Humor Writing, New Cliches for the 21st Century, zuckerisms

Positive Feedback

My books have been up on Amazon for a while now, but we’re doing some new promotions for Medical Humor at its Best . It’s now available in paperback AND as an audiobook. Plus the Kindle version is only $.99!


For less than a dollar, you can get hundreds of witticisms, insights, and life advice that’s only a little tongue-in-cheek. The book is getting a lot of 4 & 5 star reviews these days, so it’s definitely worth the low price. Here’s what some other people are saying:

Andrei: “Creatively written and mind-stimulating, this book challenges readers to go deep into their thoughts and analyze each word, saying, quotes, and thoughts the the writer has presented in this book. Creative writing is at its finest, the poetic approach of this book is just beyond amazing.”

Wylie A.: “A few years ago I began jotting down phrases that people said and the context in which they used them. It amazes me how many cliches and idioms we use daily without really thinking about where they originated, or in some cases, what the expressions actually mean. I was certainly not disappointed. So much work and research went into this book that it is difficult to even fathom. I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the development of our language and the many ways that we sprinkle our speech with metaphors.”

Bryan: “I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect with this one, but I’m very glad I took the leap of faith. This book made me laugh, it made me think, it gave me inspiration, and it entertained me from beginning to end. There was never a dull moment from the moment I started reading.”

Aleksa: “I had fun reading this book… I think that we need books like one in order to lighten up when the burdens of the world seem to be heavier everyday. There were so many pages that actually made me laugh.”

Get your copy now!

Humor Writing, Inventions, Memoir, Personal Essays, short story, zuckerisms

Dining Out

“How are you doing?” Our waitress smilingly greets us with the usual intro. I am ready. I am prepared to strike. I will not tolerate mindless gibberish.

“Good for my religion,” I calmly say. The waitress does a double take. She is caught off guard, expecting at most a grunted, “Okay.”

Hesitatingly she asks, “What did you say?”

“Good for my religion,” I repeat.

This time she gets it and it makes her uncomfortable. “Eh, that’s ok, uh…”

I switch to rescue mode. “I used to say good for my age, but that got old.” The heat’s off, the waitress’ posture shifts to relaxed, but her brain is on alert—she is engaged. She laughs. I tell her my response is an original. Next up, when someone asks me how I’m doing, I’ll say, “Good for my creed.”

My wife has to sit through this exchange. It’s not the first time, and I know she views it as waitress harassment. Worse, she is hostile to the repetition she has to bear: she has heard my spiel 1,000 times at least. I tell her once again that the waitress will now give us better service. I have made a stranger’s evening, personalized the server-servee relationship. Often, the truth is the opposite. The waitress, jarred out of her routinized server relationship, gets our orders all screwed up. To me that means ‘contact’ of one mind to another—I am gratified by the interpersonal exchange. To my wife, it means lousy service: pot roast instead of chicken pot pie, forgotten requests for champagne, bloody medium-rare instead of medium-well-done filet mignon. I’m the culprit in her mind, not the waitress.

Later, I pull off another challenge. “I’d like a diet coke with a slice of slime,” I say, emphasizing the slime. Jill, our waitress—we are now on familiar terms—does another double take, but clearly hears the word “slime.” She laughs and tells me she thinks that’s pretty funny.

I correct myself. “I mean lime.” Then I tell her why I said slime. “It’s not a mistake, I’m not dyslexic. In the past whenever I ordered lime, I’d mostly get knee-jerk lemon. When I ask for slime, I always get lime!” My wife gives me her standard derogatory non-verbal dirty look.

It’s hard to be a prophet in your own marriage.

Humor Writing, New Cliches for the 21st Century, zuckerisms

Some Longer Zuckerisms

I often tweet my zuckerisms, but as I’ve said before, sometimes they’re just a little too long for 40 characters. So today I’ve rounded up a few longer ones that I’d like to share with you:

To cure my son’s lackadaisical attitude, I took him to a compulsive-obsessive clinic for treatment.

I figured that if they could cure the disease, maybe they knew how to cause it.


