Magic Jewball

all signs point to no


In hope I turn my face up to the sky

Filed under : New York City
On January 6, 2007
At 6:30 pm
Comments : 14

Yes, that title sets things up for a serious post but I fooled you! Nope, it’s not serious at all. That line just happened to be in my head when the following occurred. See, when I walk around on the sabbath, I don’t have my iPod so my brain just makes the necessary substitutions and today it happened to be playing the song from which that line comes as I was walking to synagogue. Luckily I’ve heard it about 1400 times and so my brain can just go on auto-pilot.

But as I’ve mentioned before, without the magic white buds in my ears I am just a magnet for homeless people to accost me and naturally, one did today. Actually, I mistook him for a person who could afford a hipster haircut and a leather coat but only because he was sporting a hipster haircut and a leather coat. I know they have that coat donation thing this time of year but I had no idea that they also had an expensive salon program as well. Silly me.

So I just kind of assumed he was going to ask me for the time or something. I knew the time, you see: late. Late for synagogue. Instead he began a long speech about how he just needed something to eat, any kind of food, etc. I listened patiently (although I kept walking) because I already knew I had nothing to give him. At the end of his speech I said, “I’m sorry, I don’t carry any money on my sabbath.” Because, you know, I’d be handing you my whole wallet if it weren’t.

If you thought that a homeless guy on the Upper West Side automatically understood that a girl in a skirt carrying a prayer book on a Saturday morning would have no money, you would be correct, sir! For some reason, though, he also thought he had gravely offended me by even asking and proceeded to apologize profusely. He then said in a humble tone, “I am fully aware of all that.” Well, excellent, I’m glad we have that all settled then. Onwards with the mental iPod then. That worked out well until I passed the autobody shop blasting Roxette’s “It Must Have Been Love.” If you find that I have shoved that earworm into your head, feel free to click the link below or the new iPod Song of the Week. I put it up early since I won’t be around tomorrow. Much better.

Neil Finn – The Climber


14 Comments for this post

  1. Sarpon says:

    One could wear the earbuds connected to nothing with the end of the wire tucked discretely into one’s pocket, in order to avoid being accosted by panhandlers, if one were not averse to engaging in what amounts to a passive deception. This would not, of course, afford any protection whatsoever from random Swedish pop duos.

  2. RN says:

    That’s strange. I had a guy come up to me tonight, while we waited outside before my talented young son’s band was getting ready to perform and say “I just got out of the penitentiary and need $3.40 to get a room at the Y”

    See, I live in TulsafluckingOklahoma and we don’t have panhandlers.

    There is a parallel universe.

  3. Julia says:

    I find this post very funny and coincidental, but you’ll have to read the post that I just wrote about your song of the week feature to understand why. There are multiple parallel universes, apparently.

  4. Becca says:

    Sarpon, that doesn’t look so good on the sabbath, if you know what I mean.

    The Y only costs $3.40? I am so there.

    OMG, everyone must go see Julia’s post now. Go now! See how the iPod song of the week can help you stop smoking!

  5. Sarpon says:

    Becca, are you worried that the Lord our God, Melech ha’olam, will be fooled by unplugged earbuds?

    But now you have me thinking. What’s the rule for hearing aids on the Sabbath? Are Orthodox synagogues miked, or are they all small and rely on great acoustics? Will you answer, or will I have to wait and see if my questions are worthy of Jew & A? And what about Naomi?

  6. Becca says:

    No, actually, I’m thinking of a concept called “marat ayin” or “appearing to the eye” where we refrain from doing something OK which perhaps looks wrong so that others who know we’re religious don’t mistakenly think something is OK which isn’t.

    So, if a guy with a kipa goes into a non-Kosher restaurant to get a soda, others might see him and think the restaurant is Kosher and eat there.

    The other question, I have no idea except I do know there are both large and small Orthodox synagogues and none that I know of use microphones.

  7. Alex says:

    I’ll give odds that Becca’s too young to recognize “What about Naomi?”

    I, on the other hand, am not.

  8. Becca says:

    Indeed I have no idea what you’re talking about, Alex. Thank God I’m younger than somebody.

  9. Alex says:

    My gray hairs, my creaky old bones and I are happy to be of service, Becca.

    Sarpon was alluding to “Love of Chair,” from “The Electric Company,” which used to be on PBS (right after “Sesame Street” on my local station) in the early ’70s (back when, in Kansas at least, there were only 4 channels to watch).

    “The Electric Company” was an educational children’s show with an amazing cast that included Bill Cosby, Rita Moreno and Morgan Freeman.

  10. Becca says:

    Ah, I see. But I did watch that show, as proven here.

    And look, Celia had the same line! How adorable.

  11. Emeraldmph says:

    I always tell homeless people I don’t have money, that is, if I can’t avoid talking with them at all. I wonder, should I feel bad about that?

  12. Jan says:

    I went through a phase in college where I played so much Tetris, I could play it in my head even without my computer, It got me through a lot of boring classes.

  13. Jane says:

    Jan – that’s the reason I can’t play Tetris anymore. If I play it even once, I lay awake all night for weeks rearranging blocks in my head.

  14. Becca says:

    Don’t get me started on Tetris. Not only could I play it in my sleep in college but I can still hear the music from my neighbor’s Mac version in my head today.

    Oh, and once, my roommates had me paged in the library because they couldn’t remember the password to get into the version on my computer.

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