Sunny Days in DC

Jack of All Trades, Master of 3-ish.

Jew, Too??

on February 18, 2013

I used to have another blog, several years ago, and I had a tab on it called, “Ask A Jew,” because, let’s face it: at 1/2 of 1% of the world’s population, odds are high that MOST people will never meet a Jew.

And of those who MAY, I shudder to think that they’ll end up meeting some dickhole.

But on my previous post, I was asked why I still adhere to a religion that had a hand in ruining the marriage of my parents. And it’s a legit question. Why continue to participate in something that clearly negatively impacted my life? Or, religion at ALL, for that matter. After all, I’m a reasonable human being. I believe the theory of Evolution is probably as close as we can get right now to “truth,” but of course, it’s just a theory. Maybe another scientist will come along with something better; I’m open to it. And I believe in Black Holes, and physics, and I believe that Philosophy is worth learning, and that the person who reads lives a thousand lives before they die, while the person who does not read lives only one. 

I think I’m a fairly reasonable person. 

And I know there is NO factual basis for G-D. And I know that the G-D of the”Old Testament” (let’s be honest here) is a bit of an asshole. 

Yes. I just said He was an asshole. 

So… why be Jewish? Why engage in a faith that clings desperately to traditions, so frequently maligns women, and shrouds itself from outsiders?

And my answer to that question is…. Because I don’t think I believe the way other people do.

First (for anyone who hasn’t yawned themselves to death and passed out while trying to read this): I don’t believe the state of ANY religion is the fault of its deity. I think people are assholes, and generally will use whatever tool they have to continue their assholishness. Assholocity? Conjugate as you will. Religion is an easy tool, because it’s so ingrained in the lives of many people. But Judaism has some pretty fuckin cool shit. For example: You cannot take the eggs of a bird, if the mother bird can see you. You have to chase away the mother bird, and THEN you can take the eggs. Why? Because you have to consider how hard it is for her to lose her babies. She sees you take her children, and as a mom myself, I can’t fathom what that must be like.

EMPATHY. Not bad!

If you have pets, you MUST feed them before you eat, because they can’t provide for themselves. Your action of keeping them means that they are not in their natural environment, so they depend on you. Therefore, you have a responsibility to them.

Can you dig it? I can.

Now, none of that deals with the fact that, yes, in Brooklyn, 17 year old girls get married and have, like, 15 kids or some crazy shit. And guess what? We have child molesters, too. And in some synagogues, and I cannot go to these because I fucking lose my shit and start scenes, they make women sit behind curtains, or in another room, lest we tempt the men with our sexy, sexy double-x-chromosome-having-selves.

That. Is. Bullshit.

One time, I was six or seven,  my parents had a fight, and my dad grabbed me and ran out of the house. His Rabbi let my father take me to his house, and spend the night. The Rabbi SHOULD have counseled my father to take me back home, and work through the issue with my mother. He didn’t. You don’t let a parent run out of the house with the child, and terrify the other parent for HOURS.

But…. is that the fault of the religion?

Is Catholicism to blame for the Inquisition, or for child molesters?

I’ve been to Mass. I like Christmas (shhh… don’t tell the other Jews!), and you know what? No. It isn’t.

Those megachurches probably spend enough money, just on electricity, to provide hot meals to poor school kids in their district for a week. Is that the fault of Jesus? I don’t think so. Is G-D to blame because my father’s Rabbi was an idiot? No.

In my hubris, I would hold G-D accountable for a lot of things… but not the dickishness of people. I think I could do without a lot of the pain and suffering that goes on in the world… but I don’t blame G-D for that.

I think the greatest tragedy of humanity is that, for the first time in possibly the history of forever, we live in an era where all the global issues could be resolved; we finally have those tools… but we as a race choose not to use them. We could end hunger in Africa, but then what would the War Lords do for fun? The Muslims and Jews in Israel could live in peace, but then how would the arms dealers and local sheiks make bank?

