The Crown Heights Connection
The Jewy Manhattan Book Club represented Jewish pride, pride in New York City being the muse for many successful, celebrated Jewish working artists, including singer songwriters like Lou Reed, Neil Diamond, novelists such as Ayn Rand, stand up comedians such as Don Rickles, Broadway playwrights like Neil Simon, Arthur Miller or Tony Kushner if Upper East Side society fixture business gals were in a more forgiving, generous mood than usual. Tonight, the focus was on Ayn Rand’s highly controversial novel, Atlas Shrugged, which clocked in around thousand plus pages, which made Tony Kushner feel terse in comparison for the 1st time in his charmed, theatre penning life.
Golda, the fire breathing, conservative radio host got the book club discussion of Ayn Rand’s novel Atlas Shrugged, underway. “First, I hate this title. Atlas Shrugged, I bet it made Jack LaLanne limp at 1st glance of it. Also, why would an author write a one-thousand-page novel? Does she enjoy time working with her Editor at Random House that much? Did Ayn Rand think her writing was in the same league as Tolstoy? Filling 4 hours of dead air on the radio every five days a week, in the pursuit of never boring your audience to sleep is much more difficult feat to perform. Now, I’m thinking David Foster Wallace wore all those bandanas to cover his initial misaimed, self-inflicted gun shout wound, resulting from trying to plow through this heap of philosophical nihilism, to justify her scruple free existence during some writing retreat at Kenyon College, all expenses paid. Ayn Rand found a married man to bang her and struggled so much at the end she had to collect social security, just saying.” Alte the comedy club owner interjects, “Ayn Rand’s writing is like Joan Rivers on Adderall, minus the colorful, punch flourishes of schtick along the way.” Frieda the Soul Cycle teacher star of SOHO Equinox expresses her opinion on the book, “I think everyone is being hyper critical of Ayn. She was no beauty by any stretch of the imagination. Still, she became a successful screenwriter in Hollywood in the 40’s, way before Nora Ephron, divorced acne scar face Bernstein, and wrote her divorce tale, turned Hollywood snooze feast Heartburn. I like Angelica Houston better when she looks sheik dowdy, rolling perfect joints in West Anderson films.” Ester, the Persian owner, of star executive tech staffing firm, Silicon Alley in NY moves the conversation toward the positive attributes of the ideas expressed in the book itself. Ester says, “I love the line, “wealth is a product of man’s capacity to think.” Personally, I’d prefer she’d use the pronoun woman, but nobody’s perfect. Joshua enters late to the Jewy Book Club meeting, with a bottle of Cab Franc from Rutherford, California in hand. All the woman stand-up the moment once they hear Joshua knock on the door awaiting his presence, knowing he’s running behind a couple of minutes for his first Jewy Manhattan Book Club Meeting. Ester, answers the door. “Hi, Joshua, for a second, I didn’t think you were coming.” Joshua replies, “And miss the opportunity to give you grand dames a chapter sample reading of a lifetime from my upcoming Novel, The Great American Jew Novel, Chapter 3, Gimmel Be Good. Joshua is so anxious to read the sample chapter Gimmel Be Good, he doesn’t bother to take off his prized leather bomber Faconable jacket, which he bought from the 1st writing check, he ever received, after getting paid to write all the TV host music video intros for VH1 Classic’s America’s Hard 100 in Manhattan. Joshua says, “I brought a cab franc from North Fork Long Island, it’s pretty young, so it won’t need time to breath like Hillary Hammer Time Cankles on the campaign trail in 2016.” All woman the woman in the Jewy Manhattan Book club, crack up in unison, sharing zero love, for that evil, cackling wench. After Joshua places the Cab Franc down on the kitchen counter, he whips out his smart phone and stars to read, Gimmel Be Good. Gimmel Be Good is a story about the kid who invented the dreidel game to distract the Romans from his forbidden Torah stories, so they’d think, another degenerate Jew gamble kid, nothing out of the ordinary here. All the grand working gal dames of the Upper East side spit out gobbles of laughter again. Joshua starts to read a sample chapter from his upcoming novel, Gimmel Be Good.
