Holiday Cheerlessness

All right, there's no way around it. I have to write something already. I'm sure you'll all forgive me this time, too. You realize how hard it is to do this all over again every week, and especially during the holiday period when the magazines go to press early, meaning that actually I have to write two columns in one week - a nightmare I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy.

So what can I write about? I could put together a story about how hard it is to be an Arab, something from that whole genre, find some point on which I was discriminated against by virtue of my minority status in this country, and call it a week. For two days I tried to hang around Border Police officers, shouting into my cell phone in Arabic - and nothing. I hoped to get beaten up and thus get out of doing the column, but I was out of luck. They didn't even ask for any goddamn ID. Pardon the language, but I have to forcibly cram words in here, goddammit.

Yesterday I provoked an Ethiopian security guard. The poor guy had no idea what hit him. All he did was ask me, just as he had asked the guy in front of me: "Are you carrying a weapon?"

"Why are you asking me if I have a weapon? What? Because I'm an Arab?"

"No, sir. It's the rules."

"Rules? Uh-huh. Rules, I bet. As soon as you see an Arab you think he's a terrorist."

"Pardon me, sir. I'm sorry. Go right on in."

"I don't want to go in. What are you going to do - beat me? Fine, call the police, I'm not afraid of the police. Nu, come on, call them."

I handed him my cell phone and kept acting as suspicious as I could. All in vain.

"No, sir. There's no need to call the police," he said kindly. "Please, go on in. I'm sorry if I offended you."

The truth is that I've about had it with this whole discrimination thing. I don't want to write about it. I'm tired of it. Instead, I could write about the Syrian nuclear reactor we bombed. Oh, how I love Ehud Barak. He's such a big shot when it comes to these sorts of operations. Still a shrimp, but also a maniac, a king, a sledgehammer. Every time I see him, I picture him in a white coverall on the wing of a plane. No way he missed out on this adventure, and I'm ready to swear that one day, in some election ad, we'll see him, the Barak of today, his face painted in camouflage colors, using a laser to direct the pilots to the bombing target. But, I wonder: Just how exactly do you do that with a laser? How far away can you stand with that little pen and point anything out?

What most worries me about this whole thing with Syria is that everyone said that Syria hasn't responded yet and we're still waiting for the response. You have to be really dense to think that there was no Syrian response. I've been following the Syrians in the past weeks and they responded in full force. They took it very hard, they had a very tough reaction, they were insulted to the very depths of their souls. I consider that to be a heroic, responsible and mature response.

One of the Syrian spokesmen, whose every word I heartily believe, said that it wasn't a real reactor, that it was a fake, made of cardboard, to fool enemy planes. You know, like those cardboard cutouts of police cars that they place on the side of the highway? The same thing, only with a reactor. Another spokesman claimed that the Israeli planes were also cardboard fakes - sophisticated, yes, but still cardboard.

What else did we have this week? Oh yeah, Ramadan started. I have nothing to say about Ramadan apart from the fact that it's not a holiday. Please, get this through your heads: Ramadan is not a holiday. How long do you have to be stuck here with Arabs right under your nose before you understand that this is not a holiday? It's just a month-long fast, with a small, anemic holiday at the end.

Ah, and there was also the end of daylight savings time. How happy I am each year when we go back to standard time. I love it. It changes my life every time. First thing Sunday morning I read about it in the paper, I heard about it on the radio, and I ran to set the clocks in the house back to the new time, only to find that they were already set.

"Tell me," I shouted to my wife, waking her. "Did you set the clocks back already?"

"No," she answered, completely clueless about the change.

"So, who reset them?"

"No one."

"You mean to tell me that for the past six months we've been going by standard time? So, we've been living according to fake time, I tell you, cardboard time!"


"Hey, don't you want to curse me out just a little?"