Sunday, December 11, 2011

Making Aliyah with Betty Boom Bah

Shalom, chaverim! It's a rainy Sunday morning here in Boca Raton, and Elul and I are enjoying our morning routine of coffee and internet surfing, before we breakfast and go out for our walk. As I write, I'm listening, comme d'habitude, to Reshet Bet (Station B) on the Israeli Broadcast Authority's internet radio streaming service. Elul has still been dutifully hacking away with Rosetta Stone, whereas I have basically punted. So now I am starting to experience procrastinator's remorse with regards to my lack of progress in Hebrew. Language learning, like mathematics, is something for which you really can't do last-minute cramming, particularly as a beginner. While I have managed to memorize an Israeli radio spot for a mysterious product called "Mega Glu-flex," I'm not sure how useful that will be in the long run.

On the other hand, I had a fleeting glimmer of desperate hope as a result of a conversation we had last night. Friends from our former temple in Las Vegas, Marty and Miriam, came into town for the night, between returning from a cruise and flying back home the next day. In addition to having been to Israel many times themselves, one of their daughters has a job leading tours to Israel. Miriam said it took her daughter one full year of immersion in Israeli culture to become fluent in Hebrew. Given the inverse correlation of age progression and language acquisition (the greater the age, the slower the rate of acquisition), I calculate it should only take me about four years to crack the Hebraic code! So there it is, I've set my goal for my 50th birthday: fluency in Hebrew, all in the period of one U.S. Presidential term of office.

We are thrilled to announce that we now have a solid bid for our car, which Elul put up for auction on eBay a couple of days ago with the headline "A Sweet Ride!" We started the bidding at what was essentially our reserve price, and last night we got our first bid. ("Mustang3564" eBay bidder, may you be as truly good as your feedback score indicates.) As for you other eleven auction watchers, get out those wallets, set reason aside, and bid like crazy!

It's funny what strange thoughts come to you just upon waking. This morning, I found myself wondering if the shipping company would do a good job of packing our "Betty Boom Bah" dancing, grunting, farting doll. Betty was what I call a "revenge gift"-- a gift given to me in retaliation for the equally silly "Harvey Nagilah" dancing doll I gave my friend Harvey one year for Hanukkah.

Betty is the height of good taste in novelty gift ware, lifting both her dress and her leg while breaking wind and squealing with surprised delight. It would be so sad if Betty met a grisly end: crushed in our lift, seized by customs for some obscure obscenity violation, or sunk to the bottom of the sea by Somali pirates. So just in case, I want to give her a kind of lifetime achievement award by preserving her work in cyberspace. Ladies and gentleman, it is with great pleasure that I bring you...Betty Boom Bah!

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