Time has gotten away from me and I haven’t been able to prepare any fresh items for Funny Friday this week. Funnies are a bit like books and films, nice to visit again from time to time, even if you have read or seen them before. That is why I like to watch Love Actually, White Christmas and Holiday Inn at Christmas, even if I can repeat every line of dialogue by now. (Now there’s an idea for a future Bytes topic: Movies I like to Watch Over and Over).
So as not to deprive you of your Funny Friday Fare, here is a revisiting of some items from Former Funny Fridays, with an emphasis on Jewish humour . . .
My father in law, Noel, gave me the following item, a letter, for inclusion in Bytes. Thanks Noel.
Mrs. Gladys Gardner
The Methodist Centre for the Aged
NEWTOWN. NSW 2042
Dear Mr. Dumbrell.
I am writing this from my room at the Methodist Centre for the Aged, where as you know, I have been since my daughter died 10 years ago. It gets very lonely here and I don't know how much to thank you for your wonderful gift of this beautiful little portable radio.
I have not had a radio of my own before and you don't know how much comfort it is to be able to listen to the wonderful music and pass away the lonely hours. May God bless you for your kindness.
I share this room with my friend Elsie Jackson who is 81, I am 93. Elsie had a little radio but she always played it so softly that I could never hear it. The other day she dropped it on the cement floor and broke it. The repair man said it would not be worth fixing, so you can see how nice it is to have my own.
Last night while listening to the lovely choral service from the Methodist Church, Elsie asked me to turn my radio up, so naturally I told her to get fucked.
Thank you again for your generosity.
May God Bless You
Snopes.com, the website that looks at urban legends, email onsends, internet rumours and other stories of questionable origin, has a piece on this letter. It comments that the letter has been circulating since 1992 and quotes an alternative version:
The following letter was forwarded by someone who teaches at a small high school in central Ontario. The letter was sent to the principal’s office after the school had sponsored a luncheon for the elderly. This story is a credit to all humankind. Read it, soak it in and bask in the warm feeling that it leaves you with.
God bless you for the beautiful radio I won at your recent senior citizen's luncheon. I'm 94 years old and live at the local County Home for the Aged.
My family has long since passed away and I rarely have visitors. As a result, I have very limited contact with the outside world. This makes your gift especially welcome My roommate, Maggie Cook, has had her own radio for as long as I've known her. She listens to it all the time, though usually with an earplug or with the volume so low, I can't hear it. For some reason, she has never wanted to share it.
Last Sunday morning, while listening to her morning gospel programs, she accidentally knocked her radio off its shelf. It smashed into many pieces, and caused her to cry. It was so sad.
Fortunately, I had my new radio. Knowing this, Maggie asked if she could listen to mine.
I told her to fuck off.
According to snopes.com:
The story employs many of our fears of old age as the set up for the joke: having to live out the end of our days in a nursing home, no longer having the autonomy of living alone, having so little set aside that affording a small luxury such as a portable radio is out of the question, having to rely on the capricious kindness of strangers (rather than being able to look to family or friends) for small betterments, and being forced through reduced circumstances to share accommodation with a dislikeable person. A dig is also made at those who observe the form of religion but don’t live its teachings - in this case, a roommate who selfishly hogs her radio uses it herself to listen to Sunday morning gospel programs.
It is the unexpected obscenity that completes the piece that gives it punch. We are unaccustomed to thinking of seniors as prone to vulgarity, let alone considering them comfortable with using any of the more crude swear words. The old lady’s answer to the roommate who comes seeking a favour she has herself been unwilling to grant is therefore seen as shockingly incongruous and tickles the funny bone.
At a revival meeting the preacher is promoting faith healing.
“If you believe, you will be healed. All it takes is faith. Believe that the Lord Jesus Christ will cure you and His love will make you whole. Is there anyone here who wants to be healed?”
A little old lady in the front row raises her hand and he calls her on stage. She makes her way slowly on her crutches. He asks her name and she says “Mrs Smith.” He asks whether she has faith and she replies “Yes”. The preacher says “Then go behind the curtain, Mrs Smith, and you will be healed.”
