Wife Swap

When four people who have four different agendas spend five days in the pressure cooker known as Disney World, disagreements can, and will, arise. Don’t ask me how I know. Just take my word for it.

This is going to be my second wife. She’s a Muslim princess. She’s RICH. Her father owns a kingdom.



My office was closed on Veteran’s Day. So, like all good veterans, I went to the Guggenheim for the Agnes Martin retrospective. Her early work is super-boring but her later stuff is fine.

While there, I waited in line for :25 minutes to piss in Maurizio Cattelan’s America. The security guard assigned to crowd control told me that, at peak times, the wait can be as long as two hours.


It’s an 18k solid gold, fully functioning, toilet. It’s said to be worth upwards of $11M. I guess it depends on the price of gold that day. That lid is very, very heavy.

america2They had some problems installing it because gold is such a soft metal. Hell, yes, I used it. You would’ve too. Something tells me these are being installed in the White House as we speak.



Another journal excerpt:

October 24, 1991

I saw the Warsaw Symphony at Carnegie Hall with Elvin last night. He works for a woman who’s a classic New York City overachiever. She has subscriptions all over town but can’t attend any of the shows because she works day and night, so she gives the tickets away. Wonderful seats. I love Carnegie Hall. The theater is nice and movies are just movies but walking into Carnegie Hall makes me feel like I finally did something right for once in my stupid life.

I took Maureen to “Breaking Legs,” a terrible play starring Philip Bosco and Vincent Gardenia. It was an insult to my Italian half. It had every negative Italian stereotype you can imagine and a stupid plot. They’d never produce a play with Stepin Fetchit and Mammy characters so why do they produce crap like this?

Maureen is really down in the dumps. It’s the first time she’s had a real job with real workplace pressures and office politics and it’s killing her. All she’s ever known is academia and artist colonies. Now she’s in publishing and it’s a shock to her delicate system. She’s got a suffocating workload and works for a woman who demeans her. I’ve seen this before. Some adapt to having their dreams crushed. Others leave town. I’d offer some platonic comfort but I’m afraid she’d run with it.

I just won tickets to see the Stray Cats at the Ritz on Halloween night.

My phone just rang and when I picked it up there was no one there. This has been happening a lot recently. I think I have a secret admirer. It’s like when you’re on the school playground and you like someone so you give them a good, hard shove.

Donna is ignoring my calls and messages. I wonder what I did this time?


The Shroud of Turin


The Waffle of Orlando



Just look at this douchebag. Not only did he take two spots, he took the two next to the handicapped parking (the blue lines). That means he took the closest possible spots. And there were TONS of empty spaces not far away. I don’t know why I let this stuff bother me so much. Maybe I’m jealous because he drives a nicer car. I wish I could be more Zen. Humanity, you dirty slut.



Okay. I’ve changed my mind. I’m not going Muslim for my second wife. I’m definitely going Native American.


Here, Pocahontas points the way to the best divorce attorney on the reservation.


It’s amazing that these girls played along with my foolishness and treated me with such good humor. Later that evening, my wife told me that 14-year old daughter came up to her and asked why she puts up with this stuff.



I know how he feels. At least he got a response.

73 thoughts on “Wife Swap

      • Oh, and I’ll be back later to check the comments to see where this ethnic-cartoon-wife-swap thread leads. (Mulan would raise all kinds of questions…)

      • That’s funny you should mention her. We had every intention of meeting but she was gone by the time we got to Epcot/China. I seem to have a propensity of the exotic foreigners vs. the lily white Cinderella or Snow White, so I really wanted to introduce myself.

  1. I’m glad you’re back, too.

    If you marry Jasmin, you can probably also marry Pocahontas, as you will be expected to have a harem.

    I would only use a gold toilet if I was guaranteed Charmin. That is far more important than metal to me! And remember, I am a toilet expert.

  2. I did miss you! Sometimes we all just need to take a blogging break, even if we didn’t realise it.

    The inside of that gold toilet with the water just looks so pretty!

    I didn’t notice the date when you started on the diary extract part and thought it was something from now, I was confused about who Maureen was. When you got to the part about winning tickets for halloween night, I thought – well it’s a bit late for that!

    There’s a website in the UK where you can name and shame bad parkers like that. It doesn’t achieve anything, but at least it’s a place to release your frustration about it.

    Nice princesses, and I love how you’re right in character there.

