All That Twitters Is Not Goldberg
Truthful Humor from a Vindicated Columnist
Perfect Bound Softcover
The real-life adventures of your average left-of-center, sports-crazed, technophobic, irreverent yet sentimental humor writer come to life within the pages of All That Twitters Is Not Goldberg. An almost fifty year-old (how the heck did that happen?) first-time father who tries to find meaning in everything from supermarket signs to presidential politics to the purgatory of being a Philly sports fan and weekend athlete, Matt strikes a blow for truth, justice and irreverence on his adventures, which include: • Ensuring that a local supermarket provides Guest Services, as advertised • Pondering the unlimited potential of selling ice cream to Eskimos • Flushing In Flushing during a Chinese New Year’s family dinner gone bad • Consulting a fictitious psychologist about his sports addiction • Preparing himself to author his first tweet Matthew J. Goldberg—author of the brand new Wordapodia, Volume One— is a uniquely dynamic writer and speaker noted for his irreverent, offbeat sense of humor. All That Twitters Is Not Goldberg is a compendium of his The Tip of the Goldberg columns. He resides in Cherry Hill, NJ with his wife Ruby, and son, Baby Ben—a beautiful boy who always makes the author smile and laugh with his sheer joy, kindness and playfulness. For more information on all current, past and future writings and appearances, please visit www.tipofthegoldberg.com, or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
GUEST SERVICES August, 2007 Atrocities against our beautiful language are being committed constantly by people and entities that should know better—teachers, writers, television talking heads and newspapers, to name just a few. Inundated by such abuse, I decided to not only take inaction (by limiting my own sometimes felonious writing) but to also take action against one of the biggest culprits out there, the neighborhood supermarket. When did the Customer Service counter at my local Shop Rite become Guest Services? Maybe it happened one day three or so years ago when I was joyfully comparison shopping for bug spray. And perhaps it happened on the same day that customer service moved permanently overseas. I remember taking notice of this development one day when I ran through a torrential downpour to purchase my weekly bagels. While groping and caressing six dark sesame bagels with the plastic tongs (I am a considerate customer), I looked over to see the Guest Services sign. I was excited to see the sign; as a guest, I was looking forward to a nice cup of coffee and a warm towel to dry my drenched, overweight self. Little did I know that Maggie at Guest Services would offer me neither of the above, although she pointed out that there were some beach towels on sale in Aisle 13. My earnest protest that they should treat their guests a little better fell on her deaf, dry ears. Ever since that incident, I have secretly seethed whenever I have seen a Guest Services sign in an inappropriate venue, namely one in which I was at least potentially a paying customer. Nobody has seen my outrage, and no host at a supermarket or bookstore has ever been asked for a warm towel, a glass of lemonade or even a tour of the master bathroom. But I want you to know that I have been silently bristling and my tacit acceptance of this language abuse has bothered me no end. I have pictured myself as a combination of Kramer or George (Cosmo Costanza?) in a Seinfeld episode, discussing this with Jerry. “So, my truly good, if sarcastic, host asks me, “with global warming, poverty and hunger in the world, you bristle at the sloppy and devious abuse of language perpetrated by our nation’s grocers?” “Oh yeah,” I reply. “I bristle. Better believe it, buddy, I bristle.” But, what’s the use of bristling when I can do something about it? In a recent conversation with myself, I decided that if the Shop Rites of the world were going to consider me a “guest” then I would make sure that they live up to their end of the bargain as good hosts. My mission to strike a blow for language lovers and abused customers alike would require that I trade in my jaded world view and cynicism for a facade of complete trust and innocence. In preparing for this mission, I might even have to play dumb. My inner voice told me that this wouldn’t be so hard to achieve. My inner ear didn’t know how to take this. My quest for truth, justice and a satisfying shopping experience took me to a Shop Rite about fifteen miles away from my home. As I untangled one of the shopping carts, I couldn’t help but whistle the Disney “Be Our Guest” song, something I had never done before. While still humming the tune to myself, I approached Guest Services with an air of entitlement mixed with humility. “Can I help you?” asked the almost pretty Alex from behind the counter Before answering her question, I decided to be a good guest by not reminding her that cans are displayed in aisle 17, but yes, she may help me. “Yes, you may,” I answered in my most pleasant guest voice. “First of all, I wanted to compliment you on your name tag. That’s very considerate of you, Alex. But do you have any name tags for us guests so that we can identify one another while we’re staying here?” My hostess smiled the half-smile of the slightly perplexed and didn’t answer. Should I have said we guests? “Well, maybe you can help me,” I continued. Do you have one of those sheets that identify this week’s specials? I