Call Of The Search

, , , , , | Friendly | November 30, 2019

(When I am a kid, our synagogue is looking for a new rabbi. One of the members of the Rabbi Search Committee decides to call my dad to get his thoughts, so he looks him up in the phone book. However, there are two people with Dad’s name in the phone book, and she calls the wrong one.)

Committee Member: “Hello, is this [Dad]?”

Other [Dad]: “Yes, who’s this?”

Committee Member: “This is [Committee Member] with the Rabbi Search Committee. I’m calling to get your thoughts on your search. Do you have any?”

Other [Dad]: “Yes, I do have some thoughts!”

(Despite not being a member of our synagogue, the other [Dad] and the committee member talk for about twenty minutes on his thoughts on the rabbi search process. Eventually, they finish up.)

Committee Member: “Send my best to [Mom] and the kids.”

Other [Dad]: Who is [Mom]?

Committee Member: “Your wife.”

Other [Dad]: No, my wife’s name is [Wife].

Committee Member: “But this is [Dad], right?”

Other [Dad]: “Yes, there are two of us; I think you want the other one.”

Committee Member: “But wait, I said I was from the rabbi search committee. We talked for twenty minutes. What’s going on?”

Other [Dad]: “Oh, my church is looking for a new minister. I thought you were joking.”

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Deadly Choices

, , , , , , | Related | November 29, 2019

(My aunt is preparing to make dinner while my brother, mother, and I are watching TV.)

Aunt: *calls from the kitchen* “Hey, [My Name], will you run downstairs and get some turkey burgers out of the deep freezer? Or [Brother], either one?”

Mother: *very promptly* “I don’t think [Brother] is in the freezer.”

Aunt: “Okay, good one. But will you go?”

Me: “Is it my choice which one I get out of the freezer?”

Aunt: “Yes. Your choice. Am I cooking burgers or your brother?”

Brother: “Don’t give them that choice.”

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Karate Man Versus The Ninja

, , , , , , | Related | November 29, 2019

When I was in third grade, I often struggled to sleep. As most young kids do in that case, I would go to my parents.

I had not learnt how to tell time yet but knew that if the light in the hallway was on that at least one of my parents was still awake and in the living room. 

It was on. 

So, little, tired me walked into the living room — at what I later learned was 2:00 am — to see the back of my dad as he was turning off the TV and other devices. 

To get his attention, I tapped his shoulder.

His black-belt karate instincts kicked in and the only reason I wasn’t knocked out was that I was tiny. 

After much whisper-shouting, and after he realized that he had nearly punched his child, he finally got me to bed. I had to promise to always announce my presence from a distance and for a while carried the nickname of “Little Mouse.”

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Be Thankful They Are Leaving

, , , , , , , | Related | November 28, 2019

(Every year for Thanksgiving, we have several family and extended family members come to our house, since we have a big dining room and a good-size living room, so there’s space for everyone to sit and eat. One year, my brother gets married and his wife invites her mother and her younger siblings to our home for Thanksgiving, giving me about two days’ notice about the six extra guests. Usually, I’m pretty informal about dinner, but on holidays, I insist everyone put away all technology and actually interact with each other while we eat. My sister-in-law’s youngest brother comes up to me.)

Youngest Brother: “I’ll take my food into the garage and play video games during dinner, thanks.”

Me: “No, you can’t do that. We all sit around the dinner table for dinner.”

Youngest Brother: *starts throwing a fit*

His Mother: “But we are your guests and you should accommodate his little quirks.”

Me: “He will eat at the table, or play games and not eat. His choice.”

(She storms out of the house with her children in tow.)

His Mother: “We’ll never come back!”

(Unbelievably, for two years we really don’t see them again even though they live less than thirty minutes away. My sister-in-law occasionally mentions that they would really like to come back for Thanksgiving and finally gets around to actually asking if they could come this year.)

Me: “I never banned them from the house or from celebrating with us. They are welcome but will be expected to eat at the table like the rest of us.”

(She says that is fine and invites the brood back. The youngest brother sits at the table, looks around at the food, and announces:)

Youngest Brother: “I want [Fast Food Place], instead.”

(I expect his mother or my sister-in-law to point out how ridiculous that is, but they are looking at me like this is a perfectly reasonable request.)

Me: “You can eat what is in front of you, or ask your mother about [Fast Food Place].”

His Mother: “But we’re your guests and you should accommodate us!

(She’s apparently really fond of that phrase! I give up on being polite at that point and simply say no.)

His Mother: “What do you mean, no?!” 

Me: “You’re a native English speaker. I’m sure you know the meaning of the word.” 

Youngest Brother: “My teeth hurt and I can’t eat anything but [Fast Food Place] chicken nuggets.”

(That is such an absurd statement I don’t even acknowledge it. His mother is busy turning a really alarming reddish-purple color and doesn’t say anything, either. Finally, after a few minutes of silence, the boy starts whining.)

Youngest Brother: “My lips hurt and I can only eat [Fast Food Place]!” *then yelling* “My whole mouth is hurting and I need chicken nuggets!”

(His mother is glaring at me as her son begins to really pitch a fit.)

Sister-In-Law: “[Fast Food Place] is open; you should just go out really quick and get him chicken nuggets.”

Me: “You’re welcome to go yourself and take him with you. I’ve cooked for two days and I’ll be d***ed if I am going to give in to this brat’s whining.”

(At me calling the boy a brat, his mother again stormed out with all her children in tow, including my sister-in-law. I have never been happier to be called a terrible host in my life, and I was so very relieved when my brother divorced that woman.)

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Happy Skunksgiving!

, , , , , | Related | November 28, 2019

The night before Thanksgiving, there’s a racket in the chicken coop. In the process of people going to investigate the dog escapes without being put on her chain. When she comes back we find out the cause of the racket. Skunk.

I am now one of those customers that run into Walmart ten minutes before closing who has to get just a few things and no it can’t wait for tomorrow.

On the upside, the Humane Society skink recipe works like a charm once again:

1 quart bottle Hydrogen Peroxide
1/4 cup Baking Soda
2Tsp dish soap

Scrub down the dog. Rinse with vinegar. Wash dog with regular dog shampoo. Lysol the house.

Happy Thanksgiving y’all!

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