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April 18, 2014 / 18 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Mendy Hecht’

Big, Hairy Problems

Friday, May 11th, 2012

Welcome once again to “You’re Asking Me?” – a humorous advice column that is pretty much like any other advice column, except in terms of helpfulness.

Like all other advice columns, we try to answer your questions, but if you stump us, we say, “That’s beyond the scope of this article,” and we move on with our lives. That’s a nice way of saying, “We have no idea. There are people you can pay by the hour for this sort of thing.”

This week, we begin with a question sent in by every father ever.

Dear Mordechai,

I’m a father, and I’m eating pretty much the same foods I was eating as a teenager, but now all of a sudden I find myself gaining all kinds of weight. What’s happening to my body? And is it just me?

C.K., Far Rockaway

Dear C.,

It’s definitely not just you. Why do you think I don’t use an actual picture of myself at the top of this column? Join the club.

Literally. There’s a club. Granted, it’s a health club, but you get to hang out with other people who are in the same shape as you (pear-shaped). The only downside is that most of the space is taken up by exercise equipment.

The truth is, you might think that you have basically the same habits you always did, but that’s probably not true. For example, now that you run your own household, you arrange your life primarily around making sure you have to get up as little as possible.

So you should probably eat a little healthier, to compensate, but eating healthy is a lot of work. With most unhealthy foods, part of what makes it unhealthy is the preservatives that allow you to buy a ton of it and then come back to the closet several months later and say, “Hey! We have cookies!” It’s a nice surprise. Of course, this never happens, because you usually eat them as soon as you get home. Who forgets they have cookies? But sometimes, I do forget that I have vegetables, because they’re all the way at the bottom of the fridge, in a drawer that is almost always stuck, and when I do find them, months later, it’s never like, “Hey! We have vegetables!” It’s more like, “Oh. We had… What was this?”

“The drawer says “vegetables.”

It’s a good thing it’s labeled. No one ever has to label their nosh closet(s).

Veggies go bad, so you have to keep buying new ones every week. Plus you have to wash them and peel them and cut them and check them for bugs. Cookies never have bugs.

So eating healthy is a lot of work, and if we wanted to do that much work, we’d exercise. But exercise also seems like a lot of needless work. You pick up a weight and then put it down in the same exact place you got it from. What are you accomplishing? If I ran a health club, I would make my members feel like they were accomplishing something. They’d come in the morning, and I’d say, “Okay, today we’re moving all these exercise machines into the other room.” And the next day, I’d say, “Okay, today we’re moving all the machines into the first room.” No one ever goes in two days in a row, especially when I’m constantly asking them to help me rearrange my furniture, so no one would be the wiser.

 

Dear Mordechai,

I want to shave my beard for Lag Ba’Omer, but my wife wants me to keep it. What should I do?

M.P., Passaic

Dear M.,

You think I’m going to get in the middle of this?

Actually, I am. Marriage is all about compromise. So I would say you should shave about half your beard, and then walk around like that for a while. Before long, she’ll be begging you to just shave the rest.

The truth is that beards come highly recommended by at least nine out of ten rabbis. Sure, if you’re not used to a beard, it can be very uncomfortable and scratchy. But they say that if you keep it long enough, it will start to grow on you. And beards do have their advantages. For example, you can stroke it while you think about stuff. Also, people with beards tend to look smarter. Probably because they spend more time thinking.

My guess, though, is that she’s doing this for your own good. In my experience, when your wife says you look good in a beard, that’s code for, “You’ve put on a few pounds.” Beards are slimming, because when you see a fat guy with a beard, you can pretend that he’s really skinny, and that half the width of his face is actually just layers and layers of beard. That’s why Santa has a beard. You didn’t realize he was fat, did you?

Lifetime Guarantee

Monday, April 16th, 2012

Ever since I’ve started writing “You’re Asking Me?” people have been writing in to ask for advice, like they expect me to have all the answers.  Seriously.  Don’t these people have any friends?  Or anyone else they can ask?

 

Our first question today comes from someone who does have friends, but doesn’t want to ask them straight out.  And she’s hoping that those friends don’t read the newspaper.

 

Dear Mordechai,

            I’m having a family over for the last days of Yom Tov, and they don’t eat anything on Pesach.  What should I make?

B.H., Toronto

 

Dear B.,

Nothing.  Seriously nothing.  By the last days of the Yom Tov, they’re not coming to you for the food.  They’re coming to you despite the food.  They don’t want you to put out food that they will then have to force themselves to eat.  They only came to you so they themselves don’t have to figure out what to make.  Or have Pesach leftovers that they have to deal with after Pesach, when it suddenly, somehow, all expires at the same time.  I would say just put out some matzah and drinks and maybe something for heartburn.

Pesach food has become an obsession with us.  Nowadays, we start cooking weeks before Pesach, but when the Jews were leaving Mitzrayim, food was the last thing they thought about.  They had 210 years, and they didn’t start making food until 17 minutes before it was time to leave.  “You know,” they said, “We should really pack some snacks for the road.  We might be out for a while.”

Think about it like this: Why can’t you ask your friends yourself?  It’s because they’re going to say, “No, no, you don’t have to make anything.”  You think they’re trying to be nice, but they’re not.  After all those days of Yom Tov, no one’s really interested in eating anymore.

 

Dear Mordechai,

            Have you ever wondered what it means when you buy, say, a plastic chair for your porch, and it says, “Lifetime Guarantee?”  Nothing I own has ever lasted a lifetime.

Mendy Hecht, Monsey

Dear Mendy,

Obviously, it’s not talking about your lifetime.  If you go your entire life without breaking the chair, who exactly is breaking it after you die?

The product is guaranteed for the lifetime of the product itself.  When the product dies, so does the guarantee. Because honestly, how on earth can the manufacturer possibly know how long you’re going to live?  The guy builds plastic chairs.  He’s not a fortune teller.

 

Dear Mordechai,

            How come my wife’s old clothes go into the dress-up box so my kids can walk around in high heels and snoods, while my old clothes go under the kitchen sink to be used as cleaning cloths?

A.H., Monsey

Dear A.,

There are two reasons this happens:

1. Women are in charge of deciding what gets to be used as rags, because guys would never think of using rags or sponges at all.  Most of the time when I do dishes, I scrub the plates with my fingers.  It’s the women who decide that we need rags, and whose clothing do you think they’re going to use?  Yours.  Because that way it makes them feel like you’re contributing.  And

2. Your wife stops wearing something when she loses a button or develops a tiny, unnoticeable stain or something called a “run.”  Whereas you assume that all clothing comes with a lifetime guarantee, so long as you don’t grow out of it, and will cheerfully wear things until they have dissolved to the size of a small dishtowel, which makes them perfect to use as cleaning cloths.

 

Dear Mordechai,

            How do I get the sanitation department to take my old garbage can?  The can came with my house, but the wheels are missing, and it no longer stands upright.  In order to use it, I have to prop it against the other garbage cans.  It’s always rolling around my yard and making noise and I want nothing more than to get rid of it.  But no matter what I do, the sanitation people just won’t take it.  I tried bringing it to the curb, leaving it empty, leaving it full, laying it down, putting it inside another garbage can…  I even tried leaving a note on it that said, “Garbage.”  But they just took the note.  What do I do?

S.B., Brooklyn

Dear S.,

Cut it in half.  Lengthwise.  If you don’t have the tools to do this, you can leave it at the curb during a serious rainstorm, and it will blow away.  So will the can that you lean it against, but that is a small price to pay, right?

Of course, if you’ve already spray-painted your address on it, you have a problem, because people are going to keep bringing it back.  Maybe you can use more spray paint to change the number on the can, and have it be someone else’s problem.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/potpourri/lifetime-guarantee/2012/04/16/

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