Saturday, November 19, 2005

Looking for a fight

I went to the post office with all the toys I promised my niece and had not sent yet. I am carrying a large "Toy R Us" bag so it is not hard to guess what's in there.. The man behind me guesses right "Toys for your nieces and nephews?" I don't want to tell him that the 3 boxes are in fact for just my niece (I owed her many forgotten birthdays...) so I just nod. He asks where do they live and I answer "Israel". Usually, the name of this country alone is enough to trigger a reaction. People hate it, love it, attack it or defend it but they are never indifferent to it. Nothing like if I had said "Norway" or "Pakistan" or "Iran". "Israel" is the country that awake something different in people. This time is no exception but the reaction is unusual. The man, wearing a baseball cap and clear shaven, tells me the story of his father, a World War II veteran who had a star of David engraved on his military dog tag. I'm not sure what to make of it and so I ask "Is he Jewish?". The man laughs. "No, not at all, he is Italian." and he adds. "You'll have to meet my father to understand this, but it makes perfect sense really. He boxed when he was young, was part of an Italian gang" (I notice that he does not say "Mafia..") and he wanted to pick fights with everybody. He just figured that having a Star of David on his tags was the best way to achieve this. Someone was bound to pick up on him. Right??"
I'm amazed that someone would voluntary pass for Jewish for the many fight opportunities that it provides. I sure hope he was a good boxer.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

how funny. my late grandfather told me many tales of his boxing prowess during his naval tour in ww2 in the pacific. he told me how the boxers used to get "traded" between ships for new boxing matches to bet on for their crews. i'm glad he lived a long and fruitful life to tell the tales to us grandchildren, though he paid with some of his hearing from all of those 16-inch guns blasting the beaches of the pacific.

1:47 AM  

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