Saturday, May 21, 2016

Where's The Beef?

ARE YOU NUTS? I recall the matriarch--my 2nd mom for you who have not been reading this space for 10 years--shame on you by the way--- who will turn 95 in July--saying those words to the Godfather of all people. You might recall the Godfather is none other than the man we call Uncle Al. Al had almost got me whacked when we were working as valet parking buddies at the Crab Bucket in Fort Lauderdale in the late 1970's. I had insulted a pizza delivery boy who happened to be the son of a made man in the Florida mob. Not a good idea. Especially for those who like breathing. So now Al-never light on get rich quick schemes had a doozie-- My ex says it was 1984 and she has a better memory than I. She also kicked me out of the house 9 years ago--but I have forgiven her. Almost! Actually, like she points out --she was the one to do the walking that day--She walked out on me! But why hold grudges? She married an old man and I am cavorting these days wwith Playboy Bunnies in their 20's. In fact one of them just asked me what I was writing and did I want a lap dance. No, I told her. I was asking you if you had seen my laptop. Oh! The things I do for love! So Al and my 2nd dad--let's call him Norman because that is his name. Dad was always up for an Al adventure. Possibly he thought Al would have him whacked if he declined. But Norman didn't like to rock the boat. Literally. One day Norman and his buddies went fishing as the story goes. One problem. Norman didn't fish. Joan Rivers knew Jews were poor fishermen. Jew don't do sports. They own sports franchises. Well, Norman didn't do either. Once he put up a sign in block letters NFL on his apartment door. His buddies asked him if he was the new NFL commish. He had no idea what they were talking about. All he knew was identifying the residence of Norman and Florence Liebman. True story! Back to the boat. It wasn't long before Norman was turning green and not Jets green. Not that he would know what that meant either. Norman asked his buddies, pleaded with his buddies to pull over and let him off. They looked at him like he had horns. Norm, you never go back when you are a fisherman. Norm followed the rules and jumped. It is only legend that Norman is still swimming as I write this. Actually the real Norman died at the wheel of his Cadillac outside Harrah's Casino in Laughlin in June 1990. His signature yellow candy sucker was still dissolving in his mouth. Again it is only a canard that this announcement was made in the casino lounge. Your attention, please, ladies and gentlemen. There is a brand new Cadillac in our parking lot. It is locked and the motor is still running and the keys are in the ignition. And your very dead husband is still gripping the steering wheel. Will you please remove him. security is on the way. So what mad3e me return to the days of Godfather Al and Iowa Meat? You see I write about entrepreneurs and of course when I heard Iowa Meat staging a San Diego event--my mind flashed back to the Godfather. So why did he think customers in tropical south Florida would be willing to grab a fur coat and brave a freezer just to pick out dinner? Al disappeared before I could ask him that question. You see my sister-in-law walked out on him as well. Seems to run in the family. She left the Godfather, sent him back to New York with a one way ticket and married the King of Aruba. But that's still another story. Al disappeared 20 years ago and no one has heard from him since. Does he sleep with the fishes? You would have to ask them. I am still curious whether customers still visit the freezer. Recall mom's doubt that such a business could survive. Mom was right. Al was bankrupt--again--in less than a year and the San Diego--version of Iowa Meat--somehow it keeps on going. Next week I will tell you why. *********************** Steve Tarde will make you laugh until your appendix scar opens! His Casey at the Bat on Fox TV can be found at

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