G.W. is an award-winning novelist and essayist, a veteran character actor, a brown belt in Tae-bo, an honorary British knight, and an accomplished trombonist. Yankee Pot Roast is very proud to host Fruit Salad, a semi-frequent bloggy account of his affairs. In addition, Y.P.R. will present some noted critics' reviews of G.W.'s posts, to further explore the Wolinetz enigma.
[Entries are posted in reverse-chronological order -- most recent up top, most distant way down bottom of the last archived page. Readers searching for a narrative are encouraged to start at the end and read backward. Readers who are comforted by the unyielding, indescriminate forces of entropy can begin at the top, or anywhere else. Ah, entropy.]
Fruit salad, a perfect complement to yankee pot roast.
7/12/2002 6:43:31 AM | Geoff Wolinetz
Ask Not For Whom The Bell Tolls...
"For whom the bell tolls? Why, dear sir, it tolls for thee." This is what I am told as I disembark from my small twin-propeller plane in Agua Del Piedro, Spain. It is here that I have arrived for the sole purpose of finding a brief respite from the pressures of my daily life. Alongside me are Cuban Bob, my allegiant man-servant, and Ralph, my houseboy. Yet as soon as I get off the plane, I realize that there is no place on Earth, on this wonderful blue-green planet, that I can be truly alone. The people of Agua Del Piedro had been alerted to my pending arrival somehow and they waited at their meager airport with wine, cheese and women. The band that had been hastily assembled played selected pieces from Gordon Lightfoot. A humble yet proud looking man approached me as I reached the bottom step.
"Please, Wolinetz, address our people. We get so few visitors. Your arrival was predicted by the swelling of the bull's testicles."
"What is your name, seņor?"
"I am Juan Epstein," he replied with zeal.
"Juan Epstein, your words have moved me," I told this spokesman, "I will address your unwashed masses, as if they were my own."
He kissed my hand repeatedly, "Oh, thank you, Wolinetz, thank you."
I asked Cuban Bob to get the bags and had Ralph carry me piggyback to the makeshift podium that had been set up. The band pIayed "If You Could Read My Mind," and I spoke briefly yet eloquently.
"People of Agua Del Piedro, thank you for your warm and glorious reception. As a citizen of the world, I am proud to come to your beautiful village to take a but a brief sojourn from my hectic life, perhaps to impregnate some of your young women as well."
A mighty cheer arose from the crowd, led by a small boy who identified himself by wearing a T-shirt that said, "Fuck the Cows."
"I am reminded now of something that my ex-wife, Natalie Wood, once told me. 'Wolinetz,' she said, 'I am unworthy of you. Each night, before we make sweet, passionate love for 5 to 6 hours, I thank the heavens that you were delivered to me.' This is true. I mean no offense to Natalie Wood. Natalie Wood is a dear friend of mine. In the West Side Story days of the early 1960s, Natalie Wood and I would take off for Monte Carlo at a moment's notice. There we would dine with Prince Rainier and Grace Kelly. The Prince was a randy fellow and told dirty joke after dirty joke. We'd spend the evening playing strip poker. As I am an expert poker player, it was usually the good Prince who wound up completely nude, with but a well-placed sock. Natalie Wood and I would dine at a Medieval Times restaurant. What can I say? The woman loved to eat with her hands. I digress. Good people of Agua Del Piedro, thank you for your hospitality. I'll be sure to write of you favorably. Ralph, take me away."
With that, Ralph removed me from the throng of cheering Spaniards. I knew then that the people of Agua Del Piedro had embraced me, and I them.
7/11/2002 6:41:16 AM | Geoff Wolinetz
The Real World Awaits
Of course, I speak not of the transcendent reality series started by MTV some 11 years ago, which I spoke feverishly and fervently for at a benefit for the Museum of Television and Radio. (RIP Pedro, mourn you 'till I join you). I speak of that world outside of university, the world that we enter with wonderment and excitement at the conclusion of our stay in school. I speak of the days of ones early 20s, those days which I have long since left behind me, those days which abandoned me like Ted Danson after the police busted up our pornographic film ring. I mean no offense to Ted Danson. Ted Danson is a dear friend of mine. In the early 1980s, Ted Danson and I would bring young women into our co-op that we purchased for a very reasonable price at an estate auction for Orson Welles. We would ask them to ride the wild boar we kept in our guest room. This was nothing of a sexual nature, I assure you. At times, we'd take off to Tijuana, where we'd purchase a bottle of tequila for a nickel and lick it off the bartender's chest. The bartender, a portly Mexican man named Cesar Chavez (like the migrant worker activist), would then take a piece of loose concrete and smash us over the head. I digress.
When I speak of the real world, I refer to a commencement speech that I gave not long ago at the prestigious Murray State University. This speech, given May 18, 1992, sought to give insight to how I make my way, day to day, through this topsy-turvy place we call life. Here now the transcript of that address:
Thank you, President Kurth, and thanks to your wife Betty as well. That was one hell of a meal last night. Dean Wormer, Vice Presidents Denton and Bailey, thank you also. May your britches be clean and your drawers unsoiled.
