the schmooze
Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe
Syosset, New York


The bible tells us "v'nishmartem meod l'nafshoteichem" (Deut. 4:15_, which our Sages have interpreted to mean that we have an obligation to treat our bodies well, and not do anything that would harm them.

That being the case, I'll never be a Rockette at Radio City Music Hall. I could never do their best-known routine--an eye-high leg kick in perfect unison in a chorus line. I tend to agree with Joy Behar ("The View") on exercise: "I'd rather wear black in August than do one sit-up."

"J is for joint," according to Ross & Kathryn Petras. They are the authors of a wonderful book titled, "B Is For Botox - An Alphabet Book for the Middle-Aged." Yes, "J is for joint. No, not that kind of joint. The kind of joint that gets stiff. No, not that kind of stiff, but the kind of stiff you get when you're middle-aged and you don't bother bending down to pick up a dime lying on the street.

Would you bend down to pick up a dollar, Jake?

"Yes," says Jake. "But not a quarter!"

My dear friend, Sylvia, from West Palm Beach, Florida, sent me this piece about exercising. It is dedicated to everyone who ever attempted to get into a regular workout routine. This is the Yiddish version:

Dear Diary:
For my "geboyrn-tog" (birthday) this "yor", I purchased a "vokh" (week) of personal training at the local health "klub." Although I am still in great shape since being a "mitishul" (high school) "fusbol" (football) cheerleader "fuftsik+" (50+) years ago, I decided it would be a good "idee" (idea) to go ahead and give it a try.

I called the "klub" and made my "rezervatsye" (reservation) with a personal trainer named Christo, who identified himself as a "zeks un tsvantsik" (26) year-old aerobics instructor and model for athletic clothing and "bodkostyums" (bathingsuits/swim wear).

My friends seemed pleased with my "entuzyazm" (enthusiasm) to get started!
The "klub" encouraged me to keep a diary to chart "mayn" progress.

Do I hear "lakhn" (laughing)?

Started my day at 6:00 a.m. "Shver" (difficult/tough) to get out of "bet" (bed), but found it was well worth it when I arrived at the health "klub" to find Christo waiting for me. He is something of a "yung" Greek god--with blond "hor" (hair), dancing "oygn" (eyes), and a dazzling "vays" (white) smile. Woo Hoo!! He said, "Kum areyn." (Come in.)

I felt like a "turist" (tourist) as Christo showed me the machines...I enjoyed watching the skillful way in which he conducted his aerobics class after my workout today. Very inspiring! What a pretty "rogazshe" (mat)!

Christo was encouraging as I did my sit-ups, and "arof-shtups" (push-ups), although my gut was already aching from holding it the whole time he was around. "Ikh tsi oys a hant" (I stretch out an arm.) This is going to be a FANTASTIC week!!

I drank a whole pot of "kave", but I finally made it out the door. Christo made me lie on my "rukh" (back) and push a "shver' (heavy) iron bar into the air. Then he puts weights on it! My legs were a little wobbly on the treadmill, but I made the full mile. His rewarding "shmeykhl" (smile) made it all worthwhile. I feel "vunderlekh" (GREAT)! It's a whole new "lebn" (life) for me.

The only way I can brush my "tseyner" (teeth) is by laying "dos tsonbershtl" (the toothbrush) on the counter and moving my mouth back and forth over it. I believe I have a "kile"/"kileh" (hernia) in both pectorals. Driving was OK as long as I didn't try to steer or stop. I parked on top of a GEO in the "klub" parking lot.

Christo showed "umgeduld" (impatience) with me, insisting that my screams bothered other "klub" members. His voice is a little too perky for that early in the morning and when he scolds, he gets this nasally whine that is VERY annoying.

My "brustkastn" (chest) hurt when I got on the treadmill, so Christo put me on the stair monster. Why the hell would anyone invent a machine to simulate an activity rendered obsolete by a "lift" (elevator)? Christo told me it would help me get in shape and enjoy life. He said some other stuff too. I feel like I'm having a "hartsatak" (heart attack)! Maybe I should take a baby aspirin.

Christo was waiting for me with his vampire-like teeth exposed as his thin, cruel lips were pulled back in a full snarl. I couldn't help being a half an hour "farshpetikt" (late/tardy). It took me that long to tie my shoes.

He took me to work out with dumbbells. When he was not looking, I ran and hid in "dos vanetsimer" (bathroom/restroom). He sent some skinny dame to find me.

Then, as "shtrof"(punishment), he put me on the rowing machine--which I sank.

I hate that Christo more than any other "mentsh" (human being) in the history of the world. Stupid, "oysgedarcht" (skinny), anemic, anorexic, little aerobic instructor. If there was a part of my body I could move without unbearable pain, I would beat him with it. "Folg mich a gang?" (Why should I do it?)

Christo wanted me to work on my triceps. I don't have any triceps! And if you don't want dents in the floor, don't hand me the damn barbells or anything that weighs more than a "sendvitsh." Jackie Mason said that "A sandwich to a Jew is just as important as a country to a Gentile."

The treadmill flung me off and I landed on a health and nutrition teacher. Why couldn't it have been someone softer, like the "drame" (drama) or the choir director?

Satan left a message on my answering "mashin" in his grating, shrilly voice wondering why I did not show up today. Just hearing his voice made me want to smash the "mashin" with my planner; however, I lacked the "koyach" (strength) to even use the TV remote and ended up catching eleven straight hours of "der veter" (the Weather) Channel...

Thank GOD that this week is over. I pray that next time my "man" (husband) will choose a gift for me that is "hanoe" (fun)-- like a root canal or a hysterectomy. I stil say if God had wanted me to "aynbeygn" (bend) over, he would have sprinkled the floor with "diments" (diamonds)!!!
Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe would like to wake up one "frimorgn" (morning) and discover that her dress size is the same "tsol" (number) as her shoe size--NINE!


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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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