He asks again if anyone else wants healing. Billy Bloggs raises his hand and says “Neth.” He too is called onstage and asked his name/ It is obvious that he has a speech defect resulting from a cleft palate when he says “Nilly Noggs.” Again the preacher asks “Do you have faith?” and receives an answer from Billy Bloggs, “Neth.” “Then go behind the curtain and you too will be healed.”
“Mrs Smith, throw out your left crutch.”
A crutch is thrown over the curtain.
“Mrs Smith, throw out your right crutch.”
As the congregation chants and praises the Lord, with many Hallelujahs, the other crutch came over the curtain.
“Now, Billy Bloggs, have faith, speak to me.”
From behind the curtain comes Billy Bloggs' voice, “Mithith Nith juth fallen on ner narth.”
Two elderly Jewish ladies meet on a street corner.
"So Sadie, how's by you I haven't seen you in years?"
"Marvellous, Rivkeh, things couldn't be better! My son Harold is an accountant making lots of money. My daughter Cynthia married a rich man and both of my children have given me beautiful grandchildren and so much naches...but enough about my joys...so what's by you and your family?"
"Oy Sadie, don't ask! Me, I have such tsores!"
"Nu Rivkeh, I'm so sorry to hear that; but what kind of tsores?"
"It's my son Arnold. He revealed to us that he's a faygeleh."
"Oy, a faygeleh, what a disaster!"
"I know, but we do have a consolation..."
"Vos for a consolation with a faygeleh?"
"Well, he's going with such a nice Jewish boy who's going to be a doctor!"
In a bush church one Sunday morning a preacher asks: ''Anyone with 'special needs' who wants to be prayed over, please come forward to the front by the altar.''
With that, Dave gets in line and when it is his turn the preacher asks: ''Dave, what do you want me to pray about for you?'' Dave replies: ''Preacher, I need you to pray for help with my hearing.''
The preacher puts one finger of one hand in Dave's ear, places his other hand on top of Dave's head and then prays and prays and the whole congregation joins in with great enthusiasm.
After a few minutes, the preacher removes his hands, stands back and asks: ''Dave, how is your hearing now?''
Dave answers: ''I don't know. It isn't until Thursday.''
(nu: A general word that calls for a reply. It can mean, “So?” “Huh?” “Well?” “What’s up?” or “Hello?”)
The President turned to one of his advisors, who happened to be Jewish, and asked, "How come Jews are always so well informed?"
Advisor: "What do you mean sir?"
The President: "It just seems that Jews are always up on the latest news. How do they do it?"
Advisor: "An interesting observation. It could be because when Jews go to the synagogue to daven (pray), they always turn to the person sitting next to them and say "Nu?"
The President: "What? Is it that simple?"
Advisor: "I think so sir."
President: "Well, let's put it to the test. Take me to the nearest Synagogue."
The two board a limousine and are driven to the nearest Synagogue. Once inside, the President sits down among the congregation next to an elderly Jewish man. He looks around, then turns to the man and says softly, "Nu?"
The elderly man leans toward him and replies, "You know, I hear the President is going to daven with us today."
A man started to tell a joke at a party: "Two old jews were on their way..."
Suddenly he was interrupted by a sensitive guest.
"Why do so many jokes begin with Jews?"
"Oh, I'm sorry," apologised the story teller, "I'll start again. Two old Chinese men were on their way to the Synagogue to see the Rabbi..."
There is a big controversy these days concerning when life begins.
In Jewish tradition the foetus is not considered a viable human being until after graduation from medical school.
My mother once gave me two sweaters for Hanukkah. The next time we visited, I made sure to wear one. As we entered her home, instead of the expected smile, she said, "What's the matter? You didn't like the other one?"
Moishe walks into a post office to send a package to his wife. The postmaster says, "This package is too heavy, you'll need another stamp." Moishe replies, "And that should make it lighter?!"