Our site will be undergoing maintenance from 6 a.m. - 6 p.m. ET on Saturday, May 20. During this time, Bookshop, checkout, and other features will be unavailable. We apologize for the inconvenience.
Cookies must be enabled to use this website.
Book Image Not Available Book Image Not Available
Book details
  • Genre:FICTION
  • SubGenre:Humorous / General
  • Language:English
  • Pages:289
  • eBook ISBN:9781483556284

Divide By Two

Humor and Wisdom In 48 Short Stories

by Steven Edmund Novick

Book Image Not Available Book Image Not Available
Overview
DIVIDE BY TWO A lot of people ask me if the stories in this book are true. To answer that question, I will tell you about what Herbie said. One day my buddy Ralph and I had lunch with a business associate of mine, Herbie. During the lunch, Herbie says to Ralph, “Steve here is a really outstanding fellow. However, be advised that he is a Number Four Guy.” Ralph thinks about this for a minute and then says, “What do you mean a Number Four Guy” Herbie answers, “What I mean by a Number Four Guy is that anything he tells you, divide by four to get the truth.” Well I don’t agree with Herbie. I am definitely a Divide by Two Guy. CAT ON THE COVER? Why the cat picture on the cover of this book? The answer to the question is in the book. Read it. “YOU WILL GET SUED” It’s not likely that I’ll get sued for what I have written in this book. Here are the reasons: I’ve changed names and places to protect the guilty. Assume I have accused someone of committing a crime, which I have. Further assume that the accused thinks that even though I have changed his name, some people will figure out who he is. Does he really want to come out publicly, via a lawsuit, and say, “The author is writing about me and everyone knows it?” If he does so, he is confirming what were only suspicions and admitting that he is the person accused. Now he has to prove, in the court of public opinion, that what I have written is false. How easy is it to prove a negative? Finally, why sue me? I have no money and probably never will have any.
Description
DIVIDE BY TWO A lot of people ask me if the stories in this book are true. To answer that question, I will tell you about what Herbie said. One day my buddy Ralph and I had lunch with a business associate of mine, Herbie. During the lunch, Herbie says to Ralph, “Steve here is a really outstanding fellow. However, be advised that he is a Number Four Guy.” Ralph thinks about this for a minute and then says, “What do you mean a Number Four Guy” Herbie answers, “What I mean by a Number Four Guy is that anything he tells you, divide by four to get the truth.” Well I don’t agree with Herbie. I am definitely a Divide by Two Guy. CAT ON THE COVER? Why the cat picture on the cover of this book? The answer to the question is in the book. Read it. “YOU WILL GET SUED” It’s not likely that I’ll get sued for what I have written in this book. Here are the reasons: I’ve changed names and places to protect the guilty. Assume I have accused someone of committing a crime, which I have. Further assume that the accused thinks that even though I have changed his name, some people will figure out who he is. Does he really want to come out publicly, via a lawsuit, and say, “The author is writing about me and everyone knows it?” If he does so, he is confirming what were only suspicions and admitting that he is the person accused. Now he has to prove, in the court of public opinion, that what I have written is false. How easy is it to prove a negative? Finally, why sue me? I have no money and probably never will have any. “WHAT YOU HAVE WRITTEN IS POLITICALLY INCORRECT AND OR MAY GIVE OFFENSE.” Let me tell you about “Politically Correct”. The first time I ever heard the words, “Politically Correct” was in the early seventies. Some little big-mouthed pip-squeak of a young woman used it on me because she didn’t like what I was saying. I immediately detested the term. I saw it as an attempt to control my free speech and eventually my very thoughts. Of course I was right. Today, governments the world over from North Korea to the United States, will put you in jail or even execute you for what you say or write, if your words are judged to be offensive. They’ll also put you in jail for what they believe you are or were thinking. If the court determines that you were thinking hateful things when you committed a crime, you are punished more severely than you would be if you had been thinking pretty thoughts at the time. I saw a headline on an Internet news site, which read, “Al Gore wants global warming skeptics to be punished”. The way things are going, Al may well get his wish. Now for “Offensive Speech”. In the good old days, things were better. For example, my dear dead dad used to say he fought WWII in South Carolina, in Army boot camp. The rednecks who were in basic training with him used to stare at his head and say, “Hey, Jew. Where are you hiding your horns?” If my father had said in reply, “I find your remark offensive,” it probably would have changed their behavior – they would have beaten him to death. Dad had only two choices for a response: fight the red necks or ignore them. But today, so many people say, “I find what you say to be offensive and hurtful,” and they fully expect their remark will result in a heart-felt mea culpa and a change in what you will allow yourself to say. What gives people such expectations? Consciously or sub-consciously, they believe that they can get you into big trouble if they report your hurtful words to the proper authorities. And increasingly so, they are right.
About the author
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Dear Reader I was born in 1945, in Colorado, in a log cabin that I built with my own two hands. The first few years of my life were carefree, and I got to spend a lot of time with my parents, in particular, my father who was always at home because he never had a job. But he was still a pretty good provider. Every day, he used to go out in back of our cabin, with his twenty-two rifle, and hunt for squirrels. On the days he would actually shoot one, we feasted, on squirrel stew. But most days, we had no meat to eat so we had soup my mom made with grass and tree bark. When my father ran out of bullets, we had a family meeting and decided to move to Brooklyn and live in my grandmother’s house, on President Street in Crown Heights. I have fond memories of my youth in Brooklyn. My grandmother would schlep me along when she went shopping on Utica Avenue. My favorite store was the butcher shop. We would go into the back of the store, to where the chicken flicker did his work. You would select a dead chicken that still had all its feathers. The chicken flicker would hold the dead chicken over a gas fired flame and burn the feathers off of the chicken. I could watch him work all day. When I was about four years old, we moved to Queens. It was there that I began my life-long careers in arson (See my story Fire Bug) and in larceny (See my story Empty Bottles). When I was about eight years old, we moved to our first house in New Jersey where I was beaten up every day after school (See my story Tommy Wills Gets His). We moved to our second house in New Jersey when I was eleven years old. As the new kid, I wasn’t very popular and didn’t make any friends until I went to high school. There I made some good friends (two) but they are both dead now. I went to college in New England and then I went to law school, which I dropped out of after my first day of classes. I didn’t get drafted into the army during the Vietnam War due to my high blood pressure. In 1970 I moved to NYC. Since then and until now I have been unemployed half of the time but I have had many jobs the other half of the time, although I have never had a job from which I was not fired. I was married, but of course got thrown out by my wife. I have two children who never right or call. Probably because I don’t know how to get messages off of my answering machine and I never read my e-mail. I live in a rent controlled, rat infested, walk up, studio apartment on the Lower East Side – with seven people. There’s me, Bob (a cat), Sally (another cat), Benjamin (a plant), Nathan (another plant), Michael (a computer) and Sam (a pet roach). So you can see, I’m not lonely. I don’t get out much, due to my diabetes, which makes me very tired and a perpetual virulent case of seborrhea on my face, which scares people when they see it. However, I do go to the Ludlow Fitness Center every day, mainly to insult people and try to start fights. You know, to kind of test my mettle. But no matter how much I insult people, they don’t want to fight me. Maybe that’s just the way girls are. I don’t think I am going to try insulting the guys. The last thing I want to mention, is that if you happen to see me on the street and call me by my name, Steve, I probably won’t know that you are talking to me. That’s because most people call me by my nickname. Yours truly, Steve “Lucky” Novick PS: Now that I look over what I have just written, I guess I’ve had a pretty good life.