    • Do you know what I did on my break? Read books! Books are great. Some folks are so talented. Flushing the gold commode was a work of art in and of itself. Swirling golden water. I should’ve taken a movie. Sorry about the journal confusion. I should be more careful about that stuff. People might get the wrong impression, like you just did. For the princess pics, I posed like a grand Pasha and an Indian chief. A lot of Disney isn’t politically correct, to say the least.

  3. I’m always happy when Exile shows up in my email, so thank you for brightening my Monday. Love the Waffle of Orlando, feeling sad for Snoopy, but even Steinbeck experienced rejection. Keep the faith!
    By the way, we’re planning a trip to NYC in April and will be going to Carnegie! My husband sings in a community choir that will be one of the many choirs performing for one evening. We’re taking the week off so we can play at being tourists (hopefully not too annoying). Already have our tickets to see Bette Midler in Hello Dolly!

    • Aren’t you nice! I can assure you that not everyone is so happy to see me. It’s hard to believe but it’s the TRUTH. So glad to hear about your trip. Have you ever been inside Carnegie Hall? It’s a quiet cathedral. The acoustics are astonishing. Go a little early and find the mini-museum inside. Fascinating stuff, including an autographed program from when the Beatles first played there that lists the bass player as “John McCartney.” Good on you for getting tickets to Hello Dolly. It’ll be a tough ‘get.’

      • Never been to Carnegie, never been to NYC. Our son goes about twice a year just to catch shows. He’ll be with us and has plenty of recommendations, but he’s never been to Carnegie either. Thanks for the tip!

  4. My first thought when I saw that toilet: How hard would it be to clean? Can you tell I cleaned a Wendy’s restaurant during med school? Hubs and I did it together every night, and I lucked out and got the bathrooms. Good times, good times.

    Looks like you had a great time in Disney World. I love that place. Just don’t look at the food prices…

    • For real: a Guggenheim employee cleans that bathroom every :20 minutes. The whole exhibit is kind of disgusting, come to think of it. Disney was okay. We paid a giant pile of cash to stay in a ‘moderate’ property. My lord it was basic! I can’t imagine what the budget properties are liked! Outhouses?

      • We’ve stayed both on Disney and off Disney in one of the Kissimmee hotels. The latter are so much more reasonable. We stayed at an Embassy Suites once in Kissimmee and got far more room in the hotel at a much cheaper price. But then you’re not on the Disney complex and have to drive in and park, so there’s always a trade-off.

  5. Your daughter tried to ask your wife how does she puts up with this, but she was too busy taking pictures with Aladdin and Prince Charming.
    The solid gold toilet is impressive. And if the line to use it gets too long to hold one’s liquids, there’s also that shiny black BMW you could pee on.

      • What the……………!She’s legally yours and she fart-arsing about with Prince Charming?
        By the way, I’ve missed you, too.I wondered if you were working on more of those journals from your youth.

      • Well, he is CHARMING, after all. Can’t say I blame her.

        I am not working on anything. I am suffering a lack of enthusiasm. I’ve always said I never want to force a post. I don’t want to waste people’s time.

  6. Could it have been Maureen who was calling you? Women don’t usually do the heavy breathing thing.

    Someone needs to explain to your daughter that middle-aged husbands run off with cheerleaders if you don’t allow them their harmless fantasies. I’m disappointed you didn’t crap in the golden bowl.

  7. I’m at a loss for words on this one, sweetpea. But only because you did far more than I did over the 3 day weekend! The MITM is out in Lalaland for work and to see the krewe, so I’m just trying to remember to cook and not call for pizza delivery! (cool shoots, sir!) xoxox

  8. My first thought on seeing you with Mulan was “that is one white dude!” Looking good and all, but seriously white. Glad to know you know the toilet seat is heavy…means you lifted it. Oh, you are doing well, even if your daughter is a little scornful (and get ready for more of that, BTW).
    Carnegie Hall is always a wonderful treat…how grand that you know someone who’s going to perform there.

    • I am über caucasian. I always have been. There’s not much I can do about it. I was dealt white cards.

      Of course I lifted the seat! What do you think I am? Some kind of uncouth animal? I don’t know what you mean by get ready for more. Please don’t say anything. It would spoil all the great surprises.

  9. Thank you for returning, and posting something that made me smile. We’ve all been needing a little of that, and I too haven’t been writing. The funk has gone on too long and I’m ready to get back at it. Right after my nap.

    Oh, and thank you for giving me something else to add to my bucket list. (Gold toilet, not running off with Pocahontas.)