The Ten Lost Tribes

There are now 347 contenders vying to be officially named one of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel.

Actually, the rumor that Ten Lost Tribes ever existed was a Jewish plot to make other groups question their roots.

There never were any Lost Tribes.


When my girlfriend asked me what my relatives in Florida thought of her, I said:

‘They almost always think highly of others because they think so little of themselves.’

Her response was: ‘How nice.’


When I was two and a half years old, my mother let go while teaching me to swim in the ocean.

After that, there was nothing to rebel against.

Humor Writing, Memoir, New Cliches for the 21st Century, Personal Essays, zuckerisms

The Problem IS the Solution

A few longer zuckerisms from “The Problem IS the Solution” section of New Cliches:

* In the 1980s, the great threat to the airlines was cheap long distance calling. The airlines have since recovered, thanks to the torturous ‘on-hold’ button.

* I once ran into a patient with severe malingeritis. He required two years off work to allow the situation to resolve itself.


Artists use negative space as a powerful force to define the object of a painting. The greater the negative space,
the more striking the definition.

In music, the pause, or the absence of sound, parallels the negative space in art and intensifies the sound’s effect.

The ‘silent treatment’ in marriage also parallels this concept. What can one do in the absence of response but eventually look at oneself ?

Thus, I credit my ex-wife (who is an artist) with being my mistress of negative space. Without her, I never would have discovered myself.

Like what you’ve read? Be sure to check out the book! Only $3.99 on Amazon. 

Memoir, Personal Essays, short story, zuckerisms

Sneak Peek

Here’s a little sneak peek of a new (semi-secret) project I’m working on….

My life began falling apart in the fall of 1990 when I was getting close to turning 50. Seventeen years before, I’d left medicine to do missionary work in central Minnesota and then start up my own venture capital business. Medicine was always my first love, so I kept my medical license current every year. I found investing in new medical start-ups incredibly exciting and I was good at it. But as 50 approached, my work running venture capital funds and start-up companies had stagnated. Worse, I had none of my former enthusiasm. I was drained. All of the motivation that had made work so enjoyable – raising capital, pursuing investors, searching out nascent medical technologies with all the right stuff – was gone.

When my girlfriend of five years, Elaine, broke off our relationship with, “I don’t want to sleep with you anymore,” I plummeted into a depression that I couldn’t seem to crawl out of. I don’t mean that I was just blue or sad like I’d been at various points in my life. During those times I’d be out of sorts for a few days before returning to my old self. This time I was shrinking inward.

I was no longer sure there was an old self to return to. The whole world seemed out of kilter, like I had just stepped into The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. Everything was skewed – redrawn by some architect with a twisted sense of humor.

For months, sensations had been overwhelming me. Some were bodily sensations, some sensual, and almost all of them had an otherworldly feel to them. I was still me, and yet, I wasn’t. I was seeing things around me as if I was seeing them for the very first time – things that must have been there all along but I’d never noticed them before. My hearing tuned itself to a higher frequency. I suddenly noticed things like the whirl of the air in my good ear as I biked around the lakes. My vision telescoped in on details I had never bothered to notice – the throat of a bird, the luminescence of a flower, the music that clouds make. Sometimes, they were so poignant that tears would come to my eyes. Even my thoughts didn’t seem wholly my own anymore.

Looking back now, I know that I had suddenly become aware of the invisible aspect of our world – those unseen, unheard, unprovable things that exist all around us. Sometimes, I’d feel blasts of unspoken angst from colleagues when we tangled over sticky topics. Their facial expressions would say one thing, but there were emitting something quite different and I saw things that they were hiding.

Other times when I was in a deep conversation with someone, I’d be overwhelmed by epiphany and tears would begin to stream down my face. Sometimes, a secret they were keeping – something I could never have known on my own – popped into my head and spooked the hell out of them.

