Thursday, February 05, 2009

Fun and Games at Someone Else’s Corral
by: SchvachYid

Have you ever seen a duck beat up a dog? I have. I know a couple with a large house. They have a large backyard to match. The house and backyard sit along a canal. The canal is infested with ducks - large, ugly ducks. Sorry, I know ducks have a very positive image, but these ducks are from hunger, and I think they know it. They look like a hybrid between a more conventional species of duck and a turkey. Imagine a duck with the face of a turkey. Ugly! And big; much larger than an everyday, run of the mill duck.

The ducks help themselves to everyone’s property. They’re all over the place. One of the couple’s dogs, a breed that’s a cross between a Chihuahua and a Papillion, took exception to the intrusion of one of the ducks into ‘his’ backyard, and decided to matters into his own muzzle.

Gavalt! The duck grabbed the canine with its bill and proceeded to beat the pooch with its wings. The pooch was just a pup. Dummy. The dog yelped and screamed. What a scene - it could have been of Mohammed Ali attending a Shalom Zachor.

Once the duck had had enough, it let the dog go, jumped into the water (I’m glad it didn’t take the pooch with him), and proceeded to very nonchalantly clean itself free of doggy contaminant. What a champ. Yech!

The large backyard that sits along a canal has a pier that leads to a boat gazebo. The couple had a young visitor who likes to fish, so I fished with him. He caught a catfish (not kosher). The catfish managed to just about swallow the lure. There we were, the three of us, the kid and me attempting to free the lure from the fish’s mouth - and an alligator. Wonderful!

An alligator had decided to establish its territory in the canal off the couple’s house. Large ducks evidently serve as a gustatory attraction, even if it is for members of a ‘lower’ evolutionary caste.

The reptile decided that lunchtime was in order and, evidently tired of feathers, chose instead to inform us of his appetite. It swam under the pier immediately beneath our feet.
We saw it coming, and not too slowly, nostrils and eyes peeping just above the waterline.

Have you ever stood 5 or 6 inches above a patrolling alligator with its intended meal in your hands? Dogs and alligators invoke different protocols for begging for food. Perhaps we were its intended meal. I tend to function under the conviction that I was not born to serve as a reptile’s shachita.

I immediately recalled my penchant for panic, cut the fishing line, and tossed the gasping catfish into the water, besides which catfish are not fun fish to handle. It's good to be rid of a catfish. Catfish have very large, and effective, spines located along their dosal and pectoral fins. Bye bye catfish. Bye bye alligator.

I appreciate the fact that alligators are not adept climbers.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Jewish Bigotry and Jewish Pain
by: Schvach Yid

One of my favored peeves is Jewish bigotry; you know, the sort of stupid things some (or many) of us say or do to insult members of other groups. Face it, there're a lot of jackasses in the Jewish community.

Here I go: once upon a time I was acquainted with a Jewish female medical student. One fine day she passed a Chinese-American classmate (I was there) and let loose with her impromptu impersonation of Chinese people.

Here’s another: once upon a time I was sitting in the break room at work. Two graduate students were present. One was Jewish – red hair, blue eyes, body builder’s bod; the other was/looked (what I like to label) ‘Pacific Rim Asian’ – no offense intended. The Jewish student sidled up to the other student and let loose with a comment about ‘Chinese people’ and ‘chop sticks’. The recipient of this remark very slyly returned the rude remark with a grin and intoned, ‘I wouldn’t know, I’m American and my parents are Korean’.

There’s a reason G-d created the word 'schmuck’!

Same work place, different student. She’s Jewish. Whenever we bumped into each other at lunch and sat together, the conversation would invariably turn to Jewish matters. One day she announced, “Judaism, who needs that ‘shit’”. Some months later she approached me in the same break room and, with a giant grin on her face, informed me that she had converted to Catholicism, ‘And I love it’.

Okay. Why bother to bring up the subject? Because her parents were Jewish, and divorced. She moaned about the divorce frequently. She was fifteen years old when the ‘fit hit the shan’. Had her folks been devout Catholics, they might not have divorced, out of religious conviction, and, so she probably reasoned, she would have been spared what she considered to be the tragedy of her life.

I’ve bumped into her on rare occasions since. Nothing seems to have changed; certainly, she doesn’t seem any happier.

Jadies and Jents, have you taken a good look at the JBlogosphere? Have you read any of the personal profiles, as in ‘About Me – View my complete profile’? Have you read any Jewish blogs in which the writers scream in pain? Often these offerings are disguised as bravura, especially the ones who post about dating. The singles in their thirties and forties, the single parents who dare the reader to see the humor in a humorless life, the amateur literary pugilists who waste their adult lives chasing their tails, searching for the right solution to a clueless existence. The answer, they convince themselves, is career.

Horse baloney! The career doesn’t help. They’re groping at perfection when perfection is indefinable. Competition? You won? Mazel tov! Now what? You’re still miserable. Well, at least you don’t have to hang you head in shame in synagogue over your occupation, but over the absence of a family…?

What’s the answer? Who knows? It’s not buying a new pair of shoes - that fix fixes nothing.

I think, perhaps, the Aybischter created the coccyx as a tease. We have a backside that hides a very truncated tail – like dogs with docked tails. Doberman Pinchers are the clueless recipients of docked tails, received at the hands of their breeders. That breed of dog can be vicious, usually (I think) when they are deliberately trained to be.

Happiness doesn’t come from training. It comes, in part, from acceptance – of the mutual variety. The assertive competitive schtick has its limitations, but regrettably, in our society, I think most of us have been indoctrinated in little else. Just try to find someone to like you.

And so my fellow Yiddin, I wish us much luck, and remember, according to the Chinese calendar that New Year will bring in the Year of the Ox. Let’s not make it the year of the boor.