An Award-Winning Disclaimer

A charming little Magpie whispered this disclaimer into my ear, and I'm happy to regurgitate it into your sweet little mouth:

"Disclaimer: This blog is not responsible for those of you who start to laugh and piss your pants a little. Although this blogger understands the role he has played (in that, if you had not been laughing you may not have pissed yourself), he assumes no liability for damages caused and will not pay your dry cleaning bill.

These views represent the thoughts and opinions of a blogger clearly superior to yourself in every way. If you're in any way offended by any of the content on this blog, it is clearly not the blog for you. Kindly exit the page by clicking on the small 'x' you see at the top right of the screen, and go fuck yourself."

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Many several years ago by now, my wife (who was, back then, my girlfriend) was babysitting for two children belonging to this family who lives nearby. She sent me a text message earlier in the night saying that she was craving a pickle, and that there were none in the refrigerator in the house occupied by the two children belonging to the family who lived nearby.

So, I procured a pickle from a local establishment which trades in such things, and I brought the chick who was, at that point, my girlfriend, a pickle.

She was elated. She invited me inside and, although we didn't have sex in these people's master bedroom as I'd been lead to believe we would by Hollywood, we did have an enjoyable conversation. At some point during my visit, my wife left me alone in these folks' living room so she could go do something babysitterly like put children to sleep or fold up the Twister mat or whatever. While she was gone, I was left to eyeball the immense, floor-to-ceiling bookshelf belonging to these people who lived nearby.








While the subjects and the heights and spines and the colors and the ages of these books all differed, one from the other, there was a common element that united all of these published, literary works, or unified most of them, at least.


Jewish authors.

Jewish themes.

Jewish titles.

Jewish slants and bents and perspectives.

My eyes narrowed and moved to the music collection, which I only had a brief moment to study before my then-girlfriend now-wife returned from upstairs.

Jewish composers.

Hebrew lyrics.

Jewish singer-songwriters.

Israeli orchestra.

Irritated, I abruptly cut my visit short and left the house, noticing, as I walked out, the "Evil Eye" hamsa by the front door as I passed.

I would qualify the rest of this post by saying, "I don't have a problem with being Jewish" but, clearly, that would be a lie.

I do. I do have a problem with it. In fact, I kind of can't stand it. I reek of Jewishness.

"I've got a friend who's Jewish, but he doesn't look Jewish," a coworker of mine said to me recently, "but you really LOOK Jewish."

That might sound horrible and inappropriate and offensive, but he ain't just whistlin' Hatikvah.

In Dublin, my wife and I arrived at the departure point for our tour bus on Friday, August 5th. There was an elderly lady standing in front of the steps to the hostel, her bags packed, her slicker on, her teeth-- well, I don't know where her teeth were. Probably in her suitcase. But her eyebrows were drawn on and she was ready to go. We made superficial smalltalk with her about Ireland before my wife said, "I need to go get breakfast, do you want to come with me?" I said no, because this lady was starting to get entertaining, I thought. She had just checked her watch (which read five minutes of nine) and announced, in a thick German accent,

"Ah. Zey are late."

There was no way I was going to miss an opportunity to hang around this woman, I thought, so I said to my wife, "No thanks, you go on ahead. I'll stay here in case the bus shows up."

My wife rolled her eyes at me, thinking she was trying to rescue me from this woman's clutches, and disappeared around a Dublin street corner. The woman, who I silently named "Gerta" chatted amiably for another couple minutes until a natural silence interceded between us. She broke it with,

"You are from Israel."

Notice the distinct dearth of any interrogative punctuation mark. Another silence, this one less natural, took its place before I replied with,

"Uh-- no. We're... I'm-- we're American."

"Oh," she said, "AH-ha." She peppered her conversation with "AH-ha's", making sure to really emphasize the first syllable. "But," Gerta said, "that is where your people are from. Israel."

Again-- no question mark.

"Yes," I said, suddenly wishing I'd gone for that croissant with my wife as sweat trickled into my asshole hair-forest, "my father is from Israel."

"AH! AH-ha!" she ejaculated, with a satisfied smile, indicating "Got one!" on her face. "Your nose, though, your nose," she continued mercilessly, "is Persian. You have a very Persian nose."

Yes, I thought, and you have no teeth or eyebrows. Did you lose them in the war?

Instead of saying that, I came up with, "Well, my father was born in Iraq."


I spent a good healthy portion of my 55 minutes in the chair yesterday talking about what it means to me to be Jewish, both at home and abroad, about what it's like having the map of Israel (or Persia) tattooed onto your face, about being perceived as weak, nebbishy, schmecky, cheap, stuck up, intellectual, a nerd, a schdork, a minority, with a big nose. And kinky hair. In 1993, "Frasier" first came on the air, and introduced the world to Niles Crane, the hopelessly pedantic, more hopelessly romantic brother to Frasier. He was always dressed in a suit, and had a head of beautiful, flax-colored, thin, soft, WASPish hair.

When I was thirteen, I went into the barbershop owned by the man who, many years before, had given me my first haircut.

"Bob," I asked, "can you do something to my hair to make it look like David Hyde Pierce's."

He looked at me with a mixture of sympathy, confusion, and despair.

"I don't think so," he said. "But you've got beautiful, thick hair. You'll appreciate it some day."

I'm still waiting, Bob.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Got something to say? Rock on with your badass apron!