Friday, February 27, 2009

Social Tip #20 - The Holocaust

I'm not saying the holocaust didn't suck ass...

but I don't think it should have been used to terrify me on a daily basis at nine years old. In my house the holocaust was discussed as though it could happen again at any second.

My Mom: Clean your room!

Me: I will later, leave me alone.

My Mom: Clean your room this instant! In the holocaust Jewish children would have loved to clean their rooms instead of having to pick up their brother's and sister's bone shards.

This was not the only time in my youth that I was held hostage by the holocaust. Growing up I was forced to go to Hebrew School three days a week so that I could be unpopular with an entirely different group of children. The school was held in the West Bank region of Phoenix, and all the the upper middle class Juden of Scottsdale were herded on to a giant blue bus with an Isreali flag bullseye painted on it.

Being a group of Jews, our nerves were allready wracked as we were herded onto the bus. It was like, "Uh-oh. Where are you taking us? We've all read the diary!" Worse was that the bus was driven by an actual holocaust survivor. It was like a theme park ride, "Holocaust Sam's Wild Ride." Which would be fine, except that Holocaust Sam had never gotten his driver's liscence. It was like the Rabbi decided that if you could survive that holocaust then you could probably do anything. Naturally all of us kids were terrified because he would run over curbs and drive down wrong lanes, so we screamed bloody murder. Holocaust Sam wasn't having it. He would scream back at us in his heavy German accent, "Quiet! Quiet on zee back of zee bus! I cannot concentrate! Quiet! Augghhhh!" When that wouldn't work he would resort to terror.

"You see ziss?" He would yell as he turned around, back to the road, and shook his fist at us,

"You see ziss?"

He was pointing to his concentration camp numbers. We screamed louder as we hurtled at fifty miles-an-hour down the shoulder of the freeway,

"See ziss?! I can never get rid of ziss! Never!"

It was horrifying. I don't want to say that what happened to him wasn't an abomination, but we were little kids. And besides.... he could get rid of "ziss." It's called tattoo lazer removal. Or at least have it turned into a daisy. C'mon, Holocaust Sam, turn that frown upside-down.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Social Tip #19 - The Apple Store

I am trying to update my blog at the Apple Store, but no one is looking over my shoulder. And I really wish they would, because then the right people would read that you shouldn't announce how much debt you have in a public space.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Social Tip #18 - Respecting Superiors

I used to wear a shirt that read MY FATHER DIED IN A BAKING ACCIDENT. It's a line from a play I was in during high school, everyone who performed in that play got that shirt.

I wore it to work, and my boss asked me what the shirt was about. I told him that a bunch of them were handed out at my father's funeral. There was a terrible oven explosion that took his life, but he had a wonderful sense of humor and would have seen the irony in his death. He would have loved the shirt.

My boss said, "Oh, I'm sorry about that."

I said, "I'm just kidding. My father is a dentist. He is still alive."

My boss said, "My father died from cancer."

I said, "Oh, did you get a shirt?"

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Social Tip #17 - Depression

After staring into my sock drawer for a couple hours I agreed to go to brunch with my boyfriend, where I spent another hour staring at the inside of a tofu scramble wrap. Black beans, salsa, bright yellow tofu. Mistakes have been made.

My boyfriend is a nice person who does not need to put up with my fits of depression but does so anyway because he is an eternal optimist. He doesn't see his girlfriend as half-depressed, he sees her as half-full of opportunities to have crying sex.
Boyfriend: Are you okay? Are you mad at me?
I shook my head "no" without looking at him.
Boyfriend: No to both?

I'm not mad at you. I'm just in a funk.
That's when this curly-haired woman sitting to my right stopped talking on her phone and looked over at us.
Woman: Could you be any more morose? It is a beautiful day, you're in a nice restaurant with this nice guy trying to cheer you up and you can't find anything to be happy about. Are you kidding me?
Fuck. You.
Me: Yes. I'm kidding you. This is a comedy club. Here's my next joke: How could I not be depressed sitting next someone whose life is so empty that she has to shove her unimportance into a stranger's conversation? Now get back on your cell phone and continue to tell your therapist about how other people are dating other people.
I stared at her. She stared back at me.
Woman: Stop staring at me.

I'm just waiting for you look away to be sure my conversation can continue uninterrupted.
The woman did not look away. Why wouldn't she just look away? I picked up her plate and dropped it onto the ground where its shattered into a few big pieces, leaving food remnants on both of our shoes.
Me: Thanks for cheering me up.
That's when I made the woman eat her destroyed meal off the floor and left.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Social tip #16 - Singing in Public

One person singing as they walk down a busy street, that is crazy.

Two or more people singing as they walk down a busy street, that is annoying.

If a person is going to do something that annoying without the protection of friends, they must be crazy.

Social Tip #15 - Charity

A couple summers ago, after a day of Coney Island beer-conning and freak staring, I realized I had lost my keys somewhere on the beach. I couldn't call my roommate because it was Friday night and he had recently become a super-orthodox Jew. As such, god would not allow him to answer his cell. I decided to sit at the 24 hour Dunkin' Donuts around the corner and wait for a yarmulke and curly hair to walk by.*

I found myself a table outside, all of the regular players were there.

