Tennessee has criminalized drag shows that might be seen by children. I am relieved. This will stop a major danger to our society that I had not known existed. On the other hand, will the vigilant Tennessee guardians stop there? Will Chattanooga women continue to be able to wear pants on the street and perhaps even button-down shirts? But if they are concerned about kids encountering cross-dressers accompanied by sexual innuendoes, they should be concerned about what streams or is broadcast into homes. Even if it makes best-ever lists, Some Like It Hot should never be watched by parents with their offspring. Any parent that allows such a thing should get solitary confinement. Go watch the last two minutes of it. That final line by Joe E. Brown, “Nobody’s perfect,” surely must have corrupted many. Preventing children from watching Some Like It Hot would return Tennessee to its good old days of 1960, which seems to be the goal of the anti-drag legislation. When the movie came out, Memphis did not allow children to see it. (Kansas, ah Kansas, actually banned it for people of all ages.)

Does anyone still serve wheatgrass? I am happy that I have not seen it for a while.

His father had been imprisoned in Poland as part of the Solidarity movement. When he was released from jail and granted an amnesty, the father was given a choice of countries where he and his family could immigrate. He chose the United States and was settled in Boise, Idaho. The son felt at sea, he told me; The language, the culture, the TV shows. But that changed when he was able to understand and appreciate the opening sequence of the sitcom Night Court, which he still admires. He lit up at the name Harry Anderson, but I forgot to ask him whether he likes Mel Tormé.

Only once in my life have I met a person who was in a low dudgeon.

He met her in Berlin on his junior year abroad. She was Romanian. She complained that while she knew a lot about the United States, he knew almost nothing about her country. I told him that when I was his age, I knew a girl from Brazil, and I felt bad that while she knew a lot about America, I knew very little about Brazil. But, I continued, I realized that people from all over the world learn about America from their studies, the news, and popular culture, and there is no way I can learn as much about every other country in the world. I doubt, I said, that my Brazilian friend knew any more about Romania than you did, and that your Romanian friend knew no more about Brazil than I did. I concluded to him, however, if you want to get laid, you have to at least pretend you are interested in her country. His eyes twinkled. He told me that he had gone home that night and read every article he could find on Wikipedia about Romania. He then gave a satisfied smile.

China is the traditional gift for a twentieth anniversary, and I am told that platinum is the more modern thing for that commemoration. But the first seems ironic and the second inappropriate for acknowledging that it was two score years ago that we invaded Iraq. What?! You aren’t celebrating that event? Don’t you remember? We accomplished our mission (or so we said). Surely you must feel more secure and safer because of our actions. And don’t you delight in the spread of democracy that we achieved?

A couple from Alberta, Canada, and a man from Wisconsin I met on a recent trip to southern climes fit the snowbird cliché. They talked about the freezing temperatures back home as they sat around the sunlit pool. While I try to avoid trite discussions about the weather, that does not mean that I do not look at the Brooklyn weather when I am in a tropical setting. And this time I was more than a little irritated that it was unseasonably warm and dry — springlike, in fact — in New York City while I was out of town.

The woman from Alberta said that she had been to New York City for one day and had been amazed by the number of people. I did not know how to respond and simply smiled.

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