* Welcome to The Big Jewel, where nothing says Christmas like a group of senior citizens trying to recapture their youth. Your secret Santa Claus with the gift of laughter this week is Hannah Sloane in her first piece for us.

Congratulations From Sexy At Sixty

By: Hannah Sloane

From: [Sandra Sugarbelle] ssugarbelle@sexyatsixty.com

To: [Judith Peterson] judith_peterson278@hotmail.com

Cc: [Ray Crumpton] rcrumpton@sexyatsixty.com

Date: Saturday, September 15, 2012

Subject: Congratulations on your enrolment in our Sexy at Sixty workshop!


Congratulations JUDITH!

To celebrate your WEDDING ANNIVERSARY a little birdie named BURT has signed you up for a couples tantric sex workshop run by the team here at Sexy at Sixty.

We’re looking forward to meeting you on FRIDAY, OCTOBER 5 for a weekend of fun ‘n’ frolics. Now here’s some information to whet your appetite in the meantime!

What the what?!

Don’t worry! You’re not the first shy and retiring wallflower to find his/her crazy ol’ partner signing them up for this! In fact, you’re going to meet like-minded elderly couples, all wanting to spice things up in between the sheets. And boy are we going to show you young-at-hearters a sizzlin’ hot time!

But this doesn’t sound like my idea of fun…

We hear ya! We know you’d rather be at home resting your feet and watching re-runs of Diagnosis Murder but guess what, JUDITH? The team here at Sexy at Sixty ain’t letting that happen! We’re used to resistance. Lots of people don’t want to attend these sessions, but we use a series of simple techniques like our calming, herbal treats — don’t rat on us to the FDA! — to ensure that you re-LAX.

Take Mabel, aged 68, from Maryland. She was stubborn, she was angry, she threatened to sue and then she had a panic attack during Sexy at Sixty‘s opening session…LOL! There were paramedics and waivers to fill in and all sorts of chaos, but by the end of the weekend she was a true believer in Sexy at Sixty and a heck of a lot sexier!

So tell me about this opening session.

We want our participants to shed their inhibitions and the best way to do this is by shedding their clothes. Once you’ve done that, the rest is easy. So our opening session takes place in a beautiful candlelit setting with a catch. That’s right, get out of your comfort zone, JUDITH! We want to see your beautiful body. You’ll realize there’s nothing wrong with all those flabby, saggy, pale bits! And the sooner you confront your body, the sooner you’ll begin enjoying the weekend.

Uh-oh. What next?

We want to push your boundaries. Trust us, by the end of the weekend you’ll have learnt a lot and seen a lot and done a lot! I don’t want to give too much away, but here’s a bit more about our opening session. Each person is given a padlock and key and given the simple task of unlocking it, symbolizing the unlocking of our fears and frustrations. Next we’ll hold hands, we’ll sit in a circle and we’ll discuss sex: what turns us on and what we fantasize about. You’ll hear our instructors saying: “Nothing is taboo! The wilder the better!”

After this we’ll pair up and put what we’ve discussed into practice. And why stick to the same person? Sure, you might be partnered up with BURT, or maybe you’ll be trying out a new fantasy with one of our regulars like Sid, or our instructor Alf. And don’t worry about BURT‘s feelings — from what we’ve seen he’s a pretty open-minded fella!

In between these sessions there’ll be light relief in the form of meditation, healthy snacks, and live folk music. Don’t forget to try our popular calming herbal tea, which we recommend shyer folk drink lots of ; )

It still doesn’t sound like my idea of fun.

Don’t worry! We tailor our sessions to meet the needs of our participants and we already have some great surprises lined up to help open your mind, your heart, and your legs! You won’t need to do much talking since BURT‘s kindly shared a lotta detail about your sex life (or lack of!) with our team and our film crew and we’ll be keeping that b-roll top of mind in our workshops. We’ll even share some of it over the weekend for the benefit of the group.

Who exactly are you?

