Thursday, July 27, 2017

Baltimore Raven and genius MIT math Ph.D. candidate, John Urschel, has retired from the NFL after three seasons. Urschel did the math and he has decided he can make more money searching for other NFL player’s lost diamond earrings. 

Which leads to,

Atlanta Falcon, Julio Jones, claims he lost a $100,000 diamond earring while jet skiing on a lake in Georgia. Julio was instructed to call 1-800 You Fool. 

Chicago is going through a baby-boom nine months after the Cubs’ World Series win. The reverse of this explains why high schools are vacant in Cleveland. 

This week, President Trump spoke to the Boy Scout Jamboree. As a result, all 40,000 Boy Scouts got their “Comb-over” Merit Badge.

The Carolina Panthers released Michael Oher, the subject of the movie “The Blind Side,” after Oher assaulted an Uber driver. Oher claims he was angry because the driver was not checking his blind side.

Pissing With The Big Dogs

Anthony Scaramucci reminds me exactly of another megalomaniac Italian-American who made it from a modest background to impressive financial success. Also with a serious case of short-man’s disease. 

His name was Joe Plumeri. (Like Scaramucci, Plumeri was barely 5-7) 

As Seth Meyers so deadly accurately described Anthony Scaramucci, Joe Plumeri was also a human pinky-ring. 

Joe Plumeri was the manager of all the managers at Shearson Lehman Brothers when I started working for Shearson in La Jolla in 1986.  That year in the spring, Joe graced us with his presence and a speech for the annual Shearson Lehman Andy Williams Golf Tournament at Torrey Pines. 

From the moment he arrived, Joe threw his weight around like he was Mussolini. La Jolla is an incredibly beautiful and wealthy town, but it was way too small for Joe Plumeri's ego. He cut quite a wake as he had a 24-hour giant limo at his beck and call and a driver who doubled as his huge and scary body guard. 

Don Joe Plumeri comes to La Jolla to give his speech.

It has always been a joy for me to watch people do what they truly love. That is why I can listen to any hockey game as long as it is being announced by the great Mike “Doc” Emrick. You can hear the love of hockey with every play he describes. 

Joe Plumeri was the same way, only the love he felt was from listening to the sound of his own voice. He seemed to veritably bathe in his own docent tones as he blissfully described how, despite growing up in hardscrabble Trenton, he became wildly successful and yet amazingly modest as well. His message repeatedly stressed what a down-to-earth guy he was despite his incredible, incredible success. 

Success and modesty. Modesty and success. That was Joe Plumeri according to Joe Plumeri. 

(To capture Joe Plumeri’s character, you need to look no further than the pomposity of the Black Hand, in “Godfather II,” Don Fanucci. The man who just wants to wet his beak. Obviously, you can't paint all Italians with this arrogant brush, but those who are like this are really like this. And Mooch is like this)

The next day at the golf tournament, I made the mistake of actually believing that Joe Plumeri was the modest guy he pontificated he was in his speech and I almost got fired. Fired from a job I had had for four days. Fired from a job I had traveled across the country for and survived two months of Los Angeles training.  

Fired in four freaking days. 

Shearson Lehman’s training program was valued in 1986 at $75,000. It was tough to get hired for in the first place and then it weeded out 25% right off the bat by canning anyone who did not pass the brokerage Series 7 exam on the first try. No easy task, but one I accomplished. Despite my lifelong trepidation over math.  

The subsequent training program in Century City then weeded out another 25% over two months of pretty rigorous trials and tests. 

50% of the people hired for Shearson were cut. 

My La Jolla Shearson manager, Jack Frager was a former Korean war jet fighter pilot and a larger than life honorary Mayor of La Jolla. (Picture a much louder Matthew McConoughey at age 55) Jack was a fantastic guy and he was exceedingly proud of me when I graduated from training. Jack was like my father-away-from-home. 

So when the tournament started the same week I got back from my training in LA, it was party time. And party we did. 

The Shearson tent by the 18th hole of the North course was stocked with the best food and drink. All of it free and plentiful.

It is hard to describe the joy I felt after moving from Wall Street and my tiny Manhattan studio apartment to wining and dining in this luxurious tent overlooking the Torrey Pines golf course and the Pacific ocean. 

Make no mistake, I had arrived. 

We started celebrating at 2:00 PM, one hour after the market closed, this being Thursday, my fourth day on the job. 

By about 8 O’Clock we were all doing pretty damn well, thank you. That was when Joe Plumeri graced the tent with his - and his giant body guard’s - presence. Joe seemed a tad stiff and not at all happy to see a bunch of happy-go-lucky brokers enjoying themselves.

Screw him, I thought. Who cares what he thinks? I need to go piss. 

So off I went to the fancy urinal and toilet trailer they had behind the tent. Standing at the urinal, some might describe what I was doing as weaving, but I was merely adjusting my stance, like a golfer, from my left foot to my right. Comfort was important because I had not peed in six hours of, um, celebrating. 

Just then I heard the familiar New York sound of a guy spitting into the urinal as he unzips his pants. (Spitting before peeing is apparently a law of any guy growing up in the tri-state area of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut)

Guess who it was? You got it, ol’ modest, down-to-earth Joe Plumeri himself. He had his dark and expensive-looking top coat draped over his shoulders like a cape. His tailor-made two-tone shirt had huge diamond cufflinks. 

And yes, he had a diamond pinky ring.

Feeling generous, I gave Don Joe the benefit of the doubt as a man of his modest word, and being fueled by quite a few vodka and tonics, I turned to Joe and happily, and loudly proclaimed, 

“Shearson is amazing. Here I have only been here for four days and already I’m pissing with the big dogs.”

The look Joe returned was as dead as the eyes of a shark. He slowly stared me up and down with genuine disgust. Then, without a word, he did the Staten Island post-pee shake, zipped up his $10,000 pin-striped suit fly, flushed the urinal and walked away.

Again, all without saying a word. (And without washing his hands) 

‘I’m toast,” is all I could mutter. “Four days on the job, and I am toast,” I repeated as I trundled down the ramp of the fancy motor home of urinals.

Back in the tent, when I told my buddies what happened - after laughing their asses off at me - they hustled me out of there and we drove back into downtown La Jolla, because what we really needed to do was hit a bar.

Sure enough, the next Monday at work, I had heard Joe Plumeri demanded a talk with my manager Jack after emerging from the head. No doubt to fire my sorry ass. But for the first of many times, my manager, Fighter Pilot Jack had my tail. 

Also my friend, Louie Lund, was drunker than me and, later that same night, took a swing at Joe’s massive bodyguard/driver.  

Apparently, Shearson has a rule of only firing one drunk broker a day.

Make no mistake about it, Anthony Scaramucci is Joe Plumeri. Donald Trump can enjoy the down-to-earth, jovial, modest, loyal guy Mooch seems like now.

But the second Trump screws Anthony, the way he did Sean Spicer? The way Trump screws everybody?

Marone. Do me a favor. Forget about it.