Wednesday, February 14, 2007


Jameel at the Muqata reminds me that Purim is coming up.

And we all know what that means, don't we?

Yep, Peysach is just around the corner.

Which, in many households, means a frantic cleaning at some point to remove all traces of chometz and anything that might possibly ferment, or be mistaken for something that might ferment, or be substituted for something fermentable, might have been fermented as part of a decaying process (so get rid of the compost heap), or even sound like something that you mother-in-law might think of as a chometzdikke substance in any language, especially whatever ghoul-tongue she spoke in the old country.

Because, of course, the commandment is that on the night commemorating the freeing of the slaves, one is commanded to live in quavering fear of one's mother-in-law. She knows from kosher so much more than you that you should be grateful, you wretch, her daughter is far too good for the likes of you. Now tremble and obey.

If you don't go over every possible place where there might be chometz with a feather, she'll find that overlooked little crumb the moment she opens the door.

The M&Ms disguised as pills in the night-stand drawer? She'll throw them out.

That pack of Snackwells you hid behind the loose panel in the closet? She can sniff it out.

The pack of kosher le peysach cake and muffin mix with a hechsher she doesn't accept? The one you buried in a rubbermaid box in the flowerbed? What a coincidence, that is exactly where her nasty toy poodle wants to dig.
[You always wanted to have the little monster stuffed and mounted as a hunting trophy, didn't you? Pity you dilly dallied. Too late now.]

I suppose it's no consolation that the other son-in-law, the successful heart-surgeon she always boasts about, has had no better luck with 'Old Eagle Eyes'. She forced him to sell his BMW for the duration one year.

And right about now, you start wondering why you go to all this trouble. Why do you shampoo the carpets and scrub the cupboards? Why do you go over the cooking surfaces with scouring pad, sandpaper, blowtorch, chisel, your wife's make-up brushes, and a magnifying glass? Why do you cover every surface in the kitchen with wax-paper, aluminium foil, new marblelite, asbestos matting, and Nasa-grade heat tiles? Why do you tromp up and down the stairs with two dozen crates of Passover plates and cutlery, all of which are heavy, cringe-ugly, and heirloom quality? Why does your wife have crying jags for no apparent reason for an entire month, and wake up screaming in the night? Why does your little daughter look at you with wide frightened eyes from that corner where she spends most of her days trembling?

And then it hits you.

It's all pointless.

Problem solved.

Simply go to your shvigger's house for both nights. Heck, stay for all eight. That way the old fruitbat will never come over here herself, neither will that drippy heart-surgeon the GOOOOOD son-in-law with his flashy BMW and whiny brats, you won't have to clean at all, why, you can even leave the half-eaten bag of Rolled Golds and the empty pizza box in the den.......

Which, of course, is exactly what Old Eagle Eyes wanted.
You'll make her so happy.
That miserable heart-surgeon putz won't be the favoured son-in-law ever again.

A weight is lifted off your shoulders.

Ah, fresh air.

No chains.




Yeah yeah, I know this is WAY too early, Peysach ain't till April. But you wouldn't have read it then anyhow, you'd be far too busy going all neurotic and retentive to have time for my blog. Really.
So here it is. Now get on with your life, don't have any nightmares, and get ready for Purim.

1 comment:

Tzipporah said...


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Sadly, the only time we can celebrate Dutch American contributions to American civilization is today. It's 'National Donut Day'....