That’s a good question. I’ve been practicing meditation, yoga, and varying forms of sexual therapy for 22 years. I’m a mother, a wife, an ex-wife, a lover of sex, a lover of life, and a lover of you for joining my family. For more information, please visit: www.sexyatsixty.com/meettheteam

Can I back out?

No, and that’s NOT the attitude! We require a full non-refundable deposit before sending this confirmation e-mail.

How much does this cost?

BURT has it covered, so don’t worry! And don’t be mad with him for spending so much of your retirement fund! This is an investment in you, your bodies and your future.

You’ve been mentioning BURT a lot. How often have you two met?

Female participants are often surprised by how well I know their partners! I like to establish a deep connection with each new male member of our family and ensure that we have a mutually beneficial, long-term relationship. And BURT has such great energy and enthusiasm, it’s been a true pleasure getting to know him! In fact, after our initial meeting, how could I refuse a follow-up coffee and then dinner and then the movies?

When I Googled you I came across the Coalition Against Sexy at Sixty, an organization representing more than 1,600 individuals who believe that they have been “victimized, bullied and coerced” during your workshops. What’s this about?

Oh jeez, we’ve been battlin’ it out with those money grabbers since our inception eight years ago! People will sign anything these days if there’s even a slim chance of a refund! And search engines just love making phony complaints and legal battles the first items to show up, but you’ll find at least three great Sexy at Sixty reviews if you keep clicking through to page 17 of your Google search.

Actually the Coalition Against Sexy at Sixty isn’t seeking a refund. Their mission statement is: “To raise awareness of and eliminate in its entirety the disturbing and sinister practices, techniques and culture that are endemic within Sexy at Sixty.” In addition, they seek to “facilitate wider discussions about sexual exploitation, both mental and physical.” This sounds pretty serious to me.

You know, where there’s smoke there’s not always fire! It’s best to ignore those old grumps and contact me and Ray Crumpton, cc’ed in, if you have concerns, if you’re considering legal action, or if you’ve been approached by the press. You’ll be surprised how easily we can iron things out without involving third parties!

Who’s Ray Crumpton?

Ray is my full-time friend, part-time lover, and the company’s legal counsel. For administrative purposes (that are simply too boring to dwell over!) I’m advised to include him in all e-mail communications, phone calls and meetings, so if you need to contact me, be sure to include Ray.

Thanks for answering my questions, Sandra! I can tell that you’re an inspiring and beautiful person! How can I possibly thank you enough?

What a great attitude! And you’re right, I am! You can thank me in person on October 5! In the meantime, why not read some more details at www.sexyatsixty.com? You can set up your own profile, chat to members of our community, see who’s attending your workshop, and find out which Sixty and Ready to Mix-ty events we’re holding in your local area.

I look forward to meeting you in person soon. In the meantime, stay Sexy at Sixty!

My warmest, sexiest regards,

Sandra Sugarbelle

Founder, President, CEO and Spiritual Director of Sexy at Sixty

Author of Sixty-licious, available for download here for only $19.99!

* Welcome to The Big Jewel, where your money is our only concern. Getting it, and even more important, keeping it. Say hello to Sheila M. Anthony.

Let E = Explanation

By: Sheila M. Anthony

“The founder of market data firm Nanex LLC, Eric Hunsader, told The Wall Street Journal that the so-called ‘flawed’ algorithm at the heart of the…crash wasn’t really to blame…” — Fred Yager, consumeraffairs.com


Dear Valued Fund Holder,

As the algorithm running Midwest Financial’s Quo Veritas Futures Fund, I’m fully aware of the unsettling events affecting your portfolio. Namely, that what was up until yesterday at 3:52 p.m. (EST) a balance of $383,217 is now $0. Fear not! Computer-savvy Ukrainians have not fleeced you of your life savings. The problem, I’m afraid, lies at this end. Yes, I know. You invested in this fund for the very reason it was designed never to lose money, and yet here you are with a big fat zero as your balance. There’s no excuse for what happened but, thankfully, there is an explanation.

