Tuesday, July 07, 2015


Every time I kiss a woman half my age I feel as if my mouth were suddenly filled with pennies and rags. 

Thrill when coupled with shame, distorts the keen pleasures of youth and turns them into a Freudian fricassee of titillation and taboo.

Not so with my enviable friend David Schoffman. While his joints stiffen and his eyes decay his girl friends tend to regress into increasing juvenescence.

Grizzled and disheveled, Schoffman maintains the uncanny ability to seduce beyond his weight class.


This wasn't always the case.

Back when we were bespeckled art students David was tagged as the asthmatic Semite from Brooklyn who couldn't jag a sozzled strumpet even if you put a dagger to his throat.

Now this dilapidated Don Juan is a moth-eaten Mr. Goodtime who struts and frets as if every day were carnaval.  

Some would credit the miracle of pharmaceuticals but I have my doubts. David's a tree-hugging vegan who considers iodine and a band-aid precariously invasive. No, I credit what is called in the personal development community the "charisma of dominion."

COD is a term of art coined in the early eighties by the awareness training guru Barry Burka. According to Burka, most people in leadership positions are woefully deficient in the basic skills of their chosen professions. They choose to lead, he argues, precisely because of their incompetence.

In his best selling book Blessed by Dereliction Burka argues that a leader is someone reckless enough to "fake it" on a monumental scale. Most third-world despots, he points out, couldn't find their way out of a paper lantern without their armada of aids and bodyguards. Only in the United States with its vaunted ideal of the self-made man is ability seen as a desirable trait. 

Schoffman's secret is that he has become the coital con man par excellence. With dash and determination he has merchandised his middling reputation as a local Los Angeles art star into a magnet for innocent waifs and incipient lassies. 

Maybe I should write a self-improvement life-coaching book:

The Scoundrel's Guide to Dating: Love Tips from Elmer Gantry to Idi Amin.


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