thought I would save the special items for the other customers.” As a considerate guest, I thought it only fair not to assume I was any more special than the others who were staying at Shop Rite. I straightened the camera case around my neck and resumed my query. “And also, I’ll be staying here for quite a while. I noticed that there are no beds for your guests, and I hate to impose on you further but being out of town, I wondered if you could recommend any inexpensive motels in the area where I might get a cheap rate for one or two hours?”Now wearing the exasperated look of the totally bewildered, poor Alex responded in the best way she could. “We’re all out of circulars, but I think there are some next to produce. May I help the next guest?” I suppressed my urge to snap a picture of her and pushed my cart along towards the produce aisle. My goal was to fill my medium-sized cart with enough non-special items of every variety. So, as to fully enjoy my stay, I thought that I would also grab a bite or two from the nice spread that my hosts had prepared. I also sought to engage in a conversation or two with some of the other guests. Noticing an attractive brunette weighing her plums on the scale, I unpeeled a banana and offered her half, allowing that it was unusually good. Looking slightly amused, she declined before wheeling her way towards the cheese shop. Slightly disappointed, I left half of a banana on top of the banana cluster for another guest who might also not want to overeat. While selecting a nice bottle of olive oil, I learned that the middle-aged man who was comparing the ingredients of a few jars of bread crumbs lived just a mile away, but grew up in Italy. When I asked him if the Italian grocery stores treated their guests so well, he stared at me as if I had a third nostril. Perhaps, it was because I had a few stains on my shirt from the Buffalo wings I had sampled. Feeling a little thirsty, I worked my way over to the orange juice. Picking out a generic brand of low pulp OJ, I started to drink from it until I remembered what my Mom had told me about drinking from the carton. I grabbed one of the Styrofoam cups from my cart, and poured myself a nice cup before returning the container to its refrigerated shelf. I then opened a package of post-it notes, and took a pen from my pocket. I affixed a note on the side of the carton that said, “Very refreshing. Thank you, Alex and family.” I wasn’t sure, but a crowd of guests seemed to be watching me as I wheeled my way around Shop Rite, noshing some potato chips and filling my cart with a prudent assortment of meat, pasta, paper goods and household items. When I paused in Aisle 15 to brush my teeth, there appeared to be quite a few more guests and hosts watching me. I nodded shyly to one or two, not wanting to open up a one-sided conversation. With my cart almost full and hoping to not overstay my welcome in any way, I knew what I needed to do. I picked up a nice bouquet of flowers, and took out a thank-you card from the pack I had selected. While waiting for the other guests to leave Alex’s counter, I had enough time to add a personal touch to my card, and to also enjoy my slice of pumpernickel and apple butter. Waiting for just the right moment, I handed her the pink carnations and then followed with my little card. Apparently left speechless by my largesse, I thought that I would speak first. “Alex, I did not want to embarrass you but I just wanted to show some of my appreciation for a most enjoyable stay here. If I’m ever in the area ag—¬” “Excuse me, um, Matt,” a more experienced hostess interrupted, while staring at the name tag I had discovered in the school and office supplies aisle. “You are not allowed to open up packages and move other items around in this store.” “Oh, I wasn’t aware of that,” I offered with mock sincerity. “Well, I’ll just be going then. Thank you ever so much for all of your hospitality. You were really the perfect hosts
Matthew J. Goldberg is a uniquely dynamic writer and speaker noted for his irreverent, offbeat sense of humor. He is the author of the unintended cult classics, So So Wisdom and Mixed Emotions, as well as the just released Wordapodia, Volume One: An Encyclopedia of Real Fake Words. All That Twitters Is Not Goldberg is a compendium of Matt’s The Tip of the Goldberg humor columns—written as a monthly column for a writers’ e-zine. An accomplished, award-winning public speaker, Matt finds truthful humor in just about everything, including his late foray into fatherhood and trying to raise the perfect American Chinese Jewish baby, his addiction to sports (and the singular frustration of being a Philadelphia sports fan) and the hypocrisy of so many in the business world, in political life and within our media. Although real life provides plenty of material, he is not immune to flights of fancy that find him selling ice cream to Eskimos, consulting imaginary psychologists and communing with the very first poet—a Neanderthal wordsmith named Sheldon “Big Stones” Firestein. Matt resides in Cherry Hill, NJ with his wife Ruby, and son, Baby Ben—a beautiful boy who always makes the author smile and laugh with his sheer joy, kindness and playfulness. He endeavors to share his good humor with people, businesses, libraries and other institutions alike. For more information on all current, past and future writings and appearances, please visit www.tipofthegoldberg.com, or contact him at email@example.com.
Perfect Bound Softcover