web analytics
March 1, 2015 / 10 Adar , 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
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife at Ben Gurion Airport as they depart for the US on March 1, 2015, ahead of Netanyahu's speech on Tuesday, before a joint session of Congress.
Netanyahu’s Speech to Congress – Blocked from U.S. Prime Time, Perfect for Israel
Latest Sections Stories
Golan Wine Medals

‘Double Gold’ awarded to 2012 Yarden Heights wine & 2011 Yarden Merlot Kela Single Vineyard.

Niehaus-022715

One should not give the money before Purim morning or after sunset.

Mendlowitz-022715-Basket

The mishloach manos of times gone by were sometimes simple and sometimes elaborate, but the main focus was on the preparation of the delicious food they contained.

Astaire-022715-Countryside

One of the earliest special Purims we have on record was celebrated by the Jews of Granada and Shmuel HaNagid, the eleventh-century rav, poet, soldier and statesman, and one of the most influential Jews in Muslim Spain.

Jews, wake up! Stop educating the world and start educating yourselves.

The lessons conform to the sensitivities and needs of the Orthodox community…

The program took on special significance as it marked not only the first anniversary of Rebbetzin Kudan’s levayah but also the 27th yahrzeit of Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka Schneerson, a”h.

It captures the love of the Jewish soul as only Shlomo Hamelech could portray it – and as only Rabbi Miller could explain it.

Erudite and academic, drawing from ancient and modern sources, the book can be discussed at the Shabbos table as well as in kollel.

I’m here to sit next to you and help you through this Purim with three almost-too-easy mishloach manot ideas, all made with cost-conscious paper bags.

Kids want to be like their friends, and they want to give and get “normal” mishloach manos stocked with store-bought treats.

Whenever he did anything loving for me, I made a big deal about it.

“OMG, it’s so cute, you’re so cute, everything is so cute.”

A program that started with a handful of volunteers has grown exponentially to include students from a wider array of backgrounds.

More Articles from Mordechai Schmutter
Schmutter-021315

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

Schmutter-M-NEW-logo

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.

If I’m going on for oven mitts, I don’t want to see sock puppets until at least page 40.

Alternatively, you can try your absolute hardest to listen whenever she says anything.

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

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: