Monday, July 5, 2010

I Should Carry a Tape Recorder (Shit My Grandma Says)

So Phyl and I made the very long journey (it's a lot longer when you stop to pee and eat every hour) to and from Binghamton this weekend. We had a wonderful car ride; she told me old family stories: the story of how she and Poppa met (which is amazingly sweet), how she knew my dad was going to marry my mom, etc. We laughed, we cried; it was better than Cats. (Points to whoever can identify the Bravo show from which I extracted that quote.) Tomorrow afternoon I'll probably write a long, heartwarming blog about Travels with Philly (obviously I thought of the blog title about ten minutes into our car ride) but for now, I have to tell you some of the ridiculous shit my grandma says.

I think this might be a reoccurring blog theme. "Shit My Grandma Says" will be similar to "Shit My Dad Says" (a very funny blog for those of you who aren't familiar), but less crude and more Jewish.

So some hilights from the 4th of July weekend:

We were driving back from Caren and Howie's and discussing how the only person who has the right to sport one of those "My boss is a Jewish Carpenter" bumper stickers is my dad's employee Jason, because as far as we know, Jamie Tandlich is the only Jewish carpenter, at least in the Southern Tier.

Phyllis cuts in, "Jesus was a good man. You know why? Because he worked with his hands, and he took good care of his mother. That's why i named my Jamie --- after Jesus. I knew what i was doing. Yep, daddy is like my Jesus."
Jenna responds, "What about curing lepers and spreading a message of love?"
Phyl: "Yeah that was good, but more importantly, he took care of his mother."

After some brief googling, I'm not too sure where she got this idea of Jesus taking care of Mary. (But as I've come to learn in the world of Phyllis logic, fact/historical documentation are generally irrelevant.) Jesus died when he was 33 and asked John to take care of his mother. So yes Jesus worked with his hands, but, for latter half of Mary's life, Jesus outsourced taking care of his mother. Not that it was in his control (awkward?).

Our next two Phyllis quotes find us in the car on the return ride, listening to old CDs that were taken out of Rachel's car.

In Response to R Kelly's "Thoi Thoinga":
Phyllis: Is this a Hawaiian song?
Jenna: No, it's R Kelly. He's an American rapper.
Phyllis: Now a rapper is someone who does the rapping?
Jenna: Yes, a singer sings, a rapper raps.
Phyllis: Hmm, well I think he got the song from the Hawaiians. I can see the men doing their dances to this song like this (proceeds to flap arms like mocking chicken motion from Arrested Development and make "woof" sound).
Jenna: Grandma, you're flapping your wings like a chicken and barking like a dog. You were a first grade teacher; you're supposed to be good at matching animals and their sounds.
Phyllis: Animals are different in Hawaii, dear.
Jenna: Okay.

And finally, as we're driving through the Catskills (translation: lots of Orthodox Jews everywhere), on comes Sean Paul's musical masterpiece "Just Gimme the Light":
Phyllis: Do they daven (as in rocking motion during Hebrew prayer) to this?
Jenna: What?!
Phyllis: I could really see people davening to this. (Starts to rock in her chair to beat of music as if she's davening.)
Next to us drives up Orthodox man, complete with peyot and yarmulke. He turns, see old woman davening in car next to him, does a double take as if he just saw the messiah sitting in the Rav4 next to him. I wish I could make this shit up.

So there they are, your Phyllis quotes for the weekend. Time to go on Amazon and look for a cheap and discreet tape recorder. I'm thinking a page a day calendar....

Forehead kiss,


  1. As a witness to Phyllis comparing your Dad to Jesus, I kept thinking, "Is this a new (and perverse) twist on Jewish mothers thinking their sons are God?"

  2. I know EXACTLY what towns you're talking about in the Catskills, however I've not davened while driving through them...