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Jerry’s Ink: Al Gore, Russian Spies and My First Kiss


Admit it, don’t you feel a little sorry for Al Gore? Sure he has the huge house, the large gas-burning cars and the big plane—all the things he needs to heat the globe as he goes out to hustle global warming.

But now he’s lost Tipper and he has to come to the realization that whether it’s a presidential election that goes to the Supreme Court or a late night hotel room message in Portland, Ore., when you’re Al Gore, there are no happy endings.



Russian Spies stealing our secrets? Nyet. This was a rip-off a bunch of Russians were pulling on gullible Mother Russia. They have been collecting money as spies for years without being close to any classified information. They haven’t even been charged with espionage.

My guess is they would read the National Enquirer every week and then send out a secret message to Vladimir Putin, saying, “Send us more money, we are on the verge of finding out shocking information about John Edwards, Al Gore, Tiger Woods, Britney Spears, etc… etc…etc.”


Do you remember your first real kiss? I remember mine as if it were yesterday.

It was summer. I was about 12 years old and I took my date (her name was Rose) to the Kingsway Theater on Kings Highway in Brooklyn. Nervous? There wasn’t a pore in my body that wasn’t flooded. My armpits needed leaders and gutters. My body felt like it had a temperature of 106 degrees. My hands and feet felt 30 degrees colder. I was also nauseous because in preparation for this first “date,” I had brushed my teeth about 20 times and was in danger of dying from an overdose of Colgate toothpaste.

The movie was called Pagan Love Song starring Esther Williams. We sat in the balcony. I was too shy to put my arm around Rose so I put it around her seat instead.

I spent the two hours in pain. My arm cramped up in this awkward position and then it went to sleep. It was dead. Useless. I think I cut off the circulation and to this day can’t throw a baseball 10 feet. I blame it on that seat in the Kingsway Theater.

At one point I realized I couldn’t move my arm, had no control over it and probably would never be able to move it again. I wondered if it would have to be amputated. This made me giggle hysterically to myself. Unfortunately, I had this thought during a love scene between Esther Williams and Howard Keel. Rose then said her first word of the afternoon to me: “Shuuuussssssh.”

Finally, during the scene where Esther Williams was swimming underwater (and I think singing at the same time), I decided to try to kiss Rose. My dead right arm, which I had counted on for foreplay and balance, was useless. So I had to try to move my body and sort of lurch at the same time. It put me off-balance and, even though I was aiming for her lips, I missed and sort of kissed her on the bridge of her nose and on her right eye.

She sort of summed up what my sex life was going to be like forever when she said, “Stop that. We’re going to miss the good part of the movie.”

I may have been 12, but being thrown over for Esther Williams didn’t do much for my self-esteem. It was then I decided to retrieve my right arm, but in order to do that I had to reach over Rose’s head with my left hand and pick up my other arm and swing it over her head. I didn’t do that as well as I should have and wound up accidentally hitting her in the back of the head with my dead arm.

“What’s wrong with you?” she said, thereby becoming the first person to ask a question that I’ve been asked many times since.

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