to my attention. I am wishing to inform of you the Greater Nigerian Charitable Association has made many funds available for you in this time of your trouble. The sum is $190,000 in USA dollar money to help paying to the doctor who will proceed to operating for you. If you will please and kindly send to me a money order for $300 to cover the necessary paperworking and the international taxing business, I will personally sending to you the $190,000 immediately or sooner, whichever preference you may be wishing.

Snappy reply:

Oh, man! That’s great. I can really use the dough. I’ll send the money order this afternoon.

Letter#4:

I am Doctor Wallace Hafner, the surgeon who will be performing your heart procedure. I was going over my schedule this morning and ran across your name. Are you by any chance the same low-life rotten bastard who was screwing my wife a couple of years ago?

Snappy reply:

Heh, heh. No sir. You must have me confused with another Milo Samardzija

Letter #5:

This is your friend Sven from the Fabulous Swedish Dick Extender Company. I am truly sorry to hear of your recent troubles. You have been a valued customer over the years and we wish you the best of luck in the future. I am sure that after your surgery you will be like a new man, invigorated and ready for, ah, new challenges. That is why I want to inform you of the new model FSDE, which will be available in November. We are calling it the Turbo Extra Large Jumbo Sizer and it comes in two versions: the Louisville Slugger and the Wilt Chamberlain. If you wish, we will save you the version of your choice. The usual terms apply.

Snappy reply:

Always great to hear from you, Sven. I’ll take the Wilt Chamberlain. By the way, can you send clearer instructions this time? Last year’s model, the Seattle Slew, came with a confusing instruction manual. I ended up walking with a limp for about a week and a half. Thanks for thinking of me.

Leave a comment

Letter From Milo: Check Please

March 10th, 2019

There are wonderful things you can hear from your doctor. For me, the ideal would be, “Milo, sir, you are a magnificent physical specimen. You can continue smoking, drinking, eating red meat, gambling, scandalizing the neighbors and fornicating for another 50 years.”

On the other hand, the last words you want to hear from your doctor are “cancer” or “heart disease.” Unfortunately, I heard those dreaded words from my doctor a few weeks ago.

No, it isn’t cancer. It’s heart disease.

Technically, it’s not heart disease, it’s a heart condition. It’s called Arterial Stenosis (you can look it up) and I’ve had it all my life and never knew it.

As my physicians, both graduates of the Triple A College of Surgery & Tuckpointing in Gary, Indiana, explained it, I have a sticky heart valve. That means that when the heart squeezes blood out of the chamber, the valve doesn’t close properly, allowing blood to leak back into the chamber. As a result, there’s not enough blood circulating through my system. The heart has to work harder, and, like most muscles, the harder it works the bigger it gets.

So, my heart is now slightly enlarged. Unless the condition is remedied it will continue to get larger until it’s as swollen as an Irishman’s liver on the morning after St. Patrick’s Day. Then, I don’t know, I suppose it’ll probably explode, leaving me in a rather delicate situation.

Here’s a bit of the discussion I had with my physicians, Drs. Loeb and Leopold:

“So, what are my options?”

“Actually, you’ve got some options.”

“What are they?”

“The first option is surgery. We can fix the valve and you can live a normal life. In fact, you’ll feel better than you have in years.”

“What’s the second option?”

“You heart will start failing in a couple of years and you’ll die.”

“What’s the third option?”

“There is no third option.”

“Darn.”

To be honest, I haven’t felt that well in the last couple of years. I’ve always prided myself on being a fairly strong person, but in the last few years I’ve felt a sense of weakness that I attributed to the aging process. I had no idea that the feeling of weakness was due to a heart condition.

Out of curiosity, I asked the doctors if lifestyle had anything to do with my condition. They said that my lifestyle was definitely to blame. Although Arterial Stenosis is a congenital condition, heavy drinking and smoking certainly aggravated the situation.

So, there you have it. I stayed at the table too long, ordering everything on the menu. Now, the waiter has presented the check and I’m going through my pockets to see if I have enough to cover the tab.

Surgery is scheduled for October 6th. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Leave a comment

Letter From Milo: The Operation

March 4th, 2019

There are wonderful things you can hear from your doctor. For me, the ideal would be, “Milo, sir, you are a magnificent physical specimen. You can continue smoking, drinking, eating red meat, gambling, scandalizing the neighbors and fornicating for another 50 years.”

On the other hand, the last words you want to hear from your doctor are “cancer” or “heart disease.” Unfortunately, I heard those dreaded words from my doctor a few weeks ago.

No, it isn’t cancer. It’s heart disease.

Technically, it’s not heart disease, it’s a heart condition. It’s called Arterial Stenosis (you can look it up) and I’ve had it all my life and never knew it.

As my physicians, both graduates of the Triple A College of Surgery & Tuckpointing in Gary, Indiana, explained it, I have a sticky heart valve. That means that when the heart squeezes blood out of the chamber, the valve doesn’t close properly, allowing blood to leak back into the chamber. As a result, there’s not enough blood circulating through my system. The heart has to work harder, and, like most muscles, the harder it works the bigger it gets.

So, my heart is now slightly enlarged. Unless the condition is remedied it will continue to get larger until it’s as swollen as an Irishman’s liver on the morning after St. Patrick’s Day. Then, I don’t know, I suppose it’ll probably explode, leaving me in a rather delicate situation.

Here’s a bit of the discussion I had with my physicians, Drs. Loeb and Leopold:

“So, what are my options?”

“Actually, you’ve got some options.”

“What are they?”

“The first option is surgery. We can fix the valve and you can live a normal life. In fact, you’ll feel better than you have in years.”

“What’s the second option?”

“You heart will start failing in a couple of years and you’ll die.”

“What’s the third option?”

“There is no third option.”

“Darn.”

To be honest, I haven’t felt that well in the last couple of years. I’ve always prided myself on being a fairly strong person, but in the last few years I’ve felt a sense of weakness that I attributed to the aging process. I had no idea that the feeling of weakness was due to a heart condition.

Out of curiosity, I asked the doctors if lifestyle had anything to do with my condition. They said that my lifestyle was definitely to blame. Although Arterial Stenosis is a congenital condition, heavy drinking and smoking certainly aggravated the situation.

So, there you have it. I stayed at the table too long, ordering everything on the menu. Now, the waiter has presented the check and I’m going through my pockets to see if I have enough to cover the tab.

Surgery is scheduled for October 6th. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Leave a comment

Letter From Milo: Mr. Hunter

February 25th, 2019

My children love their mother dearly, almost as much as they adore me. Next to me, their mother is the most important person in the world. I mean, what’s not to like about the lovely Mrs. Milo? She’s beautiful, charming, nurturing, a loving mother, in short, everything a child would want in a parent, and a husband in a wife.

There is one thing, however, that my daughters dislike about their mother. Dislike may actually be a poor choice of words. There is one thing Mrs. Milo does that the kids absolutely hate.

They hate when their mother does the grocery shopping. You, see, Mrs. Milo has an odd taste in food, probably instilled in her at an early age by her nutritionist father.

When Mrs. Milo goes grocery shopping, she stocks up on pasta, fish and skinless chicken breasts. Her grocery cart gets loaded with fresh vegetables, ripe fruit, freshly squeezed juices, whole grain breads, assorted soy products, low sodium and low sugar cookies, and other fat-free, low-carb, organically grown, chemical-free foodstuffs, all produced in non-communist countries.

When the children hear that their mother is going grocery shopping, they groan in misery. Their precious little hearts start fluttering and tears well up in their Bambi-like eyes. The way they act you’d think it was the worst thing that ever happened to them, worse even than having their cell phones confiscated or learning that they have to wear braces for another nine years.

“Daddy! Daddy! Mom’s going grocery shopping!”

“So?”

“Can’t you stop her?”

“Why would I want to stop her?”

“She never gets anything good. Can’t you do something? Daddy, please.”

“Now, now, children, your mother has every right to go grocery shopping. Every American has the inalienable right to shop. It says so right in the Constitution. I could be arrested if I tried to stop her.”

The truth is, the kids like it better when I do the grocery shopping. When I go out for groceries, I do it in style. I not only bring home the bacon, I also bring home the sugar, the starch, the grease and that squishy, tasteless petroleum by-product that passes for white bread. I bring home the chips, the cookies, the ice cream, the red meat and the soda.

I am “Da Man” when it comes to shit that’s not good for you.

I truly enjoy grocery shopping. Next to bookstores, taverns and the race track, grocery stores are my favorite places of business. I love pushing a cart down the narrow aisles of my local market. I visit every aisle, grabbing anything that catches my eye.

I especially enjoy the produce section, although I rarely buy the green stuff. The reason I enjoy the produce section is that I get a thrill watching women handle produce, especially cucumbers. Ah, but I digress.

When I come home from a shopping trip, the kids squeal with joy. They go through the shopping bags like they were opening presents on Christmas morning. It does my heart good to see the kids happy. I settle back in an easy chair, pour a glass of wine and congratulate myself on another job well done. After all, I’m the man of the house and, once again, I’ve succeeded in providing food for the family. I am Mr. Elemental. I have hunted and I have gathered. And I have paid for it all with my debit card.

Mrs. Milo, however, is not quite so pleased.

