Author Your Supernatural Experiences  (Read 135072 times)

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Re: Your Supernatural Experiences
« Reply #210 on: November 04, 2011, 05:37:56 PM »
Oh no, then I have given the wrong impression entirely. I do very few things well, but such is life. Initially, I thought b_dubb's comment was just snarky, but then, I thought, well, maybe it was sincere - so I treated it both ways. I find reading "tone" and humor through the net is sometimes very difficult.

You underestimate yourself, Avi.  But don't let us here on this forum discourage that.  It must be what makes you so humble.  You're a rare bird ... and a keeper!  ;D

Re: Your Supernatural Experiences
« Reply #211 on: November 04, 2011, 05:50:17 PM »

You underestimate yourself, Avi.  But don't let us here on this forum discourage that.  It must be what makes you so humble.  You're a rare bird ... and a keeper!  ;D

^ Yeah, that. ^       :)   

Re: Your Supernatural Experiences
« Reply #212 on: November 06, 2011, 03:38:37 AM »

You underestimate yourself, Avi.  But don't let us here on this forum discourage that.  It must be what makes you so humble.  You're a rare bird ... and a keeper!  ;D

Thanks to you and Treading Water; you're very sweet. I don't recognize the person you're talking about, though. I am not at all humble - my family members are screaming with hilarity at the very idea. I have been blessed with people who can (mostly) put up with me. It required supernatural intervention from beyond the grave, definitely. I never believed in paranormal occurrences, but now, I know there is a g-d, for the people who came into my life, and especially, for my wife. She is, as my grandmother said, the perfect woman for me.

I really have written a book about my interactions with my in-laws and with American and Irish cultures, but I have been forbidden from publication. Nonetheless, the yetzer hara is telling me to put up an excerpt (hee-hee):

Chapter 4

   In the years after our marriage, military assignments and educational pursuits kept us away from the home front. We’d even managed to have three children without visiting Ohio soil, but now, under heavy pressure, we had no choice. We would attend the Kramer family Pesach (Passover, or as one Jewish comedian remarked, it’s a Hebrew word meaning family argument) in Cleveland. I referred to the upcoming event as Kramer vs. Kramer, much to Beni’s irritation.
   It is also important to understand the concept of the yetzer hara, the evil impulse, before we proceed. Oh, you are already familiar with evil impulses? Good. When it comes to my in-laws, I am riven with evil impulses. Now, I have already described the murderous impulses of my mother-in-law, so you see, it’s not just me that has this problem. But my first meeting with my father-in-law did not endear me to the Kramer clan (a very a propos term, as you will see), either. My father-in-law is an Englishman of the old school (for he himself has said it, and it’s greatly to his credit). After we had exchanged the standard pleasantries, he said, “I say, old boy, you sound rather Irish.” If only he had a monocle, he could have peered at me through it.
   “Um, yes, well, you see…” I fumbled through the means by which I acquired my Irish accent.
   “Indeed,” he responded coolly, as though he didn’t believe me. What will the IRA think of next, I ask you.
   He turned back to his photographic lenses. This was one of the many hobbies he pursued, I believe, in an attempt to shield himself from having to deal with reality. For years, we received gifts of his framed photographs on holiday occasions. The snake in the back yard was a real prize. Of course, at that moment, my yetzer hara was busy humming Gilbert and Sullivan ditties. Papa was indeed the very model of a modern major-general - with an added soupcon of Disraeli. I had a very strong urge to snap my heels and salute. Thankfully, Beni appeared at that moment, and he said, “Oh, there you are, my dear,” as though he couldn’t quite fathom why we had come together in this place and time.
   But here we were, ten years later, proceeding across the lawn. I felt rather like Cu Chulain, about to violate all his geasa (fated restrictions that if transgressed, result in death).
   “Well,” I asked, “Where’s the back door?”
   “What?”
   “The little nigs and I are going to use the service entrance.”
   “Avi,” my wife said in that tone. “You’d better ratchet down that Irish.”
   So, it was the Irish that needed dampening, now. “But I might have need of some insensate anger, you know.”
    “Avi,” tightly, with exasperation.
    “Ok, I need the drugs.”
   “What drugs?”
   “I’m going to slip your mother a mickey.”
   “Avi, I’m going to kill you.”
   “Alright, but can I have a last request?”
   “What?” weary and resigned.
   “Do me, and I’ll convince you to let me live, I swear.” With that, I put the baby carrier on the lawn, grabbed my gorgeous wife, and laid a kiss on her with all the intensity I could muster. “Please,” I thought, “Run away with me now.” Naturally, my in-laws had opened the front door and were staring at us. My wife’s twin sister yelled, “Woo-hoo!” while my father-in-law, in his understated English way, said, “My goodness, old boy,” in a manner that, had he been an American, would have conveyed, “What a loser!” I pictured him holding an ‘L’ to his forehead, and giggled with evil. At this point, the yetzer hara had taken total control.
   Beni ran to her family and I ran after her. I touched the mezuzah at the front door, you know, to remind me to be good little Jewish boy, and kissed my finger tips. Since my mother-in-law was watching me, I felt compelled to follow up by giving them a sensuous lick. Beni hit me, hard, in the shoulder. “Get control of yourself. Now!” she hissed. I smiled.
   While Beni hugged her parents, I stood in the living room, observing the family portrait gallery. I stopped in front of an old photograph of a woman draped in plaid. “Who’s this?” I asked.
   “That,” my sister-in-law answered, “is Granny Davis. She converted to Judaism to marry our great-great-grandfather.” I liked this sister-in-law. “Oh, really,” I said with full-on Irish intonation (there is nothing comparable in the American dialect, but Disraeli got it and his upper lip lost some starch). I gave my mother-in-law, General Patton, a venomous glare. Disraeli? Patton? Who knew? Well, it was quite obvious to me that the yichus-meter employed in this household was not a sensitive instrument at all, at all. I glanced down to the display case below the portrait, and what did I see? A full set of Highland bagpipes. The yetzer hara began to sing a song by Wild Cherry in my ear, but the lyrics were changed to “Play those fuckin’ bagpipes, Jew boy.” My expression was like unto Jack Nicholson’s in the Shining, I’m sure. “Heeeere’s Avi!” If only I had known, I would hae worn ma plaidie.
   I picked up those pipes and pumped them full of air. I could see my wife’s face, a rictus of horror, reflected in the glass of the portrait. Without turning about, so I could avoid looking my dear wife in the eye, I gave a short wail to assess ma tunin’. The resonators were wide open. Gevalt in himmel, let the pibroch begin. Ha! You didn’t know that I was a piper for the IDF, did ye, ye auld scunners? I could see the shade of Granny Davis, step-dancing with glee, alongside. The Kramer clan were not amused, but the yetzer hara was busy thinking of the means to upstage this little performance. My brain rapidly reviewed the Rolodex of Scottish songs most insulting to English sensibilities, but no, wasn’t the auld scunner stationed in the six counties, the dirty blaguard? Sure, ‘tis the Irish who provided me with the repertoire I needed. After a rousing rendition of Come Out, You Black and Tans, I announced, “These are some very fine rosewood pipes. Wherever did you get them?”
   No one spoke. I could see Beni’s baleful expression of “Dear G-d, what was I thinking?” but thankfully, her sister spoke up, “Da –amn! Elijah is coming to our house, tonight, brothers and sisters!” Beni grabbed my arm, and we retired to an ante-room (actually, a laundry room). She remonstrated with me vociferously and I replied, “Kiss me, you demon!”
   Instead, she slapped me (those Kramer women can get a bit physical) and burst into tears. “How could you do this to me? I begged you…I begged you,” and it was then that I heard the pain in her voice. It is said, a woman’s tears are stronger than the yetzer hara. I realized that I had behaved like a complete boor and that the cost would be high. With a heavy heart, I left Beni sitting on a pile of laundry and I returned sheepishly to the living room.
   “I’d like to apologize for my childish behavior,” I said. “It was unforgivable,” but then the Israeli took the reins. Uh-oh. Prepare for the sort of bluntness both the English and Irish agree is very déclassé. “I had given up on the expectation that I could ever make you respect me; it’s very clear that you do not, even before this spectacle. I’m afraid I ceased to care for your opinion at all and wanted to shove it in your faces. But in doing so, I hurt your daughter, the person I love more than life itself, the mother of my children-” the yetzer hara, with a final attempt to wrest the levers back into its hands, wanted me to add, “And flesh of my flesh, bee-yotches,” with a salacious wink - but thankfully, the Jew in me gained the upper hand at last. “Strangely enough,” I wore a look of wonderment as the truth of what I was going to say hit me, “I invite your ill-opinion of me, because it makes me a better man and a better husband and father - um, usually. I don’t want you to forgive me. I never want to forget that I managed to make my wife ashamed of me, and for that, I am ashamed.”
   Disraeli was so uncomfortable, he was squirming. Try as he might to dismiss what I had said as a typically whimsical, Irish BS-a-thon, he couldn’t quite make the pieces fit. He finally said, with some grudging admiration, “You’re a right mamzer (bastard).” Phew! I had been picturing myself chained to a slab, my face painted blue, being drawn and quartered while I belted out, “Am Israel Chai!” as the headin’ man brought down the axe.
   