7/10/2002 7:24:33 AM | Geoff Wolinetz
I think the Chicago Chronicle once called me, "extraneous and not quite sane." I recall that the Washington Post called my writing, "jubilant and puissant." I read that the Los Angeles Times mentioned, "Wolinetz has the extraordinary gift of being able to make the totally incomprehensible even more so." And, if I am not mistaken, the New York Times Book Review was noted, "Wolinetz ... has ... the ... biggest ... set ... of ... balls." Despite being worthless, bottom-feeding despicable characters, they possess a certain amount of charm in their work. After all, a novelist with the worldwide acclaim and impact that I've had has a certain responsibility to his critics. Right? Wrong. I'm here to tell you critics, shmritics. These so-called critics, these supposed guardians of literary genius, have long aligned against me, jealous of my talent. I can not help this.
Claire Danes once told me, basking in the warm afterglow of monkey-like sexual congress, "There will be those who are jealous of your enormous talent, emphasis on the enormous. Do not heed their catcalls, their envious sneers. Pay no attention to their invidious efforts to minimize you. It is the work that matters, it is about the art. Now, hop back on. Mama's ready for another ride." I mean no offense to Claire Danes. Claire Danes is a dear friend of mine. Claire Danes and I used to steal Kate Beckinsale's hair clips on the set of Brokedown Palace and use them to make funny faces. We'd tour Hong Kong under the influence and make exaggerated, overt sexual overtures to the organ grinders. We would join my friend Craig for cotton candy. Claire Danes and I would smoke hashish and then jump on the back of chicken trucks. Then she'd push me off and leave me for dead. Our relationship was tumultuous and passionate. Once more, I digress.
When the critics lashed out against my wonderful mission to maintain the most memorable mammals of the planet, 1971's Mammalia Mayhem Volume One: The History of the Aardvark, that was the last straw. The following is a letter addressed to the literary community, published in the May 21, 1972 issue of Harper's Bazaar:
To the "guardians of literature",
7/9/2002 9:05:04 AM | Geoff Wolinetz
Cheese, Glorious Cheese
As I've stated many times over, I am a man of extreme empathy. As I have no serious personal problems other than my numerous run-ins with the law and my on again, off again bouts with venereal disease, it is easy for me to appeal to the masses. When I was approached about writing a book to champion the cause of mental retardation, I leapt at the chance. After all, who would be better to chronicle a life filled with obstacles better than a man with little to no trouble in his unbelievably decadent and shallow life? I submit that no one would be. It's like Paul Lynde. Paul Lynde is a dear friend of mine. In the late 1970s, we'd spend hours out by his Beverly Hills pool, ingesting Quaaludes and pitching pennies. Paul Lynde could pitch a mean penny but he was a gentleman about it. In those days of the late 1970s, Paul Lynde and I would put on our paisley jackets and giggle at the hookers on Hollywood Blvd. Well, he would giggle. I would have sex with them. We'd hit the set of Hollywood Squares and take turns kicking Peter Marshall in the nuts. I digress.
I spent some time in Kentucky researching the atmosphere and the inbreds. I wove a delightful little tale of a mentally retarded woman. Inventor, lover, Senator, she made her way through life with a innocent innocence. As you may or may not know, this was adapted into a movie starring Cuba Gooding, Jr. called "Snow Dogs." I removed my name from the project after a lengthy battle with Cuba as to who would get to scream, "SHOW ME THE MONEY!!" each morning. An excerpt from Cheese of Kentucky:
"Mama said it wasn't possible but I just chewed the gum, didn't matter none to me if it floated or not. But when Mama told me to spit my gum out at the dinner table, I did it. And when it just hung there in the air, over the table, Mama let out a scream that coulda woke the dead. I thought she's gonna right pass out. So, I took the gum out the air and put it in the garbage can. When I come back to the dinner table, Mama had that look on her face. The one she always got when I told her about the walrus that lived in my closet. He has tusks.
7/9/2002 6:05:35 AM | Geoff Wolinetz
Those Were The Salad Days, Although These Are Good Too
I woke up this morning, in my spacious three bedroom apartment on the Upper West Side, groggy from a night of alcohol-soaked sleep. I was reminded of my younger days, those days that I spent in an off-off-Broadway Theater troupe. I worked as their "gofer," there to fetch their coffee, their bagels, their morning fare, their fuzzy bunny slippers. Often, I was persuaded to join their sexual games. "Pass The Dildo," "Hot Dildo," and "Where Have You Gone, Sweet Dildo?" were among their favorites. I gained valuable insight and experience in the life of a creative genius. I was the right hand man of our director, Luke "No Balls" Johnson. No Balls had a knack for developing young talent and he saw something in me. No Balls took me under his wing and we spent a glorious year together touring the country with our troupe. Among the no talent actors in my troupe were John Cassavettes, Sir Laurence Olivier, Tony Randall and Billy Dee Williams. I remember remarking to myself that Olivier had potential. I often wonder what became of him. He must be dead by now.
I am reminded of something that the stunning Lauren Bacall told me while we were engaged in our steamy 2 year affair. She looked deeply in to my eyes and said, "True genius knows no bounds. Be a slave to your talent. It will not mislead you. Now get out of my house, you cocksucker." We had a love-hate relationship. In any event, I chronicled these salad days in my novel Pickle This! An excerpt:
We boarded the bus, our heads sunken and our loins silenced. Another night of miserable crowds, poor lighting, oppressive heat and no money had finally gotten the best of our youthful vigor. We were no match for the heartache that road brought. I turned to Billy Dee Williams, seeking the large smile and bottle of Colt 45 that generally accompanied the long bus ride to the next city. The well was dry.Those were the salad days, although these are good too.