Title:Adventures In The Produce Aisle &Other ‘Perelous’ Stories
Author: Perel Grossman
Publisher: Israel Bookshop Publications
At the bookstore recently, I saw how many new books had come out and was amazed at the sheer volume(s) of new material. I must admit that when it comes to reading, I prefer things on the lighter side. I don’t need someone telling me about tragic situations or how difficult life is why would I pay money to get depressed? I need something that puts me in a more positive frame of mind. If you’re anything like me, you want something upbeat that you can enjoy and have a good laugh with. Well, consider this: As you read Adventures in the Produce Aisle you’ll notice something striking about the experiences Perel Grossman relates: they’re not at all unique. In fact, they happen to every one of us in our roles as Jews, brothers, sisters, parents, grandparents, shviggers, and (very) shvers.
What is unique about “Tante P.” is her smooth way of pinpointing the subtleties of mass hysteria-inducing episodes and adding a liberal dose of humor, enabling us to laugh at our own challenges as we live vicariously through hers.
With page after page of thoughtful prose about mind-numbing experiences and a decidedly frum view of the world, readers will find more than a few articles to which they can relate, such as:
● How to handle your child with SSAASW (Sensitive Skin And A Strong Will) who refuses to wear anything but a black and white checkered shirt, green velvet vest with gold buttons, blue polyester pants that his two inches above the ankle, and swimming slippers … to school!
● How to prepare for childbirth. No, not yours, silly! Your daughter’s. It’s Friday afternoon. Your daughter is in the hospital. She is not calling you. She needs you desperately. You know this instinctively. Do you prepare for a possible shalom zachar or jump into the car and go assist the nurses?
● How to run a real-life Seder, complete with multiple seating re-arrangements, the appointment of an eight-year-old boy charged with slurping loudly during the drinking of each kos; and – for yeshiva bachurim and kollel yungerleit – the analysis of every available drinking receptacle to determine which is large enough to fulfill every halachic opinion combined.
From children to Yom Tov to everyday life, Adventures in the Produce Aisle will give you a glimpse into a world that is a mirror of your own, if that mirror were located inside a funhouse at a chol hamoed carnival.
So grab a cup of tea and a dietetic nosh, put your feet up, and immerse yourself in Perel’s world. Take a break from Pesach cleaning, or use the book as an excuse to put off starting it. You deserve it after the week you’ve just had.
Jonathan Gewirtz is a columnist and founder of JewishSpeechWriter.com