   Yet, there was still Beni. “Dear G-d, please don’t let her leave me,”  I looked up and I prayed harder than I had ever done in my life, tears in my eyes (and not for the last time that evening, I might add). I returned to the laundry room, but she turned away from me. I ran forward and buried my face in her lap, “I’m so sorry, Beni. I’m so sorry,” I cried. There was no humiliation too low for me now. That’s when I felt her belly quivering. Her hand came down to caress my head, and I looked up to see she was laughing.
   “Avi,” she said, “Do you think we ought to get the baby off the lawn?”

   I dashed onto the front lawn and made a bee-line for the bassinet. My sweet little baby girl was being comforted by a handful of judgmental neighbors.
   “Forget something?” one asked pointedly.
   “Yes, well, it was difficult to hear the child over the bagpipes,” I answered gamely. The neighbors continued to stare at me dubiously, probably wondering if they should notify the authorities.
   “He has a smart mouth,” my delightful mother-in-law proclaimed to the world, making a big production of taking the child away from me. Between Mama and the neighbors, I had no legs left upon which to stand, so I surrendered, I thought, gracefully – considering that I had created a scandal bigger than Portnoy and his chopped liver. My redeemed first-born son, an old soul from birth, remained with me as everyone cleared off.
   “Yossi, why didn’t you say something?” I asked, sotto voce.
   Israeli through and through, he shrugged, “Nu, Abba, you were busy.” He smiled, the light of revelry in his eyes. No, this child was not merely 9 years old – couldn’t be.

