Earworms = #EleventhPlague

Oy, remember those cute yeshiva boys with the nice voices who brought us this catchy Pesach ditty to the tune of Macklemore’s “Thrift Shop” last year?

C’mon, sing it: “Changin’ my pots and pans…gotta have Manischewitz for my prophet…I got haggadehs, lookin’ for the chametz…we’ll be munchin’ matzah…”

Well, the men of Six13 are baacccccck, this time changing up the lyrics to everyone’s favorite animated Oscar-winning animated movie (though personally, I didn’t think it lived up to the hype.)

Here’s your “Chozen” mash-up:

Little Yenta Girl is already driving us batty caterwauling “Let It Go” and “Do You Want to Build A Snowman” a hundred times a day, so I guess she can entertain the seder guests with the kosher versions.

Naughty or Nice, Everyone Loves Some Jewish Boys

Y’all know I just love the Nice Jewish Boys calendar. Who can argue with 12 months of mensch?

slide_341952_3532570_freeBut there are some who like their tribal dudes with a lil’ more…naked. That’s the concept behind Naughty Jewish Boys calendar, billed as “an unorthodox idea whose time has come.”

I’m about as unorthodox as it gets, so I’m full ON BOARD with “the desire to see Jewish men regarded as sexy instead of merely as a good catch cuddle-buddy.”

Playwright Duncan Pflaster (himself not Semitic in the least but a true appreciator of the sexy Jewish men, according to the New York Post) has already cast a slew of Hebrew hotties from an ad placed on Craig’s List, but I can think of a few others, not to mention my own verrrry wicked El Yenta Man.

Except we may never get to usher in Chanukah with this bare-chested bearded babe or any of the others, ’cause the Nice Jewish Guys have sent the Naughty ones a cease-and-desist letter for copyright infringement. Nice Jewish Guys calendar founder Adam Cohen charges that the naughty version confuses consumers; Pflaster says he’s just trying to break down the stereotype.

Boys, boys, boys! Can’t we all just along? Eye candy for everyone!

The Rotten Tooth in Emory’s History

Dr. Howard Black

Dr. Howard Black

Dr. Harold Black talks about the rotten tooth in Emory’s history (Reposted from connectsavannah.com):

There it is again, the stabbing nerve pain.

I’ve got this crabby molar in the left side of my mouth that I’ve been ignoring for some time. I find myself avoiding hot and cold liquids, meats that require more than cursory mastication and anything with seeds. My diet has basically been reduced to white wine and baby food.

Last week after a piece of hard candy practically sent me into convulsions, I bit the bullet (oh god, it hurts to even think that expression right now) and made an appointment with the dentist.

Though I’ll have to wait until next Friday to sit in the reclining chair of Dr. Harold Black, I have high hopes that he can wrangle my dastardly denticle into submission. After all, he’s been practicing dentistry in Savannah longer than many of us have had teeth — 55 years, in fact, and yes, he still has all of his. The walls of his practice at Morrison Dental Associates teem with certificates and fellowships, and he’s a coveted speaker at professional dental societies all over the southeast. (I hear those Southern Academy of Periodontology seminars are epic.)

Like many Jewish young men of his generation, he was strongly encouraged by his parents to go into medicine, which combined service to others with a nice living to support one’s elders.

A star student at Savannah High and at Emory College in Atlanta, the young Dr. Black was inspired go into dentistry by his Romanian grandmother, who witnessed some terrible dentures in her Old World shtetl and used to admonish him in Yiddish, “You need to make the teeth!”

But this Savannah-born master of the mouth mirror might not have donned his white coat at all. Black entered Emory’s dental school in 1955 under the heinous tenure of dean John E. Buhler, who cultivated a climate of anti-Semitism so pernicious that 65 percent of Jewish dental students were either flunked out or made to repeat years between 1948 and 1961.