Gimmel Be Good
Once upon a time there was nice Jewish Boy, Michael the Greek Kornbluth. Every day, he’d study his Torah as God commanded him to do so. He’d refrain from intermingling with fetching looking gentiles like the Princess of Persia because he didn’t want to turn away from God, which was guaranteed to happen, whenever the porcupine puss princess interrupted his Torah studies again, forcing him to blow off Tefillin to mount her booty luscious round of mound from behind instead. Michael The Greek Kornbluth’s only vice was betting on the Greek Chariot Racehorses. He’d study the Greek Chariot Racehorses Forums, detailing, past racing performances and odds with divine powered zeal on par with his Torah study. Because one day, with his winnings, he’d wanted to become the head financer behind restoring the great 1st Temple destroyed by the Romans, because following in his father’s footsteps selling quicksand maps and Hebrew Alphabet blocks wasn’t going to get the job done.
One day, the Hellenization of Israel got ugly fast. Now, there was a new Greek Ruler in charge who claims to be a descendant of Arie’s Anti-Semite brother, who had a worse credit rating with Jewish money lenders, than Alexander’s Great, trust fund baby with Cleopatra, Lenny Kravitz Junior, no Jewish lender in Israel wanted to show any royal respectful love his way because he already blew through his fortune on the loser Chariot Horseraces and on a wind powered hashish farm in Damascus, resting on top of a pile of quick sand. The new Greek ruler in charge of Israel now, Pontificutus The Putz was in charge. A new hot shot Rabbi, Rabbi Mason, moonlighting as standup comedian on the rise came up with the nickname and it stuck like the fake news rumor of Jews heckling the Romans into crucifying Jesus despite Twitter not being existence yet.
Now, with Pontificutus The Putz in charge, any Jew caught studying the Torah at home was sentenced to death. But first those Jews would be forced to eat ham and cheese sandwiches for 20 days in a row, washed down with rotten camel’s milk, till they puked up their innards, establishing the roots of Greek hazing to be used on the American Greek university level centuries later. Circumcision was now banned, despite Alexander the Great, never being into the Greeks at the spa, sporting the inch worm hiding its head in its holster look. But Michael The Geek Kornbluth loved to study his Torah because he knew it made God Happy and he loved to grow closer to God every day, yeah, yeah. What’s a poor white Jewish boy, who can do long division equations with eight zeros in his head like a young Donald Trump without any startup investment money growing on olive trees in his favor to do? Michael had to come up with a diversionary tactic, a new gambling game to play at home, to divert attention from his cherished Torah studies, but knowing his stellar reputation as betting advisor to top Greek Senators around, coming up with a new gambling game for kids to shift focus away from their forbidden Torah studies wasn’t enough.
So why was Pontificutus the Putz such a Jew hater again? Because he was a slower runner than they? Because he was bankrupting his kingdom from all his non-stop gambling losses on Chariot Racehorses and loser bets on the Gladiators versus gangs of rock throwing Palestians from the neighboring Syrian Slingshot League. Never being confused as a professional gambler great like future great, Arnold the Brain Rothstein. Pontificutus the Putz also got herpes from a half Jewish prostitute, just like Hitler did before his herpes sores inflamed his desire to annihilate all of Europe on Crystal Meth. Also, similar to Hitler, Pontififcutus the Putz, had artistic ambitions, he even applied to art school in Athens, but he got rejected because his sculpture creations were crude like the Swastika symbol for instance. I don’t care that it was a photoshopped Hindu symbol. The Swastika still looks like a 2 stick figures doing a sixty-nine on Crystal Meth. Still, Pontificutus the Putz, bulldozed his way to the top and became a ruthless ruler of the Greek army for a guy who can pass for a little Greek landlord Astoria in Queens, NY any day of the week. What made Pontificutus the Putz such a killer warrior turned general, was his color blind, condition, so all he saw in life, was black and white death. Plus, the herpes always seemed to flare up before every major war against the Turks, he’d pierce with a spear as easy as an inserting a skewer into a fresh out the womb piece of Lamb Shawarma.
So how does a nice Jewish boy from Tel Aviv earn the nickname Michael The Greek Kornbluth. Well, he was genius at picking the Chariot Horseraces, making fortunes for all Greek senators who would ask him for race advice, in exchange for wine and challah for his hapless Dad, Joshua Kornbluth, who was known as the Willy Loman of quicksand maps and alphabet blocks. Michael’s father Joshua would get too wrapped into telling Gentiles Versus Jews jokes, to be taken seriously by even Jewish customers. He’d say, “What’s the difference between Jews and Greeks? Jews are in no rush to pledge their allegiance to the God of loud rain. Too soon for Zeus jokes. I don’t know why I waste my breath.”
Today, was different, because the Super Bowl of Chariot Racehorse races was happening and Pontificus The Putz needed a winner, or else, his army would take him out Marc Anthony style for backing such a perpetual loser after all these years, regardless if he’s related to Arie’s anti-Semite brother or not. Pontificus the Putz, enters Joshua’s, humble hut abode, which made a young Luke Skywalker’s adopted home on Tatooine look like Trump Tower. Michael The Greek Kornbluth, hides his Torah underneath his pillow and replaces it with some alphabet blocks his father carved himself but with Greek letters on it instead of Hebrew ones. Michael spins the dreidel. Potififcus blurts, “What are you playing with there Michael? Is your dad selling Hebrew Alphabet blocks that spin now? You do realize that’s not Kosher anymore kid? Then, Pontificus picks up the dreidel an says, “Oh, the letters are Greek.” Michael replies, “With you in charge, everything is Greek to me.” I tan nude at the beach like I’m a Greek senator on Holiday at the Red Sea.” “Alright, enough small talk, Michael, I a sure bet for the Chariot Race this Saturday”, Pontificus the Putz says. Have I got a horse for you Pontificus, named, Gimmel Ge Good. You haven’t heard of him yet because he’s a black horse from a Kibbutz in the Golan Heights, they say he’s faster than Hermes with a horny Medusa on his tail. He’s a 15-1 long shot, let it ride.”
Gimmel Be Good did good and won the race. And Michael the Greek Kornbluth was able to resume Torah studies without any interruption again. His father Joshua was granted a performance space to do a one man play, Greeks Versus Jews, which received much nonstop praise, Plato’s grandson, called the one-man act, “Socrates smart, flush with big time, funny man Jewish heart.” More importantly, Michael The Greek the Kornbluth, later changed the lettering on the Dreidel to Hebrew Lettering, knowing Greeks were on the look-out for Bibles whenever they raided Jewish homes and had a harder time recognizing Mythological bullshit than basic Hebrew lettering for that matter. And pretty soon, the Maccabees had enough of submitting to the Greek way of life, and reclaimed Israel as their Jewish homeland again.
Michael The Greek Kornbluth wasn’t able to parlay his billion-dollar betting brain and help finance the restoration the great Temple of King David. But more importantly, he was able to help preserve the roof over his head, that he shared with God and his dear Aba Joshua, which was that much important, since their mom died from childbirth along with his newborn brother, who he never got to study the Torah with. At least now, every night, dear Abba, Hebrew, for father, could study the glorious reflection of the all mighty in his son’s Michael’s, worry line free face, and give thanks and praises for the most high, for giving him the divine gift of fatherhood, which made dear Abba feel more blessed than the rest.
Ester is the first one to speak. “You’re a really talented writer Michael. Are you represented by William Morris Endeavor?” Joshua laughs. “I wish Ester. I wanted to make a strong 1st impression, proving a funny man Jew writer is who has every justified right, bash less punchy, fake news deep, Jewish writer luminaries sucked off the literary establishment back in the day at large. Golda interjects, I know a very funny, hipster rabbi in Crown Heights, who fashions himself as a less marble mouthed Jackie Mason, whose chummy with the editor of Tablet Magazine, who I can totally see publishing your historical short story with a mix of magical realism thrown in. His name is Rabbi Levite, he’s also a real foodie and loves his double IPA’s to unwind after intense Zohar tutorials with Ron Pearlman’s kids, you know the CEO of Revlon, Ellen Barkin’s West Village Townhouse bequeather. He’s not as hardcore Hassid as other rabbis in Crown Heights. Plus, he’s a too tall Jew like yourself, so he won’t resent your big man funny stature from the start either.”