   Tensions only slightly abated, the sun had set, the candles were lit, darling Yossi had recited the Four Questions, and I was coping with my bitter herbs and bread of affliction. Knowing I was a vegetarian, Mama had slammed down the platter of lamb shanks right in front of me, and dealt them out like a deck of cards, waving each under my nose.
   Beni’s sister said, “Mom, quit being an a-hole,” shaking her head.
   “Listen, I should care, the way he behaved tonight?” she pointed at me with a greasy shankbone, nearly dropping it on my plate.
   I supposed I had to take the high ground. “Avital,” I said, “I appreciate it, but don’t talk to your mother that way.”
   “He speaks,” Mama intoned, by way of thanks.
   Avital wasn’t going to go quietly. “It’s just because she wanted Avigail [author’s note: I call her Beni] to marry that Seymour Shapiro.”
   What! Had I really been in the running with some eejit named fucking Seymour, of all things? The thought of any man having any part of Beni’s heart was a crushing blow. Mama saw it and went in for the kill.
   “He’s a doctor.”
   “So what?” Avital battled on, “He’s a doctor with a stick up his ass. Anyway, Avi’s a doctor, too.” Well, I wasn’t so sure I wanted to be inducted into the stick up the ass club.
   “Doctor-shmoctor! What kind of doctor is a doctor of music?” contempt riddled the Fifth Question.
   I burned with jealousy. Ten years, and she never thought to mention this childhood betrothal, meaningless as it was? I turned a hurt look on her and I felt Beni’s hand on my leg, inching slowly upward. I jumped, tried to grab her hand, and Mama said, “What? He’s having seizures, now?”
   Did I mention how much alcohol accompanies the Seder? Yo-ho, blow the man down! Mama was a mean drunk, no surprise. Beni was now tipsy, yet deftly rubbing my crotch, as if to reassure me where her loyalties lay. G-d help me, I was still a young man, and I knew the second I got an erection, Mama was going to ask me to get something from the kitchen.
   “Beni,” I warned, giving her a stern look.
   “Quit calling my daughter Beni, you…you gonif (thief),” Mama slurred.
   I believed the yetzer hara had been defeated through the spirituality of the rituals and blessings, but it rushed back with a vengeance. I envisioned pulling Beni’s pants down and having my way with her, right there on top of the shank-bones. Take that, Portnoy! Then, I felt Beni lower my zipper.
   I pushed my plate aside, dropped my head to the table and said quietly, “Beni, you must stop. Please.” Something in my tone must have made the right impression, because she patted my leg and removed her hand. Now, I had to figure out how I was going to zip up my pants. Surreptitiously, like.
   “Avi, will you bring in the coffee?” Mama asked innocently.
   “Mom, will you quit calling him Ay-vie?” Mama had been pronouncing my name like aviary, instead of with a throaty Aah-sound.
   “Well if he calls you Beni, I can call him Ay-vie,” Mama replied. “Coffee?”
   Still waging the Battle of Tumescence, I was thinking of Talmudic disputation and cold showers, interspersed with visions of Beni’s body under mine, eye to eye and lip to lip, in ecstasy. Not only should I have drugged Mama, I should have put saltpeter in the food.
   Beni stood and said, “I’ll get the coffee.”
   “What, he’s too good? Why can’t you go?” Mama demanded of me, still waging the Battle of Querulousness.
   I put on my best American accent and said, “I’m sorry, Dave. I’m afraid I can’t do that,” in that classic, coaxing tone.
   “So I’m Dave now?” Mama was building to a whole ‘nother level of outrage. The Yiddish was low-down and dirty. I have no idea what she said to me, but I know it was low-down and dirty. Beni intervened.
   “Mother, come into the kitchen and help me. Now!” A tense, whispered conversation ensued, giving me enough time to grab hold and zip up my pants. First Seymour, and then a brief (as in boxers or brief) raid. I felt a little off balance.
   “So, Avital, tell me about this Seymour,” I said, somewhat stridently.
   “Seymour?” Disraeli stirred to life. “Fine chap. Fine chap,” he repeated, in case I hadn’t got the message.
   “Avi, you have nothing to worry about. Never did,” she laughed. Was she just humoring me? I was going to get to the bottom of this damned Seymour business!
   “I never should have mentioned him, but mother, you know, can be just too much. You should have seen who she wanted me to marry. He kept asking me, ‘Can I get your sister, too?’ “ I supposed it was a crudity to which twin girls were often subjected, but the yetzer hara asked, “So, there was yet another interloper in the past?”  Some other callow youth had raked his eyes over my wife’s coals? I saw the mysterious Seymour and another anonymous male strumpet doing the can-can. Boy, oh boy, were we going to have words tonight.
   “Oh, Avi,” Avital grabbed my shoulder, “She loves you and only you.”
   I looked down and said, “She’s so smart and beautiful and…she’s my whole world.” I should have just launched into “There’s a tear in my beer ‘cos I’m cryin’ for you dear.” Hell, they’d surely enjoyed my piping, why shouldn’t I sing, too, I mused in an intoxicated fugue.
   But then, the strangest thing happened. Probably, the naked devastation on my face - due to the imposition of Seymour and his loutish unknown sidekick - somehow reached my father-in-law. He actually seemed to thaw a bit. It couldn’t last, for out came the coffee service.
   As Mama proceeded to slosh coffee onto the table cloth, and inexpertly into coffee cups, she stopped directly in front of me and asked sweetly, “One lump or two?” Recalling her previous assault on my person, was she proposing a re-match?
   “Black is fine,” I said, holding my hand over the top of the cup.
   “I knew that’s what you’d say,” she sank down in the chair across from Beni. “Black is fine,” she mimicked.
   “Yes, ma’am,” I riposted. “Hybrid vigor, ma'am,” I had returned to military address. What I was really longing for was the leprechaun from Finian’s Rainbow to give Mama a good zap. But here was my opportunity at last. I unleashed my devastating tenor on How Are Things in Glocca Morra?
   Mama burst into tears and zig-zagged from the room. Disraeli heaved a huge sigh, and said, “Well, I’m glad we got that out of the way,” and, wonder of wonders, he raised a glass loopily in my direction.
   “Mother always cries…eventually,” Beni informed me, but I found that the winsome nostalgia of the song was doing a number on me, too. I thought of Pesach back home, the people on the kibbutz I’d grown up with, my father singing, the mis-matched crockery collected over the years and stored away for the Seder, even the silly arguments about who was going to do what – and I did what any Israeli tough-guy would do. I put my head down on my arms, and bawled.




Re: Your Supernatural Experiences
« Reply #213 on: November 06, 2011, 07:17:12 AM »
avi, are you Anagrammy in disguise?

Re: Your Supernatural Experiences
« Reply #214 on: November 06, 2011, 11:57:06 AM »
"If only I had known, I would hae worn ma plaidie."