Other incidents were almost comical – like the powerful pain I had if I snuck a late-night nosh from the fridge that shot up from the wart on my left big toe. If I began to lie about something, I would suddenly drop words out of my sentences, forcing me to start the sentence all over. Worse, until I told the truth, it kept happening. Once, on a Saturday morning while I was cleaning my kitchen, I had a premonition that a horse I’d never heard of was going to win at Canterbury Downs, the local track for Minneapolis-St. Paul. I actually went to the track thinking, ”can this be for real?” Sure enough, not only did the horse exist, but it was running at 7 to 1 odds. I laid down a bet of $50.00 to win and came away $350.00 richer. So, I wondered, “is it possible to know the future?” If, as Einstein’s theory of relativity claimed, there was no such thing as linear time and everything is happening all at once – past, present and future – did this explain it?

That’s all I can share with you for now, but be sure to check back on the blog for more snippets of this top secret project!

New Cliches for the 21st Century, Personal Essays, zuckerisms

On Life and Death

Some musings on these infinite subjects:

Truth Floats

Humankind is the ultimate judge of the worth of its leaders.

Common thieves looted and destroyed the tombs of the Pharaohs, who posed as gods, and now their words are long forgotten. Only empty tombs remain.

Not so for the words of Buddha, Laotse, Moses, Jesus, Mohammed, Aristotle, Plato, Shakespeare, Mozart, Leonardo da Vinci, and so many others. Their works have grown and flourished over time.

Famous false prophets inevitably end up as footnotes in the March of History, their efforts diminishing with the test of years. Only the works of those who bear the burden of truth survive and deepen with time.


Nowadays, we live as though the world will never end and we’ll never die.

But Nature puts time limits on our lifespans so that we will get on with the game.


Life is like a horse race— no matter how much you know about the horse, past races, or track conditions, the outcome is always in question.

But if you don’t bet, you’re not a player.


New Cliches for the 21st Century, Personal Essays, zuckerisms

A Few Things

I wanted to share some quick snippets from New Cliches with all of you. They’re short and sweet, but a little longer than my usual zuckerisms. However, I think they deploy the same sardonic humor.

In other news, I have an entrepreneurial announcement to make soon, so stay tuned! Exciting things are happening behind the scenes.

My very short piece, titled Bargain Basement Sanity:

There has only been one psychotherapist I have respected because he guaranteed meaningful, measurable results from his therapy.

His bottom line was this:

‘Therapy will cost you $10,000 and one hour of your day, five days a week, for five years. In that time, your income will increase in direct proportion to how much better you will function. So, I can guarantee that, in the long run, my fees cost nothing.’ 

And another short piece for good measure! This one is called, Between Battles:

Paul was my favorite sparring partner in business, and I took great pleasure in poking at his weak points. So, when I called him to wish him Happy Hanukkah, naturally, he was suspicious.

‘What do you want from me now?’

‘Nothing—just to wish you a Happy Hanukkah.’

‘Bullshit. What are you trying to bug me about now?’

‘Maybe the biggest bug of all is not to bug you about anything.’

He chuckled. 

New Cliches for the 21st Century, zuckerisms

A Few Zuckerisms….

These are taken from the “On Idiot Savants” section in New Cliches for the 21st Century. Enjoy!

All of us are idiot savants. As such, we should pursue that which we are best suited for and avoid the areas in which we are idiots. 

Utopia will be achieved when most human beings get to express their true individuality most of the time. 

There are those who survive no matter what happens to them. Their secret is jumping from one frying pan into the next without getting licked by the fire. 

People may be stupid, but their brains aren’t. 

One true sign of genius is the ability to create things that any idiot could use. 

A definition of frustration: expecting a frog to fly. 

Doc, Doc What's Up?, Humor Writing, Inventions, Memoir, MyNexTie, New Cliches for the 21st Century, Personal Essays, short story, Uncategorized, What's Up?, zuckerisms


My books, like my ideas, tend to be eclectic. “Doc What’s Up?” in particular is a blend of images, short essays, and – of course – zuckerisms. But I also have a section on inventions – tongue-in-cheek ideas that would, let’s face it, probably make the world a better place. Here’s one of them:

pic1 pic2