Excerpt from the book, “The Porky from New Yorky ‘s Guide to Weight Loss and Positive Mental Health”

You know you’re a Porky if you exhibit some of the following traits:

1)    When they picked teams for kickball- you were picked 8th in a field of ten.

2)    You finished college with a C to C+ average.

3)    8 out of 10 girls turned you down for dates or rejected you for various reasons.

4)    If  you think you should be the boss  when in reality you’re the file clerk.

The Number One Porky Myth
Most Porkys  are not fat but many are slightly overweight

I remember the day as though it were yesterday. The day I gave my heart soul to rock and roll; or prehaps better spoken, to music. It was the equivalent of handling snakes, getting the fever, talking in tongues accepting Jesus—or in  this case accepting Mick as my saviour. It was in the summer months of 1963. A hot day at my best friend John Studebaker’s house. We were having a Cub Scout meeting–and the lesson that day was how to make a bean bag. Needle, thread, some hard beans and a piece of cloth. A primitive task preparing us cubs to get some basic skills to go face the world. After the meeting was over, all the cubs left but me. John and I were going to play as we often did—we were playing out our version of Rudyard Kipling. Our activities consisted of riding bikes-throwing dirt clods/playing with fireworks-or running around in the anarkali(old market). But today was different. After our fellow cubs departed John said to me, “come here you have to see this!”

We went to his 15 year old brother Ray’s room and he went to the closet and pulled out a small plastic record player (the legendary $10 record player where you pull the tone arm backwards to start the wheel spinning) he pulled out  a record showed it to me—“Ray just got this” he said—then proceeded to put it on the record player. He dropped the needle on the record and it was at that moment that a switch flipped on in my head. Instincts that were dormant were now being awakened—it was  like a science fiction movie where the gigantic monster machine comes on slowly powerfully-it can’t be stopped and grows exponentially stronger minute by minute. Every molecule in my being became alive and marched toward the pleasure and pain center of my brain with the speed and power of a locomotive train. The song was “Congratulations” by The Rolling Stones.

Congratulations, congratulations
Well done my friend, you’ve done it again
you’ve gone and broke another heart. Yeah
Yeah, tore it apart
You’ve done it before, hope do it some more
You’ve got it down to a fine art
Remember the first time you tried to do it to me
There’ll be no next time, just wait and see
Just wait and see

I realized my destiny and who I was and my station in life. To be quite honest, I wasn’t to happy about these realizations. It was at that moment that I knew instinctually that my life would be fraught with disappointment and little if any success. Feelings of desperation/lonliness and failure-bloomed like flowers in my being. I felt real anger, and when Mick sneered “yeah you tore it apart,” I knew those emotions were going to be the mantra of my life. The music spoke to me. It was my cross to bare.

Without saying anything to each other the song came to an end and John put the needle back down and we listened to the song again and a third time. I don’t know how Studee felt about it-I doubt he felt the same feelings I felt-but he must have felt something. He then said,”lets listen to the other side.”—Amazingly the other side of the single: ‘Time is on My Side,” brought on a plethora of paradoxically different feelings. I felt a sense of calm—a sense of hope. It’ll be alright—there’s hope—there’s a chance its not all lost—and your not alone—you’ll get your second chance-the dignity-the girl whatever you want you will get it.

Time is on my side, yes it is
Time is on my side, yes it is
Now you always say
that you want to be free
but you’ll come running back (said you would baby)
you’ll come running back (I said so many times before)
you’ll come running back to me
Oh, time is on my side, yes it is
Time is on my side, yes it is

The story was complete-the Yin and the Yang. Two parts of the whole –the despair and the hope. This is what music was about. It speaks to you in a language that is private personal and most of all comforting. It was at this moment that I realized I was the porky from New Yorky and it was going to be a long and difficult ride. Now you may be thinking how would a 10-year-old come to these provocative realizations about his life and character. Well I would tell you first that it was instinctual and secondly it might have had to do with the fact that out of 10 kids making bean bags I was in a group of three that could not thread the needle and thus failed to stitch up the bag. It didn’t help that Mrs. Studebaker said several times in front of the group—“Come on Steven you can do it-its simple!!” Think of a Catholic Betsy Ross who might have been a character in Thornton Wilders “our Town” and you get the picture. Not once but twice she chided me about my failure. It was at this moment that I realized that most Catholics are latent Jew haters but I digress.

In this chapter I would like to explain the love hate relationship that Porky’s all over the world have with exercise. I remember when I first became aware of the strong necessity of exercise and the concept of “your body is talking to you.” I had turned 48 and went out with some chums for a night of fun to the DC Improv. David Brenner was the headline act and he of course is a charter member of the brotherhood of Porkys. David is very funny and really one of the best comics around—unfortunately like most porkys he was either mis-managed or somehow fucked up his own career and never received the stature he so deserves. Well to get to the story—he went into a long monologue of how your body talks to you—it was a unique combination of serious discussion and hilarious off the wall comedy—but I remember becoming acutely aware of “body talk”. Most of my exercise up until that time consisted of lying back and imagining myself jogging—or reaching for the TV remote utilizing the functional isometric technique of channel changing. I procrastinated for the next 9 years until three events/philosophies entered my reality. First off the perennial reunion was around the corner—I of course failed to meet my goals. Secondly I started working in a corporate environment with many beautiful young women. Now while I am a happily married man the arrogance of the male ego coupled with the Porky entitlement factor inspired me to think about exercise in a more serious manner to heighten my desirability factor-but the most important element that finally sent me to the treadmill was an episode of Star Trek. I don’t remember the title or even what the episode was about—I just remember the last 10 minutes. Bones and Mr.Spock were stranded in a capsule floating along with the oxygen running out. Unless they were noticed and rescued they were dead men. At some point during the small talk of 2 men often at odds with each other-now making amends-Spock launches a flair into space that robs them of most of their power and oxygen. Bones freaks out yelling something like—“spock you’re killing us—you signed our death warrant (or something to that effect). Of course they get rescued and in the last 2 minutes of show (standing in the company of Capt.Kirk on the bridge)—Bones takes a dig at Spock—and says, “ You know Mr. Spock—launching that flair was highly illogical,” Mr. Spock in his timeless cool manner turns to bones-pauses; raises eyebrows- then says, “No Dr. Mcoy it was in fact very logical,”—the episode ends. I’m not sure why but that 10-minute scene gave me all the inspiration I needed. Hence I bought a treadmill—and now I am going to share with you my formula for physical perfection. —All this takes is 30 minutes 5 nights a week—Jane Fonda—Pilate’s trainers-thigh masters—Guthrie renker watch out—the PORKERCISER regiment is here.

The only accessory one needs is his trusty pocket cassette player—however I am sure the more technologically inclined out there can duplicate this in the format that works for you-ok we are off and running-lets start the speed at 3 miles—Tunes away:

1)    Mary Chapin Carpenter “It must have happened”
I don’t even like Mary Chapin Carpenter—but this a great song structure with great lyrics—with a power and calming effect at the same time.

 “Can’t remember seein’ all my hopes goin’ up in flames I can’t remember reachin’ for the closest thing to dull the pain I can’t remember feeling I could be healed by a stranger’s hand”
-A perfect first choice for someone who resents doing this—power on “after all baby here I am with you!”

2)    The Shoes “Tomorrow Night
Ok were starting to find a groove now-one of the greatest power pop bands of all time-The shoes never received the recognition they deserved—operating in the shadow of Big Star—these guy had the looks, the tunes—but suffered the unfortunate fate of being relegated to a footnote in rock history.

3) The Hoodoo Gurus- “I Want You Back
  So were in a power pop groove now—here is a killer pop number with a larger than life production—imagine yourself in the Australian outback; your thirsty starving looking for a water hole—then miraculously you come upon—these cartoon character mop tops with 100 ft. amplifiers playing their hearts out for the Barney crowd—dinosaurs galore—that’s what mtv does for you

3)    Johnny Hallyday W. The Rattles “Keep Searchin”

OK now we’re cooking—lets move the speed up to 3.1—Johnny Hallyday-now here is a misunderstood rock star—get your borsalino out and imagine Bridgett Bardot and Catherine Deneuve on your arm—and in your bed—befriend 60’s rock band the Rattles take a Del Shannon tune—put a farfisa organ in—a bad French accent and a Nazi holiday camp band—and we’re rocking—you can laugh all you want at Johnny Hallyday but he probably got more pussy than Mick, Keith & Wilt Chamberlain put together.

5)    Mannfred Mann “If You Gotta Go Now”
Sweat starting to make its appearance—no one can dispute the greatest songwriter of modern times was Bob Dylan—and similarly no one can dispute that Mannfred Mann—(with Paul Jones) was the greatest interpreter of his songs. And while this song is not in Dylan’s top ten—for my money (and work out) this interpretation reaches perfection – the lyrics burst with alarming immediacy when sung by Paul Jones—and the instrumentation is beat nirvana.

