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May 19, 2012

25 handy words that don't exist in English

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Wrote reader Jane B. Kulow, "I love this. I am having a hard time picking a favorite. It might be number 2, if only for the delightful definition. I am most often guilty of number 11."

May 19, 2012 at 04:01 PM | Permalink


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@sherlock... Thank you. Once upon a time I would have tried to make her see the error of her thinking. But I've matured. I realize that everyone is crazy and unreasonable about something (myself included), and once you recognize that someone is in their crazy place, it is a colossal waste of time trying to move them from it. As the saying goes, 'Don't try to teach a pig to sing. It will only waste your time... and it annoys the pig'.

Posted by: Treppenwitz | May 21, 2012 1:05:42 PM

to David Bogner - your post was so interesting on many different levels - the way you conducted yourself in that awkward situation was admirable- sherlock

Posted by: sherlock | May 21, 2012 11:42:40 AM

By the way, love David Bogner's blog. Today's post took me back. I had just turned 8 that summer and was in Jerusalem with my family. The tears, the singing, amazing really, burned forever in my mind. I forwarded it to my Israeli dad. Thanks Joe and David.

Posted by: tamra | May 21, 2012 2:31:18 AM

@sherlock ... I'm not exactly sure why you copied an entire post over here. Either you liked it so much, you wanted to share it with Joe's readers... or you were so wildly offended by it that you were posting it here to try to show Joe the error in linking to such an offensive blog.

Whatever the reason, I would point out that each post on my blog is a tiny slice of my life presented without broader context or intent to persuade or offend. If you found it uplifting, educational or inspiring, I am flattered... but I intended only to share one of many experiences I have. If you found it offensive, demeaning or infuriating, I would remind you again that I only meant to share one of many experiences I have. I'm a real person. I have real world experiences. I share them on my blog. You are free to take from them whatever you like.

Posted by: treppenwitz | May 20, 2012 2:47:39 AM

My favorite is Nunchi, something I'm still working on and so many of us seem to be so lacking of.

Posted by: tamra | May 20, 2012 2:20:59 AM

joe - your link led me to this post on David Bogner's website

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

It ain't gonna happen

I had to go to the Misrad HaPnim (Ministry of the Interior) today to check on a passport that was supposed to be delivered... but hadn't been (long story for another day).

At the entrance to the government building where the ministry is located, there is a typical Israeli security screening set-up, and citizens who are armed need to hand over their weapons for safekeeping (no guns are allowed inside).

After I had handed over my gun and was waiting for my receipt from the guard, a woman who was waiting to go through the metal detector began talking to me in English in something between a loud spoken voice and a soft yell:

"Hey, You... why do you have a gun? Are you a settler? Is it so you can harass, threaten and murder Palestinians? Is it so you can take their land at gunpoint?"
As she spoke, her volume slid slowly up the speak-yell continuum until everyone in the large lobby was staring at her (and me). She was clearly a foreigner - northern Europe or Scandinavia would be my guess - with a non-descript accent that could have been from anywhere... but certainly not a native English speaker.

She was blond and dressed in faded jeans, leather sandals, a loose cotton shirt, and had a red and white Kaffiya looped around her neck. She also wore a cloth purse slung over her shoulder that was made of a material bearing the same check pattern as her Kaffiya.

I've encountered crazies before, and knew better than to feed her mania. So I simply took the receipt for my gun from the guard, assumed my place at the end of the line for the metal detector... and studiously ignored the lunatic.

Not willing to be ignored, she left her place ahead of me on line and walked back to where I was standing... all the while continuing to loudly share her suppositions about my sordid career as a thief of innocent Palestinians land.

In my experience, there is nothing you can say to people who are able to get their crazy on in public before you've even opened your mouth. So I just smiled at her and began shaking my head while softly repeating, "It aint gonna happen" every few seconds as one might say 'amen' in response to another's prayer. I wanted her to understand that I was not going to be drawn into a public, political debate. No way, no how.

Very shortly one of the female security personnel came jogging over and gently (but firmly) steered the woman away from me towards a nearby side-room.

Within seconds two male security guards with curly ear pieces fell in ahead and behind them... and before you could say "Ahmed's your uncle" the quartet had disappeared behind the slamming door of whatever room they reserve for such 'guests'.

Everyone went back to shuffling through the metal detector... and before long it was my turn to go through.

When I was putting my keys and change into the little plastic tray, the guard working the machine leaned in and asked me what I had said to her.

I assured him that I hadn't said anything to set her off.

He said, "But I could hear you saying something over and over to her. I just didn't understand it.".

A little light bulb went on over my head, and I explained the slang expression "It aint gonna happen" to him.

He smiled and whispered, "I'm sure she's probably going to hear something like that in response to her request to extend her tourist visa".

Insha'Allah! (G-d willing)

Posted by: sherlock | May 19, 2012 9:50:55 PM

You guuuuuys!

Posted by: Treppenwitz | May 19, 2012 6:51:43 PM

http://www.treppenwitz.com/ is David Bogner's website — its motto: "Blinding flashes of intellect... just a little too late."

Posted by: bookofjoe | May 19, 2012 6:24:48 PM

"L'esprit de l'escalier" has a German equivalent: Treppenwitz.

Posted by: anatares | May 19, 2012 6:18:26 PM

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