Long ago I had a friend who taught me that you could laugh AND cry at the same time.  God, I miss her. 

Thanks, Avi, for making me think of her.    :-*

Re: Your Supernatural Experiences
« Reply #215 on: November 07, 2011, 04:36:14 AM »
avi, are you Anagrammy in disguise?

Now, now. I am rather fond of anagrammy. She is writing a book on how to de-program oneself from Mormonism, I believe. I will read it for ammunition. You never know when you might be set-upon by Mormons, just ask George Noory. Whatever happened to that DanDan guy, anyway?

Re: Your Supernatural Experiences
« Reply #216 on: November 07, 2011, 08:58:27 AM »
"If only I had known, I would hae worn ma plaidie."

Long ago I had a friend who taught me that you could laugh AND cry at the same time.  God, I miss her. 

Thanks, Avi, for making me think of her.    :-*

You're very welcome. Your words are almost clairvoyant. Ok, begging your indulgence, I'll show you what I mean. The story goes on...

   I tucked my son in bed, and kissed him on the forhead. “Abba,” my little Zen master said, “Sometimes laughing and crying are close together, aren’t they?”
   “Yes, that’s very true, Yogi – I mean, Yossi. I love you.” Where did this child come from? I had no idea. It certainly wasn’t a simple matter of genetics. I wandered to Beni’s old room, where we were being put up on a twin bed and a cot. I saw my mother-in-law’s cloven hoof behind this furniture arrangement. Beni was pacing, but there were no deep thoughts to be found here. What did the professional engineer want to know?
   “Avi, should I cut my hair?”
   I put my index finger to my chin and pretended to think about the question judiciously. Ok, I did think about the question judiciously. It was necessary in order to find the right answer, and this is critical when your wife asks you a question. Well, I thought, I certainly enjoyed the cascade of her hair over my nekkid body, but then, I didn’t enjoy pulling it out of the drain, finding it stuck to soap or any other sticky surface or wound around the agitator in the washing machine. I had to conclude that I was not committed to any particular outcome. “It’s your head,” I said judiciously. “Anyway, what about this Seymour character?” I demanded. Good try, woman, but I see right through your shenanigans. It took me a few minutes, but yes, I see right through them.
   “Oh, Avital told me that you were disturbed.”
   “Disturbed? What kind of word is that? I just want to know why you never thought to mention it to me.”
   “Because I knew that it would disturb you.” Idiot, her tone implied.
   “I’m not the irrationally jealous sort,” I insisted, “I just wondered why I’d never heard of this, this…” I trailed off at a loss for words, “And that other guy, too – Biff, or whatever.” The can-can was trumpeting loudly in my head, assisted by Dr. Seymour and Biff, the Rockette.
   “Look, Avi, our families have been friends for a long time, and you know my mother. She fancied herself some sort of shadchan (match-maker), and she thought that Seymour and I would get married.”
   I seized on this detail like Clarence Darrow during cross-examination. “But why did she think that? Hmm?”
   “We dated, Ok? Is that what you really wanted to know?”
   “Where is he now, this evil fucker?”
   “I don’t know. Idaho, or something. He’s not an evil fucker.”
   “Why are you defending him? If I say he’s an evil fucker, then he’s an evil fucker!”
   “Well, I say you’re being very childish.”
   “Ha! You know he’s in Idaho? Have you been keeping up with him?”
   “Oh yes, I even called him on our wedding night. I had to let him know how you hurt me when you popped my cherry, and I’d rather it had been his pencil dick instead – are you crazy?” After all these years, and this is how she chooses to talk dirty to me!
   I took a quick peek into the hallway, to make sure my mother-in-law wasn’t listening at the door, then shut the door firmly. We were about to traverse the nitty-gritty.
   “Pencil dick!” I yelled. “So, you know he had a pencil dick! And you dated. Dated, no less, behind my back.” I ticked these transgressions off on my fingers.
   “Behind your back? Good lord, I didn’t even know you then. You’re just being stupid about this. Do you think I like to see you up there performing and dancing with all those scantily-clad women? The love songs you sing to them, with such passion. And don’t tell me you never dated any of your fellow performers, that’s bullshit!”
   No, no, no, she wasn’t going to hotfoot me, here. I built up a new head of steam, and was about to reply, when there came a pounding on the door. What was it with these Kramers, pounding on doors, whenever and wherever I was behind one?
   It was Yossi. “Abba, I don’t feel so good,” he said, and then unleashed a torrent of vomit upon me. Poor little guy, he looked so pale and there was a peculiar acetic odor in the air. Had Yossi been drinking? Did Grandpa serve him during the Seder, too? Apparently so. I picked him up and we went to the bathroom, where he heaved a few more times, and then said he felt a little better. We undertook clean-up operations, and returned Yossi to his bed. Beni and I stood over him, each of us holding a little hand. “Don’t fight,” he whispered, as he appeared to fall asleep.
   I looked across the bed at my wife, and said, “I’m sorry, Beni,” then proceeded, without passing ’Go!’ to the question I had been using anger to avoid. “Did you love him?” I couldn’t meet her eyes.
   “I liked him, Avi, but I didn’t understand love until I met you. This,” she indicated our son, “is love. Being covered in vomit, and washing your son’s hair is love. Love is taking a beating from your mother-in-law. Love is getting up early to make me coffee. Love,” pronounced the engineer, “is not static; it’s dynamic.”
   Man, I can’t resist that engineering talk. I took her in my arms and kissed the love of my life, while weak giggles issued from my son.