I don’t blame G-D or religion for any of this. My religion teaches me that there is no Heaven or Hell; there is only what we create in this world, what we leave behind, and how we make others feel.

 

My hell is what I do to myself; my heaven is (I hope!) how my children remember me.

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37 responses to “Jew, Too??

  1. I didn’t know scripture says to feed the animals first! That’s just good farming but it happens to also be my personal pet policy. I knew I wasn’t going to like the woman who was staying in my condo last month because she had bought a burrito for herself but didn’t have any food for her two dogs. That just struck me as IMMORAL. PETS EAT FIRST! Of course I offered her my backup emergency dog food which she used up instead of buying her own. I didn’t realize it was also Unjewish of her (she was too). Is Unjewished capped? Is it even a word? I will try to remember what you said — the religion is not the people. Or it is, but not just the creepy ones. There are lovely things about Judaism that are very beautiful and the idea that my great-great-great-greats were saying the same words I am on Friday night moves me to tears. Which is also why it’s hard to have a Christmas tree, no matter how much you like them. Am I right?

    • H. Stern says:

      Yeah, it’s a strange, but intense, feeling for me when I see a menorah in a museum from, say, 700 years ago. And I think to myself, “The person who used that said the same words I say. They held it, and maybe showed their children how to light it, and we’re all a part of this same experience, regardless of how distant we are in time.” It’s…. it’s very hard to explain, You either get it, or you don’t. But it’s beautiful. Like being a part of a perfectly resonating echo.

      And I love Christmas tress! I love Christmas… but not for me. And that’s another battle I will have to fight. Eventually, Max will see his friends having trees and presents, and he’ll want it, too. I don’t blame him. Being Jewish means you actively CHOOSE not to be a part of the dominant culture. You set yourself apart. It’s hard, and it isn’t for everyone, and I don’t judge people who get trees. I can’t do it, but I don’t judge.

      And yes, it’s Jewish law to feed the pets first, and to be kind to animals if you can. It’s also against Jewish law to bully or humiliate another person. For example, it’s an actual offense to publican mock another person.

      There’s good stuff in there…. it’s just sucky because a bunch of jerks hijack shit, and then *I* look like the fruitcake asshole for being all, “I’m member of this faith,” and people are like, “The one where men fuck their wives through sheets?!”

      NO. NO ONE FUCKS ANYONE THROUGH A DAMN SHEET. I DON’T EVEN KNOW HOW YOU WOULD DO THAT.

      AND I DON’T HAVE HORNS, DAMMIT!!!!

      • H. Stern says:

        Jesus christ. I just saw all my spelling mistakes. In order:
        *Trees
        *Publicly
        sonofabitchi’mgoingtobed

      • Um…So you got your horns cut off? Just kidding!!! But I have seriously met people in Europe who thought we had our horns removed at birth. That was an awkward relationship with an Italian guy, let me tell you. 🙂 I think living in DC has made you feel excessively Jew-y. Try moving to New York and you’ll feel like a straight shiksa compared to people there! Which I actually love about NYC. EVERY shop window has a menorah at the holidays. Jewish is like the default religion the way Christian is every place else. Since my Dad died, we have let my Mom have a QVC plastic Xmas tree for a couple of years but this year we just refused to bring it up from the garage. It’s just not us, you know?

        • H. Stern says:

          I’m actually FROM Brooklyn, and my mom almost sent me to a Yeshiva… which is where I get my love-hate relationship with the faith. During my interview, I was wearing a knee-length skirt. I was told that if I had the HONOR of going to this POS place, I would be wearing real skirts, not some “belt.” Implying that I was quite the little 12 year old slut.

          And I didn’t know there was such a thing as a non-Jew until I was around 5 years old. Everyone I knew was Jewish. That’s like finding out there are people with three arms. It never occurs to you, because everyone you know has TWO!