    • Notice how I only made the slightest reference to the election? That’s by design. There are plenty of other people covering that topic. I thought some levity was in order. I’m particularly proud of my ‘Waffle of Orlando’ quip. My wife didn’t think it was funny at all. Strange.

      Don’t knock running off with Pocahontas unless you’ve tried it.

  10. Glad your back. Also glad you stayed on Disney property. One thing we Floridians hate is tourists coming here clogging up our roads looking at street signs and road maps. I always get my picture taken with Naked Cowgirl, Wonder Woman and Super Woman when in Times Square. Is the Golden Toilet a visible display or do you have to go inside the water closet? Can’t wait to see the Autumn Art Blog! It sounds like your book is on hold.

    • My wife and I driving in Florida = recipe for disaster. We knew enough to avoid it. Going to Disney is stressful enough.

      In order to view the toilet you have to go inside the WC. People try to sneak a quick peek when the door opens to let people in and out but that’s a poor substitute or standing over it.

  11. Fun post, Mark! One trip to Disney was enough for me, much prefer Universal and Cedar Point.
    I hope you gave Jasmine & Pocahontas the name of your blog so they can follow you!
    The golden throne just made my day. Needed some levity since I’ve been talking to very stressed attorneys all day.

  12. Your Muslim wife will soon have to register and the white man has confined your Native American wife to a reservation, so much for the land of the free… how fitting is the gold toilet? i see a metaphor there about our society that i’m still working out… and i’ve had to explain to the boyos that for the first time in his life (after all the shit i’ve pulled) that their old man might see the inside of a jail cell, i then explained civil disobedience to them and the fact that their old man would tolerate zero racist, sexist, xenophobic, homophobic bullshit from anyone and that fact may result in my temporary (or more so) detainment, teach the children well…

    • That’s why those girls have agreed to suffer a marriage with me. They need the citizenship. What other explanation could there be?

      There was a long explanation about how the commode was a whimsical analogy of the country, hence the name of the piece, “America.”

      Don’t go to jail for a cause. It looks noble but you’re still in jail, which looks bad. Fight the power from outside the penal system. I ask this on behalf of the boyos.

  13. You are fortunate to have such a patient, long suffering wife and am glad you have daughters to keep tabs on you.
    Love the cartoon. My favourite Peanuts :- he says – Gentlemen, regarding the recent rejection slip you sent me. I think there might have been a misunderstanding. What I really wanted was for you to publish my story , and send me fifty thousand pounds. Didn’t you realise that?

    • My wife keeps me on a very loose leash. Not only this nonsense at Disney, but after-work theater and other frivolities. And I return the favor. We coordinate calendars and insure we’re both getting evenings out. It’s critical.

      As I’ve said above, a rejection note would be refreshing. Now, all you get is a deafening silence. I think my pitch is weak. I need to work on it.

  14. “….real workplace pressures and office politics….” I can relate to that, but the other way around. It was great to get out of it when I set up my design studio at home. Worked more hours but was doing what I loved.

    Now retired and a travel blogger, I seemed to have returned – but to international political hassles (airport security and weird customs officials) and pressures of hopscotching across Europe trying to not miss the train, bus or flight – or combination of all three. Waaaaagh!

    • So, in other words, you are living my fantasy life. How is it? Pretty great, I imagine. And by fantasy, I mean the independence. I’m not actually out to work more hours. It seems working takes me away from the stuff I like.

      I rarely travel anymore. The recent trip to Orlando was quite sobering. I’m old enough to remember when flying was kind of elegant. Now, it’s about as elegant as taking the Greyhound Bus someplace. All the joy of travel has evaporated.

  15. Yeah, I’m done with Disney too. Unless they install some solid gold toilets at the parks. Which they probably should do considering how much it friggin costs for one day at a park. We spent (or wasted) soooo much money on character meals. You’ve seen one princess, you’ve seen ’em all. (not according to my husband though…)

    • The only place they’re installing solid gold toilets is the White House. That trip cost a staggering amount of cash. And we stayed on a “moderate” property! It wasn’t even that nice! What does the budget property entail? Outhouses?

      I do like the princesses, though. Maybe your hubby and I can go to scope princesses.

  16. Hey. Vacation in Orlando. Revel in it… it’s only for now. They grow up, get married, move to exotic places, buy homes, breed, and you are relegated to intermittent entertainment…

  17. Wouldn’t it have been more satisfying to have taken a dump in the golden bowl?
    Did you get the phone numbers of the Arab maid, and the Native American (It was much easier as a child in the 60s to say Red Indian, but hell, we must move with the times)

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