I like to make people laugh.

I tend to do the extreme and to lay myself out there because I like, no I love to make people laugh.


If we are psychoanalyzing here we can say its a need to be liked, to be noticed. As the youngest child in a family of 5 kids its not implausible. But I am a person who loves people and connecting with them.

I ride the train to work. I sit down and when someone sits next to me whom I find to be annoying; i.e. talking loud on their phone, over cologned, tries speaking with me or just has good old body odor. When one or more of those credentials are met I tend to try and find a way to “off them.”

I have picked up a phantom cell call and exclaimed, “He has lice? I was playing with him all day. Is it catchy because my head has been itching me all day I thought it was a mosquito gone wild.” Nine out of ten times the seat opens up and my mission is accomplished.

The problem is on subways there is no cell service. I have gotten stuck next to mammoths who decide to eat fast fried food which apparently is “finger licking good.” So they are definetly expendable in my book. Sort of like the dudes on the old Star Trek series who wore red shirts. I begin to feign sleep – while asleep I make sounds. I scream out one word usually an insulting profanity which refers to the inner backside where the crap they are eating will one day hope to exit. If that doesn’t work I begin to “emit flatulent gases.” One after another until they get the hint. If that doesn’t work – well I actually will fall asleep and wake up in Coney Island.

When I walk through the city during my lunch breaks I tend to interact with the people. If I see tourists taking pictures of one another I usually pose with them or ask them if they want me to take their picture. They look at me and realize I cannot outrun them and agree.

I also like to pose with sleeping people on benches. Most of the time they are out cold but one time there was this lady who was sitting with her eyes closed. A perfect opportunity for a pose I thought. I sat down next to her, too close apparently because she opened her eyes and began to scream at me. Now I make sure I keep some distance.

Below are some of my pictures.

philbench 3rdrail

I also like to share the visions I posses within my slab of meat under my curly hair and skull. Strange visions, scenes of old men walking, young men confused, women, ladies and girls. Circus clowns, carnies and allnight train riders. But that is another side of Freddy Zalta…

Charles Chaplin said of himself, “A tramp, a gentleman, a poet, a dreamer, a lonely fellow, always hopeful of romance and adventure.” Its not easy this life we live – the world we live in and the people we are surrounded with and by. Humaneness is imperfection and imperfection can be kind of hurtful. Hence the industry of broken hearts and empty souls. But the imperfection can also be kind of humorous at times. Especially when we, as human beings, pronounce our inabilities by falling flat on our face or walking into locked doors. That is comedy – comedy is always the best medicine for the tragedy of this world.

So, call me a fool, immature and repetitive. Tell me to be quiet and I will squirm and say something under my breath. Just like every soul I am bruised and at times in pain. But a simple smile, a song sung however well or poorly and a dance danced can always soothe what ails me and if I can make another smile. If I can help ease the pain of another by distracting them with kindness – then I am happy.

As Al Jolson sang, “Let me sing a funny song with crazy words that roll along, and if my song can start you laughing I’m happy, so happy…”