I loved the northeastern boys that came to my college in eastern Kentucky in the 60s to escape the high tuition and, probably, the more stringent college entrance requirements of states like New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island. They had names like Levy, Nusbaum or Ackermann. In contrast to the local guys, they lived off campus in dumps that we loved to get invited to on the weekend and drove junk heaps that no self respecting southern boy would be caught in, dead or alive. In contrast to the common Scots-Irish, English faces on campus, these guys had the dark hair, prominent features (translate big noses) and dark complexions of their eastern European ancestors. They loved the southern girls because we were pretty and sweet--or at least pretended to be. We loved them right back because they were so different from the usual fare.
I was lucky enough to live with Coach Hamilton's family for four years of college. Coach Hamilton was very popular with the northern boys because he coached the Morehead State University baseball team and also pitched for the New York Yankees. Northern boys love baseball, especially the New York Yankees, and welcomed a chance to sit at Coach Hamilton's kitchen table with the family, sharing some good southern home cooked meals, baseball stories, and Jewish humor. This was my introduction to Jewish humor with it's play on the insecurities and foibles of a people who used humor to tell their stories of family persecution and survival. My appreciation for Jewish humor grew when I had an opportunity to hear some of the great comedians live in New York and New Jersey where we spent our summers.
A little Jewish grandmother is sitting on the beach at the Jersey shore in one of those legless beach chairs. She's wearing a new flowered one piecer with clever slenderizing shirring across the tummy. Her freshly done hairdo is protected by a big hat. She has a big aluminum sun reflector propped on her tummy to capture the rays.
Her only grandson is playing in the sand by her feet. Lo and behold, this HUGE wave
washes in and carries the boy straight out to sea!
Grandmother Yetel heaves herself out of the no-legged beach chair and raises her arms
to the sky in supplication. "Oh Lord! Help! What will I tell my daughter-in-law has happened to our only grandchild?"
In answer to her plea, another HUGE wave washes on shore and deposits the boy and his sand pail right back at Grandmother Yetel's feet. She looks at the boy and then turns a sad eye to the heavens again, saying in an aggrieved voice, "He had a hat."
What Mona Lisa's mother probably said on viewing Da Vinci's painting of her: "With what your father paid for braces, you could have tried a little harder with that smile."
Well, that's it for trivial humor for me tonight. Head on over to the other Fun Monday spots to fill your head with lots more fun trivia facts so you'll be the hit of your next social gathering.