$hmu number 2

I’ve sat by during the past couple of days, watching all others (even a little Kempner) take centre stage on this here blog. Christ, Alison Lawrence (one of our maternal aunts) has had more page time in her comments alone, than I. Not begrudging you those comments, Al (if I may be so bold as to call you that, given where I started, aged 2-15, with ‘Aunty Alison’), but I think enough is enough. I’m back baby. (that baby refers to you, my dear (the general reader), not you, Al (the aunt). For those of you that didn’t read my only other entry, I started referring to you all – our devoted blog followers – as ‘my dear’ en masse, because it allowed me to quote a film.)

I overuse brackets. I know I do. But please understand that if this were a book – as I like to think it may one day become, due to its astounding, though as-of-yet-unachieved success – the bracketed bits would be footnotes and would thus not be so detrimental to the ebb and flow of my writing. This aside would be one big fuck off footnote too, I suppose.

Anyways, I have good news and bad news for you. The whole fish alley moment that equally was and wasn’t central to my previous post has passed and I won’t be talking about it ever again. I’m aware that I said I would devote this blog to its discussion, and I even have a deep issue with people flaking out on plans they’ve committed to. But the way I see it, if I am to be such a flake anywhere, it might as well be here, in a blog that no one is reading, where I am already being totally self indulgent in my use of brackets. I can be as bloody self indulgent as I bloody want here. If you bloody care about fish alley that much, go and find out for your bloody self what it’s all about. Because I’m not bloody doing it.

Sorry for the sudden, manic outburst. I got very angry with you for a second then, my dear. But it wasn’t your fault. It was mine. I get very worked up about flaking, and very defensive about self-indulgence, despite the frequency with which I indulge myself, and the two combined produced a very powerful emotion just then.

That was the bad news. The good news is that I have other subjects of interest I’d like to discuss.

Jess, Dad and I played a very funny game t’other day. We were killing time whilst waiting in the hour long queue we voluntarily joined in order to eat a delightful lunch at some place I don’t remember the name of in sunny san fran. The game goes like this: one person asks either of the other two a question. It can be any question, as mundane or outlandish as you’d care to push it. The question receiver must then, without hesitation or laughter, pose a new question to either the previous question asker or to the third member of the group. Their question can be as unrelated as they so choose, and again, it may be anywhere on the mundane-outlandish scale. In short, they can ask literally any question, so long as it makes grammatical sense. Whoever is asked that second question must do the same again. They must ask another question. You must understand how this game works now, surely? Ah yes, and the twist to the game is that if you pause or laugh after hearing a question posed to you, you must answer the question that made you pause or laugh. Naturally, us (Jess and me) being little children at heart, it didn’t take long before what are probably deemed for a family to be ‘inappropriate’ sexual questions began entering the frame. I say ‘probably deemed inappropriate’ because you probably forget, my dear, that when one is with his family, any sexual reference is usually thought of as inappropriate, if not a little uncomfortable. Due to the nature of some of the personalities in my family (Jess), I have become numb to most things usually thought of as ‘weird’ or ‘uncomfortable’ with the family over the years. Christ, I have witnessed incest jokes being made at the Shabbat dinner table on a Friday night. With not infrequent regularity at that. Dad, however, has never really wholeheartedly thrown himself into this sort of humour with the family. He always looks a bit disbelieving that he could have spawned such obnoxious and foul-mouthed creatures when such hilarious anecdotes involving faecal matter, foul language or sexual innuendo are offered. So obviously such a game as this involving myself and jess was always going to lead to some obscene and sexual questions being asked. But whatever was getting thrown out there by us was being coolly dealt with by any and every question receiver. And the entire time, Dad was able to maintain an impressive level of decorum, which constantly ensured he kept up the Madrich-chanich relationship with us that we are encouraged to keep up when we are leading on our respective Jewish summer camps (Madrich being a leader, chanich being a participant). He is a good Madrich, of that there can be no doubt. But as the game continued, a sort of carnival atmosphere began to envelop us all, as we lost ourselves in the obscene and bizarre, going quicker and quicker with our question asking, Jess and I pushing the limits of what we could say further and further, until Dad – Dad(!) – responding to a similar question put to him and with nowt but pure, witless panic in his eyes, yelled to Jess:


She tried to hold it in. She really did. And she would have succeeded had it not been for the fact that I didn’t have to hold it in, and therefore let it out. And boy-o did I let it out. I let it all out. I snorted, chortled, roared and then silently shook with laughter. It was too funny. Dad had just demanded Jess to describe to him the state of her nether region. It’s not often that you hear a father enquire into such matters with his daughter. Jess laughed hysterically. Dad, not sure what to make of it all, started laughing in a controlled manner, clearly wanting to save face and be able to come out of this no worse for wear than having an ‘amusing anecdote’ to tell to… well no one, really. Who can he tell that anecdote to? There is no one that he will ever be able to tell that to. Except maybe a therapist.

And I know you are secretly dying to know Jess’ answer, aren’t you, my nosy darling? I am delighted to report that her response was a bold, unflinching and unashamed ‘dark brown’.

Fair enough really, I thought. Same colour as the hair on her head. I’d like to think that had that question instead been put to me, I would have been able to answer with equal self-assuredness. But I know in my heart that this is not the case. Because I don’t have ginger hair on my head.

And on that bombshell, I am going to bring this lil’ piece to an end. I know I only discussed one subject of interest, but I think you’ve had quite enough of me for the time being. Stay tuned for more of me in the upcoming days.


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