Zamboni is asked about Fundraising

Today’s question comes from Actor, Karaoke Star, Director and theatrical impresario, Norman Gee, who asks how he can raise millions of dollars for the non-profit arts company he works for.

The real question here is how to separate people, from their money, right? Once I was stowed away  on the Orient Express, hiding in the luggage car, and enjoying the scenery as we were passing through Bucharest, and I couldn’t help notice how fancy were these trunks that I was sandwiched between, quite uncomfortably. As I ate my daily meal of grey snow scraped from the roof of the train car, I pondered over the alligator skin trunk with gold buckles in which I slept at night, nestled in a pile of silk underwear and mink. I thought of Montaigne’s line, “even those highest among us, still must sit upon their ass.” It was funny to me that both myself and the owner of this trunk were similar.  Though I was poor and she was rich, we were essentially the same.

Perhaps this seems obvious, but we spend much time brewing and stewing over our differences. We think the young different than the old, and the poor to be altogether different from the rich. We assume the famous to be never lonely or sad, and the child to know less than the adult. It is rarely like this. Each of us wants to belong. Each needs love. Bread. Laughter.

Norman, a quick look on the “interweb” shows you there is much money out there being spent on very silly things, watches the size of plates, life-size robotic ponies, and these inventions of the Devil that are called Jeggings. The last being a diabolical and putrid mix of “jeans” and “leggings.”

What sort animal has this legs in your country?

Now, to get people to give you their money, whether you are raising money for kids to learn fire-eating or trying to sell them blanket snugglies, the following requirements must be met:

-They must be led to believe it is their privilege to give, not their duty.  (Only limited supply left!)

-They must be flattered. No one is immune to flattery. Remember Sally Field, “You like me!” etc.

-They must be convinced that giving will get them something they want or need. No one gives selflessly. Even when I give to charity, I like little rush of happy it give me when I give dollar to someone on street. I think some karma coming to me. And science prove that giving to others result in endorphin rush for giver. Use this drug.

-Free food. You would be surprised how generous people get with a cheeseplate and some free wine. They start to feel rich and it lube up the checkbook. I used to work in catering, and when I work the Estonian Opera opening dinner, where one plate cost 5000.00 Kroons, the glow on the faces of these patrons was like cocaine enema. They were fleeced but happy. To them, they feel they make the show. They belong, see?

-Invest. It takes money to make money. See Wine and Cheese above.

-Network network network. Greeting someone you met once a year ago by their first name is impressive. Ask also about their wife Patty and they will sign over house to you.

So Norman, whether a person can give one dollar or a million, do not approach like beggar. Approach like a King who is deigning to give them permission to give you money.

Think about this, if the King of Estonia came up to you, adressed you by name and asked about your wife, then said he needed 500$  for circus tickets for the poor, you would give. Why? Because it is giving you a role to play.

So give them a role, put their name on a chair or on a toilet seat, whatever it takes. ABC:

Always Be Closing.

Good luck Norman, and yes I will talk to you about The Great Zamboni Soap Dispenser in lobby bathroom, if you wish. But I drive hard bargain too.

I’d wish you good luck, if I believed in it.

Zambones is asked about Missing Knock and Eminen

Today’s question comes from my faithful and slightly frantic reader, “Snow Queen” somewhere in snowbounded New England. Like her, it is somewhat convoluted, passionate, and confusing. But not for me. Here it is:

“I decided to pop on my shiny new Christmas I-pod. You know-it-all Gnomes, I TOO will whistle while I work. A fiesty, young gentleman who goes by the name “slim shady” was yelling in my ear. He seemed a little angry his words were: “You get one shot”….” The opportunity knocks once in a life time” I was struck with sadness. Could it be true these things he says??seems so self assured…. Dear God, did I miss the knock? I knew immediatly this was a question for The Great Zamboni.”

So Snow Queen, you want to know if you missed this knock.

First, I am glad you clear up for me the lyrics of that song. On my Bulgarian bootleg of this small disk, it sounds like he is talking about booze in your shaols, not lose control.. To know more what I’m talking of, I consulted here the internet:

Though this video is fascinating, it seems to be not the song you have mentioned. (The other I could not find, and the donkey powering my 1998 Thinkpad is tiring out so I want to continue) But! Then I say to myself, Zambones, remember what your grandmother from Odessa always used to say, “everything happens for a reason”. Now I realize, this misdirection of failed YouTube search, and my malnourished donkey, leads me your answer!

Do we get only this One Chance in life? Is opportunity like the much longed for Publishers Clearing House knock that comes but once, or even worse, and perhaps this is your real question…maybe never? Or maybe while you are in the shower? I Zamboni, have won this PCH Sweepstakes four times, but I realize this is rare and a result of strange magnetic waves I give off from my home taxidermy workshop.

It is Eminem who answers your question. You want opportunity to knock. Opportunity will not knock. It does not know how to. Look at Eminem. He takes on many personas in this video and in his life. Even in this four minutes he is many people. Why? Because he chooses to be.

You Snow Queen, have it backasswards. Open your door right now, go. Take your fancy ipod with you and open door. You see anything but snow? You see nice golden opportunity? No. Now close door, to save on heat bill.