Though racial discrimination ran rampant in all corners of the South, Savannah’s historic Jewish community was mostly protected from prejudice suffered by their Northern and Midwestern counterparts, or, God forbid, their persecuted Eastern European brethren. Even in the years after the Holocaust, young Black couldn’t understand what was happening, let alone why.

“Growing up, we didn’t even know what anti-Semitism was,” shrugs Black, whose father was one of the founding members of Savannah’s Bnai Brith Jacob synagogue.

During Buhler’s “reign of terror,” prospective dental students had to check a box on their applications categorizing them as “Caucasian, Jew or Other.” Buhler and cohorts hurled epithets at the Jewish students and told them “they didn’t have it in the hands” to become dentists.

One semester, Black was accused of misplacing a tooth model and stayed up all night to carve another one — only to find the next morning that the missing tooth had magically reappeared.

“We were harassed on a daily basis,” remembers Black, now a vivacious white-haired gent who will celebrate his 79th birthday this year.

Because not even Führer Buhler could argue with his stellar grades, Dr. Black was one a handful of Jewish students that graduated in four years. But many of his other Jewish classmates, all at the top of their undergraduate classes, received expulsion letters for failing marks. And because of the shame of failing out of a heralded school like Emory, none of them shared the injustice with each other, allowing the abuse to go unchecked.

“I never spoke of it to anyone,” confesses Perry Brickman, who was kicked out of the dental school in 1952. “I didn’t even tell my wife until many years later.”

It wasn’t until Brickman attended a retrospective of Jewish life at Emory (which, apart from the decade at the dental school, appears to have been incredibly diverse and vibrant) that he realized his suspicions that Buhler had strategically tried to push Jewish students out were real.

The Anti-Defamation League had documented Buhler’s evil shenanigans for Emory’s administration, and he quietly resigned from Emory in 1961 — though he likely continued his bullying behavior through the next decade as dean of the Medical University of South Carolina dental college.

In spite of the ADL’s triumph, there had been no recourse for the students he’d affected; most of them still didn’t realize they had been victims of systemic and strategic bigotry. Brickman began tracking down his former classmates in 2006, filming his interviews with them about this little-known scourge in Emory’s history. His footage inspired the 2012 documentary “From Silence to Recognition: Confronting Discrimination in Emory’s Dental School History,” screening as part of the Savannah Jewish Film Festival this Sunday, Jan. 26.

He found that though burdened with such humiliation in their early careers, the accomplishments of these men are, as my own yiddishe bubbe would put it, nothing to sneeze at:

Brickman—*ahem*, Dr. Brickman—went back to his home state, enrolled in the dentistry program at the University of Tennessee (where he graduated fourth in his class) and enjoyed a long, happy career in Atlanta. Some, completely disenchanted with the discipline, went on to law school at Harvard and Columbia.

Others went into traditional medicine, like Savannah gastroenterologist Dr. Bucky Bloom, who will join Drs. Black and Brickman at the Q&A after the film screening.

“They told Bucky he didn’t have the dexterity to be a dentist,” scoffs Dr. Black, shaking his head. “Can you believe that? He was offered a surgical residency in Miami!”

After his time at Emory, Dr. Black returned to Savannah to marry the lovely Charlotte, with whom he raised five children—all successful professionals, though he is especially proud that they’ve produced 12 grandchildren between them.

“The experience made me a little bitter, but it did make me stronger,” he says, though there is not a trace of acrimony in his twinkling eyes.

Emory issued a public apology for Buhler’s actions at an emotional event in 2012, acknowledging this stain on its otherwise exemplary history of tolerance. Dr. Black reports that many of the men—now in their 70s and 80s—cried, lamenting that their parents weren’t there to hear their sons vindicated.

When it comes to Dean Buhler, I’m reminded of an old Yiddish curse: “All his teeth should fall out except one—so he can have a toothache.” Who knows if that came to pass, but he was reportedly forced to retire in 1971 for health reasons and died in 1976.

