Category: funny


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O.K. So you’ve watched the Kramer thing. Lots of people have.  It’s not the word, is it, you know, the ‘N’ word, that really pisses people off, is it?

It’s only a f**king word, man.

Black people use it all the time. To each other. Sometimes with affection.

No, that’s not what did it. Because words are beautiful and black people are beautiful and a word never harmed anyone.

No, it was the attitude and the context and the timing and the (lack of) talent.

Now, Lenny Bruce used the ‘N’ word a lot. He also used the ‘K’ word, the ‘M’ word, the ‘S’ word and ‘G’ knows how many others.

But…

Fun with Yiddish #1: Kibitzer

A very wise man once told me: ‘You know, boychik, this world is full of kibitzers. All you can do is out-kibitz them.’

You don’t know what the Yiddish kibitzer means? I’ll tell you.

The word itself is derived from the German name for a bird, the kiebitz, a lapwing or peewit. These birds are by reputation noisy and inquisitive and are known, colloquially, as Kibitzer.

However, in German, the verb kiebitzen means to spy over the shoulder of a card player.

So, a kibitzer is someone who kibitzes — that is, gives unsolicited advice or suggestions, in particular as a bystander/observer at a game; a ‘buttinski’; someone who’s always sticking his two cents into the affairs of others; a josher, a teaser, a flatterer; someone who patronisingly humours someone else along; a wise-guy who offers easy advice but doesn’t participate in the action; a second guesser; a… pain in the ass.

Literary criticism is something I used to do at college. Some people do it for a job: they’re all kibitzers; critics are kibitzers. Political commentators are mostly kibitzers; a minority of people who post comments on blogs are kibitzers.

My mother is a great kibitzer. In the car with my father she would always be back-seat driving. You know: ‘Watch out for the cyclist’, ‘There’s a red light coming up’, ‘You’re driving too fast’… She was once the subject of an article in our local paper because she took and failed her driving test fourteen times.

There are many kibitzers who frequent my local bar.

Recently, a Jewish friend of mine comes in. He tells me he’s won the lottery. All six numbers plus the bonus ball. The prize is in millions. This kibitzer overhears our conversation and asks my friend how he chose his numbers.

‘Well,’ he says, ‘5 is my grandson’s age. 64 is from the first two digits of my telephone number. 46 is the year I was born. 3 the number of years I’ve been divorced. 15 is my house number and 21 the age I’ll never be again.’

‘And the bonus ball?’

’63,’ the winner tells him, ‘it came to me in a dream. I dreamed I was in a theatre and on the stage was a chorus of sevens — eight dancers, each with the number 7 printed on the back of her costume. So I chose 63.’

‘But eight times seven is 56, not 63!’ cries the kibitzer.

‘So I’ve never been any good with numbers,’ chortles the millionaire. ‘Hey, bartender, get the mathematician a drink.’

What a kibitzer.

Murray Roman

Was talking about Bill Hicks the other day and I recalled a great comedian of a similar ilk from the 60s called Murray Roman.

There were two albums of his that I used to listen to as a stoned 16 year old hippie acid head: Blind Man’s Movie and You can’t beat people up and have them say I love you.

He also did a lot of live gigs in the late 60s (think he supported the Doors once) backed by a fantastic soul band whose name unfortunately escapes me.

Anyway, a friend of mine was searching for some downloadable stuff of his (preferably free) so here it is:

YOU CAN’T BEAT PEOPLE UP AND HAVE THEM SAY I LOVE YOU

A BLIND MAN’S MOVIE

Enjoy!

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