Private Parts
go over to my friend's house and cop from his older brother. His older brother was in college and he was a big, fat, white Jewish guy who'd be lying naked on his bed liked a beached whale wearing a sombrero while reading Penthouse and playing with himself. This guy had the smallest penis I'd ever seen, even smaller than mine. We had to buy our marijuana from this fat naked guy. It was a disgusting experience.
    I would smoke dope and cigarettes up in my bedroom, blowing smoke out the window, while my parents were downstairs thinking I was doing my homework.
    One time, my mother staged a sneak attack. She crashed through the door as I was flinging a cigarette out the window.
    "Howard. I smell smoke in here."
    "What? I don't smell anything."
    "No. I see smoke. I see clouds of smoke in this room," she insisted.
    "I don't see any clouds of smoke," I lied through my teeth. "There's no smoke in here."
    The room was filled with smoke. My mother stormed out. I was victorious. She never brought it up again and to this day she denies that I ever did drugs.
    Being in the middle of this dysfunctional family I was able to come up with a great strategy for coping. Basically, I whined and whined and wore everybody down until I got what I wanted. My sister would always be amazed at my ability to do this. We'd be upstairs and we'd be talking about something that our parents wouldn't give us and I'd turn to her and say, "Watch me. I'm going downstairs and I'm getting it." I would march downstairs and ask for whatever it was they didn't want me to have and then I'd start whining and I'd wear and wear on them and then I'd start crying and I wouldn't give it up. I'd keep going and going and going and finally they'd cave in. My father always told my mother that I would have been one of the greatest trial lawyers who ever lived, the way I just wear people down. It was like Chinese water torture and great practice for the interviewing technique I use today.
    MY SECOND DYSFUNCTIONAL FAMILY
    There is nothing bad that I can say about my wife, Alison, except for the stupid little arguments that we have.
    She'll argue with me about really stupid stuff. I'm always on a diet, so I eat like a total of five things: tuna fish, baked potatoes, fruits (bananas and apples), Paul Newman salad dressing, and oat bran cereal.
    We are always out of this shit, and I go crazy. How fucking hard is it to keep a few baking potatoes in the house? I know what you're saying: "Hey, Howard, why the fuck don't you go do your own food shopping?"
    But that's just it. Alison doesn't have to food shop, either. We send out for food. They ship it out to the house. All she has to do is make
    a phone call and remember that her man likes baked potatoes.
    "Hold it," Alison says, "I do remember. But you have to tell me when you're running out of something."
    How fucking difficult is it to take a look in the fridge and see I need an apple? I tell her to order apples, anything -- order a crate of oat bran cereal -- but NO, at least once a week we need to have this fight.
    And what a great husband I am. I pay the extra three dollars a box for cereal just so my wife doesn't have to go food shopping.
    Also, twice a year I play in a card game with a bunch of guys. I have a few male friends and once in a rare while I need to get out and bond with the guys.
    My wife says, "You're playing cards again? I have to spend Friday night alone? You don't want to be with me?"
    I explain I need to do this once in a while the way Spock needed to mate on Vulcan once every seven years. We begin to yell and scream and the ridiculousness hits me. Here's a woman who spends every day with her clique of girlfriends gabbing it up, playing tennis, and going for lunches -- and I can't have a card game twice a year without some shit being thrown my way?
    I just threaten to go over to Jessica Hahn's house (if she has a house) and that quiets Alison down. But I know how lucky I am to have found a woman like Alison, who met

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