Gropers Poke Trump




by Karen Topakian

In a rare public statement, the Gropers Really Are Brazen (GRAB) officially denounced Donald Trump and withdrew his longstanding membership from this international clandestine group.

According to GRAB’s CEO, Fred Feelgood, GRAB members wanted the world to know that Mr. Trump did not “speak for them.” Its public announcement included the following statements:

Mr. Trump’s potty mouth deeply offended our members’ delicate sensibilities. We may touch, fondle, grab, prod, maul, squeeze, pinch, grasp, feel, clutch, thumb, paw and poke “lady parts” but we never say the p-word.

We remain committed to groping in public but not talking about it in public. We only retain members who can remain tight-lipped about their achievements, conquests and dalliances.

GRAB’s bylaws require its members to publicly deny their own behavior vociferously and to seek immediate protection from the organization’s rich and famous like-minded friends. Mr. Trump’s 2005 statements made public on October 7 required us to remove him immediately from the membership roster.

The group called an emergency meeting when the videotapes became public. “Our members dropped everything to attend,” declared Mr. Feelgood. “We have a brand to protect. Sure, we like to grope as much as the next guy, but we don’t boast about it. We’ve learned to zip it up.”

Mr. Feelgood noted that this incident wasn’t Mr. Trump’s first offense as a GRAB member. “When Ivana charged him with rape we put his membership on probation.” Feelgood noted that the bylaws clearly do not allow members to rape. “We reinstated him when she encased the word rape in quotes.”

According to Feelgood, the Groper-American community likes to seize life by the throat, though usually lower. As loyal Americans, they exercise their right to peacefully assemble – very, very closely together.

He uttered their motto, “You only go around once in life, so you’ve got to grab for all the gusto you can,” with a nod and a wink.

GRAB’s members include all racial, ethnic, age and religious groups but currently only men. Several years ago, a handful of women joined GRAB committed to groping men but the membership found the mere mention of such behavior repugnant, demeaning, offensive, distasteful, objectionable, dehumanizing, repulsive and possibly illegal. They quickly amended the bylaws disallowing it.

According to Feelgood, women may join if they agree only to grope other women.

“We’re not sexist because anyone can join,” reported Feelgood. “We even reached out to the lesbian community, assuming they might share our common interests in groping women, but our friendly overtures were met with vulgarity.”

Individuals may join GRAB by invitation only. “We can’t just let anyone in willy-nilly,” said Mr. Feelgood. “Certainly not pedophiles, exhibitionists and necrophilias. Those people are perverts.”

This century’s old secretive group, founded by men lurking in and slinking around crowded busses, trains and elevators, prefers to conduct its business behind closed doors and in the dark. Throughout the year, GRAB sponsors public events at a variety of locations, i.e. Black Friday waiting lines at Wal-Mart, tree-lighting at Rockefeller Center, Super Bowl entry gates, Penn Station, TSA lines…

“Trump’s lowered our standards,” announced Feelgood. “And we certainly never kiss. That’s ticky-tacky.”

How Hard Could It Be?

imgresby Karen Topakian

Several years ago Harvard University needed to replace its president, Lawrence Summers, who resigned after making this controversial statement, “the under-representation of female scientists at elite universities may stem in part from ‘innate’ differences between men and women.”

This Ivy League school had never selected a women president, the timing seemed right. Why not apply? But was I qualified?

A Harvard Business Review article said, “men apply for a job when they meet only 60% of the qualifications, but women apply only if they meet 100% of them.” And who gets the jobs? Men!

I certainly possess 60% of the qualifications. Honestly, how hard could it be to serve as Harvard’s President?

First, Harvard draws on the greatest minds of people in numerous fields and I would access everyone of them to help me schedule meetings, make travel plans, draft speeches, disparage Yale, return overdue library books… I wouldn’t even need to learn how to pronounce Hav-vad like a local. Remember, I’m from Rhode Island!

Second, I would only have to manage the university’s finances, fundraise, lead meetings, represent the University in public affairs, report to the governing bodies and develop big-ass visions.

A piece of cake.

My credentials and qualifications would make the job a snap.

On the finance front, numbers don’t scare me. Armed only with a calculator, a yellow pad and a Number 2 pencil, I can attack any financial statement. When the numbers get too big, I just kick off my stilettos and use my toes.

Trust me, I know how to ask people for money. Just ask my mother about my teenage tantrums whining and begging for extra cash. While in graduate school at the San Francisco Art Institute, I worked In the Admissions and Financial Aid offices, where I learned how to sell big-ticket tuition costs to parents who foolishly questioned the “value of a fine arts education.“ Plus I’ve honed the science of glad-handing, schmoozing and chit chatting while balancing a plate of crudités on my knee.

Fundraising also involves relating to all kinds of people. My multi-discipline business experience makes it easy to relate to the titans of industry. While working summers in a mind-numbing dead end job at the family business, General Plating, I experienced what kind of careers awaited me with only a high school degree. During my days working at a noted RI clothing store, I mastered the art of customer relations by politely telling men that I couldn’t model the lingerie they contemplated buying for their wives.

Leading meetings only requires a few skills – standing up and out yelling the other losers at the table. And when that doesn’t work, banging my shoe on the table.

Representing the University in public affairs means wearing the right garb for the right crowd – LL Bean for the New Englanders and Chanel for the sophisticates. Plus I expertly dress up any outfit with jewelry.

I also have good elective skills. While serving as the first director of the University of Rhode Island’s first Women’s Center, situated directly across from the rifle range and the turf farms, I learned to dodge speeding bullets and mastered the art of watching grass grow.

Finally, Harvard is practically my alma mater. My partner’s father graduated from Harvard Law School during the Truman Administration. In the early 1970s, I occasionally studied at the Widener library during the brief hours it allowed access to women.

In closing, I think it would be fun to serve as Harvard’s president. I could organize events and research on topics of my choosing. For example, I could invite Madonna and the Pope to speak at a symposium about religious icons in the 21st century. They would have to attend. Or authorize scientific research on the curative digestive powers of klushab, an old Armenian recipe of stewed prunes and raisins. And what about the benefits of free parking in Cambridge?

I still believe the job wouldn’t be that hard. Certainly not as hard as the US Presidency and now there’s a woman running for that.






Shopping with Alice

img_8812by Karen Topakian

When we’re together, my mother and I often participate in a ritual – shopping. Sometimes it’s for something specific. Sometimes it’s just to look. For decades, we’ve visited the same stores – Talbots, Chico’s, Macy’s, Banana Republic… We always want each other to look our best.

My mother’s advice on clothes remains unsurpassed. She possesses a keen eye for color, design and appropriateness.

We intend to be tactful and diplomatic. But we aren’t always successful. Here are a few examples.

I snuck into the dressing room to try on a pair of French Blue cotton pleated-at-the-waist slacks that tapered at the ankle. I glanced at myself in the mirror and liked the way they fit. When my mother took one look, she said, “That isn’t the most slenderizing garment I’ve ever seen on you.” To which I responded, “Maybe I’m not going with slenderizing.” Just to be defiant I bought the slacks, wore them a few times before concluding she was absolutely right. They ballooned at my hips and butt. Not an attractive look. I never wore them again.

Our fashion commentary clearly worked both ways. When I was a teenager, my mother played bridge one afternoon a month to which every one took the occasion to get dressed up. She had recently purchased a slate gray pencil skirt with a wide belt and paired it with a lighter gray long sleeve silk button up blouse. Instead of complimenting her on the fit, I said, “You look like a prison warden.” Crestfallen, she responded, “Once you say that I can’t wear the outfit.”

As I struggled to find a raincoat for my mother amidst a sea of ones easy to reject – hoods, ugly colors, too long or too short. She held up a beige trench coat. “Don’t you already have a beige raincoat?” I asked. “You can never have enough beige raincoats.”

While plowing through pile of sweaters at Talbots, I spied a red V-neck cardigan. “Mom, what about this one?” She smiled and said, “Theoretically, it’s a nice sweater.” Then pointed out it was the wrong color red, the V was too deep and she didn’t like the buttons.


Summer Olympics For the Rest of US

imagesby Karen Topakian

If the International Olympic Committee wanted to represent most Americans, they would include these real-life Olympic competitions.

Free-Style Burning

Fair skinned “athletes” lathered in baby oil spend a hot, humid day at the beach. Waving off “scientific” concerns about skin cancer, they avoid shade or sunscreen. The first athlete to break out in blisters wins the gold.

Vapid Reading

Armed with a strong Tom Collins, a player digs into the works of James Patterson, Danielle Steel and Jackie Collins. First player to find one sentence that would pass muster in a high school English class may quickly dive into the New Yorker.

Deep Napping

Laid out on a chaise lounge, hammock or lawn chair determined nappers settle in despite barking dogs, circling helicopters surveying a fast moving fire and children pleading for ice cream. Last one to bolt upright and scream, “Shut the F&%$ up!” wins.

Miniature Golf

A player uses a short club to hit a ball into a hole camouflaged by a plastic log cabin, condor-sized bird house or a leering clown face, in the lowest number of strokes as possible while avoiding pools of spilled soda, floating tufts of cotton candy and sharp-edged windmill blades. Players may not keep their own score.

Roller Coaster

After eating an extra large bacon-crusted pizza washed down with Dr. Pepper Slurpees, then waiting in a 90-minute line mid-day, each player rides with 5 nine-year olds in a metal car attached to a track that loops, climbs and 60-degree plunges at 80 mph without barfing.

Bird Watching

Teams of players spread their blankets down on a crowded public beach. Each team must protect their potato chip bags, broken cookies and half-eaten sandwiches from aggressive seagulls. Players may scream at and shoo the birds but not harm the birds or leave their blankets. Ants may be substituted for birds, if not available.

Synchronized Are We There Yet

Teams of bored 11-year old children without electronic devices, book or activities unwillingly pile into mini-vans for a long drive. Almost immediately after leaving the house, the teams begin chanting “Are We There Yet,” “I Have to Go to the Bathroom,” “She Touched Me” and “I‘m Gonna Be Sick.” Whichever van stops first wins.

Back Seat Driving

Teams of elderly nervous backseat drivers ride in hot cars, during long road trips to family weddings. Players repeatedly shout out unwanted cautionary phrases,“I think you missed the turn,” “Watch out” and “Is that a bag of leaves or a small boy?” Whichever player gets ejected first wins.

Entertaining 4-Year Olds in a Small Beach House During a Multi-Day Rainstorm

The player with the most children alive at the end of the week wins. Children with a weak erratic pulse will qualify as alive.

Red, White and Blue

Husbands and wives with divergent political views spend the entire 4th of July weekend without mentioning despairingly either presidential candidates’ names or political party. First person to call a divorce lawyer or schedule a lobotomy for their spouse wins.

Lone Wolves Anonymous Hires Public Relations Firm



Date:                         June 14, 2016

Contact:            Canis Lupus, Leader of the Pack, 1-800–HOWLING,

Lone Wolves Anonymous Hires Public Relations Firm

Jackson Hole/WY – Lone Wolves Anonymous (LWA) lashed out against the press and the public for besmirching its good name and inferring guilt by association.

For more than 40 years, lone wolves have received blame for committing random acts of violence starting with Sirhan Sirhan’s 1968 assassination of presidential candidate Robert Kennedy.

“We need to dispel the myth once and for all that lone wolves are to blame for so much carnage. We’ve had it up to here,” said Mr. Lupus pointing to his snowy white chest. “Not all lone and solitary folks are killers in sheep’s clothing.”

In response to these repeated false claims about its very nature, LWA hired the world famous public relations firm, Tooth & Nail, to burnish its falsely tarnished public image.

“We hired Tooth & Nail because they came highly recommended by the sharks who went from much feared to having their own hockey team and TV programs,” explained the pack leader excitedly.

Tooth & Nail immediately advised LWA to show the public their more fun loving and playful side. “They advocated we adapt a mantra of complete transparency. Therefore, we’ve opened up all of our activities to the general public,” announced Mr. Lupus “We’re anxious to show how everyone how we care for our young, scent mark and howl at the moon.”

Prior to hiring the PR firm, LWA tried a few less than successful image changing activities: hunting in pairs, which ended in acrimony; becoming gatherers which created packs of hangry wolves; and shifting the blame to other solitary animals, such as the Tasmanian devil, the grizzly bear and the Giant California sea cucumber.

“The bears refused to take the blame lying down,” said Mr. Lupus. “A Tasmanian devil delivered a lethal bite to a reporter seeking an interview. And the sea cucumbers let the fault wash right over their leathery skin.”

Lupus reminded the public that, “Lone wolves don’t kill people. People with guns kill people.”


