Doc What's Up?, Humor Writing, Inventions


As I’ve mentioned before, I have quite a few inventions sprinkled in the pages of Doc What’s Up?. The Snore-No-More is one of these, responsible for saving marriages everywhere.

Does sleeping in the doghouse get you down? Is your wife’s divorce lawyer claiming mental cruelty because you have snored incessantly for years when she does not snore at all?

Well, at last snorers are coming out! Out of the bedroom, out of the doghouse—into Dr. Zuckerman’s office to be cured!!


“At first, I was skeptical,” says Joe Morphus of Snoozeville. “No doctor ever gave me any advice except ‘give your wife a set of golden ear plugs.’ I hadn’t spent the night in my wife’s or my girlfriend’s bed in years. I’d just show up for sex and then get kicked out.”

“Now I sleep when and where I want to, fearlessly. Sure, I’ve had a few relapses, but when that happens, it’s back to Dr. Zuckerman for a night of treatment and I’m snore-free for another 6-12 months.”

How Dr. Zuckerman’s Snore-No-More Works…

Following an intake interview, those who clearly are snoring sufferers are given an appointment to spend a night at the Snore-No-More (TM) Lab. There you are fitted with special inner ear amplifiers. A microphone is used to capture your snores so that they can either—be played back to you instantaneously amplified or—trigger the transmission of your personally most-feared sounds to the inner ear amplifiers, sounds like a grizzly bear attack, a car crash, or your tax attorney’s voice…

Built into the cost of a night at the Snore-No-More Lab is a CD recording of your snoring, taken during your night in our lab—so that you can hear, for yourself, just how bad you’ve snored and how effective the Snore-No- More treatment is.

The History of Snoring

I am a fellow snoring sufferer who has had numerous humiliating experiences like: having a string tied around my toe to wake me when I snore, being screamed at and poked into rude consciousness, exiled to the living room couch and threatened with involuntary surgery.

Sound familiar? I had to find some way to cure myself, but I also wanted to exonerate snoring as a loathsome, useless activity. I searched back into ancient times, all the way back to the cave and there, I pieced together the preservation function that snorers must have played in the survival of our species.

Man’s nature is to sleep at night—a time when most large predators hunt their prey. Thus, not only was man vulnerable while he slept, but he slept at the precise time that he was being hunted. No doubt, once fire was mastered, some poor insomniac (they too, served to save society) was forced to tend the nocturnal fire at the cave’s mouth. But what did man do before fire?

The perfect solution had to have been that the loudest, most obnoxious snorers slept at the cave’s entrance. No beast would doubt that his human prey was awake and in an ornery mood. Meanwhile, everyone else slept in blissful safety.

Therefore, the snorer played a critical role by allowing society to evolve beyond the need for his service.

But—is the snorer revered for his past efforts? How quickly we forget what others have done for us!

The cost of one night of guaranteed therapy in the Snore-No-More lab is a lot cheaper than a second bedroom or a divorce!

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.


Memoir, Personal Essays

A New Project

I’ve been working on a memoir for the past few years, and am now committed to finishing it by the end of this year. The project means a lot to me, and I wanted to share a little bit of it with you all. Here’s the very first chapter of “The Voice” –

When I wrote down my to-do list that day in May of ’91, it did not include getting arrested and thrown into a locked psyche ward. My plan had been to retrieve the computer my ex-girlfriend, Elaine, had talked me into buying in exchange for work she never delivered. I’d been patient. I’d been understanding.  I’d been forgiving. But it became clear that she had played me. That day, I decided to stop to being her doormat.

I called Elaine to tell her I was coming over and somehow our conversation ended with me shouting, I’m gonna kill your ass… An hour later there was a knock on my door. It was my brother, who had come all the way from Texas without warning, making some vague excuse for being there. I told him I was busy – I needed to go get my computer.  He offered to drive so off we went in his rental car. In the wrong direction.

“Where are you going? I told you she lives the other way,” I said to him. He ignored me and just kept driving.

“Are you hard of hearing, Bobby? Turn around and go that way.” He kept going in the wrong direction. Now I was annoyed.

“Look, if you’re not going to take me there, let me out here and I’ll walk back to my place and take my own car.” He made no move to turn the car around.

“I said, PULL OVER!” I shouted, but he stayed silent. I couldn’t understand why he wouldn’t listen to me.

The traffic in front of us slowed down for a red light. I saw my chance and jumped out of the car. It was only 5 blocks back to my place, but I was glad to be able to walk off my rage. What the hell was his story, anyway?!

I don’t get angry much, as a rule, and I knew I needed to calm down. I sat in my kitchen and thought, it’s probably not a good idea to go over to Elaine’s all riled up – not after the screamer we’d had earlier, so I decided to head for the racetrack instead.

There, I spent the afternoon schmoozing with a few cronies and losing a few bucks, which was just what I needed to put my head back together. After the races I headed home for a nap.

Loud knocking woke me up and I opened the front door to two uniformed police officers.

“Was I Stephen Zuckerman?” they asked. I said I was. They asked if they could come in for a moment, so I opened the door, wondering if one of my neighbors had been robbed or something. They were friendly, almost too casual – asking me how I was doing. I made some joke the way I always do, and one of them said, “Well, Dr. Zuckerman, there are some folks who are worried about you.”

“What are they worried about?”

“Well, they’re concerned about your health and wanted to make sure that you were okay.”

“Really? What people are you talking about?” I asked.

“We were asked to take you over to Hennepin County Medical Center so they can check you out.”

“Really?  You guys make house calls? Don’t you have some more important work to do?  I’m really fine …”

“Naw, you see, we promised. So, why don’t you just come with us now and we’ll get you checked out. It won’t take long. You don’t have any place you have to be for an hour or so, do you …?”

Something in me stopped protesting. I haven’t had much exposure to policemen, but it was clear that they were going to take me whether I was willing or not. Since I preferred not to find out what handcuffs felt like, I went with them.

I had no idea, at that time, that behind my back, a conspiracy was fermenting. My brother, Elaine, my business partner, Jay – hell, even my mother back in Queens had all been in on the plot they called an intervention. Not the kind you do with alcoholics and drug addicts, but the kind you do when someone cracks up.

I got my quick and dirty introduction into the black hole of extreme rendition. That word wouldn’t become a household term for another 10 years after 9/11 and Guantanamo Bay, but I would become intimately acquainted with its meaning in the following months.

It’s not that I was tortured, at least not physically, but I would be imprisoned behind a locked door, without show laces to hang myself with, without sharp things to slit my wrists with and without a voice to raise in protest. All those trivial freedoms we take for granted everyday – what socks to wear, what route to bike to work, when and what to eat, who to call that day and who to dodge – were stripped away.

I didn’t realize how glorious it is to simply be able to walk out of my own house and go where I want. Like air – we don’t notice how very nice it is until we don’t have any.

In lock-up, there were cameras that recorded my every move, giant men without necks in blue scrubs who guarded the exists from my escape and who followed me into the men’s room – I assume because they were afraid I’d try to drown myself in the urinal. The only reading materials were pamphlets with titles like, Am I borderline? Or I’m OK But You’re a Jerk and Readers Digest, and a TV was turned up to its loudest setting on one sports channel or another.

Williams S. Burroughs once said, “a paranoid is someone who know a little of what’s going on.” I would soon understand exactly what he meant.