As for my own maligned molar, Dr. Black assures that he can take care of it but chastises me a little for waiting so long to see him.

“You’ve got to catch decay early or it can cause big problems,” he scolds good-naturedly.

Sound advice from someone who speaks from experience on so many levels.

What Does Your Jewish Last Name Mean?

1389196581.jpg.CROP.promovar-mediumlargeOh, I am ALL OVER Bennett Muraskin’s Jewish Surnames Explained on Slate.com.

In it, he explains how the mass-naming of Eastern European Jews began under Joseph 11′s Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1787 “so that they could be taxed, drafted, and educated (in that order of importance.”

Before that, you were the “son of” or “daughter of,” so everyone in the shtetl knew whether you were the kid of the prosperous merchant or the village idiot and treat you accordingly. Besides providing more shekels for the Czar’s coffers and bodies for his army, the Great Naming of the 18th Century also gave Ashkenazic Jews—with our curly hair and funny noses—yet another characteristic that set us apart: Long mouthfuls of surnames that to this day, sound distinctively—and definitively—Jewish.

Muraskin masterfully breaks down the roots our Ashkenazic sobriquets by occupation, place, religious roles and other categories, including those totally misinterpreted by immigration officials over the centuries. It didn’t take me long to find my maiden name, Feinstein, among them: Someone up in my father’s family tree must have been a jeweler, though “Feldsher” might be more appropriate these days for our two generations of surgeons.

When I got married, I adopted my husband’s ethnically-mysterious “Lebos,” which alternately gets “So, what is that, Greek?” or becomes the Mexi-exotic “Lobos.” We’ve always batted around the theory that it somehow came from “Levi,” signifying ancestors with special roles in the ancient temple proceedings and making us feel doubly guilty for not attending enough Shabbat services.

But here I’ve just read under “other Hebrew- and Yiddish-derived names” that we could be perpetuating the line of Judah:

Lieb means “lion” in Yiddish. It is the root of many Ashkenazic last names, including Liebowitz, Lefkowitz, Lebush, and Leon. It is the Yiddish translation of the Hebrew word for lion — aryeh. The lion was the symbol of the tribe of Judah.

Judah was the meanie who suggested to his brothers that they sell their daddy’s favorite, Joseph, into slavery, but he also had a bunch of kids made from hearty stock (how else do you make your own tribe?) King David also descended from Judah, and thereby, apparently, Jesus.

Frankly, it confirms my suspicion that everything just comes back to Bob Marley. Iron like a Lion in Zion, indeed.

Kvells, Bells and Hallelujah

On this last post of 2013, it’s all about the kvelling:

Last Sunday, Young Yenta Man (*formerly Yenta Boy* I began this blog when he was four but he’s got this deep baritone voice now. How can I still call him a boy?) finally completed his mitzvah project. Around these parts, when a young person becomes a b’nai mitzvah, they are supposed to show their commitment to their community by raising money for a charity.

YYM’s bar mitzvah was way back in February, and homework and summer camp and general adolescent surliness postponed his fulfillment of the mitzvah, but I threatened to bury his iPad in the chicken coop unless he got his tushy in gear to get it done by the end of the Gregorian year.

It was worth the wait. He and his piano teacher came up with a playlist, and he performed a selection of classical ditties and some favorite songs that showed off that new baritone of his. Around 60 people came to Temple Mickve Israel to hear him, and over $700 was collected for the Hearts and Hands Clinic in Statesboro (founded by his bar mitzvah tutor, Andres Montes) and American Jewish World Service to aid victims of Typhoon Haiyan. (In his introduction, Rabbi Robert Haas called AJWS “the Jewish Peace Corps.”)

Apart from a few minor flubs and a small pre-show tsimmes that involved El Yenta Man giving up his socks because YYM chose to wear no-show athletic footies with his dress shoes, it really went beautifully.

Here’s the whole 18-minute megillah:

Here’s to many hallelujahs, halos and imaginings for a spectacular 2014!