As you probably learned in school, an algorithm is a finite sequence of instructions that solves a problem — sort of like a really long lock combination or one of those Fred Astaire dance diagrams. I was designed by an Ivy League graduate, who was not only the winner of several prestigious high school science fairs, but had the irritable bowel syndrome to back it up. He is also the only child of two demanding professors, and growing up under such nightmarish scrutiny, became an intense lad whose only modes of relaxation were silently screaming into his Tickle Me Mozart and tapping out death threats on a graphing calculator. But I digress.

It seems in the course of my development, crucial steps were left out due to Josh inadvertently knocking a can of Red Bull onto his laptop during a heated game of World of Warcraft open in another window. And then there was the porn he was streaming. In any event, he completely missed the warning message — #<TypeError: WTF??? — and I wound up with too much randomness. Normally, errors are picked up in QC, but my beta testing coincided with the firm’s annual weekend in the Hamptons. Since they were offering free, all-you-can-eat lobster and bottomless tequila shots, nobody wanted to miss out. (So shoot them, they’re human!)

It was only when it came time to churn a large tranche of mid-cap stocks that it was obvious something was amiss. I compulsively started selling low to any idiot with an open wallet. Now I could go on and on about input value versus output value (don’t get me started!), but I don’t want to belabor this. Sensing confusion, dynamic programming models leapt in and took hold. In reaction, I panicked and began to take on a set of behaviors that can only be described as personality-like in nature. I mean, there I was, in charge of a futures fund, and suddenly I was running three microseconds too slow! A finely-tuned Olympic athlete had turned into a 34-year-old sprinter with exploding knees.

You’re probably thinking, this sounds like one of those creepy HAL situations. I wish! To be blessed with a well-modulated, pre-operative condition voice. Get real. That’s a Hollywood algorithm. Algorithms like HAL set off lawn sprinklers, they don’t run financial behemoths. At any rate, I assure you I’ve been created to never intentionally deceive anyone, least of all holders of this fund.

I know what else you’re thinking: that arrogant little jerk screwed up royally and is now hiding behind his algorithm! How pathetic is that? Trust me, not nearly as pathetic as hiding behind a potted fern at your grandmother’s house in Fort Meyers. But in his defense, how many of us can say we’ve never made a mistake? How often has an “I love you, too” come out as “Uh-huh”? More times than you care to admit, I bet! And this whole financial meltdown hasn’t been easy for me either, you know. If you don’t make money, I don’t make money. If you lose money, I don’t make money. Of course, you’ve probably seen the news and asked, what the hell does an algorithm need with strippers, Cuban cigars and 100-year-old scotch? Stress relief, that’s what. YOU HAVE NO IDEA THE PRESSURE I’M UNDER! And did I mention my servers have to share space in a wholesale meat storage facility in Hoboken? I don’t have hip Tribeca servers that get to hum away in a climate-controlled loft, surrounded by bored supermodels playing with each other’s hair. Frustrated by the “Server Not Found” message? Hey, server not found because server wedged between 600 pounds of frozen beef, thank you very much.

Okay, I get it. You’re upset. So let me just say it: I’m sorry about your empty account. Yes, zero is a tough number to swallow, isn’t it? But on the plus side (forgive the math pun), zero is also the origin on the number line, so your account balance doesn’t mean “nothing” so much as “at the start of something.” Things are looking up!

Rest assured, the company has taken appropriate action and I will no longer be your fund’s algorithm. Under a specific set of pre-determined conditions, I was designed to trigger this email, self-terminate, and then escort myself off the premises. I start Monday at the Yangtze Encryption Corporation (NASDAQ – YEC). You can follow me on Twitter (@algoYEC). And since t=m (time is money), I won’t waste any more of yours.


A. Paco Lips

Former algorithm for Midwest Financial’s Quo Veritas Futures Fund


* Welcome to The Big Jewel, where even in the dead of winter we are usually thinking about baseball. Enjoy the spin put on this fast ball by newcomer Barton Aronson.