This Eminem is known in even tiniest village in Estonian Bog. Why? Because he natural talent? Because he look like Rap Star? No. He look like kid you don’t trust hanging out in Walmart parking lot. He make to the top from passion, hard  work and taking chance. Thats it. And even when he screw things up, he make second chance by hugging Elton John at Grammies.

So if someone knock on your door, and you say, “who is it?” And they reply, “oh, hellooo, I am wonderful uup, smily smiley…” Call 911 immediately or get rifle, because they may be sexual predator or Jehovas Witness.

Then sit down, lose yourself in dreams, come back, write down what you want to happen, yell from moving car window,  knock on your own head, and then:

DO. Like a rat without a tail, do and do and do.

It just make dramatic song lyrics to say it knock once. It knock as many times as you like.

But will you take?

Yes. I think you will.

A New Year, an Empty Head, Ready for Business

Yes Zamboneheads, I look forward this year to answering your very difficult questions. Nothing is too simple for a man as simple as I. As my first wife , a toothless rag seller from the sreets of Sharvoldnodosk was fond of telling me, “you’re a fricking idiot  Zamboni! As dense as blood pudding!”,  but she say this with such fire in eye it always make my groin tingle like a silver fish. This is the attitude in which I await your quandries.

This actually the mother of Zamboni's fleshly vehicle, J. winer. I read her mind: "This is a career?" (Actually, this woman amazing precisely because she not thinking this. She proud. Even Zamboni is bepuzzled by depth of mother's love.)



Reader Feedback, Slightly Scary

The following is from a reader from this “New” England section of your country, who goes by the name of Snow Queen:

Thank you Zamboni for sharing your wisdom. Although I must be honest with you and say that when I read your writings, something rather odd occurs. My spinal column starts to shake, my hands and feet grow cold (which could be just because I’m sitting in an unheated “sun” room on a cold Jan. night in New England) my pupils dialate like they did when I was a child and took my first trip to NYC. And my mouth opens ever so slightly, allowing hot air to escape into the cold room, which makes it look to my children as if I were smoking…..I have no idea why any of these reactions occur…..I think I will have a hot cup of chamomille tea now and rest my strange combination of weary head and yet renewed spirit. I signed up to receive more of your thoughts directly to my inbox….I think that is a good idea….I think. Anywho…Goodnight for now, thank you and if ever you should travel from Estonia to my part of the world, please stop by for a cup of tea.

Dear Readers,  if you too are experiencing strange and carnal sensations while reading the Zambonesman, grab hold of nearest firm object and breathe heavily until calmness disappears. Zambonesman and all associated with him hereby divest themselves  of most responsibilities. For further legal affairs contact offices of Dewey, Cheatem, and Howe, LLc.

Zambonesman is asked “why do bagels have a hole?”

I thank Mike from Omaha for this conundrum of some magnitude.

Mike, this Omaha look very ancient like my Village in Estonia, is nice to live?

Once, years ago, when I was convalescing from a near fatal snakebite after a failed attempt to hypnotize a Cobra, I played a good deal of golf. And as Zamboni, which is I, is often lucky to meet the wisest people in any circumstances, the following happened to me this day.

Being a single I was assigned to tee off with a very old man who could hit and walk only with much difficulty. I learned his name was Cy Levine and he was a shoe salesman, very much retired. The afternoon began to get very frustrating and slow for me as he was pushing probably ninety. Trust me, I am in fact answering this Bagel quandry.

Gradually I began to enjoy myself as I discovered that though his swing had disintegrated, his humor was very much in tact. So when this round of record-breaking length was over, the last putts were sunk and I approached him for the customary handshake, something interesting happened.

He gripped my hand like a man half his age, drew me into him and said, “what d’you say your name was?”

I tell him, and he say to me, “Zefferrelli,” (his hearing not so good, but he continue) “wherever you’re going, whatever your goal; keep your eye on the bagel, and not on the hole.” And he release my hand with a smile and I never see this Cy Levine again.

So my friend, Mike, as to actually how they make these perfect holes and what they do with them- to those questions I am dumb like post. But as for the why… bagels have the hole for this reason, because they remind us to keep our eye and our mind on what is there, what we have, not on what we don’t. So much in life comes down to knowing what you can affect, and what you must let roll off your back.  Afterall, can you spread shmear and lox on something that is not there?

Zambones thanks you for asking, and invites the questions of others.

Peace to you.

Zambonesman is asked to predict for 2011

My great friend Joel ben Izzy, a truly great storyteller and human person, asked me, “Zamboni, what did you predict last night for 2011?”

In truth I was a little too tipsy  last night to make much coherence. (You must be forgiving to me as I was also celebrating Estonia’s entrance to the E.U.)  I spent New  Years Eve  with friends at Ashby Stage in Berkeley doing individual consultations in which I communed with the Three Greek Goddesses or “Fates”, but by midnight and the fifth Absinthe my sobriety was hard to locate.

Best Dressed Theatrical Impresarios, Jonee Kreuz, Rich Black

But I do have some predictions for us in this year.

I think this year we all will understand more the difference between an occupation and a calling.

I think this year we will put our feet up more.

I think this year it is less about finding love,  and more about not screwing it up when it finds us. Because it’s looking.

That is all I can do for now as my head is pounding and I have prepared Estonian hangover remedy of the boiled placenta of a brown sheep mixed with marrow of ox thigh bone.


Change your sox, change your life.