JWR / Mideast Geopolitics

Nathan Lewin finds Israel's Histradrut trade union in contempt of court

Douglas Davis talks with John Le Carre on Jews and Israel

Sheldon Kirshner interviews new-old novelist Jacqueline Park

Anne Roiphe calls for an American Jewish initiative on behalf of Jonathan Pollard

Phil Jacobs discovers a special minhag of compassion

Zev Spektor discovers a different Jewish calling -- not worship, but photocopies

Suzanne Fields has been sandwiched between generations

Dr. Jacob Mermelstein discusses achievement motivation in children

Nehama C. Nahmoud presents the Jews of Yemen, Part II: The Jewish Kings of Yemen

Reader Response

L'Chaim / Living Jewish
February 1, 1998 / 5 Shevat, 5758

The News According to Sid

By Neil Rubin

FEW OF US CAN REMEMBER a more dizzying blur of major stories than those of recent days. John Elway's impossible Super Bowl quest. Clinton's alleged conquest. The Pope's Cuban spiritual quest. Iraq banging loudly on the war chest. Clinton... well, you get the point.

Wouldn't it be more fun to get the latest spin on it all from Sid, the stereotypical Jewish broadcaster? I'd imagine that the newscast would go like this: (By the way, my 80-something-year-old Uncle Sid is not this man. He is generally regarded as sane.)

The camera zooms in on Sid, who wears a rumpled blue blazer, loud yellow shirt and no tie. He quickly tucks a Maalox bottle under his desk.

"Ah hah! You came back! I'm Sid, obviously from the sign on my desk, and here's the six o'clock news. Yeah, it's 4:30, but I need to hit the early bird special with Goldie.

"This week we gotta lead with Bill's Follies.

"The president is allegedly caught again. There's no proof and who really cares if there was? Even if he told her to lie, you never lied before?

"Regardless of how it turns out, here's some kosher-style advice for Arkansas Willie: Boychik, this is America and if you want to fool around -- and I'm not saying you really did -- we find it dandy that you chose a Jewish girl. So what if she's as active in the Jewish community as Father Angelino on Fifth Street. You still think we don't brag about it? Ahh, a few of us are upset. But those are the paranoids who keep calling the ADL about The Nanny.

"Down at McDonalds this morning, the one with the free coffee for seniors, we kept making up what her bat mitzvah speech must have been. Details at 11 when the kids are asleep.

"Then there's this Gulf showdown, Round 36.

"Haven't had this much golf news since Tiger Woods anguished over the menu at next year's Master's in Augusta. Babump.

"So Madame Insane is giving new meaning to mischegoss. He kicks out U.N. inspectors, spits in the face of the top guy and then says Bill's getting ready to pound him to distract attention from you-know-what.

"Seven years of sanctions has been long enough, he screams. Hey Sad Man, that's what we said about the lox spread in the fridge and look how long it lasted.

"This definitely ain't good for the Jews 'cause we know he's aiming bio-nuclear-thermo-plastic missiles at Israel and Miami Beach. Will someone please kipper this guy's herring already?

"That brings us to the Mideast peaceless process. Check out this little ditty I wrote:

Bibi came to D.C. wondering if he'd get clobbered But Bill's life was such a wreck he couldn't bother. Yasser's pals think it's a Zionist plot, which shows that their brains have severe mental rot. Now everyone's more uptight, wondering if it's heading for the ultimate fight.
"But the best news was that Super Bowl stuff. Perfect for the Jews, you know, the underdog winning and all. My Wednesday night pitch game buddies went wacko. So what if it wasn't a long trip.

"They call Elway an old man? This is old!

(Sid shoves his hand into his mouth and extracts an upper set of teeth, waving them for the camera. After popping them back in, he belches, loudly.)

"Don't touch that dial, shmegegy! There's lots more news. The Pope went to Cuba and the American priests with him smuggled home cigars for their nuns. The Asian market is so low that even that smartypants Dershowitz wouldn't defend it.

"There's lots of weather, too, but that's nothing new. Go home. I'm gonna be late for dinner. And don't forget to tune in at 11, or maybe a little earlier if I'm still real tired. We're going to have a live report from my cousin Irving's hospital room. Doctors haven't seen a gall bladder like this since Orson Welles donated his body to the Smithsonian's Museum Of Unnatural History. Babump-bump!

"Goldie, get a booth. Those chairs murder my back."

It doesn't make the news any prettier, but at least it's a little less predictable.


New JWR contributor Neil Rubin is the editor of the Atlanta Jewish Times.

©1998, Neil Rubin