THREE IMPERTINENT QUESTIONS FOR
Monday nights in June and July, Palm Beach Post columnist Frank Cerabino will light up the Mandel Public Library on Clematis – and occasionally torch it – with his acerbic, diacritic commentary on national and local politics, weird Florida, vaping, texting while driving, offshore drilling, or anything else that inspires and irritates within the news cycle. Arrive early for a good seat. It’s free, and he packs the house. “It’s worth every penny,” Cerabino says.
Q: You’ve made your living for three decades as our famous local satirist. How long can you drag this thing out?
A: Donald J. Trump is my job security. He might be bad for the country, but he’s a godsend for me. While the news business is fighting to figure itself out, news itself is having a moment — a big one. More people are glued to 24/7 news sources than ever before. My library audience is ultra-informed, and for the most part share my optimistically cranky perspective on life. If you think there’s just one of me, think again.
Q: Do you try to anger your readers, or is that an unintended consequence?
A: I don’t go out of my way to do so, but I’ve got a real talent for it. I consider myself as fair and balanced. I’m a true political centrist, halfway between Bernie Sanders and Al Sharpton. People get mad at me for the most astonishing reasons. For example, I love the way Yiddish words sound, so I use them, at my peril. I am regularly blasted for cultural appropriation. Recently, I wrote a column on “old white guys,” and got yelled at by an old white guy who emailed “You’d never call someone an old black guy!” Which, of course, I would.
It makes me sad that email has destroyed the art of the nasty letter. Back in the day, no one would ever just type “You suck” on a piece of paper, put it in an envelope with a stamp and mail it. But that serves as a complete comment today. I’m often driven to respond, “I see you’re trying to get at something, but I need a little more information.”
Q: Confirm or Deny:
1. That you once threw out the ceremonial first pitch at Roger Dean Stadium with your fly down.
2. You were spotted angling your Costco shopping cart to deliberately cut off two little old ladies in pursuit of the last Kung Pow Chicken King sample.
A: Affirmative. Action.
PHOTO ILLUSTRATIONS: MARK BUZEK