Dan Greenberg ("How To Be A Jewish Mother") says
that "whenever anything good happens, you must, of course, point out
the UNFORTUNATE aspects of the situation." This is necessary in order
that the Evil Eye should not suspect that things are going too well. Greenberg
gives this example:
"So what's the trouble now?"
"The Youth Group Raffle! I won a Pontiac convertible!"
"You won a Pontiac automobile in the Youth Group Raffle? Very nice. The
insurance alone is going to send us to the poorhouse."
And cartoonist and comic maven, Jordan B. Gorfinkel, wrote
about a Jewish Guide to Milestones of Misery. The first: Labor: 9 months.
Second: Studying for Bar Mitzvah 2 baseball seasons (at least).
Shown below is a guide to what you never knew could be "shlecht" for
"Mama, I lost my 'matematik' (mathematics) homework
and the teacher gave me a zero."
"Makh nit keyn tsimes fun dem."
(Don't make a fuss about it.)
NASA lost the original film of the moon landing. Imagine not being able to
see the heart-stopping moments when Neil Armstrong took his first steps onto
another world. The magnetic tapes that recorded the first moon walk have
gone missing at NASA's Goddard Space Centre in Maryland.
You bought Maybelline Lava Lamp Lip Polish High Shine Gloss in "Groovy
Watermelon" at the full price: $13.99; your best "chaverteh" (friend)
purchased it online and paid only $5.95.
Remember what Jimmy Kimmel said, "Did you have trouble
at the airport? I had to throw away all my makeup. I believe it's an elaborate
ruse perpetrated by the big cosmetic industry. Maybe it's not terrorism.
Maybe it's Maybelline."
"Shlecht nayes" (bad news):
Nearly 60% of colleges either require or recommend that students
own a "kompyuter" (computer).
That'll cost you a "toyznt" (thousand) dollars or more.
And do you know where the characters go when you use the backspace
or delete them on your PC? According to Dave Barry, the deleted characters
are shipped to Battle Creek, Michigan, where they're made into Pop-Tart filling.
This explains why Pop-Tarts are so flammable, while cheap imitations are
not flammable. I'm not making this up.
"Mama, did you read the medical 'zhurnal' (journal)
put out by Men's Health Magazine?
"Are you referring to the 12 easy appetite cutoff switches?"
"Number 5: Invite Sinatra to dinner. One of the best
ways to slow your eating down is to dine to slow, soft music. (Barry Manilo
w's "muzik" will also work!)
"Mama, the kitchen has become "shmutsik" (dirty)
and cluttered from all of your fortune cookies and little pieces
of paper with fortunes printed on them."
"Es art aykh"? (Does it disturb you?) Look at these "komish" (funny)
In two, maybe three months, you'll be getting a new mink.
Wear it in good health.
Lil bought the same blouse you're wearing and she paid $5
less for it.
But don't say I told you!
You're getting a little heavy, dear, in the hips; so maybe
you shouldn't take already anymore strudel.
There's a tall, handsome man in your future! If you're already
married--watch out! ; If not, Mazeltuv! (sic)
Source: "The Chinese-Kosher Cookbook" by Ruth & Bob Grossman
"Gut nayes" (Good news)
You've been hired to work as a cruise escort/gentleman host on the
Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines' FREEDOM OF THE SEAS, the world's biggest
cruise "shif" (ship).
"Shlecht nayes" (bad news)
You must hit the books and learn these shipboard terms: Port, Bow, Starboard,
Forward, Stern, Tender, Gangway, and"Bermuda Triangle"--awkward
cruise-ship romances involving "dray" (3) people.
And remember, never discuss the Lusitania, Titanic, Andrea Doria, or "The
Poseidon Adventure" with any "pasazhir" (passenger).
You're enrolled in an Elderhostel course
titled "Shakespeare for Jews."
You are REQUIRED to read the book"Married To Laughter" by Jerry Stiller.
Stiller and Meara were invited by YIVO--the Yivo Institue for Jewish Research--to
perform at a tribute to Joe Pappa at
the Shubert Theater. Stiller thinks that
the thrust of the evening is that Joe Papp
is convinced that William Shakespeare
was Jewish. Stiller attempted to make
humorous analogies between Shakespeare and Yiddish. Joe is an
Anglophile, especially Shakespearean
words like "forsooth," "methinks," "perchance," "henceforth"...but
loves his mother tongue, phrases like "paskudnyak," "nudnick." Joe
Yeshiva Bocher and he discovered that
certain phrases in Shakespeare were
interchangeable with Yiddish. The word "perchance" could be "efsher."
So, Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 1, when Horatio
sees the ghost of Hamlet's father, he says:
"Efsher it's the King."
And the word "methinks" is "ver veist."
It means, "Who knows?"
Your son got chicken pox two days AFTER
his Bar Mitzvah. "Danken Got!" (Thank
Parents should NOT intentionally expose
children to chicken pox. Some parents
hold "chicken pox parties" to expose their
children to children who have the illness,
believing it is safer for them to have the "infektsye" (infection)
when they are
a "bokher" (youngster) than when they
are older. This is not a good idea becaue
even young children can have serious
(though rare) complications from the "infektsye," including "lungen-entsindung" (pneumonia).
P.S. Always remember to whisper the
names of diseases!
Your son was accepted at The University
of Texas at Austin and received a financial
"Fundestvegn" (However), on the
Princeton Review's list of top PARTY
SCHOOLS, the Univ. of Texas was voted
NUMBER 1. (Maybe he should have
applied to Brigham Young, the No. 1 "stone cold sober" school for
You received an invitation to join AARP.
Now picture being retired, moving to S.
Florida, and lining up for the early-bird
specials at 4 p.m. What's an "early bird"?
A creature that flies off early in the
evening in search of lots of food, no
taste, dessert and beverage included.
You bought a condo in S. Florida...and it
was reduced from $400,000 to $347,500.
You're no longer a "snowbird"--a
migratory, dis tant relative of the
Earlybird-- a species that inhabits two
nests and is known to appear and
disappear each year, at given intervals,
depending upon when Passover arrives.
And remember the definition of a "Catwalk": An outside passageway
offering insight into the lives of others.
Your "zun" (son) made the National
Honor Society. Oy, such "nakhes."
Rabbi Shmuley Boteach says, "Forget the
grades--let our kids be kids A generation
of youngsters who live and die for grades
at school is just as bad as youths who
couldn't care less about school." He
points out that "our children are not
special because they are the best, but
simply because the y are." He writes,
"Our mantra to our children must not
be: 'Bring home an A,' but rather, 'All
we want to know is that you want to
You've purchased a hi-tech "tselularer
telefon" (cell phone).
Now you've got to adhere to the 10
Commandments list for cell phone users:
#2 Thou shalt not set thy ringer to play La
Cucaracha every time thy "telefon" rings. Or Beethoven's Fifth,
or the Bee Gees, or any other annoying
melody. Is it not enough that phones
go off every other "sekunde " (second)?
Now we have to listen to synthesized"umzin" (nonsense).
#10 Thou Shalt not slam thy "tselularer
telefon" down on a "restoran" (restaurant) table just in
case it rings.
This is not the Old West, and you are
not a gunslinger sitting down to a
game of poker in the saloon. Could
you please be a little less conspicuous.
If it rings, you'll hear it just as well if
it's in your coat pocket or clipped to
your "gartl" (belt)
Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe rarely feels" shlecht"! And when she does,
a double scoop of Heavenly Hash "ayzkrem" will handle the problem very quickly.