Memories of times when people weren’t afraid to gather in groups.
If it’s not one thing, it’s another.
This year for the Super Bowl we were at my sister-in-law Dalia’s house in Glendale. Me? About football I know bubkes. Who’s playing? Don’t ask. (Ed. note: The 49ers lost to the Chiefs.) As usual, the men were in the den with the bir and the cigars, while in the dining room, we “girls” were playing mahjong and the kids were going at it with penny poker and pisha paysha.
Later, when the men were running back and forth from the waschzimers, Benjy, (Lola’s son-in-law), yelled, “You gotta see this halftime show!” So, we did. And what did we see? We saw 50-year-old Jennifer Lopez half naked on a pole twirling her toches like a baboon in heat. As the kids say: “That’s something I can never unsee.”
And then there’s the Oscars. Who are these people? The only real movie star I recognized was Kirk Douglas, and he’s dead. Brad Pitt I know from the tabloids. Martin Scorsese I saw in the audience looking so tiny he should’ve had a booster seat. I slept through all of the red-carpet chitchat, but I did see that schtunk Joaquin Phoenix give his speech thanking G-d and pegging the rest of us as mamzerim for “injecting cows with hormones, stealing their babies, and selling the milk to put it in our coffee.” This we need? Likewise, Rene Zellweger, who portrayed Judy Garland, droned on so long that I was able to use the kloset, load up the dishwasher, reorganize my purse, take a nap, and when I woke up, she was still kvelling away. Oy!
And then there’s Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. All over the news they are. She’s the actress nobody heard of who married the prince and invited only her mother to the wedding. Okay, so her father’s a schmuck, but no invitations she sent to her siblings? Yes, they’re half-siblings, but half–schmalf, family is family until they borrow money and don’t pay it back. Adele Luskin said maybe there weren’t enough seats in the cathedral for other relatives, (but between you and me, Adele’s been taking a medication that makes her drowsy and a bit schwindeldik).
Enough I’ve said already.
Waschzimers: A variation on the German words wasch (wash) and zimmer (room.)
Pisha paysha: Yiddish for the card game War, which remains popular among children to this day.
Mamazerim: In Jewish, a mamzer is a person born out of wedlock (aka, a bastard.) Grandma’s use suggests a more general definition, one that defines mamzerim (the plural) as deplorables.
Schwindeldik: Schwindel is a German word for dizziness. With the addition of the dik suffix, Grandma seems to be suggesting a person who can’t think straight.