          Yeah, to the tree. I get it. Meh. You gave it a shot… get a pretty menorah, and call it a day.

          • We didn’t even do the menorah this year so I said to my Mom, “No chanukah! No tree!” Harsh, right? 🙂 I was uncomfortable with the tree all along, just going with it. Well, since you were raised in Brooklyn amongst the Orthodox no wonder you have culture shock in DC! It’s the most goyish city I have ever lived in. It makes me nervous, it’s so goyish there. I feel like I’m oozing Jewy all over their perfect little pants suits!

  2. Tali says:

    So, I’m from the Christian persuasion and I still really relate to this. I don’t like “religion” or “church” but I still believe in G-d and all the “Christiany” things. I hate how some people out there make Christians look like absolute assholes and I just want to kick them in the teeth. There are ridiculous people for every religion and sadly, that’s who gets remembered and that’s the face those religions get. I wish I knew some Jewish people but living in the buckle of the Bible belt of the South makes that tricky. I’m sure there are some, just not in my circle. And I’ve always thought menorahs were beautiful and desperately wanted one when I was a kid. (Our church was weird in that we celebrated some of the Jewish feasts and the kids had bar and bat mitzvahs as well as all the Christian stuff so I felt we should also have a menorah. I was shot down.)

    I also have an extreme dislike for megachurches for the reason you named: they spend so much money on themselves that SHOULD go to people who really need it. Makes me a little sick.

    And I love your description of heaven and hell. I may steal it for myself. 😉

    • H. Stern says:

      Yeah, Jews tend to move in communities. If you can find a kosher restaurant or business, you’ll find Jews. But oddly, we tend to be even more suspicious of Christians who sort of try to keep one foot in each faith. It’s weird, I know, and don’t take it personally. It would confuse and anger a lot of Jews to hear that you or your friends had bar and bat mitzvot… personally, I don’t know how *I* feel.

      Now that I think about it… I honestly think that if it opens you up, and makes you more interested in learning more about other people, then how bad can it be? I’d be perfectly happy to be the first Jew you call a friend!

      • Holy crap it took me way too long to figure out how to reply here.

        It makes me sound horribly naive and narcissistic, but I honestly never thought about it being offensive that we had mitzvot. It probably would make it worse that I don’t think it was REALLY anything like the real custom in practice. We did have to get up in front of the church and read, but I think the similarities really ended there. No big party like you see on tv and in movies, just a pot-“blessing” (my church was ridiculous) afterwards with a giant sheet cake.

        I’m really sorry if it offends you or makes you uncomfortable and I’ll gladly call you my first Jewish friend! I hope I don’t come off stalkerish when I comment on your posts. I relate to a lot of what you write. I think we’d be friendly in real life, once I got over my hideous shyness and we talked.

        • H. Stern says:

          It doesn’t make you sound horribly ANYTHING. I’ve been thinking a lot about your comment, and you know, at the end of the day, I sorta think that this is MY problem, not yours. I was reading the post by The Bloggess (http://thebloggess.com/2013/02/xanax-makes-me-a-better-mom-because-its-xanax-now-fuck-off/) and it made me think about what we do to get through our days. So you know what? If mitzvot and all that makes you feel happy, and helps you get through the day, then do it. If I have a problem with you having a positive relationship with aspects of the Jewish faith (which, after really considering, I probably don’t mind really), then it would be my problem.

          And you don’t come off stalkerish when you comment. Now, if you were sitting outside my window at night and collecting my cats’ hairballs, we might have to have another conversation. So, you know… please don’t do that. Also because my window is right in front of some really thorny bushes, and then you’d get all scraped up, and I’d feel badly. JEWISH GUILT!! (Do you have that, too?)

          • Oh good, glad not to horrifically offend. And I’ll stay out of the bushes. I’ve got my own cat’s hairballs to clean up a lot of the time. Mostly I let my husband do it, though.

            I managed to avoid the Jewish guilt. I think the only thing I feel much guilt about is family. My mom’s really good at making me feel guilty about things.

  3. i am really digging this.
    i don’t know if you saw larry david on curb your enthusiasm with the affair with his dry cleaner and the hole in the sheet episode, but it might be on tonight on the tv land marathon . he is so mishuginah.why he does this ,i don’t know.

    • H. Stern says:

      GAH! Glad you said that. I was wondering if it was too heavy for this blog. But then I remembered it was MY blog, and I can write whatever I want. So I wrote it. And maybe it doesn’t suck?

      I’ve never seen Curb Your Enthusiasm. And I didn’t like Seinfeld. I’m a bad Jew, I guess. 😉

      • LOL. yes it is your place…and well you are the only place in the world i would say something like that.

        i could have lived w/o seinfeld too, but not curb your enthusiasm…i’ve never heard of the sheet thing until him and you..LOL

        it’s like LD had a camera in my boyfriend’s car and then made the show…last night they showed his wife’s aunt’s funeral and he asked if he could go play golf….the same thing happened to me… he goes this is taking to long, our funeral’s in n.y. don’t last this long (s.c.)…it’s a jewiah funeral not a usa states funeral.

  4. Dude. This is super deep and awesome. When I first started reading, I wanted to leave a comment like, ‘heehee, assholocity.’ But by the time I got to the end, I was nodding along with the tragedy of humanity issue.
    Thanks for the unique combination of laughs, and perspective.

  5. The Frantic Blogster says:

    That thousand lives quote, it’s from A Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones). Awesomeness.

    This was a great post. I do have a question, though. With all the things you do and don’t believe in, would you really consider yourself a Jew or rather an independent “believer”? Someone who believes in God and sticks to certain rituals or notions, but does not choose to go along in everything the religion prescribes? See, this reminds me a little of Life of Pi. Pi was a Hindu. Then he discovered Christianity and Islam, and became both, next to remaining a Hindu. He was of the notion that certain things (i.e. rules/ideas) in the religions didn’t do God any good (not any bad either, it was just useless). He just believed in God, and any way to praise that God was good enough for him. He didn’t believe God was responsible for people’s actions either.

    Also, I like what you said about how we’re capable of ending hunger in Africa and stop all the wars, but don’t do it because there are people who benefit this misery. There are too many people who believe they are necessary evils, and we need to get the word out that they are choices, not circumstances. Thanks for saying that.

    P.S. I see you didn’t manage to get that blog award thingy up. That’s ok. WordPress can be a btch lol.

    • H. Stern says:

      Backwards to forwards:

      I tried the awards thingy. Am a loser; cannot manage it. Also, I was super sleepies, so that might have had a role.

      I absolutely, COMPLETELY, believe that the bullshit in the middle east has NOTHING to do with the people, or even politics. It’s not about land, religion, history, wars, or anything else. I believe, with every fiber of my being, that there are people who gain from keeping the chaos going. I believe that the people who live there, Christian, Jew, Muslim, or Druze, have FAR more in common than anyone realizes. But I think that there are people who gain a lot by encouraging the suffering of the people. And I think if everyone stopped and looked at who was telling them to be afraid, to hate, that they would realize that working together would help everyone get to their goals. But, sadly, I also don’t think it will happen in my lifetime, if ever.

      I’ve never read Life of Pi, but your description REALLY makes me want to pick it up!

      So, a basic point of Judaism is to discourage converts. You can take that how you will, but I think, to me, that make a powerful statement. To me it says that G-D places people on a path. I was placed on the path of Judaism, and my friend Parul was placed on the path of Hinduism. My path is right for me, but wouldn’t be right for her…. and that’s ok. I think, like what you described of Pi, that to limit yourself to only believing that ONE faith is correct, is to try and limit G-D as well… and how can you limit something to staggeringly boundless? I have such profound respect for G-D, that I don’t even write the whole name. Not that I think some bully in the sky will smack me down for using an “o,” but because writing “G-D” to me is a way of saying, “This is something beyond words. This is bigger than even I can say…” and to think ONE religion gets it all right?

