Lost in Translation

A Jewish couple won twenty-million pounds on the lottery. They immediately set out to begin a life of luxury. They bought a magnificent mansion in Knightsbridge and surrounded themselves with all the material wealth imaginable.

Then they decided to hire a butler. They found the perfect butler through an agency, very proper and very British.  He began working for them as soon as the papers were signed. The day after his arrival, he was instructed to set up the dining room table for four, as they were inviting the Cohens to lunch. The couple then left the house to do some shopping.

When they returned, they found the table set for eight. They asked the butler why eight, when they had specifically instructed him to set the table for four. The butler replied, “The Cohens telephoned and said they were bringing the Blintzes and the Knishes!”


phoito credit: “bagels” by Muffet is licensed under CC BY 2.0.


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All Wound Up

There must be something in our family that is drawn to wind-up toys.  My grandmother had a battery-operated creepy/funny monkey that would smash cymbals together as he cackled.

I saw this wind-up pigeon in a store last month and had to have it.  Something about the clacking and the way it bobbed its head as it moved around the room simply cracked me up. Hopefully I’ve solved all the tech difficulties and you can now watch it on my YouTube channel. Hopefully it’ll give you a chuckle or two.  Three, even, if you hit replay.  Wind up the pigeon.


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What I Say ≠ What It Hears

I’ve never achieved the Millennials’ facility of thumb texting. I hold my phone in my left palm and “type” with my right index finger.  It is cumbersome and time consuming. More often than not, I use voice text.

This has led to a lot of chuckles and a near-disaster or two.  I still have no idea what I said that my phone heard as “F… the apple.” Very glad I proofread that one before hitting send. Sometimes, for humor’s sake, I leave them as is, accompanied by what I actually dictated. Low bar for laughter but these days any source of levity is welcome.

Yesterday my friend Iris thanked me for teaching her a new term although she didn’t know what it meant. “Hi, Iris” is what I said. “Air Irish” is what was heard.  Which got me thinking: a new airline? Airborne four-leaf clovers? Lacy curtains on the clothesline?

Last week we attended a wedding in Denver. In an email to someone I referred to it as a “simcha,” the Yiddish word for a happy occasion such as a wedding or Bar/Bat Mitzvah celebration. My phone heard “sim card.” There just might be a tenuous link between a simcha and a sim card. The former definitely generates a lot of memories. 

Just for kicks, and if you’d like, send me any of your recent “Air Irishes.”  I’ll share them in a future column.



          from the simcha, photo courtesy of Martin Darvick

photo of texting girl: Texting” by Ed Yourdon is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.







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