Eric Kaldor

Seymoure Butts’ Mother Ruined My Sex Life

Family Business – B- Story

Seymour Butts, born Adam Glasser, was a nice Jewish boy from the Bronx who had two things going for him— a nice ass and a business acumen. When he put these two attributes together, he became a star.

Seymour was an instant success, but he went onto even greater heights—he went semi-legit. He convinced the cable company, Showtime, to do a reality show about his career, his love life, his illegitimate son, his brushes with the law, and his burgeoning business—which was run by his family. His mother was an office manager and his cousin Stevie, a total fuck up, was the head of production…and that’s where I came in. I got the part of Stevie’s best friend on the show but it didn’t stop there. If at all possible, Mother Butts, it was hoped, would fall in love with me and provide the show which was called, “Family Business,” with a B story line. It was my chance at stardom. I’d been a writer and producer in television for more years than I care to remember, but having a healthy ego, I always wanted to be in front of the camera. This was my shot.

“Family Business” was an unscripted reality show, but there were certain guidelines. I would have to meet Mother Butts on a legit blind date and convince her we should be life partners. I got a haircut and wore my best Polo jacket for our first meeting, which took place in a coffee shop on the Westside. I arrived on time, reeking of Patchouli.  Hidden cameras were everywhere as I waited. Mrs. Butts was half an hour late and as soon as I saw her, I was sure our romance would never get off the ground. The former Mrs. Glaser, now Butts, was a severe looking lady and my immediate thought was that she’d been laid once in her life—and that union had produced the famed Seymour.

In spite of Mrs. Butts being as sexy as a postage stamp, I longed for stardom so I was going to give it my best shot. To do that, I made myself an object of pity. I knew something about pity; I knew it engendered sympathy and sympathy is often wired into the female DNA, and once you get sympathy, you’re on your way. So on the off chance that I might be on my way with Glasser-Butts, I gave myself a harrowing childhood. I told my date that I was abandoned as a tot and then repeatedly abused by a series of twisted, horrible foster parents. All this tumult had led to psychological problems, but there was one good thing, my unhappy past spurred me on in a never ending search for love. I intimated that as soon as I laid eyes on Butts-Glasser, I had a premonition the search which had consumed my life, might far be over.

Mrs. Butts looked at me like I was crazy, so I went to plan B. Everybody liked to talk about themselves, therefore I inquired about Glasser-Butt’s past and her son, and I opined how much fun it must be as the office manager of a house. I asked if she had any other children, about her youth, and where she presently lived. I even asked everything in a syrupy voice, but I really didn’t give a shit about her answers. All I wanted was for her to like me—or at least show some warmth so I could get in front of the camera next week. It didn’t work. Mrs. B kept looking at me like I was nuts.

I’m a dogged kind of a guy and at the end of our rendezvous, I gave myself one more shot. I asked Mrs. Butts for her phone number.  She told me she would like to think about it. I started to kiss her wrinkled cheek, even though it was the kiss of death, but she pulled away. I was furious and never bothered to watch “Family Business,” but a year later, I was involved in a proper film in Brazil. I won’t go into the inordinate beauty of Brazilian women. Everyone’s seen pictures of the Copacabana beach in Rio. The women in that great country are pretty much gorgeous and I hooked up with a beauty who was one of the reigning queens of the telenovelas, or soap operas, which are very popular there.

One morning while my soap queen and I were making love, we had the TV on. You never know the power of American television, but suddenly  there I was on my futile blind date on “Family Business.”  The show had gone into syndication and I was on the tube speaking Portuguese to Mrs. Butts. The scene enfolding in front of my eyes was ruining my day. I was distracted and was no longer making love to a gorgeous Brasilana. I was glaring at the tube and pounding Mrs. Butts with a ferocity I had rarely known. I even called out the wrong name at exactly the wrong time. That most wonderful moment in life when two people climax together!  ”Take that Mrs. Butts,” I screamed at the television “And that and that and that!“

Unfortunately my Brazilian beauty knew English. She untangled herself from my embrace, donned her clothes, and over my protestations of love, left in a South American huff. I was never able to convince her to come back. Mrs. Butts had her revenge, she had driven me psychotic. I still see her on those occasions when I make love now. Of course this is deeply troubling and I’ve been to psychiatrists, psychologists, life counselors, shamans, yogis, sex therapists, and self help groups. Nothing helps. One of my shrinks is currently writing a report of my condition which he will present at the next American Psychiatrist Meeting. My case may be picked up the newspapers, and I might even make Maury Povich; perhaps Jerry Springer. And I’m a cinch for spots on TMZ  (they cover practically anything). Thus my dream will be realized, and it’s a dream of most of my countrymen. I’LL BE ON TELEVSION!  And just like a lot of my countrymen, I’ll be on it for all the wrong reasons.

