the schmooze
Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe
Syosset, New York

Growing old is mandatory; growing up, is optional.

“I love my doctor in Boca. He told me, “You’ll live to 75.”
I told him, “I am 75!”
Dr.: See? What did I tell you?”

Seniors have been seen in TV commercials promoting bunion surgery, mobility products, Hoveraround power chairs, dentures, Fixodent, senior developments with names like Valencia this, Valencia that, and “The-Over-The-River-And-Through-The-Woods Senior Living Facility.”

One commercial shows a snowy-haired couple smooching in the back of a “taksi” (taxi.) Then there’s a Nintendo-playing grandma who doesn’t feel a day over “akhtsik” (80) And in an ad in the UK, an elderly lady explains which “tey” (tea) she buys for her “husband: “I don’t like tea. I like gin.”

Bob Dole, at age 75, advertised Viagra. And another very “komish” (humorous) ad starts with an energetic man on his way to work with the soundtrack of “Good Morning” from the musical “Singing in the Rain.” He bounces down the footpath, past the “vays” (white) picket fence in the “shkheyneshaft” (neighborhood.) He hops and skips, slam dunks a “koyshbol” (basketball), dances past a barber shop, chases the pigeons, leapfrogs the newspaper, and cartwheels to the front of his office. As he walks to “der lift” (the elevator), the word Viagra appears on screen, with encouragement to “Talk to your doctor.”

In another ad, Bernice Fitzgerald, age 75, and Joyce Cullison, age 94, visit the Grand Canyon on their Hoveround.

Bill Cosby writes how seating at a table becomes complicated as people get older (“elter”) Do I see a commercial coming for a restaurant where the chef uses “Ralphalon”- man-size cookware for guys who eat too much? (Thanks, Suzie Bolotin.)

Cosby writes about what happen when all of the people at your table are in their seventies and eighties: “...Eddie cannot hear on his left side so don’t put him next to Janice because if you put Janice on his left side, Janice’s dentures cause a whistling sound and Eddie is going to think his batteries are running low or that someone has aluminum foil in their hair.”

Cosby continues: “Somebody who has just had a hip transplant has to have an outside-at-the-end-of-the-table seat because they’re going to cramp up. Another person has to be closer to the door because he is carrying nitroglycerin. Another person has to have more light than another person because his glaucoma is kicking in....” (Source: “Cosbyology - Essays and Observations from the Doctor of Comedy”)

The newest TV commercial stars a Valley Stream (NY) couple named Morty and Lee Kaufman. Morty is 91 and Lee is 90. They have no acting experience, and the unscripted commercial has them bantering back and forth about the Swiffer.

When I saw the ad, I was FLOORed.

Kaufman’s daughter says that her parent don’t entertain as much as they used to. However, it’s important to have a clean house. Lee is a “ balaboosteh”/”bale-boste”--a Yiddish word meaning a perfect housewife. Lee is tiny and drags around this unstable stepstool...until she discovers the Swiffer.

Morty cautions her: “Be careful, babe.” Her reply: “That’s your line--be careful.”

Morty admits, “I don’t do any cleaning; I make dirt (“shmuts”).” He appears to suffer from selective hearing. He hears what he wants to hear. If Lee were to whisper an order for jewelry from the Home Shopping Network from the bedroom, he would hear the conversation. Just don’t give him any “Honey Do” lists!

In a future commercial starring Morty and Lee, I am confident that we will hear Lee share an old Milton Berle joke:

He’s so old that when he orders a three-minute egg, they ask him for the money up front.

I hope Morty and Lee live “BIZ HUNDERT UN TZVANTSIK” (until 120.)
And next summer may they stand by the knee-deep water at Rockaway Beach/Long Beach/Jones Beach and say, “OY, A M’CHIA!” every time a wave comes in.
Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe will be speaking for Tobay Hadassah at the
Plainview Public Library on Thursday, Oct. 3, at 8 p.m. Her topic: “The Bintel Brief in 2013.”


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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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