I’m not sure whether to be insulted or amused. I’ll go with both.

Absurdity happens often. This, we know.

What science has yet to uncover is why it happens so often around me.

I live in a largely Orthodox Jewish neighborhood, filled with synagogues, shuls, and kosher bakeries. Men walk our streets in calf-length coats and wide fur hats, or suits and fedoras. Most shops are closed on Saturdays. It can be quite convenient to live here, particularly when you have a hankering for kosher pizza or chinese food, or you’ve forgotten to purchase the wine glass for breaking at your own wedding, and your already-tuxedoed stepfather is able to dash out to get one from the kitsch shop three doors down. Not that this has ever happened to me or anything.

The other night, Husband and I were having coffee at a local shop before we went to a movie. We were surrounded by orthodox women wearing thick nylon stockings under their black ankle-length skirts. The highlight of the conversation came when one black-clad woman said to another, “Rachel – you know Rachel, right? Rachel who wears a lot of black?” It was like one centipede saying to another, “You know Jim, right? Jim with all the legs?”

So anyway, we were walking over to the movie theater when a car sped by, and the passenger of the car yelled out the window, “Heil Hitler!” I looked around – the street was nearly empty – and realized he was shouting at us. It was dark out, after all, and he must have just seen that I was wearing a long black coat and a hat, and that Husband was dressed in black as well. But still, I thought it was pretty impressive that he’d managed to hurl his epithet at the least Jewish woman in a one-mile radius and her goyishe husband.

It reminded me of the time that I was walking through the lesbian Mecca of Northampton, Massachussetts, when a pickup truck full of teenage boys drove by, and one shouted “Faggots!” at the crowded sidewalk. A tall, butch woman cupped her hand to her mouth and shouted back “Wrong town!”

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21 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    MonkeyGurrl said,

    That’s frickin funny. I would take it as a compliment – I figger, the Powers That Be didn’t want the a-holes who were doing the yelling to have any effect, so PTB made certain you and Husband were the recipients, rendering their commentary at best, ridiculous.

  2. 2

    Husband said,

    I should have kicked the schmegege in the tuchis.

  3. 4

    Andree said,

    What a schmuck (which I understand is a REALLY bad word)!

  4. 5

    Sachi said,

    What schmeckels. My bubby would have kicked the chai kock out of those shmedricks.

  5. 6

    miss kendra said,

    you weren’t wearing a crazy fur hat were you?

  6. 7

    uccellina said,

    No, I was actually wearing the hat you gave me!

  7. 8

    laurie said,

    I want one of those big huge fur hats! It’s like wearing a cat on your head. Although, I suppose I could do that… might get neck strain though.

  8. 9

    Husband said,

    Shmeggegie (shmeh-geg-gee) a doofus, an idiot, a silly, foolish dolt.
    A hapless fool who’s maybe not quite playing with a full deck.
    There’s a whiff of emotional instability about such a person.

  9. 10

    Mom said,

    Laurie, I see – Seuss got it wrong. It’s The Cat Is The Hat. Though most cats I know don’t take kindly to being treated as apparel, unless it was their idea in the first place. They may treat you as such, however.

    Sorry for no yiddish contributions – as Uccellina knows, I’m woefully ignorant here.

  10. 11

    uccellina said,

    Whoops – you win, Husband. Look at that, everybody! My goyishe husband has such a yiddishe kop! I’m kvelling.

  11. 12

    Laurie Ann said,

    Can I get an Oy Vey!
    (hee hee)

  12. 13

    Ellen B. said,

    Your Mom is a scream…very funny.

    Isn’t it strange how a few blocks makes such a big difference? In my neighborhood,
    approximately 5 blocks sourh of yours, if I want to fit in I have to wear baggy jeans,
    an oversized Raiders sweatshirt and my baseball hat backyards. I’d rather wear a cat on
    my head!

    Anyway, to answer your question about Olivia, the episode is this coming Wednesday,
    1/31, 10pm, NBC. She will be palying the role of Arianna Devalos.

  13. 14

    First I laughed. Then I shuddered a little. Oy.

  14. 15

    nora said,

    The correct answer is both.

  15. 16

    Pam said,

    This story definitely got a *head desk* from me. That’s awful and hilarious rolled into one.I was recently mistaken for an Orthodox woman because I was wearing a black calf length skirt, black tights, and a dark maroon sweater (remember when it was cold a few weeks ago? yeah…). I was at the Farmer’s Market and a woman wearing a similar get up starting speaking in Hebrew to me. This reminds me that I should really learn how to say “I don’t speak Hebrew” in Hebrew.
    ~P

  16. 17

    Husband said,

    I know, the Hottie in the Schmatteh got mistaken for the Katz in the Hatz.

  17. 18

    Mom said,

    OK, Husband, you get the Dr. Seuss/Danny Kaye prize.

  18. 19

    Pam said,

    My brain just malfunctioned from funny.
    ‘But they broke the chalice from the palace…’
    ~P

  19. 20

    belledame222 said,

    >It was like one centipede saying to another, “You know Jim, right? Jim with all the legs?”>

    Win!

  20. 21

    Ravenmn said,

    Here via Belledame with compliments on the centipede comment. Made my whole family laugh!


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