“What about chicken and pilaf?”

nanaby Karen Topakian

“Nana, I’ve decided to become a vegetarian,” I announced to my maternal grandmother one spring afternoon in 1976, as she bustled around her sunny yellow kitchen making my grandfather’s dinner.

“Why would you want to do that?” she bellowed, looking at me while wielding a kitchen knife.

“I gave it up for Lent and I’m not going to eat meat anymore,” I announced smugly.

“That’s crazy!” she exclaimed while chopping carrots for a stew.

She paused for a moment before continuing, “What about chicken?”

“What about chicken? It’s meat.”

“You’re not going to eat chicken and pilaf!” she exclaimed referring to the signature Armenian dish.

I shook my head.

“Where does she get these crazy ideas?” she muttered to herself while slicing onions.

“What about your mother’s lamb chops?”

I shook my head.

“I thought you liked the way she cooked them?”

“I do like them. But lamb is meat.”

She waved her hand at me dismissively. I fiddled with the buttons on my shirt.

“You can eat the pilaf. There’s no meat in the pilaf,” she responded proudly for finding a loophole.

“But you cook it in chicken broth,” I countered.

“Yes. So.”

A few Sundays later, my family sat down to dinner in my Nana’s dining room. She emerged from the kitchen carrying a platter of roasted chicken, which she placed on the table next to a big bowl of rice pilaf.

“Karen, have some chicken,” offered my Nana seated to my right, reaching across my plate with a forkful of white meat.

I blocked her move with my right hand. “No, thank you, Nana. Remember, I’m a vegetarian. I don’t eat meat anymore.”

“Don’t be silly,” she responded, waving the meat-laden fork in front of me.

“Have a little. Who’s going to know?”

I shook my head defiantly.

“Why do you keep insisting she eat it?” reproached my mother.

“What will you eat?” queried Nana.

I pointed to the green beans, the salad and the looped Armenian string cheese piled next to dan hatz, Armenian cracker bread.

“That’s not enough.”

“I’ve heard enough,” announced my grandfather in Armenian.

“I don’t like the idea of killing animals for food,” I continued.

“If you think meat was once an animal, of course you wouldn’t eat it. But you can’t think that way,” Nana admonished me.

Having failed to appeal to humaneness, I resorted to her religious side.

“You’re a Christian, Nana. Doesn’t God say, thou shall not kill?”

But my grandmother had an answer for that, too. She emphatically plopped the meat back on the platter with a thud. “He didn’t mean animals.”

Circulating Circulars


by Karen Topakian

“Can I help?” asked my mother at age 11 walking into the dining room of her extended family’s Providence home one Wednesday afternoon in 1937.

She directed her question at cousins Dolly and Eddy, ages 14 and 12 respectively, sitting at the oilcloth covered table, folding a big stack of orange advertizing circulars from Jimmy’s Market, a neighborhood independent grocer.

For the past six months, Eddy had a weekly job jamming them through residential mail slots.

“Sure,” Dolly chirped.

“How many did Jimmy give you?” asked my mother enthusiastically.

“It’s the same amount every week. 100,” answered Dolly without looking up from her stack as she carefully lined up the paper edges to form a precise tri-fold.

Eddy quickly nodded in agreement.

My mother smiled as she pulled a big stack closer to her. “I like doing this.”

Eddy glanced up at my mother, rolled his eyes and returned to folding, slowly.

“Jimmy must like chicken. Last time it was on sale, too,” announced my mother pointing to an ad.

Her cousins kept folding.

“Eddy, what time will you deliver these tomorrow?” asked my mother.

“Whenever I feel like it,” answered Eddy sullenly without looking up.

“My mother reached for more circulars trying to keep up with Dolly.

“He really pays you a penny a piece?” inquired my mother.

“For every one he delivers,” responded Dolly. ”He does have to go to every house in the neighborhood.”

“I think that sounds like fun! And he gets paid,” quipped my mother.

Eddy reached for another stack and shrugged.

A couple of minutes later Auntie Anna entered bearing fruit.

Dolly politely declined, “I don’t want to get my hands sticky.”

Eddy didn’t answer. My mother accepted.

Anna placed a small plate bearing a sliced apple and a tangerine in front of my mother.

My mother took a few bites, careful to keep her hands clean.