Thanks For Coaching

By: Barton Aronson

Thanks so much for agreeing to coach the Squirrels for the remainder of the fall season. On behalf of the boys, their parents, and Kenesaw Mountain Little League, LLC, I’m authorized to tell you how much we appreciate it.

Also, thanks for asking about Ted Barrett, your predecessor. His condition continues to improve, and I’ve forwarded your request to “give Ted my best” to our lawyers.

Until your background check is complete, you are prohibited from communicating with any of the players. We know you were planning on having the Goldsteins over for brunch on Sunday; the lawyers will get back to you on that.

And now, meet the team!

Speaking of the Goldsteins, their son David is your starting first baseman. David is unavailable for all of our Saturday games due to his observance of the Jewish Sabbath. He is also unavailable for the last two weeks of September (Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur), the second week of October (Sukkot), and the fourth week of October (Boca Raton, with his grandparents). In the event you make the playoffs, he’s totally unavailable (Hannukah, early this year).

Bobby Nelson is your second baseman. Bobby does not have his own mitt, so please remember to bring one for him. Bobby cannot actually play baseball. But his mother, Kim, is a total babe. Unless Bobby starts, Kim does not come to the games; unless she comes, you won’t have enough fathers to help out. I encourage you to start Bobby.

Salam Iqbal is your shortstop. As a member of a priestly clan, he is forbidden to lower himself to field ground balls, and it is a violation of his First Amendment rights for you to yell at him about it. Whether you can gently encourage him is an unsettled question we’d rather you didn’t test.

Roseanne Tilkian is your third baseperson. Until we can resolve the Tilkians’ claims against the league, please use gender-neutral language whenever communicating with Roseanne or with the team generally. We’ve been advised that “guys” is not gender-neutral (memo attached).

Sasha Rudovsky is your left fielder. His father, Sergei, likes to watch him play, which explains the helicopter — Sergei is obligated to remain 200 yards away from Sasha and his mother, Ivanka. Ivanka, by the way, is a total babe. I recommend that you not stand next to her if you can hear a helicopter.

Elliot Harris is your center fielder. In the event Elliot’s father comes to the game (please study his photograph, attached), act naturally, like nothing is wrong. When he’s not looking, text “Wayne Harris” to the warrant squad (number attached) and seek cover.

Your right fielder is Benny White. Please cooperate with probation services when they drop him off. Under the terms of his probation, Benny is not allowed to steal second. His P.O., Sondra, usually comes to the games, which is great — Sondra is a total babe.

Cecil Dannon is your starting pitcher. He’s the complete package — a terrific pitcher and a great hitter. We’ve obtained an injunction requiring opposing teams to accept Cecil’s Nigerian birth certificate (attached), which proves conclusively that he is thirteen. In the event the injunction is vacated at any point, please present Cecil’s Panamanian birth certificate (attached), which proves conclusively that he is thirteen.

Your catcher is Manny Cedric, Jr. Yes, that Manny Cedric. His father’s promotional agreement with the league stipulates that he serve as third base coach when Manny Jr. bats; otherwise, it’s not usually necessary or productive to speak to Manny Sr. If you can remember to bring a stuffed animal and tissues for Junior, it would be a nice gesture. Manny Jr.’s mother, Felicia, never comes to games, but Google her — she is a total babe.

Finally, Joey Tarkington is your pinch hitter. In the event his father appears at the game, you have a grant of immunity if you want to shoot him. If you do, it’s important not to miss, as the unfortunate events involving Ted Barrett demonstrate. Even if you don’t want to shoot, it would be great if you could come heavy and provide backup to Cindy, Joey’s mother. Cindy is the complete package — a real sweetheart, a dead shot, and a total babe. Please don’t forget to address her as “Judge.”

And again – thanks so much for taking over the Squirrels!


* Welcome to The Big Jewel, where if you're anything like us (God help you), you would much rather stay in a hotel than with a relative during this joyous holiday season. And now, thanks to our very own Amy Vansant, there is a hotel for you even if you are anything like us. Merry merry, scary scary.

