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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

If You Hear Far Off Explosions...

... it's because my father is in Israel.

He's going there to threaten his cousin, or his aunt-- I kind of forget which-- with a lawsuit. And hopefully he's just going to threaten her with a lawsuit, and not bodily injury. Because, although I'm not entirely sure, that may possibly be a crime in Israel.

See, a month or so ago, my father's uncle, we'll call him Uncle Schmenkman for the purposes of this blog, died. He was very old, as the uncles of 61-year-old men usually tend to be. He was being cared for by the woman my father is going to sue/threaten. Reportedly, she wasn't the Florence Nightingale, dress-your-wounds-and-sing-to-you type. She was more of the Annie Wilkes, chain-you-up-and-hobble-you type. She, allegedly, verbally abused Uncle Schmenkman, called him names, mistreated him in other, unspecified ways and, in the days leading up to his death, made him change his will to effectively screw my father, his brother, and his sister out of potentially rather a lot of shekels.

Because I am loathe to use real names in this blog, and because I'm not even really sure if she's an aunt or a cousin, we'll just call her "Twat."

So, anyway, Twat scored the vast majority of Uncle Schmenkman's coinage, and my father and his remaining siblings are now kind of left high-and-dry. Which sucks, because my parent's house needs a new chimney, and I have around eight-and-a-half years of student loans left to repay.

And so, after weeks of screaming on the phone in a delightful mixture of broken Hebrew and broken English to sisters, cousins, aunts, and lawyers, my father finally last night boarded a plane to go back to his Motherland to, in his words, "straighten this motherfuck out."

Nothing broken there.

Last night, he texted me to say goodbye before taking to the skies. Even the most practical, least hysterical member of our family acknowledges the fact that it's always good to say "goodbye" and "I love you" before getting on an airplane, because it very well could be the last time.

I called him immediately after receiving the text.

Me: "Hi."

Him: "Hi, Mummy."

Me: "So, how are you?"

Him: "Well, you know, I am sitting here with a bunch of... {lowers his voice}... I guess they're Israelis..."

I'd guess so, too.

Me: "Well, I'm sorry you have to go back there for such a shitty reason."

Him: "Yeah, well, it's okay, Mummy, you know. I'm not going back there to take fuckin' pictures or jump in the Dead Sea, you know?"

Me: "Yes, I know."

This morning, I sent him my standard Daddy's-travelling-communique:

"Hi. Are you alive?"

Not six minutes later, I received his reply, indicating that he had just landed. I can't keep time-changes and time-differences and time-zones straight in my head. I did wake up and immediately check for reports of a plane going down en-route to Tel Aviv, because that's how I roll, bitches.

Relieved, I texted him back:

"Yay! I love you. Have a good trip. Try not to get arrested."

My father has a knack for getting into trouble, especially when he is not closely supervised by my mother. Her thin-lipped disapproval is usually enough to appropriately and efficiently reign him in and, without it, I feel that my fears for his safety and that of others around him is legitimate.


1.) Though I have no absolute proof, his active participation in two Israeli wars leads me to believe that he has almost certainly killed people. Sure, anyone is capable of killing someone but, once you've already done it, the door to repeat performances is pretty much wide open.

2.) His temper is volcanic. One Sunday morning, when we were kids, he absolutely popped his jugular because my sister and I were crunching too loudly on our Cinnamon Toast Crunch. I almost shat myself at the table.

3.) He's already extremely pissed off. We're not the kind of family that drags other family members into court all the time, like the people on "Judge Judy" or whatever. When we do, it's because we've been pushed to the absolute limit. Actually, we've never sued anybody. This will be an Apron family first. Just like my sister's kid is the first grandchild, and like I was the first one in our immediate family to own a microwave.

4.) He cannot stand the following people: authority figures, soldiers, police officers, politicians, lawyers, family members, other Israelis, being away from home, being stuck in traffic, being late, being challenged, being frustrated, being constrained by generally accepted standards of social decorum/civil law. This, to me, bodes ill for this particular trip.

5.) He wears dress shoes without socks and carries a gigantic wallet, held together by a rubber band. Do you honestly think this man gives a shit about anything?

I'm always a little uneasy when my father goes away. He used to do it a lot, for business. He used to have an office in New York City, but those days are no more, and I think that's a good thing. One of his clients in New York called my father in absolute hysterics one day.

"What the hell did you say to my secretary?" the client cried, "she's sobbing in my office like a little girl-- I'm afraid she's gonna jump out the window!"

"I did not do anything," my father said.

He never does.


  1. Well great- you've given me a reason to watch the world news. Normally I avoid it because I have no idea what I'm watching and generally don't care. But NOW...I'm watching for a one man riot in Israel. If he does't at least make the ticker at the bottom of the screen I'll be disappointed.

    And I have to say- my dad screamed at us once because while eating Cocoa Puffs, breakfast of gym class losers, one of the puffs fell out of my bowl. All of a sudden- I was an absolute slob and how dare I throw cereal around when there are starving children. So I put it back in my bowl and got yelled at for eating food that's hit a contaminated surface. I had no idea what to do. And I remember walking to the bus stop not entirely sure what that was all about but my younger brother said if we were going to run away that today would be a good day to do it. :)

  2. Thanks for the giggles this morning.

    My Daddy is also out of town. He went to Atlanta to spend a few days with my baby sister before heading off to Destin with a friend for some fishing. I'm pretty sure he will require a lawyer and a liver transplant upon his return...

  3. Your dad sounds a lot like my mom.

    How is it that I have not blogged about my mom yet? Rich territory.

  4. Why is he calling you 'mummy'?

    I think maybe you should have hired a nanny to go with him. Israel has enough problems without your daddy heading into the thick of it!

    Although, now that you've described your dad, YOU are starting to make a lot more sense...

  5. MagP:

    "Mummy" is a cuteism he uses as a substitute for my name, and the names of my sisters, when he's feeling sentimental and/or has forgotten our real names.

    You know, a nanny is not such a terrible idea. Though I suspect she would just be first on his list of people to kill.

    Also, having two women who go by Mapgipe who read my blog, one in Ireland and one in America, is very confusing to me. Thank you for hurting my brain.

  6. Great-Aunt Twat. HAHAHAHHAHAHHAHA. Thanks. :)



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