Unfortunately, the morning did not bring much improvement in Yossi’s status. Every time he tried to eat or drink, he vomited. He looked so puny that I said, “I’m taking him to the hospital. Something is not right, here.” Yossi and I parked in the ER waiting room with a towel and a bucket, and he leaned against me. Eventually, his name was called and we went to the back. The nurses asked for a urine sample, and then said they were going to draw his blood. At that, his eyes grew round as saucers. “Does it hurt, Abba?”
   “Well, a little bit,” I answered, “but I’ll be right here.”
   “I mean, I know it wouldn’t hurt you, but will it hurt me?” I could see his fear.
   “Yossi, think about what you’d like for your birthday. It doesn’t last long, and it hurts less if you don’t think about it too much. Squeeze my hand and don’t move. Sometimes, you just have to cowboy up.”
   The nurse deftly drew his blood while Yossi squeezed my hand. I think, had he been in his usual frame of mind, he would have attempted a screaming, bare-assed escape, as my other children did when confronted by needles. Now, I was really worried.
   Yossi appeared to have fallen asleep again. The nurse asked me quietly if Yossi would like a sticker. Most were American cartoon characters that he had never seen, but there was one with glittery shooting stars, so I took it. “I’ll let you know,” she said.
   “What do you think?” I asked.
   She hesitated. “Has he been drinking a lot of water, lately, complaining of thirst?”
   “I don’t really know. I don’t think so.”
    The nurse was looking around for Yossi’s mother. “It’s a Jewish holiday, today, so only I came.”
   “Well, the pediatrics resident will come speak to you as soon as we have results.”
   “But you know what it is, don’t you? Or at least you have a good suspicion. It’s nurses who do all the work, know what tests to run, at least from what I’ve seen.”
   “High-heels and backwards,” the nurse laughed, “But they hate it when we steal the doctor’s thunder.”
   I read and Yossi slept (they had given him an anti-emetic suppository – he decided he’d rather have his blood drawn) for a few hours until I heard a light knocking on the door frame.
   “Mr. Shab…Shabab…bazi” he fumbled over my name, “I’m Dr. Shapiro.” He held out a hand. This could not be happening. Suddenly, I was blind-sided by Depeche Mode. You know, “I don’t want to start any blasphemous rumours, but I think that G-d’s got a sick sense of humor, and when I die, I expect to find Him laughing.”
   “Seymour Shapiro?” I asked the man who looked like he’d just blown in from a Calvin Klein photo shoot. His scrubs were absolutely wrinkle-free and sported sharp, perfect creases. His hair was expertly trimmed, and fell, just-so, over his forehead, giving him the appearance of profoundly rakish gravitas, like the male models in underwear ads.
   “Well, yes…” he seemed at a loss.
   “I thought you were in Idaho. Apparently not,” I threw my hands in the air.
   Dr. Shapiro regarded me closely. Was there a crazy Arab in a kippah, with an Irish accent, yet, on the lam from the psych ward? I expected to hear an overhead announcement at any moment, “Thorazine dart-gun to the ER stat! Thorazine dart-gun to the ER stat!”
   “Um…” he looked over his shoulder, ascertaining a means of escape, should it become necessary.
   “Avigail Kramer is my wife,” I said with my teeth together, like Clint Eastwood, adding a sneer at the end. Do you feel lucky, punk?
   “Really?” he asked, as though such a thing couldn’t possibly be true. “Is she here?” he beamed, blinding me with the glare from his teeth. “I’d like to talk about, uh, Yos…Yosh…Yoshef.”
   What the hell kind of Jew was this? For crying out loud, he couldn’t even pronounce the Hebrew name of one of our great patriarchs. I guessed he was going to name all of his sons Seymour, or Milton, even.
   Seymour kept talking, “Blah, blah, blah, Mr. Shish-kebab-“ while my attention was wandering – wait. What the fuck kind of dumb-asses were they letting into medical school, anyway? Did the man just call me a shish-kebab?
   “Type I diabetes.”
   “What?” I yelled, not taking it in. I faked falling over my feet, palming the shooting-stars sticker, so that when I grabbed dear Seymour to regain my balance, I stuck the sticker right in the center of his perfect back. Yossi would be proud.
   Seymour was horrified that a being such as myself had touched him. Doctors we may have been (ersatz, in my case), but the Stick up the Ass Club only carried so much weight. Medical school had clearly not prepared him for this - you know, dealing with real people and all. He started his rote recitation again, “We’ll have to hospitalize him for a few days to get his blood sugars under control-“ he cut off his speech. “Are you listening to me?” he asked peevishly.
   “Why, yes, Dr. Butts, I am. You’re telling me that my son has Type I diabetes, the same illness that killed my mother at the age of 40. Thank-you, and get the fuck out.”
   “I’d like to speak to Avigail,” he put his hands on his hips.
   “It is Passover. She is home, with the family, preparing for tonight’s Seder, you dumb-shit apikoros.”
   “I can’t understand your hostility.”
   “Well, maybe you and Dr. Jass need to have a consultation.”
   “Dr. Jass?” he walked right into it.
   “Yeah, Hugh. Hugh Jass and Seymour Butts. Quite the pair you two make.” Well, I wasn’t capable of my customary refined, dry wit at that moment.
   “Um, let me get you to speak to a social worker,” said the self-important little narcissist.
   “Seymour, look,” I said, nodding my head like Ronald ‘There You Go Again’ Reagan. “You have just come in here and dropped a bomb on me. I tell you that Type I diabetes killed my mother, and you cannot deal with it. You didn’t say anything, not even, ‘Wow, man. Heavy.’ Instead, you’d like to dump the emotionally-gooey mess onto some poor social-worker, whose caseload makes yours look like a walk in the park. You want to rattle off a prepared speech about blood-sugar control and treatment options and then get back to your heightened sense of self-regard. That’s right, leave the dirty work to someone else. You can’t even be bothered to pronounce my name or my son’s name correctly. Well, fuck you. Just fuck you.”
   “You know, I used to date Avigail,” he said, thinking that would really grab me by the balls. “Is that what this is about?”
   “Yes, pencil-dick, I know.”
   “Now, wait a minute-“ Who had whom by the balls now? I had apparently struck home. “You don’t understand,” he came very close to me and spoke quietly. “I am gay. Avigail always kept my secret-“
   Except from her sister, I thought, reviewing last night’s conversation – but it wasn’t a stick he had up his ass, either. “So my wife was your beard is what you’re saying?”
   “Yes,” he looked surprised, “that’s what I’m saying.” I could see the difficulties presented by being a gay pediatrician, and then I felt guilty for making the Butts and Huge Ass cracks, um, remarks. “I’m really sorry about your son,” he added. “We can keep this conversation between us?”
   “Sure,” I answered. In fact, I was busy fantasizing about letting the faigele cat out of the bag the next time Mama waxed rhapsodic over dear old Seymour – not that I would ever do such a thing. He stuck out his hand and I shook it, but I still made no attempt to remove the sticker.