      Doubtful.

      As to your question, do I REALLY consider myself a Jew. Hmm. It’s actually a really big question, because there is no “Jew” without the community. We are, at our heart, a GROUP. You really don’t have the concept of a truly independent relationship with G-D. So can I be a Jew, if I’m just “A” Jew?

      That’s a fantastic question.

      …………………………

      I don’t have an answer.

  6. great post! these are ancient beliefs in a modern world, and i doubt g-d would only be choosing a load of old guys with beards to be the prophets now… 😉
    you might be interested in this post i wrote a while back? el hillel was a great guy…but we must think for ourselves…all good wishes
    http://singingbirdartist.wordpress.com/2013/01/26/holocaust-memorial-day

    • H. Stern says:

      I’m leaving your link up, because I believe that, even though I vehemently disagree with your POV on Israel, that you have a right to your opinions.

      This isn’t the place for a debate on all that, but I do agree that all religions have to be viewed with a eye toward the time and place in which they evolved. And “EVOLVED” is the right term, for me, because a stagnant religion is one that loses people. One of the things I like about Judaism IS all the debating and the fighting, and a million-and-one opinions about the littlest things! If you can make an argument for an interpretation of something in Torah, then there are probably at least 10 Jews who will follow you.

      That’s kinda cool.

  7. fddancewear says:

    Love your train of thought about blame. The blame game is the number one offense, today. I was formerly a stick it to the man kind of person and now I am a stick it to the man kind of Catholic. A lot like you in many ways except I am kinda counting on that heaven thing.
    I am glad you are paying attention. Most people are too distracted to pay attention to anything but themselves.

  8. I’m Jewish, not because of my beliefs, but it’s because it’s who I am and I can’t deny it, even if I wanted to. It’s in my mannerisms, my paranoias, my eating habits. That said, I have a huge amount of disdain for religion and in particular my religion.

    I’ve seen schmucky Rabbis, religious zealot jerks, children getting married and having children. It drove me away from actively practicing. Like Hannah, it tore my family apart.

    Judaism is more then a belief system and marginalized women and even more then the higher power it centers itself around. It wraps you in a culture of personality quirks and attitudes that are unique among cultures.

    So to everyone who says, why not just leave? I get it. I tried. But I am who I am and I can have my bacon and eat my gefilte fish too.

    • H. Stern says:

      That said… again…. I don’t blame Judaism. Is there stupid shit? Yeah, absolutely. But, how much of the things that damaged you and me were RELIGION, and how much were people trying to one-up each other with how “observant” they could be? Walls around walls around walls, my friend.

  9. my gay mom says:

    I’m friends with the lovely people who run Ardent Atheist. They tape their podcast at the John Lovitz Comedy Club in Universal City. I think you would be a great guest talking about your beliefs. It’s extremely irreverant. Not sure where you’re based, but let me know if you’re interested. http://ardentatheist.com/

    • H. Stern says:

      Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaand now I’m addicted to the podcast and have been listening all day. Thank you for the offer, and I’d love to. They’d eat me alive, but sure!

      • my gay mom says:

        Cool, I’ll call them later today. I know they generally prefer guests to be in L.A. for the energy or whatever that mojo is. But sometimes they do call-ins. Quick question: is the story about how your dad found G-D (yarmulke) in the street true? Because it’s awesome.

        • H. Stern says:

          Well, I am delightful over the phone, OR in person, but if it doesn’t work out, I just appreciate you thinking of me!

          And yes. He found one in the gutter, and thought it was a sign from G-D. Seriously. I was also taught that not to cross my lower-case “t” in the top third of the line, lest it look like a cross, and people think I was a Christian.