The Vampire- This guy with white skin and long dark hair who argued with people. He was ALWAYS there, especially at night, and would be considered homeless except that he always had enough money to buy a coffee and setup shop.

Sad Girl - She technically worked there except she never once served me. She usually just stood outside and smoked and wore dark eyeliner and never smiled. She had a nicer phone than I did. I used to be jealous of her until I caught her out of her uniform one day and she was wearing a one-piece denim jumpsuit. Caught me totally by surprise.

Fatty Watch Checker - This guy sat at a table inside and stared at his watch like he was waiting for someone to come or something to do. Of course, this was just for show. He was just a fat guy in a donut shop.

Biker Chick
- She looked like Emily from the original 90210. She wore a purple eyeshadow, I owned the same color but was too embarrassed to wear it.

A man came up to me.

Man: Will you keep an eye on my baby carriage?
I looked. He was indeed pushing a baby carriage.
Me: I think you should probably take your baby with you inside to buy donuts.
Man: Nah, I don't have a baby in there, just my stuff. It will only be a second.
Me: Okay
The man pushed his carriage next to me and walked away. He did not go into the Dunkin Donuts but instead walked completely out of my sight. He left to die, and I was now responsible for a stroller.

He came back ten minutes later.
Man: Thanks for taking care of this for me
Me: Sure. Why do you have a baby carriage?
Man: It's where I keep my stuff. Cops are less likely to harass me when I'm pushing it around.
Me: Good idea.
Oh. He was homeless. And kind of cute. That summer was marked by desperation for men. I always made excuses for them like, he's homeless, isn't that exciting? I love to travel. He's a magician? Hot. I bet when he ejaculates he just keeps coming and coming in different colors, like they do with scarves.
Man: I have something for you, for doing me a favor.
Me: Oh, no. That's unnecessary.
Man: Just wait a second.
The man started fishing around in his baby carriage. He pulled out what looked like a baby wrapped in paper.
Man: Here. Try this. It's a sandwich, it's delicious.
Me: No, thanks.
Man: No, its really good. Au Bon Pain gives them to me when they can't sell them at the end of they day. I love these things.
Me: No, thanks I'm fine. You keep it.
Man: I have a million of them. I want you to have it for doing me a favor. Besides, you're stuck out here at night, too.
It was true. I was locked out of my house, so for the time being a was technically homeless. I didn't want to hurt his feelings so I took his charity. Plus, it looked kind of good. I wanted to eat the sandwich.

I didn't want the homeless man or any of the other freaks to see me eat it, though. I had my dignity to preserve. I excused myself from the Dunkin Donuts and went to wait for my Jew-mate on our stoop. I sat in the darkness and unwrapped the sandwich. The bread was soggy from the wilted lettuce, vegetable condensation, and vinegar dressing. The cheese was age-melted. I huddled over myself as I ate so that no one would be able to see my homeless sandwich. When people passed by me on the street I jolted up and gave them a guilty look as though I was filming child pornography. The sandwich wasn't good, but it got better, and then worse again by the time I finished it and hid the wrapper in my purse.

My roommate came home, let me in, and asked me to turn the lights on and off for him because god wouldn't let him do it himself. Gross.

* Some people have said that I am a self-hating Jew. That is not entirely true. I just hate myself. And I am Jewish. And though I don't like the Jewish people, they shouldn't take it personally, I should. I am not a self-hating Jew, I am a god-hating Jew.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Social Tip #14 - Criticism

My first trip to the principle's office was when I was five years old. It would have been avoided if I hadn't violated Dale Carnegie's first principle in How to Win Friends and Influence People - Don't criticize others.

When I was little I was sent to a private school for gifted children. Supposedly, an IQ test was administered before kids were accepted, and the students were taught at an advanced level, but I'm pretty sure it was just a regular kindergarten with a special name that appealed to parents. We weren't geniuses, but we were encouraged to believe we were. One of the geniuses showed me how to give myself a hickey on my arm. Another genius taught me to sing "Kentucky Fried Rat Legs, We do Rat Legs Right." I don't remember any of my classmates doing anything super extraordinary, except that one of them later became the fattest person I ever personally met.

One afternoon our teacher set about teaching us the vowels.
Teacher: Repeat after me, A, E, I, O, U, sometimes Y, and sometimes W
Me: W is not a vowel.
Teacher: Yes, it is. Sometimes it is.
Me: No, it isn't.
Teacher: Yes it is, Myka. Don't argue with your teacher.
Me: Fine. Then use it as a vowel in a word.
My mom had to come pick me up at the principal's office.
Mom: Why was Myka taken out of class?
Principal: She told the teacher she was smarter than her.
Mom: Well, was she?
I was back in class the next day. Criticism didn't win me any friends, but I'm pretty suwr it would be hard to inflwence people if I were using "W"s as vowls.

Here's the moral: criticism is allowed if you attend a genius school called "The Genius School."

I'm a chicken genius!