Zen Is Great But A Bitch To Do

Staring At A Blank Wall

I’ve been meditating for a half hour every morning for over 40 years. I know half an hour is a paltry amount of time, but at my reckoning, that makes for 14,600 times of sitting in a chair trying to calm my mind. Most of the time this quest has been an abject failure, though a few times I’ve witnessed something with a little stretch of the imagination that might be called Nirvana—and it didn’t involve Curt Cobain.

What I was feeling was a deep-inner peace—but it didn’t last long. I started my meditation practice with Maharishi’s Transcendental Meditation. After a six week course, one of the Maharishi’s disciples gave me a mantra. The mantra was a Sanskrit word. I never knew what the word meant and I repeated it every morning, but never neared anything that even closely resembled a transcendental state.

I then attended three Yogi Ashrams. Along with Yoga, I was given a whole new group of Sanskrit words. They weren’t any more effective than the Maharishi’s had been, but then I discovered Zen.

The Zen center I went to was in downtown Los Angeles (well before the area was gent). In other words, it was in the ghetto, but it was an oasis in this tract of misery. The Zenists had taken over a turn-of-the-century house and turned it into a magnificent ashram that the locals respected. There was graffiti on the surface of every wall but not a touch on the Zen house. There was also something about this place along with the noise. The ghetto is a noisy place, but the closer you got to the ashram, the quieter it got. It was like there was an invisible shield that was guarding the building. From the first moment I laid eyes on the Hazy Moon Ashram, I was impressed.

After a week’s introductory course, I was allowed to partake in the group’s meditation practices. From the first day, Zen was a tough trip. First of all, Sanskrit mantras went out the Zen window. They were replaced with dictum, which was to just sit still and watch my breath. On top of that, I was supposed to watch my breath with my eyes open. This was different because in all other meditation practices, one’s eyes are closed and it is much easier than staring at a blank wall.

The neophyte doesn’t get a koan when he begins the practice. A koan is a paradoxical question to a student, and an answer is demanded. This is concentrated on until one rids oneself of rational thought and thus gains sudden enlightenment…hopefully.

I never got to the koan plateau. The roshi and the Zen leader didn’t think I was ready. He was right. I remained pretty much in the category of watching my breath and staring at a blank wall. The wall had a couple of knots in it.

My fellow Zenists (and I don’t mean to sound derogatory) and I admired the group. We would all arrange ourselves in the meditation room wearing black gowns. These gowns had to be purchased, and since I wasn’t sure if I was going to follow the practice, I settled for a black t-shirt. But there we would sit in our black garments, in absolute silence for 20 minutes, while looking at the knots.

A typical Zen mediation lasts 2 hours and 20 minutes of staring and 10 minutes of silent walking. The Zen center I attended had weekend-long sesshins (the Japanese word for staring at a wall for days). I wasn’t nearly ready for that, but for six months, I went to the 2 hour practice every day.

At the end of some sessions, I was certain that I flew back to my car because my feet never touched the ground. At the end of another session, I was so discombobulated and deranged. I felt that I should have called 911, and sometimes I felt that I should have drove directly to Forest Lawn without stopping!

After six months of this up and down existence, I just couldn’t take it anymore. I quit. I regret that decision to this day, and I’ve made a promise to myself that I am going back to Zen.

I have it all planned out; I’m going to ask the roshi if he’ll let me make up my own koan. If he allows it, I know what it will be. On my intake of breaths, my mantra will be:

“Ommmm…Oh mighty knot on the wall.”  And on the exhalation it will be, “Ommmm…oh mighty knot why are you there?”

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