Not All Jewish Porn Superstars Are Made Alike

tumblr_meqk45JPbe1qzfih9o1_500I’m know I’m way late to this party, but I recently discovered porn star James Deen. (Relax, that just links to his Wikipedia page.)

Roll your eyes all you want, but it was actually by accident: I do not judge anyone’s preferences, but I don’t really go in for the porn, mostly because I consider the computer an instrument of work-related drudgery and prefer my sex live and in person.

But a few months back his Deeniness popped up on my feminist feeds as the Ryan Gosling of Porn, and I had to research this new breed of professional penis whose staying power is only rivaled by his intense eye contact. I clicked around and found his hilarious Twitter feed and saw that he bears more than a passing resemblance to a certain El Yenta Man. Not only is Deen an authentically woman-positive cat lover, he’s a mensch who loves his mother. (Who happens to be a rocket scientist. So ya know, genius genes.)

And then, OMG, the Heeb photo shoot. I don’t know what it is about tallit I find so sexy, but sometimes it would be best if there was a mechitzah at our synagogue so I wasn’t tempted to grab EYM’s tush when he bows for the Amidah.

Plus, our boy is proud to be Jewish. He refers to being Jewish a lot. At the very least: He may be skilled at putting one of those freaky ball gags with one hand, but  dressing up as Santa crosses the damn line. (Um, that link is not so much NSFW.)

Anyway, I was all, yeah, I woulda hit that in the gaga pit after Havdalah back at Camp Alonim. What kind of hot-blooded Jewish mother would I be if I did not shep nachas that the most popular porn star in the world is one of the tribe? I was starting to think that maybe there was something to this Jewish porn thing.

Then someone sent me this photo, and it turns out the formula of Jewish porn star + article of ritual Judaica doesn’t necessarily translate into dripping wet hotness:

6a00d83451b71f69e2019b024206df970b-400wiI give you Ron Jeremy reportedly saying the Sh’ma while wearing tefillin. In a liquor store.

I just don’t even know who I am anymore.



Tila Tequila is a Sick Sad Douche and Other Disturbing Tales

The interwebs are abuzzin’ with shock and disgust at Tila Tequila’s latest stab at famewhoredom, a ridiculously Photoshopped image of herself wearing a swastika armband and busting cleav’ while standing on the traintracks to Auschwitz.

No, I’m not EVEN going to post that trash. Here, go to Jezebel.com and get an eyeful and come right back.

Oh. You don’t even know who Tila Tequila is? Consider yourself blessed. Sorry about branding your brain with the horror.

Funny thing is, before she started calling herself “Hitila” (Hitler + Tequila = Instant Vomiting), the Singaporean non-talent told TMZ.com that she was converting to Judaism. No real coherent explanation on her illiterate blog of why in the last year she transformed from someone one who “just feels like the Jewish people have such a beautiful way about them” to spewing “GOD SEE’S YOU DIRTY FUCKING KIKES WORKING FOR THE SYNAGOGUE OF SATAN” but whatevs.

Frankly, I don’t have time for some mentally ill celebraho’s Jew-hating internet rantings ’cause I got my own anti-Semitic problems right here at home:

A couple of weeks ago, El Yenta Man went into the neighborhood bank where he’s done business since he opened up Strong Gym a few years ago to deposit some checks. I KNOW, he could just do it all automated and save time and hassle but he says he LIKES to talk to REAL people. Whaddya gonna do.

So he’s there, endorsing all the checks from his happy, strong sweaty clients, and one of the real people who works at the bank — one of the managers, in fact, a nice lady who always calls him “Mr. Strong” when he comes in — approaches him about how the bank could help set him up with a credit card machine so that his customers didn’t have to write checks.

EYM thanked her and explained that his business software had already set him him up just fine with a credit card account, but that his clients didn’t mind writing checks, and anyway, he preferred it since he didn’t have to incur the extra fees associated with swiping credit and debit cards.

