“Is that rain?”

“Yea. But it’s pretty light..”

I learned many things going camping yesterday with my son.

1. If you are doing “hike-in” camping, be sure you are ready for anything. Your car is very far away now.

2. Rain can come through the tarp under your sleeping bag if you have no air matress.

3. Your lovely lady was right, last summer, to make a stink about air matresses and blower-upper gizmos. I hrumphed and grimmaced, as usual. If we’d had an air matress, we might not have hiked 2 miles, in the rain down the muddy trail to get back to the truck and get the hell back to Berkeley. With a dying flashlight under a sky with no stars, only water. My nightmare: The light will die, we lose way, son dies of Hypothermia. Become alcoholic. Die at bar.

We awoke to the light rain, which became heavier. Should we put the rain cover on? Yes. We do. Now we have rain cover and soaking socks. Neither of us brought extra. Wait, are those our boots outside of dry tent? Yes. Now soaked. Mazeltov!

Well, we think, it’s probably a few hours from dawn, after all, we went to sleep hours ago right? Look at watch- fricking MIDNIGHT? Yes, we went to bed at 7:30 because there was nothing to do. We’d finished the supper of the greatest tasting beans and franks ever, and the warmest fire ever (the Dame would also never have let us come without marshmallows and chocoloate. We lament. )

We decide to pack up just the basics and risk it- go back to the truck and drive home- return tomorrow for the extra weight we don’t want to deal with now.

It’s strange when you are actually living through one of those experiences that you know will be a story told a million times, maybe over a few generations- to kids not yet born. It doesn’t make you any less terrified of death by mountain lion or Hypothermia. I sang every song I knew and tried to be casual. All we could see was two feet in front of us. Slipping and sliding. Finally the truck comes into view- never were we so happy or dehydrated.

30 minutes later like an Oasis- a 7-11 in Fairfax- the door open, lights glowing. We pull up. An Indian man whose nametag reads Deep, is guarding the door- with a mop handle across the entryway. Are you open?

Yes, we are 24 hrs.

Can we come in?

No, we are closed.


Uh, can we come in, we are really thirsty?

No alcohol! Deep is Emphatic. Like St peter at the gates and we are DENIED.

Look man, we just hiked for an hour in the rain, we’re dying here- we just want a damn gatorade.

I just mop, third time, he says.

A woman coming from the bars that just closed comes also to the door, can I get some cigarettes. Deep insists he is open but closed. We beg- we clarify we do not want alcohol and finally get in. Stepping over his mop handle. Whatever those 6 tiny donuts were encrusted with (coconut? cookie crumbs and msg?) the boy hits it on the head as we pull into the warm warm night bodies cooled down with Orange flavor Gatorade, “these are the best donuts in the world.”

Everything is the best-in-the-world when you are camping. Even terrifying darkness and cold. But family most of all. -jw

Like my good friend Joel Ben-Izzy says, no one cannot be happy when they camp
Like my good friend Joel Ben-Izzy says, no one cannot be happy when they camp.. Zamboni is in Vegas at a Spa but tells me he will come home soon and that he will never camp.

And what the hell happened in the last election?

Thank you Robert Estes, illustrious theatrical impresario for this question…

In truth Robert, it all comes down to Quinoa or as it is scientifically known,  goosefoot.


My connections in the White House tell me that BH Obama has been consuming this bird food in the place of actual food and it has made his spine jelly-like and his stomache too flat. As a result, he has become a little too weak of a leader, and hence, the pendulum has once again swung over to the Republican side of things. Before the Vegan Revolutionary Front break my window with acorn squash, let me explain.

There is an ancient Estonian proverb, “if you eat what a lion eats, you will be savage, if you eat what a goat eats, you  get milked, if you eat what a bird eats you will drift with the wind.” The last election swerved way right because Barry -as I call him because Zamboni is personal friend and guru- became not strong enough leader to the left. Partially because he eat some “keen-Wah”. It is a savage world we are living in today, and he is not doing a good enough  job leading us through it.

Quinoa is birdseed. It is not I discriminate against vegetables. Kale is assertive. Potato has gravitas. Rice is conspicuous. But Quinoa is for hummingbirds, it should never be consumed unless you teach yoga or are starving.

Especially if you wish to keep control of bi-cameral legislature.

Why do birds suddenly appear, every time you are near?

Great question for me, from the talented Rob Dario via the facebook:

You know, it’s funny, one time I was  to play tennis with Roger Federer, who had hired me to calm his mental state before a tournament. As I got into my tennis whites and took the court for our therapeutic match, tossed a ball up for my first service, a great Bald Eagle swooped down and engulfed the ball into its guts and rested upon my shoulder, peacefully nudging my chin with drool.

Another time I was home in Estonia for the holidays, baking fruit cakes made of macerated prune, suett, and whiskey, when slap! against the window a Blue Jay flies. Its eyes trained upon me.

I admit I myself have puzzled why birds appear every time I am near! Just this morning in New York I was mobbed by a morass of pigeons as I ducked into a Starbucks with Martha Stewart who consults me to know which colors go with ecru.

