the schmooze

Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe
Syosset, New York

"Vos tut zich?"  (What's going on?)

With the holidays rapidly approaching, what's the concern this Christmas ("Nitl")?

a) That people will spend more time with
     virtual friends online rather than being
     with their families on Christmas Eve?

b) Sanitizing Santa?

c) Families not using the hand-sanitizing
    stations set up surrounding the Santa
    Claus area at malls?

d) The bearded man needs to be armed
    with certain knowledge:  Just as with any
    other temporary job, they must be
    drilled in every nuance of the job, and
    able to live up to the standards of a
    1,700-year-old saint, capable of filling
    20m orders a night.  They must commit
    reindeer names to memory, and study/
    memorize Christmas salutations in
    numerous languages.  And beard
    maintenance is vital.  Yes, the opening
    remarks at a Santa Claus Training session
    are "Just say Ho."

e) Performing a "tinselectomy"--
    untrimming the tree.

f) Handling "Tofu Tinsel"--tasty dual-
   purpose organic ornaments. (Thanks,
   Margarita Levin)

g) Speaking to youngsters in appropriate
    holiday language. 
    Ex. In 1994, a Florida State University
    football fan quit his job as a shopping
    mall Santa "after telling a 6-year-old he
    wouldn't get any presents this year if he
    was a Florida Gator fan."

h) "SCROOGE"--the Society to Curtail
    Ridiculous, Outrageous and Ostentatious
    Gift Exchanges.

i) All of the above

Forget "dos kikh" (the cookie) and "di milkh" (the milk).  Santa wants the swine flu vaccine.  Dr. Anne Schuchat said, "I wish I knew if we had hit the peak [flu] season. Even if a peak has occurred, half the people who are going to get sick haven't gotten sick yet."

All those fellas in "royt" (red) velvet suits who appear at malls, private parties, senior residences, day care centers, and charitable events each "detsember," have a problem.They want to be given priority for the vaccine.

We know that most Santas have a round "boykh" (belly).  About 2/3 of all American Santas (Jewish and non-Jewish)_ are "ibervog" (overweight), and about 1/3 are morbidly obese.  That raises health concerns.  We want to keep them "gezunt" (healthy).  A high percentage of those who have gotten severely "krank" (ill) from swine flu have been obese.

Several organizations that deal with Santas have already held seminars.  The Amalgamated Order of Real Bearded Santas (I kid you not, this is real!) held a recent meeting in Philadelphia to discuss "di krankayt" (the illness).  They have suggested that Santa use "hant" (hand) sanitizers like Purell...and take vitamins. Others suggest that Santas wear gloves and change them every few hours.

Have you noticed that the "shpayzkrom" (grocery) stores and "di apteyk" (the pharmacy) are having trouble stocking Purell and other hand sanitizers?

Dr. Jack Turco, director of Dartmouth College Health Service says Santa might consider greeting children from a few feet away rather than holding them on his lap, or asking children with coughs to stand in a separate line.

Yes, flu-savvy Santas are packing Purell this year!  And if children are ill, parents should bring them to see Santa at another time. No sick kids on Santa's lap, PLEASE!
Marjorie Wolfe's favorite holiday joke:
Henny Youngman said, "Last year I gave my wife a gift certificate and she exchanged that."


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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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