It ain’t that I’m wantin’Anything you never gave before
It’s just that I’ll be sleepin’ soon It’ll be too dark for you to find the door
But if you got to go It’s all right
But if you got to go, go now
Or else you gotta stay all night

6)    The Cramps- “A New Kind of Kick
The Stooges may have introduced the world to Raw Power-but the Cramps took the concept re-invented it and over powered & destroyed every garage and punk band in its wake-including Iggy & friends. One of rocks biggest tragedies was the passing of Lux.  No modern punk rocker could touch the sheer magnitude of power and stage prescence that was Lux Interior—anchored by the demure but highly erotic Poison Ivy—literally unbeatable. Ivy took sex appeal to an etherial level—she was a woman you wanted to worship and crawl for—by the middle of this song—I’ve moved the speedomoter to 3.3….psst psssst  Ivy call me.

7)    Episode 6 “Love Hate Revenge” 
Refugees from the flower power british freakbeat explosion—these guys took an American bubble gum track-coated it with toffee flavored acid and came up with a minor freakbeat masterpiece. Throbbing bass lines and masterful lyrics:

      “ I bought a doll  from an old bearded lady, I named it Tanya and it looks just like you-and though I know that it sounds a little crazy—I can make you feel anything I want you to—–If I want you to cry bet your life your gonna cry –when I put two drops of water in this little dolls eye-so if want to get even all I gotta do is break this heart and you will feel misery..

8) The Choir—”Anyway I Can”
I’m beginning to feel to feel the pain—the adrenalin is slowing down—the workout is half done and I need purpose—this porky needs to be steadied—lets go back to 7th grade-Bari Thompson I’m sorry I teased you—I know you must have grown up to be so beautiful—If only I had the sense to have done what these Choir lyrics preach—“concentrate—accept  your mistakes figure out what you should have done better—it will get you beyond the pain—the beauty of the past-the beauty of that first smile—it never got better than that—love went downhill from there.”

8)    The Remains-“Say Your Sorry”
Ok Porky, puck up, pull yourself together and lets rev up this work out with the Remains. Barry Tashians Vocal was a cross between Mick Jagger and Paul McCartney—the guitar playing was a cross between George Harrison & Keith Richards and the songs were a cross…..”your love is not the way its been—say your sorry!”

9)Masters Apprentice—War or Hands of Time
Did you see Braveheart with Mel Gibson—Imagine this is the theme song—your off to fight for your freedom with an  army of scallywags—Sir William Wallace fighting for  the freedom of the Scottish People—amidst the sounds of these shimmering guitars.

“Oh I had to go—I will be thinking of you when I’m far away.”
While listening I had become Sir William Wallace opposing King Edward I of England—I led the men in the battle of Stirling Bbridge.I..I..I

10)Judith Durham—Wanderlove
This is the Female Heroine in the Braveheart film we just left—Princess Isabella—Professes her great love. Judith Durham may very have the most beautiful voice in pop music. Remeniscint of Sandy Denny-her range, subtletiy and grace are unparalled. Imagine her on the hillside singing this to Sir William Wallace—as you can imagine this Porky is sweating like a Pig-but listening to this song- I actually get goose bumps.

11) Flamin’ Ohs—Gotcher’head
Coming into the home stretch now—this obscure instrumental reminds one of Joe Meeks Tornados-but more american more farfisa keyboard –a theme I once considered many moons ago to close my long forgotten radio show-keep steady, petal to the metal or is it the other way around?

12) Bunk Dogger-“French Lessons” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0t3jibfncQ
This song always makes me laugh-obtuse humor verging on the obscene—no its not pedophelia—and aging french teacher barely able to walk falling in love with a 16 year old english girl—Henry Miller—where are you now when American Needs you—I need you-we need inspiration-we need laughter and most of all we need irrerevrence.

13) Music Machine
“Talk Talk”- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJR_KGZO4U0
We’re almost finished now and were gonna kick out the jams—this is definitely in the top five angry punk songs. Black leather leather pants & shirt—playing guitar with black gloves—these lyrics against discordant yet melodic angry punk it don’t get better than this:
“Here’s the situation And how it really stands
I’m out of circulation I’ve all but washed my hands
My social life’s a dud My name is really mud
I’m up to here in lies Guess I’m down to size
To size”

      14) The Stranglers-“No More Heroes” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g6yTRq_rJg4
The last song in this grueling work out-nihilistic punk calling on the spirit of Jim Morrison. “Whatever happened to Leon Trotsky?” a stomping rythmn –2 more minutes and were done-are we feeling good or what?!!!—No More Hero’s– I’ve got that chance now—how many pounds-2 3 4———-The song ends I step off the treadmill—I’m doing the moonwalk——time to hit the shower—wait –Is someone calling me—Is someone acknowledging my greatness—I hear a voice—Oh its my wife—“Steven can you come down here-it starts as a question and ends as a command—come down here—I just made an apple pie—do you want a piece—-Can I have 2/wp-content/photos


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