Friday, June 16, 2006

Conversations with Mother, Part 4: Cultural Differences

Friday, on my lunch break, from my cubicle, I dialed mother in Miami for a quick pre-weekend check-in:

Mom: (exasperated) Hello?

Me: Hi.

Mom: Mich?

Me: Yes...

Mom: Hi! Mich, it is so hot here. I'm dying. It is 100 degrees, I can't breathe. I just walked out of the supermarket and even from the door of the supermarket to the car, I feel like I'm gonna faint. Oy my god. Anyway now I'm in the car going to buy some t-chhhina from the Israeli supermarket. And it's Friday, which means all the religious people are gonna be in there pushing, and I won't be able to move. (Door opening) Oy my god! MICH IT IS SO HOT HERE! All I want is some hummus and I'm dyinggggg!!! Oh my god, I can't breathe... I can't breathe! Anyway so I'm off work today, I have a million things to do. I'm gonna buy some tchina, go to the dry cleaners, go home, I have to do some laundry...


Mom: Anyway, so tell me, how are you?


Mom: Mich?

Me: Yeah, I'm here.

(I proceed to tell her about a gift I purchased for a friend's wedding tomorrow, a mini-Cuisinart.)

Me: I was very close to buying this gorgeous red tea kettle from this French company... sounds like Le Corbussier...?

Mom: Le Creuset! They have beautiful things. You know what's nice? They have beautiful dutch ovens, for when you want to keep things warm.

Me: (cracking up.) Do you know what "dutch oven" is slang for?

Mom: No...

Me: When someone farts under a blanket, and then they lift the blanket over another person's head and trap them with a fart smell.

Presumably for things cooked in a dutch oven. By the by, out of all of Pazzin Gazz's books, this one is by far the best.

(This dutch oven explanation takes a good four times of repeating until the concept is understood by her. I should remention I'm in my work cubicle.)

Mom: You know what your father did to me once? We were laying in bed, and he pretended he was going to spit on me. So I went to hide under the covers, and that's when he farted.

Me: Young love.

Mom: One time he asked me to pull his finger. In Israel nobody ever pulled anybody's finger! So I pulled it. And then he farted. That's when I learned what "Pull my finger" means.

Da-da-da da-da da - Honk!

He then fooled the cat, and laughed about it for 48 days. That's mah dad for ya!

p.s. My mother, the very wise and glamorous Judy Collins, will be appearing with me on stage, one night only, on July 25 at "The Rejection Show". Details to follow, but I swear to God if you are to ever see me perform, make it this show. It's called puzzle pieces, people. Falling into place, ya read me? Poor Dad, Mel, will be back in Miami, possibly appearing on stage singing one of his many parody songs, including "Shake It Up, Abey" and "The Hondeler" (sung to: The Wanderer.)

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