As soon as they finished folding, Eddy left the dining room; Dolly started her homework and my mother walked back to her quiet home a few blocks away.

The following Wednesday afternoon, my mother eagerly entered her cousin’s dining room and noticed the empty table.

“They’re not here,” said Auntie Anna seated in a rocking chair next to the radio.

“Don’t they have to fold today?” inquired my mother discouraged by their absence.

“Jimmy didn’t want Eddy to do it anymore,” announced Anna.

“How come?”

Anna shrugged. “I don’t know. Eddy said something about customers complaining.”

My mother shook her head and walked back home. She tried to figure out what could have happened.

A few days later, she spotted Eddy riding his bicycle down the street. “Hi Eddy, what happened with the circulars?”

“I got tired of delivering them so I stuffed them down the sewer.”


Every Hair A Wanted Hair

Armen 003_2

by Karen Topakian

When my father met my mother in the summer of 1948, he sported an attractive head of thick, dark, wavy hair. Within a few years, he had succumbed to male pattern baldness – a dramatically receding hairline accompanied by finer, shorter thinner hair forming a U shaped pattern.

Despite his hair loss, my father kept going to the barber and not just any barber but Pete the barber whom he had frequented since high school.

“I need to get my ears lowered,” said my father on a Friday night using a colloquial expression from the 1940s. “But it’s too cold to get a haircut.”

My father shivered as he spoke

“What difference does the weather make?” wondered my mother while putting away the groceries.

“I’ll stop at Pete’s tomorrow on the way home from the shop.”

“Didn’t you just get a haircut?” asked my mother as she neatly slid a box of crackers into an empty space in the kitchen cupboard.

“It’s getting long.”

My mother shot him a quizzical look

“I can feel it growing over my ears,” he chided her while tugging at imperceptible hairs.

She squinted at his head for a moment and shrugged.

“Seems like the longer you’ve been going to him, the less hair you have.”

“At least I don’t have to carry a comb anymore,” he declared proudly.

The next day, as my father brushed past my mother on his way to the coat closet, he harrumphed. “Pete raised his prices fifty cents.”

My mother studied his thinning hair and said, “He should be charging you less. Next time why don’t you ask him to charge you by the hair.


Can’t Take No for an Answer

by Karen Topakian



My sister and I had just come home from high school one day in the late 60’s, when the wall phone in my parent’s den rang. My mother, sister and I stared at it. Even though, we weren’t sure who was calling, we had a pretty good idea – Nana. Nobody reached for it. We all knew what she wanted – to give us her home made Armenian food.

My sister reluctantly picked up the receiver.

“I thought you weren’t home. The phone rang a few times,” stated Nana, exasperated.

“Hi, Nana.”

My mother and I nodded knowingly.

“Gail, tell your mother I made some bonjadabood for Armen (a soupy mix of spinach and barley),” explained Nana.

Gail put her hand over the mouthpiece. Before she could repeat Nana’s offer, my mother shook her head emphatically no.

“No, Nana. Mom said no.”

“It’s still hot. I just made it.”

“Mom said no.”

My mother continued to shake her head, without knowing what she was offered, because the contents didn’t matter. My mother saw these frequent Armenian food offerings as an interruption in her menu, which she didn’t appreciate.

Gail repeated her negative response.

“Let me talk to your mother.”

Gail stretched out the long curly phone cord and handed the receiver to my mother.

“Hi mom,” said my mother. “How are you?’

“Alice, I don’t know why you don’t want some bonjadabood. You know Armen likes it.”

“It doesn’t go with what I’m making for dinner,” explained my mother making a sour face at the thought of this dish’s gloppy texture.

“Then serve it tomorrow night.”

“You and dad enjoy it.”

“I made plenty.”

“I don’t need it this time.”

“Alice, why are you so stubborn. Send the girls over,” insisted my Nana. “It’s all packaged up.”

“They have homework to do,” declared my mother through clenched teeth.

“What about Armen? He can pick it up on his way home. If you call him now, you can reach him.”

“Mom, thank you anyway,” said my mother hanging up the phone.

An hour later, there was a knock on the kitchen door.

My mother opened it only to see my grandfather holding a big round metal pan covered with aluminum foil. “This is for Armen,” he said handing it to her.

“You didn’t need to bother to bring it,“ responded my mother frustrated.

He muttered in Armenian, shrugged and left.

