Hot For Hummus

Hummus is Chickpeas are great in Arabic. It’s the most popular dish in the Middle East among Egyptians, Jordanians, and Israeli offshoots of the Zohan tribe, 7 degrees separated from the golden Jew Adam Sandler. Actual unity is getting your Hummus resistor Jewish father from the Bronx to follow your 3 Koshertarian diet embracing children by joining the party to try your homemade Hummus made in his Arizona estate home for a pre-nosh nibble snack on top of toasted pita triangles with some diced up cherry tomatoes, fresh scattered parsley and vibrant looking, just grated carrots on top. I’m not betting the farm on my father to try my workshopped, perfected homemade Hummus over Thanksgiving break but as my father likes to rightfully point out, I don’t own a farm let alone a John Deer lawnmower or the personal property big enough to justify the expense because I’m still so broke, my Hebrew name is under judicial review.   Everyone can unify behind the depressingly dreary premise of a degenerate Jew like myself not being financially secure in life yet, who uses his fingers for basic arithmetic like a retarded version Dustin Hoffman at the Blackjack table at Talking Stick Casino.

Growing up in elementary school, all my Loan Officer mother ever made me was peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch, which didn’t help my blobby physique one bit at the time. Still, I never complained or requested anything different, urging my mother to make me Bento box lunches with Power Rangers stickers on the outside, with Cucumber and cream cheese Koshertarian rolls wrapped in seaweed and sticky rice within. Also, as a kid, I always preferred sesame bagels, for my egg and cheeses at the local Greek dinner, inhaling 2 in one sitting, after a night of drinking, with my old school high school buds, which is why my father called me the” human shovel” for a reason. So, I don’t need to be a math savant like Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man to realize my love of nut based spreads like peanut butter would eventually lead to my developed steamy love for Tahini flavor in Hummus, which is where the oily, creamy, pulverized sesame seed spewing essence derives from. Hummus is basically, the more versatile, infinitely less tubby version of peanut butter, which also packs leaner blasts of less sticky mouth protein. So of course, I’m hot for Hummus but only after I started making my homemade versions to spice up my kid’s lunches, so I didn’t burn them out on peanut butter, ruining their capacity to ever savor a Reese’s Pieces Peanut Butter Cups, made at all the specialty chocolate chops like in Ridgefield CT again, which is an American shishy bitch rite as it gets.

If you never tried Hummus, the famed sesame paste can be a turnoff, if you never sampled the primo goods before. On the surface, some store-bought Hummus or homemade Hummus can look like a sad plop mound of dried out earwax. That’s why you must add color and a dash of sophistication to your presentation. Pine nuts, who needs them. Chopped hardboiled eggs, gross, too overtly Israeli for my taste sorry. Pesto on top of hummus, is a blatantly unnecessary, awful idea, knowing Hummus when made right, requires no parm cheese garlic infusion to make it more swoon worthy than it already is. For me, I dress up my Hummus triangle creations with a menage a trois of radiant, lick it up color such as hot to trot, Little Red Corvette, cherry tomatoes and Arizona wild, desert bloom orange specked shredded carrots or some Polo Lounge conjuring green in the form of thick strands of Jalapeno on top to keep it extra steamy in the process.  

Just like it any relationship, you have to spice things up, incorporating needed color and variety to keep things interesting or you’ll lose sustained stiffage, which is the perpetual state of arousal necessary for any relationship to get excited for toppable tomorrows. The same rule applies to homemade loving infused creations versus the mass produced, manufactured kind, which lacks the length and depth of personalized pop compared to the real thing.  So invest in a Cuisinart to blend your Goya Chickpeas, add some store bought Tahini from your local Kosher butcher, add a garlic bulb or 2, throw in a generous heaping of sea, Himalayan, or Kosher salt, I don’t give a shit, before pouring in a steady steam of medium grade Olive oil, as the hummus magic swirls into scrumptious loving perfection before constructing your pita triangle pizzas with the steamy garnishes I mentioned prior and call it a day.  At the very least, your kids will love you more putting in the extra effort to tantalize and awaken their tastebuds to newer, fresher, yummier possibilities than ever before. Plus, your kids won’t become instantly tubby and resent your existence for it later. Last, your wife tasting like hummus won’t lure you into sucking face with her on the spot, but you’ll take whatever justified outs a 10-year marriage can give you.

Michael Kornbluth

The Midwest Review Loves Me To

Slated to appear in the December 2020 issue of the Midwest Review.

The Great American Jew Novel

Michael Kornbluth

Independently Published

ASIN : B08H6MC9M8                      $20.00 Paper/$9.99 Kindle

The Great American Jew Novel will appeal to readers of Jewish fiction and humor and tells of a precocious nine-year-old who becomes her “Do it All Dad” father’s self-appointed talent agent to solve all his troubles, from a failing marriage to comedy career aspirations.

Bashert can’t fix everything, but what she gets her little hands on surely changes many situations in a hilarious romp through stay-at-home dad Joshua’s evolving life.

Michael Kornbluth produces a survey that is, in itself, a comedic satire of the Jewish personality and lifestyle. Joshua’s uncertain navigation of his world, his ongoing ambitions beyond family, and the many challenges he faces in the course of realizing his dreams fuel a lively observational study in Jewish psychology: “…on a baser level, Joshua became addicted to scoring laughs from rehearsed one liners or inspired riffs in the moment, synthesizing the scattered observations and punchlines of years past, because it made him feel like a less all over the place Jew. Feeling in control was important to Joshua. He’d been the only schmuck with a stutter who graduated from the top communication school at Ithaca College in 99.”

From encounters with a funny female rabbi to political correctness on trial, Kornbluth provides a series of evocative encounters. Readers should be prepared for intensely detailed descriptions that would border on run-on sentences, except for the fact that their underlying attraction lies in their very length and depth: “She was funny, and very personable, coming off like a flatter-chested, higher-IQ Judy Gold. He honestly couldn’t tell if she was a bush muncher or not. Still, he loved how she made the Saturday Synagogue services very upbeat, welcoming and business-casual without stripping the house of worship of the deep-rooted holiness preening through the flawless stained glass windows, without the original Super Jew, Jesus Christ, anywhere in sight. But what bothered Joshua about the Rabbi, was a conversation over some Challah noshes after the service, when he tried to gain a stronger grasp on why Jews got so tense when the mere name of Jesus was brought up in conversation, especially when Joshua would get into his Pescatarian schtick about how if a diet of fish and veggies was good enough for Jesus, the original Super Jew, it was good enough for him.”

Much of the lingo and cultural references make this story much more accessible to the Jewish reader already well familiar with this background than those who are not, or who have not been exposed to Jewish language and psychology in their daily lives.

These notes aside, The Great American Jew Novel excels in a hilarious New York exploration of the world of comedy and Jewish culture. It’s sometimes politically incorrect, racy, and ribald. This absorbing viewpoint of a father’s drive for bigger and better goals and added meaning in his world is highly recommended for Jewish readers who enjoy the cultural lure of satirical social examination.

No More Bud Troubles

Old roommate in LA says, “I think you smoke too much weed because you have no friends out here.” Dan did have a point. The psychoactive green did keep my pangs of deep rooted loneliness at bay over TV showings of the Howard Stern Show on E before he became weird, weak, woke, Howard and started his non-stop apology tour for being the egotistical prick he always was to ensure he still got invited to Jimmy Kimmel’s house for more 2 bite Chicken Parm dinners. 