I have always found in my life that the best way to get answers is to ask. So this morning I turned to  the oldest pigeon. A grizzled he-bird with one red leg and feathers slicker than Donald Rumsfeld. He said, in his tongue, ” Go suck it! I’m hungry here!” So I halved my Twinkie and this made him open up his thoughts to me. He says to me this: “we sense you are free, Zamboni,  like us, so we are drawn to you. Like is drawn to like.” Then he jabbed his germy craw at the last bit of icing and hobbled away into a pee-ridden alley.


And so birds appear when I am near because true wisdom is not to seek out your opposite. It is to seek out your kin, to seek those who you can admire as you admire and inspire yourself. Birds are drawn to Zamboni because my soul is in the sky, like theirs.

A thing with wings understands best another thing that can fly. So Zamboni says to you, if you wish the company of the wild, free, rich, or hysterical- then Be.


What the best kind of sex?

I was eating in a tacqueria of distinction last night in Berkeley Ca. when my companion asked me this question. As Zamboni of course I am bound to give answer. It is of course not the first time I have had a sex related question, which I enjoy because of Great Zamboni’s unusual perspective, not to brag, but I have had sex three times in my life, and now I share them with you loyally.

Long long long ago: A toothless woman with one beautiful grey working eye on a side street in my boyhood village in Estonia. I was a virgin and this was the custom. You bring this woman a goat, and she makes you soup, and a man. Her name was Vitrinska and she was actually a Phd. in Metallurgy. The sexing lasted 45 seconds but we conversed for so long afterward that when I came out of the shack, the other boys talked of my prowess in hushed terms of reverence.

Long long ago: Liberace. Alas, he broke my heart and I wish to speak of it no further.

The best kind of sex is make up sex of course! The mix of anger, desire, and forgiveness is intoxicating! Duh. The ancient Greeks also agreed. No better sex was had then by Clytemnestra and Agamemnon, between him sacrificing their daughter on an altar to make wind blow, and her killing him in the bath.  So there we are.

Zamboni, should I do Tarot Cards?

Many people have wondered this, should they believe in things like Tarot, Astronomy, or Dry Cleaning.

I cannot vouch for the last two, but I can say my answer is this: Tarot can be very profound indeed and if the interpreter is good, then I can assure you it is a most very interesting use of your time..In moderation of course and with grains of salt.

But did you know that Zamboni himself  is working on resurrecting a very ancient and prophetically modern Estonian fortune telling deck of cards called The Zamboni Shuffle? Yes it’s true. In this deck (Always stacked against The Devil!) here are some of the cards that come up after you shuffle them and a Licensed Zamboni Card Reader turns them over:

-The Young Sinatra; this card signifies you are lean and hungry and may have to break a mold to succeed.

-Trisha the Goat; this card, named after my childhood playmate, signifies you to get in touch with your playful nature and eat more  vegetables.

-Maria Conchita Alonzo; this card prompts you to either to have a fling with a hot Latina or get in touch with your sassy inner hispanica or both.


Knowing me and my intense dedication to leisure, I wouldn’t hold my breath for this deck to be on Amazon tonight- translating from the ancient Estonian is a bitch- but I promise to work as fast as I can and when I am done, private consultations of The Zamboni Shuffle start at only 4,000 Drachmas.

Until then, I offer this advice. Wisdom can come from anywhere, a bearded Tarot reader on Telegraph Ave, a Ted talk, Bazooka wrappers- but the best comes from your own mind, when you think.

Zamboni Live in Oakland Makes Impact

Breaking news

I, the one called Great Zamboni, mover and shaker and shucker of mollusks both great and small- will be appearing live and not in holographic sense but in the flesh here:

Somar Bar in Oakland Cal. November 17th… whereas on this night a % of each libation quaffed shall go to benefit Impact Theatre– a great place and a company that has supported the growth of myself, Great Zamboni- and produces many great plays well.

Please come and drink until, like Homer wrote “night fell over his eyes” but promise not to drive yourself home thank you.

Dear Zamboni, what is Love?

My uncle Sol Funkenheimer, or as we kids called him “the luge”, had a saying, “little Zamboni,”, he’d say “love is like a one way ticket to Palookaville, love is also like a box of Triscuits but sometimes you open the box and reach in and find scorpions instead of triscuits, love is a one-way street but people try to drive in both directions on this street, love is like a beautiful fall day and then you get the flu…” and so on.

We could never make heads nor shrimp of what the man was saying, but nevertheless it makes one think.

I say love is truly simple to understand but difficult to do. You have to let go of many things to truly love.  Fear. Anger. Distrust. You also have to give much, and then give more. But the giving should not always feel like work. It is also being grateful. Giving foot massages. Doing of laundry too is lovely. But if I had to answer in one word, what is love? I will most certainly say it is this: Mt. Fuji. Very poetic and beautiful and perfect seen from a distance- but when you’re on it, a damn hard climb. I know, i’ve done it- twice!

I once made a film under the acting name of Rudolph Valentino, and in this scene, the nature of love -quixotic and impossible to force- is wonderfully evidenced.