“Why are Italians having fewer babies?”

This question comes to Zamboni via Pope Francis, who is very concerned about this, rightfully so as he is a Pope and a friend to Zamboni when  couch surf across Europe on occasion.

Oh my Pope….. This has been puzzling people for a while and is true: Italians are not having many babies. It has been chalked up to this or that , either the fact that couples live with their parents in cramped houses. Also to the economy, jobs are scarce so both man and woman must work thereby delaying child bearing etc. Blah blah…All of these are errogenous. The real reason is quite simple and evident when you just step back and think of it.


It’s very tiring to be Italian. Like, really, really exhausting. Look at these guys! Do you know how hard it is to maintain the caloric surge of being so sprezzatura and effortlessly chic all fucking day? The pants are very tight, the shoes are chafing my bare feet. These men are worrying a lot about leaving their sunglasses at home and being laughed at. Ever wear white jeans? Of course you have not, neither have I- because THEY GET CRAZY DIRTY SO FAST! They literally just vacuum up stains from everywhere. With clothes so tight (not helping sperm count Pope!) much time must be spent at the gym just to fit them- is this making you anxious just reading? me too. Look at this beard guy far left- so tightly wound-  imagine him throwing a toddler in the air- I can’t either!

Look, I feel for them. Italian is like the last most cool nationality. Even I had to get my name from them. Sadly my Estonian birth name is Shuffleshitz. See! How cooler it is to say, “hey, Zamboni!”….Would George Clooney call me up on speakerphone so much if I was a Shuffleshitz?

With everything being universalized and globalized, there is so much sameness happening. “Italian” is just like a cinnamon for “cool” right? Lamborghinis, Giorgio Armani, Al Pacino, Parmaggiano, The Godfather, espresso for Pete’s sake, they are just so cool, like Dennis Hooper said in that movei to Dean Stockwell, ” you’re so FUCKIN’ sauve….”  And for a small country with not a whole lot else going on, corrupt government, the EU falling apart- they have to cling like hell to whatever identity they have. Even if it means when the men get home and peel off those suits they are exhausted from the smiling, laughing and their eyes hurt from too much shading. They must sleep a lot to get up and do this all over again. This= less babies.

The solution Pope?

Make babies cool! get Gucci to make a diaper with that cool green and red stripey pattern. Make Versace shades for the babies! Treat baby as accessory to coolness! It has been very hard for anyone to be cool with a baby for a long time as moms and dads have to wear strange Baby Bjorn strappy things everywhere, juggling rubber nipples and humongous strollers. In my day, I could merely carry my little Zamboni jr. like a football in  crook of my arm as I walked a runway in Milan or panned for gold in Chile.

So make babies cool, and those guys in the picture can wrap one in calfskin and carry it right in that little satchel thingee! Good luck Pope!




What should I do for valentines day?

Ahhh yes. The eternal question. You don’t want to fall into the cliche trap of candy boxes and roses, but you don’t want to ignore it and risk the wrath of your beloved.  In Estonia we call this being caught between a rock and another rock.


It reminds me of a lover I had once in my youth. You may know Madeline Albright as the esteemed politician, I knew her, in her rosy youth, as Pixie. Flaxen afternoons we spent, browsing bookstores, hand in hand, slurping oysters out of ashtrays, blindfold tennis, all the good romantic things. Then Valentines day came. We had been dating for 3 months.

That morning I woke her up as usual, hanging from the ceiling in my unitard… as she yawned I left the tent to prepare our usual gruel and Sherpa Tea…but when I came back into the love nest I noticed she was unhappy.

“Is this it?” she asked.

“Excuse me my love?”

“Is this all you have planned?”

“Well..yes in fact, I  thought after the gruel we might make lots of sexy time and do good snuggling..after all Valentines Day is just a manufactured bourgeois Hallmark holliday, as you described it yesterday yourself.”

As I inhaled the exhaust of her car as she sped off, I realized that you skip Valentines day at your peril, indeed.

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.

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. 

Where is my new boyfriend? I need him!!!

The above question comes from this professor of dance from the eastern seaboard, C.Fisher… She also adds the appendage to this query, “he better be good, like Benedict Cumberbatch”.

Dear C. Fisher- Your boyfriend is also waiting for you.

He’s actually in the Dunkin’ Donuts off Highway 95 in Newburyport, Mass right at this moment as we speak. He has just ordered a French Cruller (yet he pronounced it “crullah”) and a regular coffee. Unfortunately he will only be there for 5 minutes more- then he will go back out to his Ford F-150 and drive North (“Noth”) to York Beach Maine where he currently lives. He is a fireman by the way, is forty-five years old, has just begun wearing reading glasses in public, and knows how to make spaghetti for 10 people in under 19 minutes. He works out everyday and has a Masters Degree in French Literature (specializing in Camus and Verlaine) which he is only 8 units away from finishing and will get back to when he does early retirement at the age of 55.

Actually has terrible morning breath
Actually has terrible morning breath

He often spends long minutes gazing out the firehouse window thinking about you, only a sort of blurry and vague you because he has not met you yet of course. He looks and talks nothing like Benedict Cumberbatch but greatly enjoys the latter’s Sherlock Holmes  and will curl up in bed with you and watch all those episodes on Netflix with you as the rain beats down on the roof.

I can’t tell you his name. I know it of course,  I don’t want to make things too easy for you.

Now, the real question is, will you go after this love of your life, or will you stay in the dream world of the make-believe Cumberbatches? You see this is the quandry we all face with love. It is too tempting and easy to stare out the window creating the perfect mate in our mind’s eye. It gets so hard and messy, so to speak, when we get out there and search, and date, and meet, and fail fail fail. Oy.

Your boyfriend is out there. In fact, great zamboni has proven that there is not just ONE soul mate for each of us, but in fact 108.5 perfect soul mates we could groove with well..Here’s hoping you find a whole one and not the .8

Be well, do what you love, and above all trust Zamboni*

(*also use online Dating- I just saw the fireman go on OK cupid on his  i phone)

Finding your Soulmate: Zamboni’s show in New Orleans

On Sunday March 31st, in the home of one SK Dance, a most loyal partisan and commenter/reader of this the blog of myself, greatzamboni, I did my first show in the American South. Though we had to move the audience inside due to a small storm that brewed up as the show was beginning (obviously the devil angry that I still have not left any question unanswered and hence my soul is still my own) the show on North White street was quite epic and many questions were thrown at me such as “what was the first sound?”, “will it be a had hurricane season” and this last one which I will tackle today “What should I do to find my soul mate.”

This was asked by the blond socialite and comely southern belle whom we’ll call PP. Among many talents including decorating her home and throwing parties, PP taught Zamboni much about the Lower Ninth Ward and showed me the re-genesis of life in that area hit hardest by the hurricane of Katrina…

This is the answer I gave:

“Plato wrote several theories of love in the Symposium– one reminds me of your question. Plato had an idea that way back in the beginning, mankind was a two headed, two-hearted sort of Siamese- twinnish creature. But as we evolved, we separated into  individuals. Thus, life becomes a search not just for love, but for literally our other half, our missing twin.

Personally I don’t believe this but it is very neato. Zamboni says this: Finding your soulmate is like trying to grab your shadow. You reach right out for it, grab it, and find you only have air. Nothing. But if you look away from your shadow, ignore it, and go about your business, your shadow is always there following you no problem.

I do not mean our soul  mate is a clingy stalker that will never leave us alone. What I mean is this: do what you love, the money may not follow, but if you are doing what you are meant to do, someone will appear next to you, I promise. Nothing is as attractive as someone passionate about their life and work. Nothing is as unattractive as someone desperately seeking a mate. I checked this out with George Clooney, and he concurs.


So, do your work, and you will meet someone who shares your passion, eventually. Zamboni is spoken!

