Conversations With A Mad Man


Does Brad Pitt clean his Toilet?

Posted by Tsach Gilboa on July 7, 2011 at 9:26 PM Comments comments (0)

Does Brad Pitt Clean his Toilet?

So, here I was on my knees scrubbing the toilet in my apartment. It seemed like the right thing to do after being awakened, third day in a row, by the twins across the way in the next apartment building–one that if I spit at, I could not miss. The young couple–parental units of said twins– moved there a few years ago, and with the exception of a few occasional broadcasts of late night loud and bad music, we had no issues. But then they went ahead and decided to reproduce–not that there is anything wrong with it, in and of itself, after all I did with great results. The problem started when the babies started actually interacting with them, which clearly left them as a complete loss. All I could deduce is that they never got the second part of the owners’ manual, the one that deals with what you do with babies after you figured out how to actually make them.

As a result, these two kids decided to wake up at around 6:00AM–seven days a week, holidays included–and proceed to cry, wine, scream and cry/wine again for good measure, waking me up hours ahead of schedule in the process. Hence me scrubbing the toilet at 6:00AM one fair morning when a thought hit me with category 6 Hurricane force: “Does Brad Pitt clean his toilet?”

No, you are wrong! I’m not specifically picking on Mr. Pitt. I happen to like and respect him as an actor–his most recent performance in “The Tree of Life” is nothing short of spectacular, the biggest compliment being that one can hardly recognize him in that role or confuse it with his usual strikingly handsome leading man ones. His humanitarian efforts and generosity with his fellow man, woman and child is simply the icing on the cake. Having also reproduced with the lovely Ms. Jolie, just adds on top of his other accomplishments, much needed beauty to our small planet.

However, that still did not stop me from taking a much-needed break and ponder our different lives. I realized with complete certainty that I would delight in traveling, supporting and assisting the lovely Ms. Jolie in her humanitarian efforts in Africa and elsewhere. I would equally delight in participating in the good work that is the reconstruction of homes in New Orleans, as well as a plethora of other good charitable endeavors. I would also not mind in the least having someone to clean and scrub my toilets (both of them, yes I actually have two, one for each bedroom), and the kitchen and vacuum and dust and do the laundry and cook meals and clear the table and wash dishes after and... Come to think of it, a weekly massage would definitely be appreciated. Having a trainer to hold gravity and muscle loss at bay would be very nice indeed (I would not mind reclaiming that body I used to have in high school and college and before the marriage–toned and muscled by exercise, track and swimming–girls sure liked that long lost body). And if I thought about it a little longer, I’m sure I would come up with a much longer list–maybe Brad can help? One ting I am certain of: the paparazzi and loss of privacy I would definitely prefer to do without, as should Brad Pitt and Co. be able to as well. But alas, such was not to be my life, at least not at present!

So, back to reality, there I was post the vacuuming and in the middle of scrubbing the toilet with environment friendly cleaners–yes I do care what kind of planet we leave the next generation, which includes my one and only son and heir–wondering about those that don’t have to do all that. Those people, that have other people to do all those life chores for them some by marrying the right woman and some who can simply afford to purchase those services in the open market (I am specifically excluding those other people who just don’t do any of it at all, choosing instead to live in filth and chaos. We don’t like them and we don’t talk about them either). I was specifically wondering about those that don’t have to do life chores but also don’t do all the extracurricular things that Brad does. What do they do? How do they spend heir days? Quite a mystery, don’t you think?

Just imagine if all of them/us spend a little of the spare time we have, or don’t have, doing something nice and good for others in and for our immediate community. Just imagine how that would cascade and exponentially multiply. Just imagine how it would make our world better. I bet you that if we all did a little, the collective impact would change the world.

Slamming the Front Door

Posted by Tsach Gilboa on June 22, 2011 at 7:12 PM Comments comments (2)

Slamming the Front Door

For the longest time the apartment below me was vacant. I live in a ten-unit two-story apartment building, built in the 50’s, with thin walls and noise magnifying materials. As a result of which, all human activities are shared via sounds and smells. From walking on the hardwood floors below in a heavy-footed elephant manner, to music too loud, to yelling verbal intercourse–face-to-face and on cell phones indoors and outside in the common areas–to the real passionate or just loud intercourse, to shower and other bathroom uses, to cooking and the favorite BBQ, which in these close quarters requires us to close all windows and doors until the smells of lighter fluid and smoke are gone.

So! Not having neighbors was a nice break. At least that one portion of the ongoing orchestra and noise arrangement was thankfully absent. Then THEY moved in! Two lovely and young women, fresh out of a sorority with the exuberance and silliness of the young, and, they proceeded to have a party first weekend in, which made me escape into my bedroom in the back and put earphones on (I have reached that age where noise is an issue). That helped somewhat, but then the heavy walking started downstairs.  A small earthquake magnified in the crescendo of FRONT DOOR SLAMMING, which literally shook the walls and windows like a sonic boom. I went outside on the upstairs walkway, and as a lovely young lady below attempted to walk away, gently inquired if she would mind “NOT SLAMMING THE DOOR?” She smiled a smile that made me long for my youth and said: “Of course, I’m sorry ☺”. Again, longing for my youth and the ease of coupling days, I nostalgically remember–as if they were yesterday–I walked back into my apartment, back into my bedroom and earphone and invited Ella Fitzgerald to fill my soul with bliss.

As I expected and predicted, the Door Slamming continued in the next days until, with no end or option in sight, I drafted and posted on the downstairs apartment door the following “Door Closing Procedure”:

Door Closing Procedure

As is considerate and appropriate when living in an older apartment building where walls are thin and building stability and sound proofing inadequate, all tenants should adhere to the following Door Closing Procedure:

1. While leaving the apartment–After exiting the apartment, pull the door gently towards yourself while turning the doorknob till door fully shuts, with little or no sound. Then lock the door.

2. While entering the apartment–Reverse the process. After entering the apartment, gently push the door closed while turning the knob till door fully shuts, with little or no sound. Then lock the door.

While it is understandable that a tenants door might slam loudly shut on occasion, shaking the building and risking shattering windows and the distress and heart attack of your neighbors–like in a tornado or abnormally powerful gust of wind–One should always strive to conduct oneself in a quiet, peaceful and harmonious manner and always consider that other people live here as well. For clarification and/or a demonstration of these techniques, free of charge, please see Apartment #9. We thank you for your anticipated cooperation


Your friend and neighbor

I was rewarded for my creative initiative and spectacular sense of humor, with an invitation to drinks Friday evening. As it is Wednesday, I am heading to the gym, to be followed by a massage and haircut, in preparation for what is sure to be a delightful and friendly evening engagement with youth.