Monday, September 19, 2011

915 Hy Fruchtan

915  Hy Fruchtan

Hyman G. Fruchtanner, now shortened to Fruchtan,  is a retired piano tuner from Flushing, New York, and he’s getting a lot of heat from his pals at the retirees’ nutrition club which meets each month for lunch and a discussion of healthy eating at a diner on Main Street.

That might sound like a contradiction, meeting at a diner for a discussion of healthy eating and nutrition, but they all have salads, at least while the rest of the guys are watching.  Hy’s problem is some of his friends are a little hard of hearing, as we used to call it.  Others don’t see so well anymore.  And some are, well, a little out of mental kilter because of their age.

So some of the guys are thinking “Hy Fruchtan” and High Fructose are the same thing and they want to know why Hy is poisoning everyone with that stuff he makes, and what’s the matter with plain old sugar, anyway?  (They also want to know if he’s become rich off the profits, but are too polite to ask, politeness coming to their conversational repertoire only late in life.)

Hy, among the youngest in this crowd has only been receiving his Social Security payments for eight or nine years, while others in the group have been there for 15 or 20.  So he tolerates the ribbing and the un-asked questions.

“I’m a simple piano tuner.  I got Social Security and a little pension from Steinway and I don’t know from High Fructose or Hai Karate or getting high or anything like that,” he tells them.  No one believes him.

Himmelfarb picks up a bottle of cola, points to the ingredients:  “So how come your name is on the bottle?”  Hy asks “since when do you read the fine print, Farb, you haven’t been able to see well enough in 25 years to read that -- and without your glasses, yet!”  Farb asks “Hah? Wot you said?”


For their latest meeting, Hy brought along large type printouts of the latest propaganda from the Famous Users of Cornsyrup Combine, the industry trade group.  It says the stuff is pretty much the same a sugar, doesn’t hurt you and is all natural.  He also brought along a lighted magnifying glass and an enlargement of the ingredients from a Pepsi bottle.

And that didn't work either.


--The wireless guy lied.  He said 5 GB a month would be enough data for three moderate users.  But we burned two and a half gigabytes in about ten days, and signed up for a double allotment.  There go the savings, but at least it’s a little faster than DSL..

--GM is offering a $5,000 signing bonus for its workers in the new contract and seems to have offered to reopen the former Saturn plant in Spring Hill TN, about 40 miles south of Nashville.  Good for the workers and the people of Spring Hill.  Now, about those excuses for automobiles you pump out so proudly...

--Has anyone figured out a way to appraise a house?  The appraisers certainly can’t seem to come up with anything based on reality.  It’s all grading on a curve, smoke, mirrors and a touch of three card Monte.

I’m Wes Richards.  My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
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© WJR 2008, 2011

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