He slapped me for what I had written about that distressing haircut his beautiful biz partner gave me. And all I could think was: He may look like an idiot and act like an idiot, but don’t let that fool you – he really is an idiot.

Apparently, I have enemies I have never actually met. Like the other night when one of them accosted me during a karaoke night in a tavern and slapped me.

And I wasn’t even singing.

At first I thought it must be one of my exes. But two things immediately dawned on me:

First, my exes slap harder.

And second, I don’t remember marrying anything that ugly — although in my drinking days I may have.

But this was a guy. And no matter how drunk I may have been in the old journalism days, I don’t play for the other team. Well, enough bourbon and I might have considered a young Robert Redford.

But this guy – his name is Joey — looked like one of those Star Wars Yoda characters. You know, a shaven, squashed-in head with a power-squat oversized body. Kind of like a carved out, misshapen Halloween pumpkin. A real double-bagger.

And his sidekick, Sammy, is one of those tall thin willows who likes to provide the background choir of evil laughter.

(We’ll save their last names for public restroom walls.)

Apparently, the cause of this tete-a-tete was an essay I had written several weeks before. It concerned a haircut.

A haircut!

With all the woes in duh world you’d think this bozo was fuming about something important – like baseball. I mean a couple of weeks ago a rabid Yankees’ fan pummeled another fellow with a bat in a bar in a dispute over Derek Jeter. I didn’t quite comprehend that. Those guys were in Philadelphia. Save your homeruns for the Phillies, man.

But it turns out that the Harley riding Joey took exception to something I said about the beautiful woman who amputated my mane. She turns out to be Joey’s co-owner in his hair salon, as well as the husband of a gentleman who had received some attention in the press recently for his allegedly curious business activities.

I don’t quite remember what I said, except in the pre-haircut interview I reiterated that I wanted my hair kept long. Nonetheless, she cut me shorter than an altar boy. But, still, I called her gorgeous. And, indeed, she is. I said she may cut hair pretty well, but I wouldn’t know because mine was nothing like what I requested, or what I was paying for.

Yet, I paid her. Even tipped her, because “a man is always prospecting.”

And I think that is where Joey overtaxed his challenged mental neurons.

Truth is truth. And truth rides pretty easy around the world. But humor can sometimes get you hung. Because humor doesn’t travel well. It is local, and easily misinterpreted, especially by those folks who you can’t figure out what holds their ears apart. I don’t know what makes them so stupid — but it really works.

And now we have Joey. In a way you have to forgive the big lug. His heart’s in the right place, but he apparently keeps his brain in a jar in the Mutter Museum.

Obviously he carries a grudge. I mean, I bear no resentment because my aging mind barely even remembers my exes. But Joey not only carries a grudge, he plants it, nurses it, fosters it, waters it, and watches it grow to sequoia size.

The man obviously needs to ride his Harley to church more, and less to his motorcycle gang.

Anyway, as my friend was singing her karaoke Joey approached me and said in a real friendly manner he’d liked to talk something or other. So I went over by the pool table with him. And he immediately started hemming and jabbering about what I had written. As I turned to walk away he fanned the air with a slap.

I have to admit that at first I didn’t notice it. But as my body naturally recoiled his friend Sammy intervened between us. Sammy said something to the effect: “It was a joke, right? You were just making a joke.”

And as I was searching for the oversized orangutan I dismissively replied: “Yeah. But apparently Joey’s parents’ humor genes skipped over his generation.”

At that point everybody was intervening. And I got to thinking: what a revoltin’ development this is. If all men are created equal, then why are some folks so short-changed?

Probably because most of us are born stupid and work overtime on staying that way.

Later, the tavern owner said he would square matters up. He also thanked me for not escalating the situation. I said I would have gladly engaged Joey, not because skinny-old-little-moi would have had any chance against the simian pituitary case, but because it just would have felt good.

Sometimes, indeed, things just don’t make sense. Joey – or his stunning  partner — is allowed to give me a bad haircut – or one contrary to everything I had asked her not to do – and I am not supposed to say anything.

A similar travail occurred a few months back when the Assistant District Attorney — before she finally dismissed all the egregious charges my ex-wife, Stephanie Blatt, had filed against me — took exception to another long story I had written.

The story simply said that if the ADA Cathleen Thurston had done her job, then I wouldn’t have been inflicted with the same emasculating torture as was recently and deleteriously wreaked upon the IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

Yet, instead of dealing with the problem instead of shooting the messenger, the ADA sent a couple of double-wide refrigerators down to “talk” to me at a cigar shop I regularly patronize.  They suggested I shouldn’t be writing “those things.”  I beckoned them to look out the window. And tell me what you see.

They begrudgingly responded: trees… cars… people…stores….

No, I said. I see America. And unless Bush, Dick and their Sodomites are still in office, “In America we can say any damn thing we want!”

At that, the piggily-wriggily cops spun on their seminary black heels and departed.

Look, my intention isn’t to make more trouble with the troubled Joey. Anything preying on his mind would surely starve to death.

Furthermore, I have discovered, the folks who were most bothered by the essay hadn’t even read it. They only heard what other people told them. And this really bothers me. It’s dangerous. It’s how idiots like John McCain almost get elected President.

Just remember, a government cannot mismanage and abuse an informed populace. But a distracted and uninformed public is when the wolves prey upon the sheep.

In other words, if ignorance is bliss, then too many of us must be orgasmic.

So, all I can say to all the Joeys is let’s play horse: I’ll be the front end, and you guys be yourselves.

And dats yDrewIS on DIS penal colony.

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