Sunday, February 11, 2007


First, a limerick:

A tutor who tooted the flute
Tried to tutor two tooters to toot,
Asked the two of the tutor:
"Is it harder to toot,
or to tutor two tooters to toot."

Since September, I've been one of several grown-ups helping a young man prepare for his Bar Mitzvah.

He faced multiple challenges, not the least of which is the fact that he's the biggest 13-year-old smartass the planet has seen since the day I turned 14 in 1976.

One example: Last year I was thrown into his 6th grade Hebrew class as a last minute substitute on a dreary Wednesday night.

I know how I used to treat religious school substitute teachers back in the day, and I was determined not to be similarly baited.

I hadn't accounted for my friend B.

He was as attentive and quiet as possible for the first five minutes of class. Then, at a break appropriate for questions, up went his hand.

"Mr. I.," he said, with an absolutely straight face, "this is the time in the class when the teacher usually gives each student a five-dollar bill."

I was completely useless for the next two minutes while I tried, unsuccessfully, to stop laughing.

Anyway, the big day was this past Saturday morning.

He sailed through with flying colors.

I have to admit it, I cried a little. (But of course, I'm such a sap, I cried at Rhoda Morgenstern's wedding, too.)

Be that as it may:

B., you rock!

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