          I want you to read that again, because even as a child I thought “Wow… that’s a whole new level of bullshit!!!”

  10. lillylion says:

    Holy shitballs (as close as I get to organized religion there, sorry), this gave me literal goosebumps. “What would the War Lords do for fun?”

    • H. Stern says:

      I absolutely believe that. There is NO reason that Jews and Muslims in that region shouldn’t live relatively peacefully. We have a tremendous amount of shared history. I think people use fear mongering as a way to control both sides.

      There’s a FANTASTIC blogger named “Sandmonkey.” He’s Egyptian, but was educated here in the US. He tells stories of how kids cartoons scare children into fearing Jews, and how his grandmother thinks that if you turn your head REALLY fast, you can see the demons on your shoulders that Jews set upon non-Jews. Seriously?? If I had Demons at my disposal, I WOULD MAKE THEM CLEAN MY LIVING ROOM, NOT ATTACK SOME RANDOM OLD EGYPTIAN LADY.

      Logic, people. Use it. Love it.

  11. genext13 says:

    I have a large breasted Jewish wife but neither of us believes in religion. I personally believe in something other than us but that is something personal that we all have to come to terms with. You do not need religion to be or practice morality. Actually, it seems that most immoral acts are committed in the name of religion (look at history). My wife is Jewish because it is also a culture. We will send our children to Hebrew School because a religious foundation is important not because we practice or believe in the religion. We celebrate the Jewish holidays because we could not find a nice glade where we could dance naked in the moonlight one rite of spring/winter is as good as another.
    Religion is not about G-D or spirituality, it talks about G-D but then only relates it to the social world. Priests and rabbis are the social workers. Monks are the ones who practice spirituality and attempt to know G-D through spiritual practice. This applies to all monks in all traditions (obviously there are exceptions but this is their main purpose). In our society, I think there are a lot more spiritual people than we realize in spite of the cultural pressure to believe in one person’s deity over another. We are “monks without monasteries” as Caroline Myss puts it.

    PS Have you read Scott Adams’ book, God’s Debris? (should I omit the ‘o’ even if it is in a title?) I think you might like it.

    • H. Stern says:

      You know what’s so funny? mygaymom.com (you should read, because it’s HILARIOUS) turned me on to this podcast “Ardent Atheist.” In it, they mention this “morality trap,” which I agree with. The argument goes something like: religious zealots will say the world NEEDS religion, because religion dictates morals. But much like you, and them, I completely disagree with that.

      I think AT ONE POINT, that was true. At one point, we NEEDED Rabbis to say, “Look shmuck, you have to bathe at least once a month. Why? Uhhh…. because G-D says so. And you can’t work your servants or slaves or animals to death. Everybody gets a day off… or else G-D will get SUPER pissy!” At one time, yeah, you HAD to make that argument, because when every day is a struggle to survive, and you just sacrificed a fatted calf in hopes that your entire family won’t die from diarrhea, then yes, that’s the kind of argument you have to make.

      But I think the reason I can support science (I shouldn’t say I BELIEVE in science, because as Neil deGrasse Tyson says: The nice thing about science is that it’s right, whether you believe in it or not) is that my MORALS are the base for my faith, not the other way around.

      Meaning: if I get up on the metro and give an older man my seat, I don’t do it because I’m worried that some bully-in-the-sky is going to give me afterlife-demerits; I do it because it’s the right thing to do. My morality is the foundation upon which I rest my faith, and that’s a really important point, because it means that if someone comes up to me and says, “G-D wants you to hate fags,” I can choose to say, “That’s not my G-D.”

      It’s also really about Service. My faith, even my G-D, serves me, not the other way around. Should the day ever come where I serve my faith, then you get into the problem of someone convincing me that G-D wants me to protest at the funerals of soldiers, and I think, “Well, if that’s what G-D wants!” It’s unquestioning, graceless obedience, and my own personal studies of the Torah (and they are admittedly little!) doesn’t tell me that that’s what I should be doing, or who I should be. When your faith serves *you*, and when you find a faith that you can layer on your own moral foundation (IF that’s something you want), then you can look at the person and say, “That’s bullshit. No.”

