Friday, September 22, 2006

Judaism for Dummies, or L’shana Tovah, George Allen

Poor George Allen. No sooner does he learn than he is a Member of the Tribe – in good enough standing, yet, that he qualifies for automatic citizenship in Israel – does he find himself fending off the most complicated of all questions about his newfound Jewish roots: Is he religiously Jewish, culturally Jewish, or both?

For the uninitiated, let me explain the difference. There are Jews who believe in God, Jews who fight with other Jews over how to believe in God and then Jews who do not believe in God but consider themselves culturally Jewish. "An atheist, yes," they will respond. "But a Jewish atheist." For example, a Jewish atheist will nonetheless wince when he sees someone put yellow rather than golden mustard on a hot dog, or leave a Chinese restaurant if he doesn't see any Jewish people eating. He doesn't believe in God, but he will not, under any condition, engage in an activity considered SFG (strictly for goyim) -- camping, lawn-care, wood-working, model-train collecting, hunting, belonging to the NRA, etc.

To help George Allen with his past, I’ve put together a small quiz. Some answers are worth more points than others. The higher the total, the more Jewish you are. Results will be published next week.

More Jewish, you ask? What's that? A separate entry, for later. Sit down, have some cake, and read.

Domestic Maintenance

1. A light bulb burns out after you turn on the light in your family room. How do you react?

a.You screw in another light bulb and continue business as normal. (0)
b.You call out, “Duck,” drop to your knees, put your hands over your head, and count to three before looking up. (2)
c.You turn off the electricity, examine the bulb to make sure it’s really burned out, and take it directly outside to the trash can. You screw in another bulb slowly, with your head turned away from the socket, knowing at anytime you could blow the house to smithereens. (3)
d.Call an electrician. (4)

2. Your hot water heater explodes, flooding your basement. How do you react?

a.Put on your fly-fishing boots, grab a flashlight, fasten your toolbelt, and go have a “look-see” at the problem. (0)
b.Call 911. (1)
c.Wet-Vac the basement, then repair the hot water heater in 30 minutes. (0)
d.Call your brother-in-law the lawyer and tell him you want to sue the previous owner of the house. (4)

The Professions

3. Your son has just landed the dream job of every Jewish sports fanatic: he is working in the front-office of the Los Angeles Lakers. It’s a first job, and he’ll be the personal assistant to the personal assistant of the assistant general manager for concessions operations. When asked by friends what your son is doing, you tell them

a.He is part-owner of the franchise, with an option to increase his share after a year into his job. (1)
b.The truth. (0)
c.Your son will be fired within the first month because he’s in over his head. (4)
d.He is the assistant general manager, but really the brains behind the whole operation because the GM is a schmuck. (2)

4. At the law firm’s annual holiday party, you introduce your new star female associate – 27 years old, beautiful, brilliant, impeccably dressed in a tailored suit that shows off her three-times-a-week-at-the-Washington Sports Club body – to your wife. Your wife

a.Eyes her up-and-down, icily sticks out here hand, introduces herself, and says, “I had no idea those suits were back in style. Where did you find it?” (2)
b.Exchanges polite greetings with her, then turns to you and says, “You don’t think for a minute that a gorgeous woman like that would have sex with you, do you?" (3)
c.Greets her warmly, mentions that she’s heard all about her, boasts what a fabulous mentor her husband will be, and insists on having her over for dinner when her schedule permits it. (0)
d.Deliberately mispronounces her name at every opportunity, and whispers in her ear, “I'm not sure who you think you're fooling but it's not me. The last slut they hired lasted a year before they fired her for sleeping with half the firm. Word to the wise.” (5)

Family Relations

5. After several years of boycotting any family High Holiday event put together by your son’s shiksa wife, you and your wife reluctantly agree to accept their invitation to Rosh Hashanah dinner this year. Once dinner is served, you and/or wife make the following observation(s):

a.Sipping the matzoh ball soup, your wife arches her right eyebrow, rubs her tongue along the outer edges of her teeth, coughs, shrugs her shoulders, makes a squinty face and then says nothing. (4)
b.Thank your daughter-in-law for the invitation and apologize profusely for not coming in previous years. Now that you’ve learned what a fabulous cook she is, you’ll be over more often. (0)
c.You take a few sips of the matzoh ball soup, and then announce, “Is this how they make soup now? I guess it’s the new generation.” (2)
d.Suggest in the future they stop at Katz’s for their soup. Three quarts will feed plenty, and for $20 it’s not worth all the cooking to have the soup come out like it did. (3)

