Saturday, March 6, 2010

Yittan ... anyone?

Have I told you about my sister-in-law Keli or Kelli or Kelly or Kelley? She sometimes has trouble with words so I gave her a few choices if she decides to change the spelling of her name to comment. She's a regular reader of my blog so she will undoubtedly defend herself in print.

Keli (I picked the one no one else would because that's what Keli would pick) is a trip. I love her dearly. A self described "blonde" ... she speaks before any rational thought enters her brain. Questions about Judaism for example (Note: Keli that refers to "Jews") have often been directed my way. I am undoubtedly the only Jew that Keli knows ... so I'm happy to answer.

The conversation usually begins like this ...

K ...   "Joel .. you know the language that you people use in Israel?"
Me ... " I assume by 'my people' you mean ... the Jews?"
K ...   "Yeah ... you know the Yittans ... how is it that they ..."
Me ... "Wait .. Keli ... the Yittans?"
K ...    "Uh huh ... the language you use ... it's Yittan. right?"
Me ... "You mean Yiddish?"
K ...    "I thought it was Yittan. You remember when I met the ribbi, Jah Kobe? I thought he spoke that."
Me ...  "No ... listen. He is a RABBI and his name is JACOB and he probably knows YIDDISH. Keli ... if I were you, I wouldn't speak to anyone about Jews outside of our immediate family."

Three months after this conversation, she still confuses Yiddish with Ebonics.

When she has a few drinks ... she's even funnier. One memorable night at a hotel bar on the evening before my nephew's wedding, Keli asked me to play the piano while she sang her rendition of Brad Paisley's "Alcohol" . I was not a Paisley fan and didn't know the song ... so Keli found it on her itunes and stuck the earpiece in my ear so I could figure it out. It's not a tough song to play so I played with the chorus singing in my one ear and Keli singing in the other. Believe it or not .... they were out of synch. And Keli's strong bellowing of "ALCOHOL, ALCOHOL" had 32 notes more than Paisley. (all out of tune)

But friends ... Keli DID redeem herself yesterday and really nailed me.

She emailed the fam about my father-in-law's medical issues and my mother-in-law's responses (she is definitely the matriarch of this clan).

She wrote: "Dr. Mom said PopPop may never straighten up. He lost all his Testes -trone". I replied that perhaps JoAnn meant that his testes fell in the throne. My brother- in-law was interested in knowing about the sexual nature of the "straightening up" comment. Being the clever writer that I THINK I am ... and because I counted 7 members of the sibling clan, I replied: "Well ... I think he only straightened up 7 times in the past, anyway."

Keli jumped on that comment and replied "That would be 6 (Debbie and Dennie are twins)"



GROAN

My brother- in- law, Tom (The Joker) said: "Outsmarted by a blonde! Suicide is the only option". 

7 comments:

WannabeVirginia W. said...

I laughed at the Yitten and "you people". I swear without blondes, where would all the smart people be. What would WE have to talk about. Oh dear, did you say she reads this blog?

"Blondes are cool!" mmkay!

Yes, I would off myself to if I got outsmarted by a blonde.

Joel Momberg said...

@Virginia ... Don't worry Virginia. She reads the blog but hasn't quite figured out how to comment.

Keli with and EYE said...

ummm helllloooo JOE-L... I can post AND read....
Okay, so first of all - It's Keli with an "i" (even my starbucks people know that) and secondly, I was only the messenger for ribbi - BUT yes, yittan and JaKOBE is all me...
you didn't mention the german african american word I can never remember (or apparently say out loud ) as I recall you covering my mouth instantly when I was repeating it loudly.... However, this is definitely some of your BEST BLOGGING...I feel like a STAR!!!

Keli with AN EYE said...

Ooops...I meant my profile to say Keli with AN EYE
and oh BTW...my yittan is with an "A"

Joel Momberg said...

@Keli ... EYE stand corrected, dear Keli. MY Starbucks people? OMG ... I didn't know you actually had Starbucks people, as well. You know I love ya. Thanks for letting me share you with the world.

Your bro

Chrissy said...

You should make her a weekly feature.

Joel Momberg said...

Good idea ... plenty of material.