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Black Lamb

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Now in its 14th year of publication, this magazine was created to offer the discerning reader a stimulating selection of excellent original writing. Black Lamb Review is a literate rather than a literary publication. Regular columns by writers in a variety of geographic locations and vocations are supplemented by features, reviews, articles on books and authors, and a selection of “departments,” including an acerbic advice column and a lamb recipe.

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Archive for the 'Kauffman' Category

Throwing in the towel

January 1st, 2014

BY CERVINE KAUFFMAN

When my friends met Jerry, they were appalled. Some of them even used the word “slumming.” But I liked to call it “towelling off.” I was climbing forth from the muck of yuppified eunuchs and video game slackers and rolling myself up in a real man. And it felt good.

womanhanginglaundryI met him while I was having a shake at my favorite diner and watching a guy unloading stacks of towels from his trunk. When the guy came in, I told him that he must want the Inn a Minute just across the parking lot, but he said no, he had just left there. Then he took a stool a few places down and started sorting his towels. I say “his” towels but they really belonged to the motel. He saw my brow furrow so he explained how the hospitality business works. He said that motels have to jack up their prices to make up for the towels that end up in people’s trunks, so guests, in turn, have to steal more towels to make the price of a motel worthwhile. It didn’t make much sense to me, but something about the conviction in his voice made me keep nodding. A couple of shakes later, I felt that I’d known Jerry for a week. When he suggested a road trip, I rolled up a few toiletries in a towel and got in the car.

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Posted by: The Editors
Category: 11th Anniversary Issue, Kauffman | Link to this Entry

The One-Third Plan

April 1st, 2007

BY CERVINE KAUFFMAN

I spent most of my life being unmarried and when that started to bother me, I began to look at all of the marriages that surrounded me, and that I read about, and began to form some conclusions.

pensivegal.jpgIt is too easy to get married and divorced. Getting married should be at least as arduous as applying to college or taking out a loan. I would like getting married to require escrow accounts, psychological and physical exams, financial audits, property and parenting agreements, and penalties for premarital pregnancy. I would also like to see divorce trials reinstated so that dumping a spouse could not be a unilateral process of filling out paperwork. If both spouses wanted out, they’d have to tell the court why. It would be wise to follow Eastern Orthodox practice and limit a person’s lifetime marriage allotment to three. And although I’m a hardbutt on certain people getting and staying married, I also know that it is not for everyone. I also suspect that the way most couples practice marriage is bound to drive the parties crazy, celibate, homosexual, or all three.

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Posted by: The Editors
Category: All Marriage Issue, Kauffman | Link to this Entry

Where there’s smoke…

November 1st, 2006

BY CERVINE KAUFFMAN

pensivegal.jpgThere’s fire. Smokers are sexy, smokers are uninhibited, smokers drink, sensual smoking-and-drinking persons combine alcohol, tobacco, and sex in the most amazing combinations… An Irishman once told me that two things will get you through life when nothing else will: sex and drink.

That has not been my experience. I wish it had.

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Posted by: The Editors
Category: All Smoking & Drinking Issue, Kauffman | Link to this Entry

The boob tube

March 1st, 2006

BY CERVINE KAUFFMAN

My opinion of the boob tube is that it is a pernicious invention and one that humanity would do better without. Like most American children, I watched my share of TV. As a child, I read almost constantly, but I also watched cartoons every day after school. There were other programs that I watched, at least one every night, and I remember seeing episodes of the cartoons, and the evening, programs, sometimes two and three times. When I think of the waste of time, I cringe.

When I was little, I didn’t think much of TV as a waste of time because it was fun. I also didn’t resent being told to buy things every five minutes. The only time that commercials bothered me was when they interrupted the flow of The Wizard of Oz or the Peanuts specials. It was only later, after I’d been weaned from the tube for pensivegal.jpgseveral years, that I realized how often shows are interrupted, how suspiciously sitcom plots segue into commercials (especially around Christmastime when manufacturers are pushing electronic and automotive gizmos), how bizarre it is that most commercials are for cars and food (since when do Americans need to be reminded to drive or eat?), and how pornographic the food ones are. The big question: why do millions of people sit still for commercials?

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Posted by: The Editors
Category: All Television Issue, Kauffman | Link to this Entry

Putting the X in Christmas

December 1st, 2004

BY CERVINE KAUFFMAN

What do you get when you mix Annette Funicello, roadkill, and neuroses in a steaming hot mug? You get the Kauffman Kristmas, 2002.

I never thought that I’d have a bad Christmas. No matter how tense family relations were during the year, everybody got it together to have a good time for holidays and my parents knocked themselves out for Christmas. Up went the fir tree, the massive hand-woven wreath, the lights, the fragrant displays of candles and greenery. On went the music — medieval, brassy, jazzy — any rendition of the Christmas favorites. It was the one time of year that sightlines to and the sound from the television were not sacrosanct.

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Posted by: The Editors
Category: All Christmas Issue, Kauffman | Link to this Entry

Author profile

December 1st, 2002

Cervine Kauffman would like to have been an actress in the heyday of the Hollywood studio system. Her interests include psychiatry, vocal music, and time travel. Topics of concern include American life, urban planning, and gender roles. Available for period productions and theme parties. Her Black Lamb column is called Still Waters.

Posted by: The Editors
Category: Kauffman | Link to this Entry

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