   Of course, I had known all along exactly what the problem was. When I first smelled that acetic odor, I had a Lynyrd Skynyrd moment. Ooh-ooh, that smell. I knew, but I didn’t want to acknowledge it. Even less did I want to acknowledge the little voice which kept saying, “Avi, phone home.”
   In the ancient days before Skype and cell phones, I picked up the beside phone, took out a credit card, and prepared to confront the Israeli telephone system, a hit-or-miss affair at the best of times. Then, I felt very eerie because my father answered right away and we had a clear line (the kibbutz had only one phone in the central building, with a sign-up sheet which everyone ignored). Through my tears, I broke the news to my father. He was silent for a good minute, but I knew that he was weeping.
   “You know, Avi,” he said at last, “I used to think your mother and I had handled her illness badly – in regard to you, I mean. We tried to hide it from you, and then, one day, your mother just went away and never came back. I think you blamed yourself, but I wasn’t able to handle it then, and I let your grandmother take up the slack. I could see the effects, though. After your mother died, you let very few people get close to you. And you got so overly-attached and vigilant to those you did let in. I used to worry that it would make you very easy to take advantage of. But now, I see those are the very qualities needed to parent a juvenile diabetic, and I think there could be no better person for the job. I’m sorry, Avi. I’m sorry for so much. I wish-“
   I was crying so hard now, in a quavering voice, I said, “I love you , Abba, but I can’t talk anymore,” and I replaced the receiver.
   I was blinded by grief, shuddering, until I heard Yossi say sharply, “Avi! Avi! Makkarah (what’s wrong? And yes, Israeli children sometimes do call their parents by their first names – it’s that damn kibbutznik-commie influence)?”
   “I’m sorry, I was just talking to your grandfather about Shoshanna (my mother. Good, we’re all on a first-name basis, now).”
   It wasn’t really a satisfactory answer, but he accepted it and then asked, “Why does Bubbe Kramer hate you?”
   “She doesn’t – not really,” but Yossi’s face wore a look of, coulda fooled me. “Sometimes, Yossi, parents have a fantasy of how they want their children to turn out, and when it doesn’t happen, they get angry.”
   “Are you mad at me, then?” he asked, indicating the hospital surroundings. Child, have I not been stabbed through the heart enough?
   I sat on the bed and held my son. “I will love you, forever and ever, no matter what, even if I get angry at you. Things happen that we cannot control, sometimes, things that make us angry.” I supposed he had overheard some of my conversation with Seymour the Swish.
   “Would you still love me if I failed all of my classes?”
   “Yes.” But I don’t know about your mother.
   “Would you love me if I stole money from you?”
   “Yes.” Was the kid trying to tell me something here?
   “What if I killed somebody?” Uh-oh.
   “Yes. There is nothing that could make me stop loving you. Nothing.”
   “Abba, what is your fantasy for me?”
   “I don’t know, Yossi.”
   “Tell me.”
   “I don’t know.”
   “Please.”
   “Well, I suppose I just want you to be a good Jew. Other than that, I want you to be happy.”
   “Ok, Abba.” He lay back on the bed and closed his eyes. Little did I realize how seriously he would take this conversation. Stay tuned.
   I looked up to see the entire Clan Kramer assembled at the foot of the bed. I guessed the vasectomy conversation would just have to wait.

   
   



Re: Your Supernatural Experiences
« Reply #217 on: November 07, 2011, 11:52:51 AM »
Quote
Now, now. I am rather fond of anagrammy. She is writing a book on how to de-program oneself from Mormonism, I believe. I will read it for ammunition... 

Me too, hence the compliment by comparison. You both share a certain writing style.

Quote
Whatever happened to that DanDan guy, anyway?

I was wondering this earlier. You don't suppose the noory police got him, do you?

Re: Your Supernatural Experiences
« Reply #218 on: November 07, 2011, 06:08:01 PM »
Damn it, Avi!  Now I have to keep a box of Kleenex by the computer.... :P

I'm often moved to tears by music.  Barber's Adagio for Strings, Shubert's Ave Maria, Cohen's Hallelujah, Elton John's The Last Song.  The only vaguely supernatural experience I ever really had involved music.

I was walking my dog one December evening.  It was dark and cold and I was thinking maybe I'd cut the walk short.  I heard a trumpet.  (I'm not a big fan of brass, I much prefer strings.)  Anyway, the music was floating perfectly in the icy air, The Old Rugged Cross.  I stopped, closed my eyes, and felt a warmth flowing over me so I opened my eyes. 

In front of me was the most beautiful being I had ever seen.  I don't know if it was male or female, it was just beautiful.  The light wasn't bright or harsh it was wonderfully warm.  I closed my eyes again and finished listening to the music.  When it stopped, I opened my eyes again to the cold and dark.   

I walked home with a very subdued and quiet dog.  It wasn't a dream, because the dog was unnaturally quiet for the next week.  I never saw whatever it was again, but whenever music makes me cry, I feel the way I felt that night.  Nice.   :)

Re: Your Supernatural Experiences
« Reply #219 on: November 07, 2011, 07:04:35 PM »
not to detract from your experience but there are people who see sound and taste colors.  some anomalous wiring in the brain.  not saying that's what happened to you but that's what your post made me think of

Re: Your Supernatural Experiences
« Reply #220 on: November 08, 2011, 05:53:13 AM »
not to detract from your experience but there are people who see sound and taste colors.  some anomalous wiring in the brain.  not saying that's what happened to you but that's what your post made me think of

Oh no!  I wasn't blessed????!! :P  JK

I've heard of that also.  I personally think most brain wiring is askew.  Sometimes we join forums to discuss the more egregious examples.   ;D

Re: Your Supernatural Experiences
« Reply #221 on: November 08, 2011, 06:16:21 AM »
Damn it, Avi!  Now I have to keep a box of Kleenex by the computer.... :P

I'm often moved to tears by music.  Barber's Adagio for Strings, Shubert's Ave Maria, Cohen's Hallelujah, Elton John's The Last Song.  The only vaguely supernatural experience I ever really had involved music.

I was walking my dog one December evening.  It was dark and cold and I was thinking maybe I'd cut the walk short.  I heard a trumpet.  (I'm not a big fan of brass, I much prefer strings.)  Anyway, the music was floating perfectly in the icy air, The Old Rugged Cross.  I stopped, closed my eyes, and felt a warmth flowing over me so I opened my eyes. 

In front of me was the most beautiful being I had ever seen.  I don't know if it was male or female, it was just beautiful.  The light wasn't bright or harsh it was wonderfully warm.  I closed my eyes again and finished listening to the music.  When it stopped, I opened my eyes again to the cold and dark.   

I walked home with a very subdued and quiet dog.  It wasn't a dream, because the dog was unnaturally quiet for the next week.  I never saw whatever it was again, but whenever music makes me cry, I feel the way I felt that night.  Nice.   :)

Your experience reminds me of Irish descriptions of encounters with fairies. It is just not done to walk through standing stones or to lounge under dolmens, else one invites the attention of the fairies. Music is often associated with interactions with the Fair Folk. In fact, the legendary harpist, Turlough O'Carolan, said that the fairies gifted him with his skills after he walked home one night, dejected because his harp teacher told him he would never amount to anything. He said that he heard the music of Si Beag, Si Mor, and felt the presence of the fairies moving around him (O'Carolan was blind).


Re: Your Supernatural Experiences
« Reply #222 on: November 08, 2011, 05:36:07 PM »
Alas, no gifts from the Fairy Folk for me.  My dream was to be a smokey-voiced blues singer.  I tried out for every choral event I could find.  It was finally, in my high school freshman year that I realized my dream would never come true.   :'(
I cannot think of anything that could come close to describing the look on the music director's face after I finished my "try-out solo".  The entire room was silent.  Not even a snicker from the other students.(You know you're pretty bad when there are no smart-ass remarks from teenagers.) 
I think I  rival the vocal range of Candice Bergen.
Oh well...I never tried out for anything musically related after that.  It wasn't too bad.  I still sing to children and dogs.  At least, until the dogs start to howl.   :P
Carry on... :)

Re: Your Supernatural Experiences
« Reply #223 on: November 09, 2011, 03:01:50 AM »
Well, this page has been an unexpected delight.

Avi, ok, so you can be a bad-ass, too. Who among us can't?  Your stories and music have made me laugh and have made me cry and have enriched my life in the middle of the night on a Tuesday evening in November.  What more can a reader here ask?  Thank you for being here. What an asset to this forum you are.  (I want to read the rest of that book.)

(With honorable mention to Treading Water for her "angel" story.  You made me feel warm and cosy, too. ;) )

Re: Your Supernatural Experiences
« Reply #224 on: November 09, 2011, 05:56:44 AM »
I'd divert some mortgage payment money to buy that book, myself!   ;D

Re: Your Supernatural Experiences
« Reply #225 on: November 09, 2011, 05:25:31 PM »
Avi, ok, so you can be a bad-ass, too.  (I want to read the rest of that book.)

Bad-ass! But no, I'm a sweet, tender snowflake. I have to persuade my wife to let me publish; I suppose it would require changing names to protect the guilty.

Re: Your Supernatural Experiences
« Reply #226 on: November 09, 2011, 06:08:46 PM »
not to detract from your experience but there are people who see sound and taste colors.  some anomalous wiring in the brain.  not saying that's what happened to you but that's what your post made me think of

Yep, synesthesia. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synesthesia


Re: Your Supernatural Experiences
« Reply #227 on: November 09, 2011, 06:13:44 PM »
Bad-ass! But no, I'm a sweet, tender snowflake. I have to persuade my wife to let me publish; I suppose it would require changing names to protect the guilty.

I tell you, Avi, you are absolutely hoovering up the chicks on this thread.  Hoo-ver-ing!  I've yet to decide whether to wait for a straggler or reluctantly give in to Frys Girl's incessant marriage proposals.

Decisions, decisions...

Re: Your Supernatural Experiences
« Reply #228 on: November 09, 2011, 08:12:56 PM »
Yep, synesthesia. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synesthesia

Ahh, so that's why I get a really bad taste in my mouth whenever I smell my ex-husband's cologne.      :P

Re: Your Supernatural Experiences
« Reply #229 on: November 10, 2011, 10:24:27 AM »
Oh, I have thousands of in-law stories. My life would be quite boring without them, I'm afraid. I've promised my wife that I'll only publish posthumously, thus giving her an incentive to keep me alive as long as possible.

LOL!

Re: Your Supernatural Experiences
« Reply #230 on: November 10, 2011, 10:41:59 AM »
You know Avi, would it be a violation of your promise if you lent a copy of your unpublished work to a friend and that friend managed to get the book published?  Perhaps changing names?  Profits, minus an "administrative percentage" could be deposited into a Swiss account.  Just sayin', as they say.

Re: Your Supernatural Experiences
« Reply #231 on: November 10, 2011, 06:16:35 PM »
I tell you, Avi, you are absolutely hoovering up the chicks on this thread.  Hoo-ver-ing!  I've yet to decide whether to wait for a straggler or reluctantly give in to Frys Girl's incessant marriage proposals.
Decisions, decisions...

So put up your own supernatural experiences (or memoir), O Mighty Dirt Devil!

Anyway, I beg to differ that I am hoo-ver-ing; nay, I am grateful to those few (very few) folk for reading and appreciating my writing, no matter their sex. Naturally, my opinion of their discernment has been markedly increased, especially since they approve of me. It is said that women make up 85% of the reading and book-buying public, don'cha know, so it behooves any writer to please the fairer sex.

As for Fry's Girl, she called me an asshole several threads over, so I believe the road is wide open. But the more I think about it, the more fitting it seems. Fry's Girl would rock your world, my dear Flaxen. A romantic rendez-vous at the shooting range, followed by a foray into tanning hides, ends with a midnight dip in the stock tank, where you lovebirds could bathe one another while tearing off strips of deer jerky with your teeth. Yowza!

Re: Your Supernatural Experiences
« Reply #232 on: November 10, 2011, 06:27:58 PM »
You know Avi, would it be a violation of your promise if you lent a copy of your unpublished work to a friend and that friend managed to get the book published?  Perhaps changing names?  Profits, minus an "administrative percentage" could be deposited into a Swiss account.  Just sayin', as they say.

Well, such a strategy might not violate the letter of the promise, but it would violate the intent. I think I wrote the damn thing as a coping mechanism, so that I could view the fraught interactions with my in-laws and children as "material." ;D

Re: Your Supernatural Experiences
« Reply #233 on: November 14, 2011, 04:08:37 AM »
I tell you, Avi, you are absolutely hoovering up the chicks on this thread.  Hoo-ver-ing!  I've yet to decide whether to wait for a straggler or reluctantly give in to Frys Girl's incessant marriage proposals.

Decisions, decisions...
... As for Fry's Girl, she called me an asshole several threads over, so I believe the road is wide open. But the more I think about it, the more fitting it seems. Fry's Girl would rock your world, my dear Flaxen. A romantic rendez-vous at the shooting range, followed by a foray into tanning hides, ends with a midnight dip in the stock tank, where you lovebirds could bathe one another while tearing off strips of deer jerky with your teeth. Yowza!

Against my better judgment, I gotta say you two guys crack me up with this stuff!  ;D

Re: Your Supernatural Experiences
« Reply #234 on: November 14, 2011, 06:05:33 AM »

Against my better judgment, I gotta say you two guys crack me up with this stuff!  ;D

At the risk of "Hoo-ver-ing" again...I must agree. 
Oooo, stock tanks...the memories, the memories... :P

Re: Your Supernatural Experiences
« Reply #235 on: November 14, 2011, 12:22:18 PM »
I´ve never seen anything strange, but my dad (he´s a down-to-earth-person) was slapped by a ghost a long time ago. Creepy!

Re: Your Supernatural Experiences
« Reply #236 on: November 14, 2011, 12:33:15 PM »

Against my better judgment, I gotta say you two guys crack me up with this stuff!  ;D

At the risk of "Hoo-ver-ing" again...I must agree. 
Oooo, stock tanks...the memories, the memories... :P

Alas, poor Frys Girl... when I'm done with her, she would forever associate stock tanks and deer jerky with mind-blowing orgasms. ;D ..and yes, the plural on that is intentional as hell.  Only joking, FG... in any event, we haven't agreed on my rates.  Hee hee hee... ;)

Thank you both for the comments.  Avi and I should go on tour as a comedy team.  We are both professors - one of us is a mild-mannered (yet delightfully snarky and witty), married, thoughtful and intelligent professor of music, and the other of us is a single professor of psychology/mathematics who has an eternal conflict between deriving equations and sleeping with any coeds who makes eye contact for more than two seconds.  Only kidding, only kidd-- er, wait.  I'm not that much of a manwhore, but I play one on TV. ;)

Seriously, though, Avi and I have exchanged a lot of PM's, and he's a ton of fun.  I think a podcast with the two of us talking about randomness would be incredibly entertaining.  It might even give Frys Girl a little thrill.  :D

Re: Your Supernatural Experiences
« Reply #237 on: November 14, 2011, 02:30:09 PM »
I´ve never seen anything strange, but my dad (he´s a down-to-earth-person) was slapped by a ghost a long time ago. Creepy!

What was your dad trying to do to the ghost, or did it slap him for no damned reason? Was the ghost a one-trick-pony slapper, or was it known to slap others in that time and place? What were the circumstances of that place, which led to haunting? That was a real teaser, but we demand mo-ar!

Re: Your Supernatural Experiences
« Reply #238 on: November 14, 2011, 03:18:47 PM »
What was your dad trying to do to the ghost, or did it slap him for no damned reason? Was the ghost a one-trick-pony slapper, or was it known to slap others in that time and place? What were the circumstances of that place, which led to haunting? That was a real teaser, but we demand mo-ar!

Pardon me if my English isn´t perfect.

Well, my dad was installing a small chandelier a long long time ago by the time he was married for the first time. After attaching it to the ceiling, he went to another room and minutes later he hears a "boom". The chandelier was lying on the floor.

He repeated the operation and then it happened again. He got angry and he cursed at it! Then he was slapped out of thin air. In the face. His first wife at the time heard the noise and actually saw a red mark (hand) on his face.

There were no previous episodes of that kind in the house. He left the chandelier alone.  :)


Re: Your Supernatural Experiences
« Reply #239 on: November 14, 2011, 03:54:15 PM »
I've never had any unexplainable supernatural experiences. This despite growing up with a mom who was a channeler and a medium.