web analytics
September 1, 2014 / 6 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



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.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Economics Minister and Bayit Yehudi chairman Naftali Bennett
Bennett Praises Govt Decision on Gush Etzion in Visit to Yeshiva Mekor Chaim
Latest Sections Stories
LBJ-082914

What better proof do we need than the recent war with Hamas in Gaza, dubbed “Operation Protective Edge,” that transformed the pain and suffering of three families into a sense of unparalleled unity and outpouring of love of the entire nation of Israel?

Katzman-082914

So many families are mourning, and all along we mourned with them.

Astaire-082914

In addition to his great erudition, Rabi Akiva was known for his optimism.

Kupfer-082914-Chuppah

She told me that she was busy and that he could sit in his wet clothes for the rest of the day. It would teach him to be more careful.

What can we do to help him stop feeling so sad all the time?

Children with dyslexia or dysgraphia frequently have problems in social relationships.

Israel’s neighbors engaged in hostilities from the onset. The War of Independence was a hard-won battle. Aggression and enmity has followed for 66 years.

The contest will include student-created sculpture, computer graphic design, collage, videography, PowerPoint and painting.

David, an 8-year-old boy on the autism spectrum, recently attended a Friendship Circle event. As he entered he told his Dad, “I love coming to the FC programs ‘cause everyone loves each other.”

Goldsmith himself went on his own “voyage of discovery” to the places where his grandfather and uncle landed and were sent.

Frank proclaimed himself Zvi’s successor and the reincarnation of King David.

Almost immediately the audience began singing and clapping and continued almost without stop throughout the rest of the concert.

As of late, vintage has definitely been in vogue in the Orthodox community.

Stroll through formal gardens, ride mountain bikes, or go rock climbing.

More Articles from Mordechai Schmutter
Schmutter-080814-Socks

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

Schmutter-071114-Man

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

Father’s Day comes every year. How many drills can you get him?

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

Pesach is so liberating (if you excuse the expression). It’s the only time I can eat anywhere in the house, guilt free! Matzah in bed!

Purim around here is crazy. And I’m not just talking about the amount of questions I get.

Dear Mordechai,

Someone gave me a gift that I don’t like. But I don’t want to hurt his feelings. What should I do?

You Shouldn’t Have

This week we deal with questions from people who, one way or another, are on their own. And as usual, we don’t really help them.

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

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: