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Friday, January 15, 2010


More taxing matters (we got a little carried away)

--Do you think our new tax preparer is Jewish?
--With a name like Zimmer? Of course.
--She didn’t look Jewish.
--Be politically correct. You mean Semitic.
--OK, she didn’t look Semitic. But she was smart and funny.
--There you go, Jewish.
--I was always flattered in college to be taken for Jewish.
--That happened to me a couple times at the union. Norman Schwartz in the elevator once asked me, “Kosnic. Is that a Jewish name?” I told him it was Polish Catholic.
--How’d he react?
--What do you mean? We were in the elevator, going to work. Kosnic sounded like a Jewish name to a Jew, that’s all.
--Kosnicastan. That could be where your ancestors came from.
--You mean that’s my family’s mother country?
--The Old Sod, The Homeland.
--Yes. Lost in the shuffle of the other ‘stans’--Tadzhikistan, Uzbekistan. This tiny little wedge of real estate is in there.
--Full of Kosnicastanis.
--In need of assistance.
--Kosnicastan, I like it. That could be where the dictators in the other ‘stans’ have their summer homes.
--Their dachas and hunting lodges.
--Did you say all the Kosnicastanis are Jewish? It can’t be easy for them in that region.
--Especially sitting on all the world’s remaining gabardine reserves. Every passport holder in Kosnicastan is Jewish. But they don’t know what this means. Only the national records and passport lady has been to Israel. See, Kosnicastan is the home of the actual Lost Tribe. I should’ve said they would be Jewish if they had any religion.
--That’s sort of sad. A whole country, and all of them related.
--You could go back as a goodwill ambassador. You could say Nancy Reagan sent you.
--Let me think about this.
--You think about it while I get us a refill.

--There you go, Grebus. That’s your name when you go back to your native village.
--Thank you. I thought you said everyone’s related in my motherland.
--I did, Grebus, they are.
--But you say they have villages.
--Well, yes. People don’t all live in the capital city of Plotzick. But these villages aren’t divided by tribe, or language subset. They’re divided by herd animal. Goat villages, camel villages. So, you fly in and land on the salt flats. That’s what they use for the airfield. You deplane. You’re greeted by diplomats. There’s a military honor guard and a band, flower girls in quaint peasant costumes. They have this ululation type of cheer everyone’s doing, both the men and women. When they quiet down, you tell them you’ve been sent by former First Lady Nancy Reagan as a goodwill ambassador.
--Am I nervous?
--Of course you’re nervous. You’re the first American of any prominence to visit Kosnicastan since Teddy Roosevelt. When he went there for quail hunting.
--No, I’m nervous because I’ve been sent by Nancy Reagan. On a mission to my motherland. Which is mother to a nation of people who are all Jewish and don’t know it. And they all belong to the same family. And not just the Family of Man.
--I’d be nervous, too.
--Not like me. I’m a woman, and Nancy Reagan sent me with a single message for Kosnicastan. Do you want to know the message?
--“Just Say No to Drugs and Sex.” It’s a good message, but they don’t have a drug or AIDS problem in your native land.
--“Just Say No to Inbreeding.”
--Ah. I see. It will be controversial. Better prepare for some blow-back. If they had a press corps or any media, this would be big.
--When a first lady calls, you can’t just say no.

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