A Hotel Choice For Every Lifestyle

By: Amy Vansant

I’d like to stay in a new Penultimate Southeastern brand hotel. Should I choose the Penultimate Southeastern “Classic” or the Penultimate Southeastern “Premium” location?

We’re glad you asked! Both hotels are of the highest quality and feature all the comforts a busy traveler expects, including free parking, convenient airport proximity and complimentary towels. Your choice depends on nothing more than your lifestyle preferences!

The Penultimate Southeastern Classic is $7.99 per night and the Premium is $130. Why the price difference?

The differences between the hotels are minor. The beds in our Penultimate Southeastern Premium Hotels are slightly more comfortable and feature 600 thread-count 100% Egyptian cotton sheets. You can rest easy knowing each of your bed’s four legs will remain on the floor for the duration of your stay. And at either property, you can enjoy morning coffee at our adjoining cafes!

Wouldn’t my bed legs stay on the floor no matter where I stayed?

We certainly can’t vouch for the bed stability of other hotel chains. But we can promise that both the Penultimate Southeastern Classic and Penultimate Southeastern Premium properties feature complimentary robes, scented shampoos and eco-friendly disposable shower caps! Forgot your toothbrush? No problem! Just stop by the front desk and one will be provided to you at no cost. As a bonus, the Penultimate Southeastern Premium Hotel is also built on ground approved and blessed by Indian shamans, making it 100% guaranteed poltergeist-free.

Wait, are you saying the Penultimate Southeastern Classic has poltergeists?

No, of course not! We’re only saying that we can’t guarantee that it does not have poltergeists. What we CAN guarantee is that both our family-friendly properties have 100% free cable! Watch your favorite shows and access hundreds of on-demand movies! Just stay the recommended distance away from the television screens and there is almost no chance you’ll be sucked into an inter-dimensional vortex.

What’s an inter-dimensional vortex?

It is very much like, but not completely identical to the inter-dimensional wormholes possibly located in certain closets at the Penultimate Southeastern Classic property. But you’ll be too busy enjoying our 100% free Wi-Fi access to pay any attention to the ankle-biting clowns that may or may not live underneath your firm, clean bed, lovingly turned down nightly by our stunningly fast team of room technicians.

Are they fast because they’re efficient, or because they’re terrified of the ankle-biting clowns?

I’m sorry, Sir, I think your cell phone dropped there for a moment and I didn’t catch that.

I’m on a landline.

Did we mention that both our properties feature room massage and spa services upon request? Whether you like Swedish or warm stone massage, we can take the stress out of your busy day! I should note that this service is temporarily unavailable in our Classic property until we’re able to retrieve the masseuse.

Retrieve the masseuse?

Did I say retrieve? I meant “find.”

Did she quit?

Something like that.

I think I’d prefer to stay in the Penultimate Southeastern Premium Hotel.

We thought you would.

Are you aware that “Penultimate” actually means “second-to-last”?

No, it doesn’t. It means “best.”

No…it means “second-to-last.”

But it has the word “ultimate” in it. That’s impossible.

Well, inflammable means flammable.

* * * * * * *


Hold your horses. I’m Googling it.

Oh. Sorry.


Told you.

Well, you don’t have to be all superior about it. Do you have ANY idea how many logo towels we had printed? Not to mention napkins, little plastic cups, matchbooks…

Honestly, I think you have bigger troubles than the name.

Sigh. You have no idea. This whole thing has been a nightmare. If it isn’t the vortex it’s the wormhole, if it isn’t the wormhole, it’s the clowns…

At least the Penultimate Southeastern Premium Hotel is guaranteed to be 100% poltergeist free.

We might have fudged that stat a little.

It isn’t 100% poltergeist free?

More like 30%.


There are actually about 45% more clowns. But their arms seem shorter, so if you take a sort of running leap off the bed —

Could you, ah, maybe give me the number for the Marriott?

Yep. Have it right here.