web analytics
July 28, 2015 / 12 Av, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


Could You Repeat The Question?


Schmutter-011813

You know what I noticed since I started writing this column? That people don’t write in to ask questions so much as they write in to complain.

I’m not complaining. I don’t mean to knock these other question-and-answer columns, but I’ve never once heard anyone say, “My life was going down the tubes, but then I wrote in to the newspaper, and now everything’s better!”

Why is that?

Probably because people like to complain. They never tell you when things are better. You have to ask.

“How about that thing that you spent hours talking my ear off about last time? Is that still a problem?”

“What? Oh. No. But listen to what the problem is this time.”

But I don’t care. Complaints are great for business, so long as you put them in the form of a question.

Our first one today comes from someone in Brookline, MA, who is surprised to find that she’s having a hand in planning her friend’s wedding:

Dear Mordechai,

I just got an invitation to a wedding, and they want to know if I want, quote, “chicken or vegetarian.” What on earth is “vegetarian”? As far as I know, that’s not a food. That’s a lifestyle choice. What is the food?

Undecided, Brookline, MA

Dear Undecided,

Nobody knows. Grammatically, the choice doesn’t make sense. Is it asking if you want to eat chicken or vegetarian? I’m not going to eat a vegetarian. They’re too gamey. Is it asking if I AM a vegetarian? Or what? A chicken? Yes, I’m a chicken. I have nothing against vegetables, but I always pick chicken, because I’m afraid of what they’re going to try to pass as vegetables.

No, “vegetarian” is not a food. But nor are the baalei simcha descriptive about what they’re actually putting into the chicken. So they’re not really giving you a menu choice here. If you’re a chicken person, you don’t care what they’re putting on the chicken. It’s got to be better than whatever “vegetarian” is. And if you’re a vegetarian, you don’t care what the vegetarian option is, as long as it’s not chicken. The card isn’t asking what you want, it’s asking what you don’t want.

I got an invitation like that for a wedding I recently went to: “Chicken or vegetarian?” And I was wondering about it. “Vegetarian” means “vegetables,” right? But aren’t there going to be vegetables on the chicken plate as well? So what’s “vegetarian”?

So my guess was that the choices were: A. a plate that, in addition to vegetables, has chicken, or B. a plate that has a big gaping hole where the chicken would otherwise be. Like it fell off the plate on the way to your table, and the hosts want to know if they can just give the rest of the plate to you. Or do they have to scrape the chicken off the floor and put it back on the plate?

But it turned out that the vegetarian option was some kind of tofu dish. Which I’m not sure is a vegetable either. I don’t know why we keep punishing vegetarians by giving them tofu. Haven’t they suffered enough?

But apparently, they eat it. Basically, vegetarians got together at some point and decided that they’re going to eat something that is as unappealing to us as our food is to them. They serve tofu to weed out the real vegetarians from the people who just want to eat more salad, or the chickens like me who are curious as to what the reply card means by “vegetarian.”

I do eat soy. I put soy sauce on my sushi, and it’s delicious. Soy is supposed to be a bean, like cholent beans. I don’t know what they do to the soy that makes it look and feel like a magic eraser sponge, and I don’t want to know.

Dear Mordechai,

How come I have to ask my kids again and again to do something, and they don’t listen? It’s like talking to the walls. In fact, I feel like if I say it one more time, the walls will just get up and do it themselves, just to get me to stop.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Could You Repeat The Question?”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
President Obama overlaid against photo of Jonathan Pollard.
Jonathan Pollard To Be Freed in November
Latest Sections Stories

What’s the difference between the first and second ten-year-old?

What makes this diary so historically significant is that it is not just the private memoir of Dr. Seidman. Rather, it is a reflection of the suffering of Klal Yisrael at that time.

Rabbi Lau is a world class speaker. When he relates stories, even concentration camp stories, the audience is mesmerized. As we would soon discover, he is in the movie as well.

Each essay, some adapted from lectures Furst prepared for live audiences, begins with several basic questions around a key topic.

For the last several years, four Jewish schools in the Baltimore Jewish community have been expelling students who have not received their vaccinations.

“We can’t wait for session II to begin” said camp director Mrs. Judy Neufeld.

Chabad Chayil wishes all a happy and healthy remainder of summer.

It’s ironic that the title of terrorist has been bestowed upon a couple whose alleged actions resulted in the death of three turtles.

“There is much for us to learn from this extraordinary family and their outstanding son,” said Rabbi Goldberg.

More Articles from Mordechai Schmutter
Schmutter-M-NEW-logo

My parents have a coffee table in their den, and I’ve never seen anyone drink coffee on it.

Schmutter-M-NEW-logo

Wait. Why would I give you 22 minutes first? How about you give me the world, and then I give you the 22 minutes.

For the most part, though, people tend to base their decision on how long the lines in the store are going to be.

Now that Pesach is over, we return you to your regularly-scheduled pressing questions:   Dear Mordechai, Can I use a nose hair trimmer during Sefirah? Harry Lipman   Dear Harry, Yes, as long as your nose hairs are so bad that they’re affecting your job. Like if you have a desk job, and they interfere […]

So generally, I dance for a few minutes and then stand off to the side with all the other people who don’t dance and feel like they have to make conversation, even though that’s when the music is the loudest.

Imagine you were a doctor, and then, one day a year, everyone tried his or her hand at surgery.

Dear Mordechai,
How do I prevent my Smartphone from breaking the first time I drop it?
Shattered in Pieces

Because you can’t have kids pouring huge jugs of oil into tiny glasses, unless you want to turn your house into an environmental disaster.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/potpourri/could-you-repeat-the-question/2013/01/17/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: