Jewish Journal

I’ve Got A Bridge To Sell You!

by Tiferet Peterseil

December 29, 2009 | 6:40 pm

Several readers have recently written to me, complaining that my posts of late have been a little too “serious” for them, and can I go back to telling about the “humorous” aspects of my life?

My apologies. I guess I really shouldn’t let a celebrity death, the Holocaust, or the “loaded” topic of guns get to me….

What’s interesting is that when I write about world news – everyone complains that there’s nothing funny about what’s happening “out there”. Yet, apparently, the more calamities I encounter, the more I spill my guts about all the scary, overwhelming, outrageous things that happen to me in my life—well, that seems to make for good (funny) entertainment.

Talk about Schadenfreude (pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others)!!

Here’s a case in point:  I needed to come up with some material for a standup comedy audition, and realizing that the casting directors (there were three) might share some of my readers’ outlook on Schadenfreude, I opted against the topic of world news or even Israel news, and instead decided to focus on the multifarious mishaps of my life. You know, like how my 8 siblings (almost) look up to me, how my religious Mom became a certified (certifiable?) sexologist (and why), and the many types of strange (as in nuts) people I meet (my last date introduced me to BOTH his personalities).

Anyway, they loved me. “You’re hilarious,” says the tall, lanky director. “Most women performers are bitter, angry singles, dreaming of castrating all men.”

“I’m not like other women,” I quickly retort. Then, thinking I might have made a mistake I just as quickly add, “Although I once dreamt that all my brothers were walking around the house in drag. But just give me a few more months in the big city and I promise I’ll try my best to become a man-hater too.”

After no more than a moment’s deliberation, the panel returned with their decision. I could see by their smiles that they were ready to make me an offer I couldn’t refuse.

“You were great out there,” the short, bald director began, “and you’ve got impeccable timing. Actually, you’re one of the best novices we’ve ever had here. Sooooo, we’d-like-to-offer-you-an-opportunity-to-enroll-in-our-stand-up-comedy-course. With a little more tweaking….”

There’s a sucker born every minute. Here I thought I was auditioning for a TV show showcasing comic talent and all along it was just a front for another of those comic(al) courses.

Reminds me of the time I went shopping and the well-dressed saleslady enthusiastically told me “You’ve just got to buy that outfit! You look terrific in it!” She ought to know, right? I felt on top of the world as I walked out with $500 worth of maternity clothes, which she guaranteed would shrink in the wash.

Or take that health food teller who talked me into buying “body booster” vitamins, guaranteed to guard me from all illnesses except bacterial ones, the flu, and the common cold.

Okay, maybe not every person selling something really has my best interest at heart. But I swear you’ll never find cheaper tires than the four I bought at yesterday’s tire sale. I’m storing them until I buy a car.

So after telling all three casting directors what they could do with their comedy course, on the way back from the phony audition, I stopped at the sportswear store to get a new pair of jogging shoes. I figured I’d treat myself. Guess what! It turned out to be my lucky day! No, I didn’t get the shoes (I wasn’t buying anything that wasn’t on sale) but they had the most unbelievable One-Day Only Crazy Moishie Sale on skis. And, wait ‘til you hear this: They threw in a toboggan for 70% off the retail price!

I can hardly wait until the next snow in Tel Aviv.

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