      Sorry for the epic response, but I’ve been really thinking this through over the past few days. This post, and the comments, have also made me consider why I WANT a faith, when honestly, I don’t think I NEED a religion… and my inherent dislike of organizing religions. Oy. I was better off not thinking about all of this.

      Anyway, I am ALWAYS looking for a good read, and I appreciate suggestions. Now, here’s one back: Go find yourself a book called “Beware of God,” by Shalom Auslander.

      We’ll report back to each other! 😉

      • genext13 says:

        I will go get that book and we can talk/write (whatever). One thing I would suggest that has helped me, meditation. Not just OMing but being silent. Asking questions, waiting for answers. This is a way of searching without actually searching for answers. Deborah King has a simple meditation technique.
        http://www.deborahkingcenter.com

        • H. Stern says:

          Thanks for this. I actually went to a Quaker high school and they were big on meditation and silence, so it’s not foreign to me.

          But maybe I should get back into it…

  12. ekgo says:

    I was going right along with you, thinking, “Wow! This is so amazing! I wish more people felt this way! This is awesome!” (though we feed our pets when we feed ourselves because our pets = our children and we have dinner as a family. No, no, they don’t eat at the table. They eat NEXT TO the table) and then I got to the WarLords in Africa and it all derailed from there.
    Because:
    Once upon a time a few Christmas Eves ago, we – the family – were all at my Dad’s house doing our family thing. It was time for dessert and our dad’s wife has made a tradition of having peppermint ice cream, no matter what other dessert is available. Gabe and I went to sit with my brother’s kids (ages 8 and 5 at the time, I think) in the dining room. We’re all eating our peppermint ice cream when Gabe tells the kids how lucky we are because little children in Africa don’t have ice cream. Then he says, building up to a joke, “Do you know why kids in Africa don’t have ice cream?” And the 8-year-old thinks for a second and then she says, “Because of the War Lords. They take everything they want and won’t let the people have anything.” I choked on my own ice cream because what 8-year-old middle-class white American girl knows ANYTHING about War Lords in Africa? Apparently, everyone in my niece’s class knew about the oppressive, ice-cream stealing African War Lords. I barked a laugh because, come on, that was a kick ass response from a thoughtful, reasoning kid. But her little brother decided to give us an example of what it must be like for those poor children and he put on an evil whiny voice, not so different from Kim Jong Il’s in “Team America” only without the bad Korean accent, and he says, “Eeehhhnnn. I’m a WAR LORD (pronounced Woooaaarrr loorrrrrd). GIVE ME ALL YOUR ICE CREAM OR I’LL CUT YOUR FACE!” Dude, he was FIVE. He eschews violence and is the most quiet, sensitive soul I’ve ever met and he’s telling us how Woooaaar loooorrrrds threaten to take people’s ice cream by face-cutting.
    Ice cream came out my nose because I was laughing too much. The rest of the family came in to find out why we were laughing like lunatics and my nephew had to re-create the experience for them while my niece kept chiming in that she was the one who came up with War Lords in the first place. Finally, everything calmed down and the 5-year-old chirped up with, “No, the real reason [kids in Africa don’t have ice cream] is because it’s too hot and it melts” which was going to be Gabe’s punchline all along. You know, because we like to propagate myths about other continents and are apparently doing a good job.

    • H. Stern says:

      Your family and my family should either ALWAYS hang out, or never EVER meet. I’m torn. But that story was complete awesomesauce!!

      • ekgo says:

        Pretty much, we’d just have to keep our parents out of it all because we’d all get in trouble really, really fast. But if it’s just the siblings on down (meaning our generation and our kids), then we are going to have a kick ass time.

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