The Tall Man and the Beautiful Woman

For your thoughts: Penny.

Penny was very happy.

The following is an exclusive excerpt from my new children’s book, The Tall Man and the Beautiful Woman, to be published just as soon as the illustrator finishes the rest of her drawings.




This is the story of the tall man and the beautiful woman.

The first time they met was at a park on a chilly day.

As he was crossing the street, the beautiful woman waved hello to the tall man.

The tall man smiled.

It was like at first sight.

The beautiful woman had a cute dog named Penny.

Penny immediately liked the tall man.

The three of them went for a walk in the park.

They talked and talked. Except for Penny.

Who didn’t talk.

After some time, it began to gently snow.

The beautiful woman and the tall man shook hands and said goodbye.



The tall man (TM) and the beautiful woman (BW) went out to dinner soon after.

The BW was even more beautiful and the TM felt even taller.

A few minutes after they sat down, the BW noticed that she had lost a black glove.

They looked and looked but couldn’t find it.

Oh well.

They had a very good time anyway.

They talked and talked. Except for Penny.

Who wasn’t there.

The BW and the TM told stories about their lives.

It was a perfect evening except for the lost black glove.

And right before they left the restaurant, they found it!



The TM wanted to kiss the BW at the end of their perfect evening, but he didn’t.

He was afraid.

The next day, he told the BW that he was afraid to kiss her at the end of the night.

The BW said that she wanted him to kiss her.

They made a plan to meet again and kiss in a few days.

And then something strange and wonderful happened.

Later that same afternoon, they bumped into each other at the local drugstore!

The TM smiled just like he had smiled the first time he saw the BW.

The BW shyly smiled back.

And then the TM kissed the BW in the drugstore.

It was the best kiss ever.



The TM and the BW couldn’t stop kissing.

Sometimes they also kissed Penny, but mainly they kissed each other.

The TM had a beard and it would often scratch the BW’s face when they kissed.

The BW’s face glowed red and became even more beautiful.

The TM began to kiss the BW more gently. It felt warm and nice.

Like they had been kissing each other forever.

The TM couldn’t stop smiling.

The BW couldn’t stop smiling.

Penny couldn’t stop wagging her tail.



As the days went by, the TM and the BW grew to like each other very much.

No, that’s not entirely correct.

They didn’t just like each other very much.

It was more than that.

It felt like when Penny wags her tail – multiplied by a kazillion.

The tall man was very happy.

The beautiful woman was very happy.

Penny was very happy.

The Hunger Game


I was told there’d be cake.

Although it has rarely given me much pleasure, happiness has been one of my favorite subjects to write about. I’ve always felt like I was looking at it through the window of a dream bakery at night (and for some reason, it’s always snowing), hungering to stuff my fat face with the sweetness of the world. And the more I write about it, the more elusive it seems to be.

I’ve tweeted about it incessantly:

Happiness isn’t always the best way to be happy.

For a lot of us, happiness is the scariest thing.

I don’t think I’d know happiness if it bit me in the ass. OWWW! Something just bit me in the ass!

And still, nothing!

I’ve wasted a lot of time searching for happiness on what has seemed to be an unending snipe hunt, knowing perfectly well that the sneaky fucker has been hiding inside of me all along. The realization that it comes from within, however, has still left me without.

If you’ve endured enough therapy, you understand that you’re the only one who can make yourself happy (despite countless hours talking about your mom, and, in my case, Penélope Cruz) and yet I continue to seek it elsewhere. Part of my pointless quest is a silly notion that sharing happiness with another happy person would make all of that happiness even happier, but mostly it’s my fantasy that someone will come along and feed my fat face with the sweetness of her world.

It was my last girlfriend who asked me one night if it were possible to be content without someone to share it with. She said that she wasn’t sure.

“For me, I think the answer is a definite no,” I told her.

Whenever I think about the instances I’ve truly been happy, it has invariably involved other people (Sartre can go to Hell!) – my kids and friends, followed by my ex-wife and various other women. And the time I met Steve Martin in his hotel room.

Of course, music, movies, TV, books, art and all of that cultural crap have also done the trick, but that brand of happiness still doesn’t compare to the feeling of sharing any of those fun things with someone you love.

I know that I’ve been rambling and contradicting myself here and think that’s also part of the problem, if you could even call this a problem. There I go again. I’ve always been confused about how to find happiness, and often didn’t appreciate it on the occasions when it has opened its door and let me come inside for a taste.

Oh look! There goes happiness now!

Are you gonna eat that?

%d bloggers like this: