3 Attempts to Kidnap My Dog (So Far)

I have a really cute dog.

I don’t want this blog to be about my dog, because I think that’s really lame.

But she’s really, legitimately special:

my dog in the grass
Betsy

I know this as a fact. It’s not just because she’s mine.

People come up to me on the street regularly, and claim that she is their dog, that they lost. This has happened 3 times so far, each time progressively more disturbing and offensive.

Attempt to Steal Betsy # 1: (least disturbing)

A crazy guy sitting outside a little bodega-like shop ( פצציה) stopped us and said “That dog looks just like my Jerry! Jerry?” and then started to laugh, and said he was just kidding. I said it wasn’t funny, and waited for my blood pressure to return to normal.

Attempt to Steal Betsy # 2: (a little disturbing)

A crazy lady approached us in the middle of a cross-walk, and said Betsy looks just like her dog that she lost. She walked with us, and wouldn’t stop saying it. She asked if the dog had a chip when I got her – a small identification tag they surgically insert under the dog’s skin, with vaccination and ownership information. Betsy did not have a chip until I took her to the vet to get one. I told the woman this, and she asked me if I was sure. I said yes. She didn’t seem to believe me, and hung around us until I said “OK – bye!” and walked away.

Attempt to Steal Betsy # 3: (horrifyingly absurd)

Last night I took a cab down to Florentin, and had Betsy with me. I opened my door to let Betsy out while I paid the driver. As I was fishing through my wallet for change, a man’s hand appeared in my face. A guy standing next to the cab was shouting “That dog looks like my dog that I lost! Hey, guys – look! It’s Buffy! It’s my dog!” This guy was unbelievable. He acted as though I didn’t exist; he was only interested in the dog who was shivering on my lap out of fear. He shouted “Buffy! Buffy!” at her, to which she responded with a sharp bark.

He then actually tried to take her from me. He reached over my lap, grabbed Betsy and tried yanking her outside. It didn’t work, and I shouted at him “ARE YOU INSANE?!” Rhetorical questions are great in situations like this.

This guy yelled in my face, telling me “It’s my dog! This is my dog!”, demanding I tell him from where I got her. I lied and said friends gave her to me who raised her as a puppy. (I adopted her from a shelter). In response, a girl who was standing with him asked who my friends are, where they live…

He then asked to see her right leg – “If her right leg is broken, she’s my dog.”

Really? I’m sorry you lost your dog with a broken leg. That must have been a difficult feat to accomplish. Take a look at my dog’s leg, which is not broken. She’s also showing no sign of recognition or interest, and she is interested in most humans she meets. You f*cking idiot.

When he saw her leg was in fact intact, I finally finished paying the stunned cab driver. I scrambled out the other side of the cab with Betsy in my arms. I didn’t let her down until we were a block away.

Why the Homeless are Better Judges of When Milk Goes Bad

Every morning I walk to the same corner and wait for the shared cab (monit sherut) that takes me to work.

I always stand next to these two large, industrial size garbage containers.

The other day, a woman swung a white plastic bag full of garbage, and tossed it into one of the bins.

A few minutes later, a man approached the bins. He looked like he was really tired, with a gray beard and tanned skin from being outside too much. He wore a tattered navy blue blazer that was too big on him. I wondered if his blazer was something he found on the street, or was a relic from his old life . . .

The man leaned over one of the green plastic containers and reaching inside. He dug around inside the garbage deposited by the woman. He took out a carton of 3% milk and smelled it. I wondered if it was already sour, or if the woman threw it out because she didn’t like 3% milk, but a boyfriend or friend brought it over. Maybe it was perfectly fine milk.

I tend to not give much notice to expiration dates. With milk, it’s a matter of smell. Same for yogurt. I’ll chop up a “tired” onion, if it’s going into a sandwich or will be cooked. I wouldn’t eat old leftovers; that’s where I draw the line. But if something’s in a packaged container, I’m not going to limit myself to an expiration date that’s someone’s educated guess as to when things go bad.

Also, It Was Just Purim

I also think it’s worth recording here that the holiday Purim just passed. This is a holiday full of silliness, from its name to its observance.

The word “Purim”, in American English, is pronounced just as the word looks – with a strong “PUH” and a short “rum”. PUH-rum. But if you pronounce it this way to an Israeli, they have absolutely no idea what you are saying. You have to make yourself feel like an a-hole and sound out the gutteral “r”. POO-rheem.

The holiday is all about remembering how Queen Esther and Mordechai saved the Jews from Haman, the evil vizier to the king.

The Food

Also, the cookies you find all over the place during Purim in Israel are a bit different than those in the U.S. They’re triangle-shaped pockets of dough with fillings baked inside. As a child, I always loved the strawberry and raspberry-filled hamantaschen. I have not found a single strawberry or raspberry-filled hamantasch in Tel Aviv. Rather, they contain chocolate, nuts or some mixture of the two.

In the States, we call them hamantaschen, which is Yiddish for “Haman’s ears”. In Israel, they’re called ozney haman, literally “Haman’s ears”. (Israelis generally don’t know/use Yiddish terms like American Jews, which I always find interesting.)

The Ritual

You’re supposed to dress up. It’s pretty much exactly like Halloween in the states. For almost a full week, people are in costume – waiters and waitresses at restaurants, little kids on the street with their parents, teenagers roaming around at night dressed as zombies.

I went as the color purple. I just put on a lot of different clothes and accessories I own that happen to be purple. I was going to just not wear a costume, and say that I was going as “apathy”. I decided it would be better to say I was going to go as apathy – pause – and then explain “but then I didn’t care enough”. Genius, right? There needs to be more ironic, subversive costume options for people who really don’t give a sh*t and don’t want to dress up, and are against the whole thing. Simply not wearing a costume isn’t satisfying enough. It just looks like you’re not creative. I want to make a statement about being above the entire thing. A sort of meta-costume.

Hello world!

Welcome to WordPress.com. This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!

I will go with “Edit”, thank you.

Today I begin a new journey, on sort of stale terrain: a blog. I started a blog a few times before and they collapsed after a few posts. I didn’t really know what I wanted the “theme” to be, or how personal I wanted to get, or what the point was really. Also I sort of went nuts and cracked under the pressure. More on that later. Here I am again. Back on the saddle.

I would like to channel the following people as I write my blog posts:

Fran Leibowitz.

Yeah, she’s enough of an inspiration. To Fran!

Yeah, just Fran.