Thursday, June 07, 2007

 

CHUTZPAH 101

Do you know what "chutzpah" is? It's balls - having them in spades. The classic definition of chutzpah is - a young boy murders his parents - is brought to trial for murder - and then throws himself on the mercy of the court because he is an orphan. That's chutzpah!!

This past week I came across two of the most chutzpahdik actions I have ever encountered. One concerned me - the other didn't.

Last Saturday Bubbie - Marallyn's mother - was at home spending a nice restful day when all of a sudden all the electricity in her flat went off. The television stopped working - no lights - no refrigerator - no nothing. She checked - there was electricity in the hallway - so it wasn't a building problem. Her electricity simply stopped.

So what did she do? She called Marallyn, of course. And Marallyn - caring daughter that she is - and Reuevn (Marallyn's husband - an electrical contractor) jumped into the car and drove to Bubbie's house to solve the problem.

And what was the problem? Someone's main fuse obviously blew. What do you do on a Saturday when all the shops are closed? Steal a fuse from someone else's fuse box and put it in your own fuse box. And that is why she suddenly had no electricity. Chutzpah!!

Saturday seemed to be the day for chutzpah. On Saturday night my friends who were visiting from London (Pearl & Stewart and Joe) and I went out to dinner. We went to a restaurant downtown - where there is a serious dearth of parking spaces. Stewart was driving - a rental car - with the name of the car company plastered on the side door. Very obviously a rented car. Great luck - I spotted several spaces up the street from the restaurant. Why several spaces? Because they are "nechay" spots - handicapped parking. BUT - if you read the signs carefully it clearly states that it is "nechay" parking only during certain hours and certain days. Saturday nights are free - so to speak. We parked - and just to be sure - I walked back to the sign to read it again. Yup - free.

We had a lovely dinner - got back in the car and drove home. The next morning Pearl rang me and said - "You gave Stewart bad advice - he got a ticket for 500 shekels." Was I upset? I was extremely upset!! I told her what the sign said and advised her not to pay the ticket but to write to the police (there is an address on the ticket) and explain that we were in a legal spot.

In Israel you can pay your tickets at the Post Office. So off they went to the Post Office. And guess what? The ticket wasn't theirs. The driver of a car parked illegally across the street on the sidewalk got a ticket - folded it up into a little tiny square - and put it under Stewart's windscreen wipers - so that we never noticed it.

Stewart doesn't read Hebrew. Well - he "davens" (prays) - but those words don't help you in real life - so he never noticed that not only did the ticket not have his registration number - it also was issued for parking on the sidewalk - which we didn't. I suppose that the other driver saw a rental car and came up with the brilliant idea of putting his ticket on Stewart's car. Real chutzpah!

Aren't we Israeli's clever?

Yalla, Bye.

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