Thursday, February 21, 2013

Australian bagels, anyone?

All Jewed out in Caulfield


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OYYYY yoyyy yoy-yoy YOYYYYYY,
I am sooooo Jewed out, I am totally overJewified, I am plotzing at the seams with Jewishness and I just wanna shlump on my farshtunken tuchus like a meshugener shmo. Yesterday I had to go to Caulfield North to see a dentist for a check-up, and Caulfield North is a very Jewish suburb. Even the streets have Jewish names: there's ''Alma'', which sounds like the name of an old Jewish grandma, the kind who force-feeds her grandkids like she's fattening foie gras ducks. And there's ''Inkerman'', which is also a very Jewish-sounding name - and not just that, but the street itself gets prematurely circumcised by Dandenong Road, right on it's pointy schmeckle tip.
Caulfield North was buzzing with Jewliciousness: Jews were in the park walking their Jewish dogs - little furry-faced ones with dangly forelock-ears and quizzical scholarly expressions. Jews were sitting in cafes eating Jewish cakes, then washing them down with refreshing mouthfuls of Jewish pastries and onion buns. And wherever there's Jews, there's usually dentists, because Jews and dentistry have always gone together, like Hare Krishnas and finger-cymbals or Christians and backpacks. My dentist was called Brian and he sat me down in his dentist chair, then I delivered that hilariously amusing Jewish-dentist-taunt, ''So, Brian, didn't make it into medicine, huh? Your parents must be so disappointed'', which probably wasn't a good idea because he stuffed my mouth with two kilograms of medieval abortion tools and jabbed something with propellers into my lower-right 31 molar.
Brian said my teeth seemed fine but he wanted to double-check so he sent me off to get dental X-rays at a radiology clinic in Balaclava - he even gave me directions, saying, ''It's right across the road from Glicks'', because that's how Jews give directions; everything's in relation to bagel shops. If you asked a Jew how to get to the city, they'd say, ''You know Aviv's? 9.9 kilometres north-west from there - and grab some macaroons before you go, I like the almond ones but if you prefer glace cherries, that's your business, I'm not interfering, it's your life.''
So I went to Balaclava, which is an even MORE Jewish suburb because it sounds like a pastry - and this is where you can buy 758 different varieties of Polish dill pickles, where Chassidic families drive around in Econovans the size of BHP iron-ore trucks, where orthodox women power walk in great long denim skirts that have no stepping room so their legs shuffle along like scissors trapped in a sock. I sat in the waiting room of the radiology clinic, chewing on a Glicks bagel, and when they called me in for my X-ray they found 74 cavities, all of them poppy seeds.
By now I was getting a bit Jew-juiced up, I was kvetching and noodging and had an overwhelming urge to see a Woody Allen movie so I schlepped over to the Classic Cinema in Elsternwick, which is the epicentre of all Jewishness in the meta-universe, and I watched a film called Whatever Works, about a whiny old Jewish man hooking up with a gorgeous young shikse girl and is one hour and 28 minutes of Woody justifying why he's shtupping his own stepdaughter. And I got to hear every line of spoken dialogue in surround-sound stereo because the cute old Jewish couple sitting behind me kept going ''What'd that guy just say?/ He called that kid a little potzer./ Ha ha, that's funny, and what did he say just after that?/ I don't know because I was too busy telling you what he said before that./ Is this movie nearly over, because I really need cake?''
By the end of the movie I was completely shluffed and klutzy and nebbishy - I think I'd turned a bit psychosomatic-Semitic. And I seemed to have become smaller: when I got into my car, I had to reach up to hold the steering wheel and drive home like that, unable to see a thing, just using my sense of smell to guide me, sniffing for bagel shops to get directions.

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