“Jesus, honey, you really brought home a lot of crap this time.”

“It’s all in the eye of the beholder, dear.”

“Couldn’t you have at least tried to get some stuff that’s healthy to eat?”

“Sweetheart, I believe I’ve covered at least two of the basic food groups.”

“Some of the junk you brought home doesn’t fit in any food group. In fact, I doubt it actually qualifies as food.”

“Now, now, dear, let’s not be so quick to point fingers. I did bring you a very nice bottle of Pinot Grigot.”

“You did? That was sweet and thoughtful of you.”

Milo is no fool.

Leave a comment

Letter From Milo: Mr. Fabulous

February 19th, 2019

Every man wishes he had a bigger dick. No man is satisfied with the load he carries. Every man would like his log to be longer, thicker and more imposing. Even the late, great Johnny Wadd, the gold standard of big dicks, probably wished he had an extra inch or two, just to be on the safe side.

Now, a few of you might say, Milo, how can you say that ALL men want bigger dicks? That’s a pretty broad generalization.

Okay, I’ll give you that much. Maybe not every man is obsessed with the size of his dick. Perhaps there’s a religious hermit living in a cave in the Alps who never gives his dick a second thought. There could be a junkie somewhere who’s so degraded by heroin that the only time he considers his dick is when he wonders how much he can get for it on the black market. There may even be a Talmudic scholar somewhere who considers his dick a nuisance, because every time he gets up to piss it takes precious time away from his studies.

Here’s a simple test that will prove my point. Go up to a man, any man, a friend, relative or stranger in a bar, and ask him this question:

Dude, how would you like to have a smaller dick?

If you don’t get beaten up, stabbed or shot, I guarantee you won’t find a single person who’ll say, Now that you mention it, I think I would like to have a smaller dick.

Recently, I had a few drinks and smoked a joint with my good friend, Professor Wang, who’s head of the Anthropology Department (Online Division) at the Triple A College of Nutrition and Cosmetology in Gary, Indiana. He explained to me that men have been concerned about dick size ever since the first half-monkey crawled out of the mire and discovered that standing on two legs was a pretty good idea.

According to Professor Wang, the earliest cave art ever found, in a cavern near the Quad Cities, was a crude painting of a group of naked Neanderthals comparing their dick sizes. Coincidentally, right next to that drawing is another one of a group of Neanderthal women laughing their asses off.

For as long as man has been aware of his, ah, shortcomings, he has taken steps to remedy the situation. Mankind’s very first invention, predating the discovery of fire by more than a million years, was a primitive dick extension contraption. It was made of mammoth hide, pine cones, pieces of flint and a rabbit’s foot. There is no record of its effectiveness.

Throughout history great minds have spent countless years and untold millions of dollars trying to come up with a mechanical solution to man’s most vexing problem. Aristotle, Pythagoras, Leonardo Da Vinci and Thomas Edison all tried to come up with a male enhancement device — and all failed miserably. Rumor has it that Bill Gates squandered half of his Microsoft fortune in a fruitless search for the Holy Grail of manhood.

In all of recorded history there is only one penis enlargement device that has proven successful. In fact, it works spectacularly well. It was invented a Swede named Sven Loewhangen and he called it, “The Fabulous Swedish Dick Extender.”

Due to Mr. Leowhangen’s untimely passing, something about ingesting some spoiled lutefisk, fewer than a dozen of his marvelous inventions were ever manufactured. And they are now nearly impossible to find.

I, however, was determined to find one. Not that I need one, you understand. As far as males attributes go, I’ve been truly blessed. No, my interest in The Fabulous Swedish Dick Extender was purely academic. One day I may even submit a paper on the subject to Reader’s Digest.

After years of the most arduous research, I finally tracked down the legendary contraptions. Most of them were in the hands of the Saudi royal family, who refused to part with them under any circumstances. Another belonged to a Chinese soy sauce tycoon who refused to admit he owned it. Yet another one belonged to the estate of the late sportsman, Porfirio Rubirosa, but his heirs claim to have misplaced it.

Just when I had given up hope of ever finding one of the elusive machines, I got extremely lucky. I made the acquaintance of a woman named Ruth Madoff, whose husband, Bernie, seemed to be experiencing some financial problems. She agreed to sell me her husband’s The Fabulous Swedish Dick Extender, but the price was steep.

To raise the money I had to take out second and third mortgages on my home, sell my sure-fire horse betting system to Bruce Diksas for a pretty penny, and transfer my interest in The Third City blog site to the Tribune Company.

Well, I sent the check off to Mrs. Madoff and now I’m waiting for the FedEx man to arrive. I’ll let you know if my search for The Fabulous Swedish Dick Extender was worth all of the aggravation and expense. I sure hope it was.