But joining an online service doesn’t hurt.

What is the most important thing a wife can do for her husband?

This question comes anonymously and now I Zamboni will answer it despite having disappeared from this blog for several days due to trial and hardships and yet like the old Latvian goatherder once told me, somewhat brusqeuly as I complained about milking a goat with an unusually odorous ass- “that’s life don’t be a whiny bitch.”

The best thing a wife can do for her husband are these seven tenets handed down to me by a monk we used to call “Sex Panther” back in Tibet. I am not sure why as he was quiet and celibate, but there you go. He had been married before becoming a monk, and would often share this wisdom with visiting men and women couples from the outside world.

1. Don’t condescend. Yes he is simpler and less clever than you, but do you have to let him know that? Why not keep it your lil secret?

2. Out of the blue say, “get out of the house and see your friends, I want to be alone!”

3. Wear some makeup and care about how you look, even at home. Just cuz it’s sunday morning and you are flop around to the cafe, he isn’t blind. This doesn’t mean you wear garter belt just to bend over and pick up the butter knife- but then again, why not?

4. Be demanding and up front- and when you are wronged, scream and yell! Then laugh! Anything is better than hide feelings under that weird look. Stop that look!

5. He went to that concert of Chilean reed pipes with you you know, would it kill you to eat a buffalo wing and watch Monday Night Football?

6. Make lots sexy times, sometimes even when you don’t want to- what, you think he never  do for you?

7. Sometimes just smile at him cuz you love- this might be most of all.

Often, after meditation, the sex panther and I would be sharing some Chinese Rhubarb cleansing tea over a fire. One night I conjured the courage to ask him what happened to his mairrage. “She was a ballbuster” he said while walking over the remaining coals of the fire, “and I slept with a nineteen year old.”

#8: discourage cute interns

“What can one do to be happier in this world?”

This question slip of paper accidentally fell onto the floor during my show now I get to answer it three weeks later.

Try these in combination or isolation, repeat as needed but use moderation in most: Cocaine, having children, riding a bicycle down the street and looking up as the trees go by (caution!), traveling, staying at home with a book or better yet several football games on TV or long romantic Bollywood movies like HumTum, cheeseburgers, -forget the Cocaine, that was bad idea, back to the good ideas- meditate, be quiet, take off your seatbelt and stick your head out the window, visit Estonia in July, take a first sip of beer on a hot day after long work, make love, make art, make sexy times, read Sunday New York Times, eat a shrimp tail, tell a tall tale, tell a lie just for the thrill, and smile when you are happy but try smiling even if you are not happy because it might just make you happy, writie a poem, write a letter, find a giant sculpture and hang off it, pretend you are a model and have someone take pictures of you, listen to music, listen to nothing, listen like Orpheus, and if all else fails, just hug it out- its impossible not to be happy while you hug (and even sometimes it lead to sexy times!)

Word of Zamboni correctly has been spake!


Dear Zamboni-

I think I met the love of my life- the problem is she’s half my age. Plus she lives three thousand miles away. It’s electric when we are together, it’s like I think I’m over it but then it’s this crazy gravitational pull when I see her again and I feel like i’m falling, and I want both to let myself fall but also to stop myself. The sound of her voice, everything- Zamboni, oy- Am I crazy- What should I do?

-Harry Fonda

Dear Harry – did I miss something- you have no problem! You met a girl that makes you crazy- think you’re the first? So she’s half your age- you think the gods do things for no reason?

Here’s my advice: don’t give her up. I don’t mean you two have to nuptualize things- just don’t give her up. Once Zamboni fell in love with my office intern -she was 22 I was 42- did it work out? No, of course not, she Twittered and I still write with a quill and milk my goat every morning- but I tell you one thing- not a week goes by I don’t see her face in my dreams, and that my friend is everything.

Like Boogy said, “you don’t have good dreams Bagel, you got nightmares.”

Kiss her face when you can, and when you can’t…well, read a good book.

Trust in Zamboni!