web analytics
April 21, 2015 / 2 Iyar, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


What’s His Problem?

Schmutter-050914

Once a month, I write this column, in which readers can write in with whatever questions they want, and I try to answer them to the best of my ability while also being as noncommittal to my answers as possible, in case of lawsuits.

This week, I’m asking the questions for a change.

 

Dear Readers,

Why don’t more people send in questions?

As you know, I’ve been writing this column for almost 3 years now, dispensing free advice. Sure, the advice isn’t any good, but it’s free. According to my editor, my article comes out on the second Friday of every month, which is weird, because The Jewish Press comes out on Wednesdays.

And yes, people occasionally do write in with questions, or they hit me up on Facebook, or they call me during dinnertime. And no offense to them, but it’s always the same people. I’m pretty sure that there are plenty of people reading this column who aren’t writing in. I know you’re out there. I can hear you breathing.

I don’t understand. People write in to, say, Dr. Yael, all the time:

“Dear Dr. Yael,

Are you on my insurance?”

Well, I’m on your insurance. It’s not great insurance, but it covers me.

Okay, so the difference is that I’m not an expert. I kind of just make up the answers. In fact, sometimes, if we really need to make a deadline, I make up the questions.

Yes, I’m not a professional. I’m more like a friend who won’t get offended if you don’t take his advice. In fact, asking me is better than asking a friend, because I’m not going to follow up next time I see you. I don’t care if you’ve followed my advice. I’ve already forgotten that I gave you advice.

Your friends, meanwhile, are always going to follow up, especially if you don’t want them to:

“Hey, whatever happened with that job interview that you were talking about nonstop for several weeks and then suddenly just stopped mentioning?”

Also, a lot of people think that since this is a humor column, you’re not supposed to write in. I’m supposed to make up the questions.

Thanks. I have to do everything around here? Why would I write questions and then also answer them, in a public forum? How messed up am I that I’m just talking to myself here, once a month, on a specific publication schedule with deadlines?

Is it that you’re afraid I’ll make fun of your question? I don’t use your name anyway. I make up names, like “Confused from Flatbush.” Do you think your friends will say, “Hey, I know Confused from Flatbush! He davens in my shul! Backwards! He sits right in front of me.”

It doesn’t really matter what the questions are. It could be something you were already discussing with your friends, and you just want a second opinion, but in a funny voice. You’re basically asking me to make jokes on a specific topic. People do that all the time. People come up to me on the street, and after we both establish that I’m actually Mordechai Schmutter, there’s a tremendous awkward silence, in which they’re waiting for me to be spontaneously funny, and I’m waiting for them to give me something to be spontaneously funny about.

Sure, sometimes they say, “I have a topic for you.” And then they say a common noun:

“Chairs.”

“What?”

“Chairs. Chairs are funny, right?”

Maybe. Maybe the chairs you’re thinking of. But it’s a pretty broad word, and the chairs I’m thinking of at the moment aren’t that funny. They’re just sad. But if you narrow it down in the form of a question, like “I just collapsed a chair on the dais at my own wedding, what should I do?” then that’s a topic I could start thinking of jokes about, usually sometime after you walk away. Hence this column.

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.

One Response to “What’s His Problem?”

  1. Mark Ereira says:

    A failed chairman

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Amb. Thomas Pickering testified before the  House Armed Services Committee,  about Iran's nuclear program on June 19, 2014.
Brandeis Commencement Speaker Leads Iran Cheerleader Squad
Latest Sections Stories
Schonfeld-logo1

The teenage years are not about surviving. They are about thriving.

Twenties-041715-Hat

Every moment was a gift. I held each one, savoring.

Teens-Twenties-logo

We arrived in Auschwitz on Thursday, January 30, 2014. My seminary was taking us to see where the prisoners were kept. When we got there, I stepped off the bus in complete and total silence. I was in the back, and when we got to the gate I hesitated and started shaking uncontrollably. I couldn’t […]

From the moment Israel was declared a Jewish state, it has been the subject of controversy and struggle.

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 […]

It is very natural for kids to want attention and to be jealous of each other, especially when there is a new baby.

During the Second World War, a million and a half Jewish soldiers fought in the Allied armies, the Partisan units in Eastern Europe, and the anti-fascist underground movements in Western Europe and North Africa. These Jewish fighters won over 200,000 medals and citations. The Museum of the Jewish Soldier in World War II in Latrun, […]

The 2-day real estate event will take place in Brooklyn on April 26 and 27.

She wasn’t paying attention to what the child did when the mother was not in the room. Rather, her main focus was on what the child did when the mother returned.

The Mets at least have hope for the future with some good young pitchers.

French thinkers of the Enlightenment were generally not pro-Semitic, to say the least.

My Jewish star was battered, indeed it was a wreck
But I picked it up anyway and put it around my neck
To know that hatred mangled it was surely very painful
But just the same to me it is still very beautiful.

A compulsion is a repetitive action. But what underlies the compulsion is an obsession or fear.

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

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 […]

Schmutter-031315

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.

So the real question is, “How can we, as hosts, make sure our guest beds are comfortable?” Because your guests will never say anything.

Though if you do have a schach mat, you’ll realize that it cannot actually support the weight of the water.

Maybe now that your kids are back in school, you should start cleaning for Pesach.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/potpourri/whats-his-problem/2014/05/09/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: