Monday, April 5, 2010

My Seder

Somewhere around 4th grade we start cultivating our sense of humor based on the scenario of someone standing in front of a group of people, of the same age, and speaking. We all learn what jokes work with our small surrounding group, which jokes can be said a little louder to entertain a slightly larger scope, and if you are at all like me which jokes will work for the lecturer themselves so that they may be shouted across the entire room. I was always the one who made the teacher laugh and my peers think, "he's stupid." Growing up either my jokes froze or my sense of humor reverted because now I feel like my jokes would entertain 4th graders best of all.

Sadly, we rarely get the opportunity to put this learned skill to work. Maybe some of us get the opportunity to go watch TED Talks and we quietly make jokes to our neighbor. But we rarely get to test a small subsection of a larger group. For me though, I was recently given that opportunity and I had no issue jumping right back into my younger self and making fun of everything. Georgia invited me to her family's Passover Seder.

We took a seat against the wall of a nice prefab house in the West Valley, a upper class little gated community not far from where all the porn you watch is made. Little did I know that the table would be the perfect setting for being an ass hole. Little did I know what I was getting in to in the first place. I grew up Christian so we don't really talk about what holidays mean, in fact I'm pretty sure most Christians have no idea why Easter is always jumping around the calendar. The Jewish people take their shit seriously. There were 2 packets on my plate, one a song book and the other the story of Passover.

In the lead was an uncle/cousin/I can't remember. He is apparently a lawyer and likes to take charge. He would read and give assignments out. I was asked to read a little with Georgia. Neither of us stumbled over any words so I'd say job done. The emcee was as far away from me as he could possibly be. Three tables away, opposite wall. He could see me but then again he probably didn't really give a shit if I was being a classroom comedian.

Georgia's mom explained; "There are four questions to Seder, there are four thises and four thats. Four is an important number for the Jews at Passover."

Smiling and nodding I replied; "Except for the foreskins right?" That's the only joke I really remember saying but later she explained to me that four and fore are spelled differently. She quipped back something about my having a foreskin. I didn't reply, my words were as far from my mind as my long forgotten foreskin which was chopped off some 30 years ago. Even in hindsight, where most of my best jokes live, I have nothing. It was the second time I met the woman whose daughter I'm stupidly in love with, what the fuck do you say to a question about your penis???

I really have no idea, but here are a few thoughts from the top of my head.
  1. Foreskin? Not me ma'am, my doctor was a god damned artist. My shapely head should be on display.
  2. I may not be Jewish but my penis is...at least the first 2 inches. (Note: I have no idea how big/small Jewish penises are, so perhaps not that funny.)
  3. I was circumsized, hoping of course that a cut Christian penis could provide a spark towards bringing peace to Israel.
And it really only takes 3 examples to prove that I was best off not responding. It would have been hard to top the foreskin joke, which I was very proud of.

I do, however, love lists so here are some things to remember for your first Seder:
  1. You're going to read something so chill out on the wine.
  2. Elysia may or may not show up, but don't drink his wine.
  3. Gefilte fish may look a little weird but it's fucking tasty.
  4. Jewish people don't believe in Jesus but they believe in flat, dry, stale bread just like Christians.
  5. Slouch a little, especially if you didn't bring a pillow.
  6. Talk to all the family one by one, try to put in a little face time with all of them. They're as likely to forget you as you are them but in the long run if there is a wedding in the future there are several lawyers and producers in the room, it's best to be nice (not always true, but was for me.)
  7. Dress nice and be handsome. A good rule no matter where you are going.
  8. If asked to wear a yarmulke they've probably all seen it used to simulate a purple tit so don't bother.
As a Christian, if you are one, just be ready to convert. After 1 Seder I like it better, as a faith, already.

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