PLRKNIB LAUNCHES ON AMAZON

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I’m extremely excited to announce that Plrknib is now available at Amazon.

Plrknib – which has been serialized for the past year over at www.plrknib.com – is about my experience doing stand-up comedy during my senior year of high school in 1980.

Early reviews have been great.  Including:

“Hysterical, edge-of-your-seat drama.”

“The Power of Jokes permeates this book…in a way rarely seen in fiction.”

“I felt as though I was on stage with him 30 years ago.”

Plrknib retails for $1.99 (ebook) and $6.99 (paperback).

And! – for this week only – if you’d like a free review copy, contact me at alexb0917@gmail.com and we’ll set you up!

 

coming soon

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Some early reviews are now coming in…

“Hilarious and Personal Memoir of What It’s Like to Follow Your Dream of Being A Stand-Up Comic.”

“In this gonzo, coming-of-age memoir set in the early 80’s, Alex Bernstein takes a situation most people might consider trivial – a teenager stealing a professional comedian’s joke – and turns it into high, hysterical, edge-of-your-seat drama.”

“I felt as though I was on stage with him 30 years ago.”

“Halfway thru this book I started telling everyone I knew that they needed to read it.”

“Wow. I Liked a Book About Stand-Up Comedy!”

harry potter grows up

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My piece Harry Potter Grows Up – outlining a new series of middle-aged adventures for the former boy wizard is up at The Big Jewel.

Here’s an excerpt:

Discovering that she is thoroughly unable to stop writing about her beloved creation, J. K. Rowling has announced a new spate of Harry Potter books chronicling his further adventures into adulthood.  Some upcoming titles include:

Harry Potter and…

The Nagging Quidditch Knee Injury

The Greatly Delayed Loan Payments for Three Damn Kids at Hogwarts

The Long-Delayed Switch from Owls to Skype

The Inappropriate Trade of Snapchat Pix with Luna Lovegood

more

15 best things about yom kippur

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  • Rabbi promised this year’s service much more fun and upbeat
  • Great time to brush up on your ABCs of Sin
  • JC Penney having its annual Day O’ Sufferin’ White Sale
  • One day of year that you get to make your “A-Toney the Tiger” joke
  • Infidelities from previous six months pretty much taken care of now
  • Fewer candy wrapper sounds than at regular service
  • Terrific time to really read all 3,259 memorial plaques in temple hallway
  • Silent Prayer – good time to think about all the bacon and shellfish you’ll be eating at break fast
  • Silent Prayer – great time to imagine Cantor suddenly breaking into Battle of Evermore
  • Pre-paid ambulances ready and waiting for post-break fast heart attacks and food comas
  • Fasting and gorging good practice for future anorexics
  • Fun visit from Yom Kippur Kevin and his Big’ Bag O’ Guilt
  • Having to explain to older folks that YK is not a virus that will attack their computer
  • Going into confessional booth to tell the Rabbi your sins
  • You waited all year to hear the Shofar and now, finally – wait, what?

19 best things about september

Can finally let the dog grow his hair back out.

Velcro cargo shorts no longer ruining all clothes in the laundry.

Not so much incentive to continue chlorinating the pool.

Great chance to see new Fall TV lineup before all shows are cancelled.

Excellent chance to catch up on moping.

Jewish high holidays always a rockin’ good time.

Less arguing with loved ones re what constitutes sweltering.

Neighbor had way more fireflies than you.

Couch occupied by children miraculously available again.

Harvest season looks promising.

Good time to stock up on batteries for upcoming hurricanes.

No more distracting, scantily clad women everywhere, all the time.

Great opportunity to pro-actively lower expectations for upcoming basketball season.

Irritation over everyone saying that went way too quickly! starting to diminish.

Thrilled to see Congress back in session and really getting some work done.

Not as concerned about whether or not people are effectively recycling their 3-D glasses.

Never had a tan, and don’t care anymore.

Not so bad if you’re an infant.

Reality that we adults never actually had the summer off abundantly clear now.

chris christie’s big adventure

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Hey, honey.   You know how I’m governor of one of the fifty states in America – and how that’s a really, really important thing???

Well, so, I was deep in the forest this morning – skipping along and minding my own business – la la la la la la la la la – when suddenly, I came upon a strange man with a bright, orange face and very tiny hands!

And he said, how would I like to trade my big, important governorship for a handful of magic beans!?  And a possible cabinet position!?  

And!  And – he said – I could travel all over with him – and even pick up his lunch!

Well, of course I said yes!

But then – he disappeared!!!  And now, I haven’t got anything left.

Not even the magic beans.  I ate them.

I’m so so sad.  I don’t know what to do.

I guess I’ll drive a bus for NJ Transit.

fourth of july

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Fireworks were so abundant and so easy to get when I was a kid, that I thought you could get them anywhere – the grocery, the local drug store.  I didn’t realize till much later that my father – and everybody else in town – had to go all the way across the river to Kentucky to get them.

He always bought a good selection – not just sparklers, but bottle rockets, black cats, cherry bombs, and big stuff like roman candles.  He showed us how to set them off, but we were not at all graceful.  We’d light them and run, 20-30 feet off.  And if the thing didn’t go off, you’d have to decide whether or not to go back and check.  Was it a dud?  Delayed?  Should we light it again?  What if it exploded the moment you got near it?  I can say that I never knew one of those kids who lost a body part over a firecracker.  (Although I did meet a kid on a bus once who shot himself in the leg with his dad’s rifle.  But that’s another story.)

But the best fireworks were firecrackers.  The ones they sold (and still sell I’m sure) in bricks with the fuses all tangled up and you could separate them out or light the whole thing at once.  We’d put them under cans and watch them explode into the air.  Miniature dynamite.

The biggest badge of honor was finding a loose, unused firecracker somewhere outside.  The kind that had been dropped or abandoned.  Bottle rockets that flew off but never exploded.  If you found one in the street or the woods, it was better than money.  And after a typical Fourth of July, kids would scour the streets for them.  Most were duds, but one in a hundred worked.  I held onto one for about a year that was perfect and dry before I tried it.  When I did, I had no idea what was going to happen.  I blew a Folger’s can to kingdom come.

One time, at camp, we did this show that we knew would be perfect if we could end it with big special effects.  What we wanted was dry ice – but my friend Kenny said, no problem, he’s got black cats and some cherry bombs.  He’s on it.  Fortunately, it was at the end of the show, and it didn’t matter so much when the entire building filled up with smoke and everyone ran out of the place, screaming and coughing.  No one got hurt.  But ten minutes later smoke was still pouring out of the windows.

clifton

Clifton was a hippy town, a mini-Haight Asbury, but smaller and a bit cleaner.  It was the University of Cincinnati’s campus and during the 70’s the town was alive with bars, boutiques, head shops and restaurants like Zino’s Firehouse Pizza, In Cahoots with its mile-high reubens, and the Beacon-sized Bogarts, where any mid-level name band could make you feel like you were at a happening.

On Calhoun, sandwich row, you could start at one end, say, Adriatico’s Greek deli and work your way down, eating and barhopping.  Towards Clifton Ave you’d hit Arby’s, Wendy’s, the Acropolis, and then it was bar, bar, bar, bar, campus bookstore, bar, laundromat, Tony’s Pizza, bar, bar.

Chapter 6 of Plrknib begins