Leave a comment

Letter From Milo: Sweet Dreams!

February 10th, 2019

I’ve always considered myself fortunate in that, unlike many veterans, I don’t think I’ve had very many lasting effects from my tour of duty in Vietnam. There are a few health issues relating from my exposure to Agent Orange and I’m still leery of crowds and averse to loud noises. But, on the whole, I think I’ve escaped relatively unscathed from that wretched experience.

Some vets weren’t so lucky. The hard luck stories of Vietnam veterans have almost passed into the realm of urban myth. I don’t know the truth of the matter, but ‘Nam vets allegedly had higher murder, suicide and incarceration rates than the general public. They were more likely to die from auto accidents, drug overdoses, domestic disputes, alcohol related accidents and broken hearts than the average Joe or Josephine.

If there was any credence to the stories, the streets of America were littered with the bodies of Vietnam veterans.

The physical toll on veterans was bad enough, but even worse, in my opinion, was the mental damage. To hear tell, our nations mental hospitals were crammed with crazed, drooling, haunted, deranged ‘Nam vets, all stuffed to the gills with every medication known to man. The ones that weren’t institutionalized were living in caves in Idaho, wandering the streets with all of their possessions in shopping carts, or begging for spare change at busy intersections.

As I mentioned earlier, I consider myself extremely fortunate that I wasn’t permanently physically or mentally damaged in that war. I wasn’t shot or blown up, bitten by a step-and-half snake (if bitten, you can take about a step and a half before dying) or hurt in any of the dozens of ways it was possible to be maimed. Contrary to many opinions, my mental capabilities seem to have survived without major damage, too. In short, I don’t exhibit any of the after-effects that plague so many veterans.

Except one.

You see, every few months I have this horrifying dream about Vietnam. It’s not a violent dream. It’s not about combat or violence of any sort. The dreams works on a deeper level, but it still terrifies me.

In this dream I get drafted again. I’m not the 19-year-old kid I was when I first got drafted in 1968. I am what I am, an aging man, balding, burned-out, gaseous, funky and dealing with health issues. There is no way on earth I should be draft material. Plus, I had been drafted into the Army 40 years earlier. How could I possibly be drafted again? It’s like double jeopardy. But, hey, this is a dream. It’s not supposed to make sense.

Anyway, in this dream I’m standing on a street among a large group of young men, moving slowly toward a line of yellow school buses. We are being herded onto the buses by a bunch of tough looking drill sergeants, all wearing Smokey the Bear hats and mirrored sunglasses and smacking riding crops into the palms of their hands.

“Keep it moving,” they bark at us, “Come on, shitheads, we haven’t got all day. Keep it moving.”

Now, the last thing I want to do is get on one of those buses. I know that if I get on a bus I am totally and completely fucked, as doomed as a man can be. The next stop would be Vietnam or some place exactly like it. I also know that this time I won’t get out alive.

I decide to reason woth the drill sergeants. I’ve got paperwork with me, discharge papers, birth certificate, etc.

“Look here, fellas,” I say, trying to get them to look at my papers. “There’s been some sort of mistake. I’ve already been drafted once, 40 years ago. Plus, I’m too old for this shit. This can’t be right. It’s probably illegal to draft somebody twice. I mean, there’s got to be an age limit…”

Nothing I say makes a bit of difference. The drill sergeants have a job to do and that’s to fill up the buses with cannon fodder. They’ve got their orders.

“Keep it moving. Let’s go. Single file. There’s a war going on and we don’t want you boys to miss it. Keep it moving.”

As I get closer to the buses I begin to panic. I know that once I get on a bus I won’t get off again until I’m in a war zone. I think about running, but I look around and see that there are soldiers everywhere, all carrying automatic weapons, just waiting to shoot anybody who tries to run away. There’s nothing I can do. I am truly screwed.

Soon there is just one other poor bastard between me and the door of a bus. I start to hyperventilate. I’m close to tears. I’m falling apart. There’s no hope for me. It’s all over. There’s no doubt in my mind that I am facing certain doom. The Fat Lady is practicing her scales.

Just as I get ready to step onto the bus I wake up.

At first I don’t know where I am. I’m drenched in sweat, gasping for breath. Then, I realize where I am and begin to calm down. I’m in my bed, in my little bungalow on the north side of Chicago. My wife is sleeping peacefully next to me. My children are asleep in their rooms, blissfully unaware of their old man’s nightmare. The dog is sleeping at the foot of the bed. I don’t know and don’t care about the cat’s whereabouts.

And there is not a bus in sight.

Leave a comment
« Click here for Older Entries |
    • Archives