Restaurant Etiquette

6. You are out to dinner with your wife and two other couples. The host tells you that it will be a “few minutes” before they can put together a table for six people and you are welcome to wait in the bar. You do the following:

a.Walk into the bar, where the bartender calls you by name, and asks if you’ll have the usual. (0)
b.Say to the host, “Do you have any idea who I am?” and demand to see the manager. (2)
c.Slyly to report to your friends that the only reason they want you to wait in the bar is so that you’ll order a drink you don’t want and that you’re not about to fall for that. “That’s where the mark-up is, on liquor. That’s where they make their money.” You stay put. (3)
d.Pretend you had a reservation for six, and tell the host that the last time this happened – the 5 minute wait – the manager, “who you don’t believe is working here any more,” told you to come back again, “on the house,” so that he could have a chance to make things right. (1)

7. The check for six arrives. The total is $324.45. You examine the check first, announce the total, and then

a.Suggest that you split the check between the three couples evenly. You agree to tip on the tax.(0)
b.Perform a line-item audit of the check, and announce that you and your wife did not agree to order the third bottle of wine, deduct that amount from the check and then agree to pay one-third of the food bill plus your share of the two bottles of wine. You refuse to tip on the tax. (2)
c.Remind your friends that you and your wife “never really wanted to order wine in the first place,” and decide, “because we’re all friends,” you’ll pay for your share of the first bottle but not any the second and third. You also calculate a 5% tip on the wine, because "all they did was a pour a bottle." You refuse to fall for the mark-up scam. (4)
d.Announce to everyone at the table that, although you and your wife had the least expensive items on the menu, did not eat the appetizers, and didn’t drink any of the second and third bottles of wine, you’ll nonetheless split the bill three ways because “friendship isn’t worth saving $23.43 a person." You refuse to tip on tax. (3)

8. Upon arriving at a delicatessen, you notice several empty tables. The host seats you one table away from the drink station. What do you do?

a.You don’t notice. You’re busy thinking about that corned beef on wheat with mayonnaise that you had the previous week. (0)
b.Politely ask to be moved to a table less busy because you need some space to work. (0)
c.Stop the host halfway to the table, put your hand on his shoulder and not-so-quietly point out that “half this joint is empty” and you’re not sitting there. (3)
d.Sit down and wait until the waiter brings over the complimentary pickles, then tell him that you need to move because there’s a draft right over the table. You take the pickles with you to the new table, giving you two bowls. (4)
e.Wonder why Ed and Sylvia Rosen, who, to your knowledge, simply got lucky and made his fortune by buying that building off Rockville Pike when the timing was right, have their pictures with the owner on the wall and you don't. You mention to your friend the reason that the prices have gone up is that the wife's owner just found out he was schtupping one of the waitresses, and she's preparing to clean him out. (2)

9. When the waiter in a Chinese restaurant asks you if he can pack up the leftovers to take home, do you tell the waiter to include the white rice?

a.Yes. Mix in a teaspoon of water, put it in the microwave and “you’ll never know the difference.” (2)
b.No. The rice turns rock hard, you forget about it, and it just takes up valuable space in the refrigerator. (0)
c.Yes. But you ask him for fresh white rice, and mention that “our usual waiter always does that for us.” (4)
d.Yes. And you ask for a little extra for your sick relative who couldn’t come but “loves this place.” (5)


10. During sex with your wife, you suggest, since it’s your birthday, that you try something other than the missionary position. What happens next?

a.Your wife wakes up and says, “Did you remember to run the dishwasher?” (4)
b.“Hell, yes!” screams your wife. Smiling a devilish smile, she winks at you as she confides, “and you didn’t think I knew you were visiting porn sites on the computer?” She reaches into her nightstand, breaks out the handcuffs, fastens you to the headboard, hops out of bed, pulls down four different sex costumes for you to choose from, and tells you to hold on because she’s going to “punch your lights out” by morning. (-15)
c.After putting down her book, she turns off her mini-reading lamp and says, “Oh, for God’s sake, George, you're not 20 years old anymore.” Then she goes to sleep, but not before reminding you that she is playing tennis tomorrow morning and that you’ll need to take the kids to their therapy appointment. (5)
d.Your wife announces that she is not “some whore” from college and that “if this is your way of asking for a divorce, consider it done.” (10)

Happy New Year. Time to make the brisket.

1 comment:

Jen said...

Oy, maybe I am Jewish after all.

...or I just have a couple of really good (good? bad?) teachers.

Good thing I went to church this morning...