She tried to sell him that the percentages were nominal; he countered that they add up over the course of a year.

Then she laughed like he’d just told the funniest joke and said, “Wow, you really are a Jew, aren’t you?”

When he recounted the story at the dinner table that evening, he told us that he was so shocked that for once, he didn’t have anything to say.

But the next week, when he went back in to deposit his checks, he calmly went to the woman’s desk and explained to her that what she said was inappropriate, rude and cause for him to take his business elsewhere. Surely, he said, he wasn’t the only small business owner concerned about his money. That probably every small business owner, regardless of their religion or ethnicity or marital status is concerned about their bottom line. And that singling out financial concern as a specifically Jewish trait is prejudice, even if she thought she was using it in a complimentary way.

Her reply? That she couldn’t possibly be prejudiced because, y’know, she’s black.

EYM tried again, using stereotypes about black people to illustrate how harmful and erroneous stereotypes can be. She stubbornly refused to acknowledge that lumping black people into one qualifiable group and her comment implying that Jews were thrifty were even related, because, y’know, that’s true about Jews.

Finally, he gave up and left. He’s thought about reporting her to regional manager, but this woman has probably been working at the bank for 20 years and is approaching retirement. Getting her fired won’t change her stupid, narrow mind, and EYM doesn’t want that on his head, anyway. He still hasn’t decided how to handle it; calling Human Resources to pay a visit to the branch might be a good place to start.

At least now he uses the drop box.

But if you think being Jewish in Savannah, GA is only occasionally disturbing, wait, there’s more:

One of my daughter’s friends has an older sister, a popular teenager with a new sassy haircut. On Halloween, her mother showed me a picture of Older Sis’ costume, in which she had styled her hair straight up like crewcut. And painted on a little smudge of a mustache. And put a swastika on an old green suit. Ta-Da! Sexy Hitler! So fun and edgy!

This time it was me who was shocked into silence. The questions I did NOT ask right then: How do you let your daughter out of the house dressed as the History’s Number One genocidal maniac? Does she understand how fully offensive it is not only to Jews but all sane people, and if she doesn’t, WHAT THE FUCK is wrong with her? And WHAT THE FUCK is wrong with all the people who saw this teenage girl out that night and didn’t read her the riot act?!

I hauled this around like a red hot iron for a couple of weeks until I spoke to the dad about it (they’re divorced.) He said he was appalled about it and that he had been out of town that night. He also explained that it’s been a hard year for both girls, and that even though it was a totally inexcusable choice of Halloween costume, maybe Older Sister’s judgment was skewed by the stress of the divorce. I said that of course I understood, though I suggested that perhaps some education might be in order. I would be happy to put together a little Powerpoint about concentration camps and six million European Jewish citizens wiped out in gas chambers.

EYM suggested the same when he talked with the mom, who said that she understood why we were upset but didn’t think we needed to provide any images or information that might make her daughter feel badly, considering the year she’s had.

I guess I get it? The kid is sad and acting out a little. Both parents are very likeable, liberal people. Maybe I’m just a little touchy about Hitler, having lost the entire maternal wing of my family in the Holocaust and all.

It’s been weeks and weeks now, and both of these situations don’t really feel done, but I don’t know what else to do. Neither is so much outright anti-Semitism as they are weirdly ignorant and disturbingly un-outrageous. The worst part is that EYM and I feel like we’re over-reacting, or at least, beating a dead horse on hopelessly apathetic ground.

See? It’s easy to be confrontational when it’s a stupid attention-seeking internet fameslut in a tinfoil dress. It’s different when it’s people in your own closeknit community with whom you do business and share carpool.

Tell me, Yenta friends, how would you handle these with compassion and lovingkindness while making the point that such words and actions are just not OK?

