the schmooze

Think Outside "di Meditsin" Cabinet
Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe
Syosset, New York

Remember Adelaide's lament in Guys and Dolls: "A per-son could develop a cold"? Michael Wex ("Born To Kvetch") says that " farkrenkn" is "one of the greatest words in the entire [Yiddish] language." It means " weak" or "feeble" and can be used to describe someone just out of the hospital.

Shown below is a not-so-serious health quiz. Grab a #2 pencil and let's see how well you do.

1. If you type "Jewish Chicken Soup" into Google's search box, how many entries will pop up (as of Nov. 2, 2005)?
A) 256,000
B) 858,000
C) 1,990,000

2. Who wrote, "My cold has come. I drink hot drinks. I swallow tabloids, I embrace hot water bottles, not because I am fool enough to think I shall cure it. Rather because knowing that it will stay as long as it likes, I realize that old customs are old customs, and must be honoured; not in the breach, but in the observance. My cold expects it. It knows as well as I do that I shall be feeling no better in the morning. But by Easter--.Who nose"?
A) R. S. Hooper
B) Bill Cosby
C) Erma Bombeck

3. Which comedian said on stage, "My mother cured everything with chicken soup. We always prayed she was right; her second choice was an enema"?
A) Joey Adams
B) Don Rickles
C) Alan King

4. Which company advertised (in 1992) that it would send any customer who mailed in the label from any cold medicine, a recipe for chicken soup and a coupon worth 75 cents toward the purchase of one of their chickens? A) Empire Kosher Poultry
B) Manischewitz Food Products Corp.
C) Campbell Soup Co.

5. According to Gay Talese, "________ (insert name) with a cold is Picasso without paint, Ferrari without fuel - only worse. For the common cold robs _________ of that insurable jewel, his voice, cutting into the core of his confidence, and it affects not only his own psyche but also seems to cause a kind of psychosomatic nasal drip within dozens of people who work for him, drink with him, depend on him for their own welfare and stability."
A) Barry Manilow
B) Frank Sinatra
C) Billy Joel
D) Mandy Patinkin

6. If George (Jason Alexander), one of the stars of Seinfeld, got a cold, what advice do you think his TV mom would give him?
A) "Ikh vil zen a spetzyalist."
B) "Careful with the liquid medicine; we just painted."
C) "Now if you had a Civil Service job, you would be entitled to a minimum
of ten paid sick days a year."
D) "Drink tea and put bananas in the Jell-O."
E) "If chicken soup can't cure you, nothing will."
F) All of the above

7. How does Paul Giordano define "fluent"?
A) Capable of discussing chimneys and cold viruses.
B) "Ver vaist"? (Who knows?)
C) Ask the test maven, Stanley Kaplan

8. Who wrote, "Jewish mothers dispense chicken soup; southern belles dispense chicken salad. It is, of course, served with congealed Jell-O salad with a dab of mayonnaise on the top"?
A) Marilyn Schwartz
B) Nobel prize-winning chemist, Linus Pauling
C) Myrna Chanin ("Jewish Penicillin: Mother's Wonderful Chicken Soup")

9. Which of the following groups suffer the most colds in a year?
A) Under "finf" (5) year-olds
B) 5-17 year-olds
C) 18-24 year-olds
D) a "Yungermantshik" (male newlywed)
E) PLIANCE - Persons Living in a Noncommitted Environment

10. Joel Siegel ("Lessons for Dylan") tells the Yiddish theater joke about the actor who falls down, dead, in the third act of King Lear.

"Oh, my God, he's dead!" one of the actors shouts. From the balcony comes a cry, "Gib him a conneh!" "But he's dead!" the actor shouts back. "It couldn't hurt!"

What is a "conneh"?
A) green tea
B) "bonkes" (glass cups)
C) an enema

11. American Legion magazine (Oct. 1993) reported that two college professors in Florida have developed a compound that gets rid of yeast infections, athlete's foot and diaper rash. all in just "eyns doze" (one dose). What are your thoughts?
A) "Boy, if you got all of those, you need to stop whatever it is you're doing with your gym socks."
B) "Ruf a doktor." (Call a doctor.)
C) "Always whisper the names of diseases."

12. If a child has "shilshl" (diarrhea), what diet will alleviate "di problem"?
A) Homer Simpson Diet
B) BRAT Diet
C) BITE Diet (Bread Is The Enemy)

13. Which of the following cold/allergy/flu products can be found at your local "apteyk" (pharmacy)?
A) Michael Jackson Signature Allergy Capsules (Wake up with a new nose)
B) Phlegmish (plugs up nasal moisture the old Dutch way)
C) Nasal Base (when you're not feeling ship-shape)
D) Nuke-yer-Muke (the atomic inhalant that fixes your allergy--and cold-- for good).
E) "Gornit" (none) of the above

14. Which food critic finds that chicken soup's comforting benefits cross all ethnic lines. She finds that the proper cooking temperature, is a "smile" and her favorite way of eating chicken soup is with the chicken in it, or what she dubs "nouvelle haimish"?
A) Mimi Sheraton
B) Julia Child
C) Marian Burros

15. Wendy Wasserstein, playwright, swears by the curative value of
A) "Gilderne," a special chicken broth served in Jewish homes to celebrate the 25th (or 50th) anniversay of married couples
B) Watching movies made before 1950, particularly those with medical themes (Ex. Cobweb, where Richard Widmark was in charge of a clinic)
C) Nyquil


1. C
2. A
3. C
4. A
5. B
6. F
7. A
8. A
9. A
10. C
11. A
12. B The BRAT diet = Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, and Toast
13. E
14. A
15. B

Many years ago Marjorie suffered from" Carsonogenous Monocular Nyctalopia"-- a case of left-sided night blindness caused by watching Johnny Carson and other TV lateniks from bed, with the right side of the fact buried in the pillow." (Thanks to Anu Garg for including this term in his new book, "Another Word A Day").


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Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe is the author of
two books:
yiddish for dog and cat loversbook
"Yiddish for Dog & Cat Lovers" and
"Are Yentas, Kibitzers, & Tummlers Weapons of Mass Instruction?  Yiddish
Trivia."  To order a copy, go to her

NU, what are you waiting for?  Order the book!

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