My ex-girlfriend and TV spec script writing partner who became my roommate soon after encouraged me to take an overdue break from the weed to unleash my full expressive potential, so I could get paid as a funny man freak on a leash writer who would become a proud member of the WGA one day. We wrote TV spec scripts together for shows such as Curb Your Enthusiasm, my favorite spec being the one I wrote without her called Passion Of Schmendel, during one my purifications off the weed, because according to my psychic in West Hollywood, my Chakras were more clogged than my freshman one hitter. I wrote the TV spec script before I learned the national weed holiday 4/20 is actually Hitler’s birthday to, which at the time, made me feel more betrayed than when I learned Sylvester Stallone snuck Mel Gibson into Expendables 3. 

My former life of being an abusive, live to binge pothead, caused me more friendship bud troubles, than I’d like to admit, until I became a semi-functioning IT Headhunter when I was 22 years old in LA, paying rent on my own finally, so I didn’t feel too much like a sheltered bum anymore. Developing a love for comedic storytelling and joke writing along the way, has given me a sturdier sense of self for almost 2 decades now, as I keep chipping away at the stone, to unearth more sheets of comedy gold to take an eventual victory lap in a comedy gold mobile of my own.  

I finally made more than a stoner bud, when I met Jay from LA at an IT staffing firm in Century City where I did new business development and recruitment, cold calling decision makers twice my age 10 hours a day like a poor man’s Vin Diesel in Boiler Room. We started to become more than buds after Jay from LA urged me to leave my writing partner girlfriend who I was living with at the time, because he could tell from my sigh heavy veneer, whenever she’d call me at work, that she was sucking my life force dry man. Plus, Jay encouraged me to leave our current company and go work with him at his old IT staffing firm, which he regretted leaving already, located in the more idyllic, Beach Boys music magic making area of Manhattan Beach in Southern California and we’ve been more than stoner buds ever since. We eventually became roommates in Sherman Oaks in the valley, during my 1st year of zero laugh generation open mike stand up, when I’d open with jokes such as, “I’m so broke, my Hebrew name is under judicial review.” I can’t even stare at an actress on Melrose without being fined for insufficient funds.” During our roommate stint together, I got on the show Blind Date, yet all I got out of the show was a free meal and Herpes. 

After I self-published my 1st 2 books, Controlling My Kids With Comedy, A Love Story, and Do It All Dad Does Jokes, I called Jay and told him I wanted to celebrate in style by seeing Aerosmith belt out Chip Away At The Stone together in Vegas, because that’s what I wanted to do, which he got us primo tickets for, making it top priority of the summer.

So, what’s my message for the youth today, to help preserve their special spark? First, don’t smoke weed in high school because your brains aren’t fully developed yet. Plus, we’re not all productive stoners on the sacramental herb that grew on King Solomon’s grave, the way rude boy Bob Marely was on it. Now, when you’re done with college and been at a job for more than year without getting fired, feel free to reward yourself with a one hitter of the herb, which is easier to enjoy paranoid free, once your identity is more fully formed on top of you having a more fleshed out idea about what you’d like to dedicate your life towards, besides recreating the stony induced giggles from the watching the Dark Crystal on sprayed weed from the Bronx that tastes like Windex. Also, it’s much more rewarding in life to be a creator innovator of some kind than being another stale sounding, consumer critic on the rag like the rest. Last, don’t let your scrumptious green inhalation become an all-consuming life suck, which prevents you from getting out into the real world to develop longer lasting, life enriching friendships compared to stoner buds from high school or in college, which easily fade away.

I love my friend Jay from LA for deriving endless joy from my rising comedic mojo and for never urging me to tone down my highly inappropriate edge, where I act like the entire world outside the house is an open mike to sample material on and kill loudly with. The same friend who reviewed my pre-election audio book comedy special, Resist This on Kobo without me ever asking him to do, after walking in on me rehearsing awful attempts at jokes in front of the mirror 15 years prior back in our old bachelor pad in Sherman Oaks, California during my 1st year of zero laugh generation open mike stand up,  which makes Jay from LA much more than a stoner bud to me.   

Michael Kornbluth