Playing Dreidel for Candy Corns Just Isn’t Right…

imagesListen, I understand that people are excited about Thanksgivukkah. (Thanksgiving + Chanukah = THE ULTIMATE MAINSTREAM KITSCHFEST. When the Today show calls them “sufganiyot” instead of donuts, you know it’s a THING.)

It’s novel, it sells t-shirts, it’s an excuse to put cranberries in places where they don’t belong. And it’s not Chrismukkah. (Not that there’s ANY kind of problem with an interfaith home that celebrates two distinctly different holidays when they happen to overlap. But hideous shit like this menorah tree is inexcusable and makes me hiss and gag like I’ve got a pumpkin popcorn hairball stuck in my esophagus.)

I get that Thanksgivukkah bridges the non-Jewish gap and gives us more opportunity to reach out to the wider community, instead of just being those weird neighbors with the blue lights. I even wrote a resident-Jew piece about it for the day job (to be posted tomorrow at noon.) And mostly I like mash-ups, even if they involve Andy Griffith and Beyonce.

But not this one. To all y’all who have embraced Thanksgivukkah, I appreciate your verve and honor your delight. Me, I love Chanukah, I love Thanksgiving. But melding them together like this in some quasi-dunking-of-latke-in-the-pumpkin/pumpkin-in-the-latke situation is just too much pressure.

(Plus, menurkeys are freaky. I just don’t want to sing prayers around a goggle-eyed bird with lit candles coming out its tuches. Nevertheless, the things just made a ten year-old rich.)

And this is why I must share with your “The Anti-Thanksgivukkah Song” from Daniel Brenner (hat tip to Heeb.) It sums up my feelings, and also, the nerd action play is righteous:


The First of Two Jewishy Coinkidinks

tumblr_mv6yz6pWHI1qiyrilo1_500Got an interesting press release today about a new exhibit at NYC’s Yeshiva Museum:

Threshold to the Sacred: The Ark Door of Cairo’s Ben Ezra Synagogue centers around the intricately carved wood panel that formed part of the door to the ark that held the Torah scrolls in the ancient synagogue of Old Cairo around the 11th century.

Jointly owned by the Yeshiva museum and the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, this “doorway” to an Islamic-friendly Jewish past was discovered at a Florida garage sale in the early 1990s. But that isn’t even the coolest trash-to-treasure element of the exhibit: The Ben Ezra Synagogue is the site of the Cairo Genizah, a massive trove of forgotten documents found in 1896 that revealed all kinds of information about Jewish life in the Middle East.

According to Jewish law, any piece of writing that contains the name of God in Hebrew cannot ever be thrown away, and a genizah is literally a “hiding place” for the worn-out books and other synagogue stuff taking up space. Think of it as sacred hoarding.


Maimondes – aka the Rambam – had impeccable penmanship, of course.

Back in the 1000s and 1100s, old Jews dumped not only prayer-related parchment in the empty spot behind the wall, but also grocery lists, school primers, letters written by Maimonides‘ own hand and the only known Hebrew version of the Book of Wisdom, also known as the section of the Christian canon Ecclesiastes.

Many of these will be on display for the exhibit along with one of the oldest surviving Haggadahs, a letter written by poet doctor Judah Halevi and a rare 16th–century navigational chart of the Mediterranean by the Jewish cartographer, Judah Abenzara.

What’s blowing my mind is that I had never heard of the Cairo Genizah until I read Dara Horn’s new novel, Guide for the Perplexed. The tale of a software mogul who disappears in Egypt, this tight intellectual mystery uses the same genizah as a plot keystone and as a metaphor to explore how we curate the past.

The Washington Post calls the book “overdone,” but for Jewish nerds like myself, it’s absolutely riveting. I just finished it last week, and today I find out about a whole museum full of genuine genizah artifacts? That’s some crazy Kabbalah mystic mind melding right there.

a guide for the perplexedHorn, author of my all-time faves The World to Come and the Southern Jewish epic All Other Nights, has a tremendous talent for layering all kinds of historical wisdom into her fast-paced fiction. She has a knack for combining the secular with the scholarly, and Guide for the Perplexed blooms with biblical and Talmudic references both overt and oblique.