My mother announced to the pan, “Why can’t she ever take no for an answer.”

I offer this post in memory of my grandfather who was born on Jan 17, 1895.

Front Row Seat

by Karen Topakian

Armen 001_2

On a warm summer Tuesday evening in 1948, my father bound up the stairs to my mother’s front door on Narragansett Boulevard. He knocked quickly.

My mother answered the door and ushered him inside.

He glanced at his watch as he walked into her living room to greet her parents. Almost 7:40. He and my mother didn’t have much time. They needed to leave now to arrive by 8 at his uncle and aunt’s house for the Tuesday night ritual.

He wanted a seat in front of his relative’s much-coveted possession, a console television set, to watch America’s most popular show, NBC’s hit comedy variety program, “Texaco Star Theatre’s Milton Berle Show.”

Thousands of Americans dropped everything on Tuesday night at 8 p.m. to turn on their 12 inch black and white television sets with the tinny speaker and tune into Uncle Milty bounce, preen, clown and joke.

But my father’s relative’s small den couldn’t accommodate more than a few people on the floral print couch or in the one upholstered chair. If they arrived too late or too many people joined the fun, for 60 minutes they would have to laugh while standing.

He’d stood on his feet all day working at his family’s jewelry plating business. He looked forward to sitting.

My parents needed to hustle.

“Armen, it must be very hot at the shop these days,” said my grandmother fanning herself.

My father quickly agreed.

“Are you busy?” queried my grandfather, a jewelry manufacturer and an occasional customer of my father’s family’s business.

“Since vacation. Very busy,” responded my father nervously shifting his weight from one foot to the other.

“Are you doing much gold work?” asked my grandfather running his hand through his wavy hair.

“A little.”

“Why do people like gold so much?” mused my grandfather.

My father shrugged.

“I’ve got a customer who sells mostly silver. Nobody buys silver. I’ve told him to sell gold. He’ll make more money. Everybody wants gold.”

My mother noticed my father sneaking a look at his watch and interrupted, “We better get going. Or we’ll be late.”

My father nodded in agreement. After saying their goodbyes, they strode out to my father’s car. He drove carefully but quickly to his Uncle Dick’s house a mile or so away.

As my father parked in front of his uncle’s house on Marion Avenue, he noted a familiar car parked in the driveway.

“But I don’t recognize this car,” posited my father pointing to the vehicle in front of him. Quickly, he calculated his decreasing likelihood of a seat on the small-ish sofa.

“Maybe they aren’t visiting your aunt and uncle,” suggested my mother optimistically.

Aunt Rena opened the front door when she saw them approach. “Come on in. The show’s almost ready to start.”

My parents made a beeline through the living room into the dining room and kitchen on their way to the den, when an older couple, the Avakians, stopped them.

“Armen, is that you?” asked Fred Avakian.

“Yes it is,” responded my father pivoting ever so slightly to gain a glimpse into the den. “Of course you know Alice.”

“Armen, I haven’t see you in years, since you worked at Henry and Bebe’s store,” announced Fred’s wife, Ardie.

“That’s my brother Ted,” answered my father taking a side step closer to the door.

“How’s General Plating?” asked Fred.

“Busy,” answered my father as he stared at the kitchen clock. “We don’t want to miss the first laugh.”

“I haven’t seen your mother in awhile. How is she?” asked Ardie.

“Busy. Working.”

“Armen, seeing you reminds me of the time we sat with your parents at a banquet when our waiter dropped a whole chicken dinner on the floor,” declared Ardie. “We laughed so hard.”

My father nodded inching away from the conversation.

“But do you know whose dinner it was?” asked Ardie.

My father shook his head as he unsuccessfully attempted to see into the den.

“Be sure and ask your mother to tell you the rest of the story,” she called after my father who had exited the kitchen.

“Looks like the show’s about to start,” commented my father from the next room.

Fred and Ardie re-directed their kitchen conversation toward my mother.

In two steps, my father had made his way to the back bedroom cum TV room and jockeyed for the one remaining position on the couch just as the show opened with its standard Texaco commercial.

In a few moments, my mother entered the den. My father motioned for her to squeeze in on the couch next to him. She took one look at the person with whom she’d have to squeeze between and said. “That’s ok. I’ll stand.”

My father smiled and leaned closer to the television set a happy man.