I hope El Yenta Man and I get a chance to visit the Yeshiva Museum in the spring – he just loves it when I shlep him to look at dusty old grocery lists.

And yes, I did mention a second Jewishy coincidence – this one’s a little more modern and hits closer to home, so stay tuned!

The Divine Miz Sandra…in Savannah

So a bit of excitement in our sleepy Southern hollow on Sunday: Club One hosted the one and only Sandra Bernhard, she of caustic wit and slicing profanity, a woman with so much sexy chutzpah that God gave her extra big lips which which to share it.

I’ve been a fan even before she starred as a psycho stalker in The King of Comedy in the early 80s…oh you don’t remember? Here:

So deliciously neurotic and amazing, nu? Both our dads were doctors in Scottsdale in the 80s, and my mother was always very impressed that Sandra got her manicurist’s license and did nails while she was trying to break into comedy. I assumed this was a backhanded way of telling me to quit brooding and smoking cigarettes like it was my job and actually get one.

Did you know Sandra could also sing? Listen to and love her soulful rendition “Midnight Train to Georgia.”

I’m pretty sure Sandra was not singing ANYTHING wonderful about gaddamn Georgia when she arrived in town late Saturday night and found that she had been booked into a crap hotel next to the bridge. Not befitting of a celebrity diva, indeed!

No wonder she pronounced Savannah “a total shitshow” in the first five minutes of her act. No one should take that personally, by the way, unless you work at the Sheraton Four Points on MLK Blvd.

Other than that, she seemed happy to be here, even if it was playing to a half-full room at 4 o’clock in the afternoon. I don’t know who thought the early bird dinner hour in the convalescent home was the best time to book someone as electrifying as Sandra, but I secretly enjoyed it because, ya know, it was a school night and all.

She riffed on feminism, skanky Miley Cyrus, being a gay mom and the inane injustice of reality TV (Best line: “There’s no room for talented people on television.”) Her impressions of other celebrities were dead-on — she’s got Patti Smith’s rugged cool down pat. Her performance style is so natural and fun, I felt like I was listened to my BFF regale me with details from Jane Fonda’s 75th birthday party.

Just a coupla Jewish girls from Arizona

Just a coupla Jewish girls from Arizona

She ended the show with an epic rendition of REO Speedwagon’s “I Can’t Fight This Feeling,” and then signed merch, as professional and accessible as an international superstar could possibly be.

By the way, Girlfriend is 50-fucking-7. Does she not look INCREDIBLE?

After the show, we kibbitzed with one of Savannah’s own loveliest ladies, Lisa K, as well as writer power couple T Cooper and Allison Glock, in town to write a travel piece about Savannah (I did my best to point them away from less shitshow aspects of the Hostess City.)

Then Bobby Z, an international supastar in his own right, invited us all out to an organic dinner (Sandra only does farm-to-table) and some dizzying rounds of Jewish geography.

But the height of the evening (for me, anyway) was when Sandra’s fabulous road manager Joe wondered aloud if anyone might be able to drive them back to the hotel.

“Why yes,” I said, kicking El Yenta Man under the table. “We’d be DELIGHTED.”

“Are you sure there’s room?” asked Joe, looking at me over the rims of his glasses and motioning to Mikey the piano player and the others.

“Oh yeah. I have VAN,” I nodded.

El Yenta Man jingled the keys and we all walked down the quaint cobblestone street.

And then this happened:

Yenta photobomb: Sandra Bernhard goes for a ride in the Absurdivan

Yenta photobomb: Sandra Bernhard goes for a ride in the Absurdivan

I’m sure she’ll get those nice navy pants she was wearing drycleaned of diabetic pug hair. But I’m never vacuuming out the Absurdivan again.