In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review May 5, 2008 / 30 Nissan 5768

The writer vs. the writher beats the Hil & Obama fight

By Dave Barry

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | People always ask me: "Is it hard to be a professional writer like you and Joyce Carol Oates?"

Yes. Very hard. Here is a true example of the kind of difficulties we face: The other day, I was sitting at my desk in my home office, doing what I do all day, which is frown at my computer screen and wrestle with professional writing issues, such as: "Do I have anything to say about this topic?" And: "What, exactly, IS this topic?"

This is tiring work, so roughly 35,000 times a day, I have to take a break to eat something or drink something or scratch something. At this particular moment, I reached to my left to pick up my can of Diet Coke, and EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

That is the screaming sound my brain made when it realized that my hand was, at most, 2 inches from a LIVE SNAKE. Really. As a South Florida resident, I'm used to having ants on my desk, but they are friendly, harmless and easy to smush. Whereas this was a full-blown snake, coiled for attack, with its head reared up and its tongue flicking out toward me, which is how snakes communicate the message: "Hah! Perhaps you wish to die for your Diet Coke, Mister No-Topic Writer Man!"

Any wildlife expert will tell you that, when confronted with a potentially dangerous animal, you must remain calm and not make any sudden movements. So, propelled almost entirely by my bun muscles, I shot, missile-like, from my chair, landing on my feet, clutching my keyboard in a defensive pose. The snake had not moved. It was clearly thinking: "My species is millions of years old. I do not fear your keyboard."

So I ran into the kitchen and grabbed what I felt was the best anti-snake weapon I own: barbecue tongs. Brandishing them, I went back to the office and lunged at the snake. The good news was: I was able to grab it. The bad news was: I grabbed it at its midsection, and it was long enough (I am estimating 17 feet) that it could easily reach my hands with its mouth, and it was flailing around in a very irate manner. Fortunately, I was able to keep a cool head, as we see by the following verbatim transcript of my thought process:


I dimly remember bursting out the patio door, with my outstretched arm gripping the tongs as far back on the handle as possible while the snake thrashed wildly. The instant I was outside I dropped the tongs, and the snake, now free to go anywhere in North America, proved that it was in fact the Evil Demon Serpent from Hell by slithering directly into the swimming pool. Head high, it began to briskly swim laps in a counterclockwise direction.

So I had no choice but to pick up the tongs again and chase the snake around the edge of the pool, in that schizophrenic way that you chase a critter when you are actually terrified of it. Like, if you see a crab or a squirrel in your path, you keep moving toward it, not because you are brave, but because you believe it will run away from you. But if it's one of those renegade crabs or squirrels that run in your direction, you - admit it - turn and flee, whimpering, because even though you're 200 times the critter's size, you're afraid that it will bite (or pinch) you, whereas you know in your heart that you will not bite (or pinch) it.

We just have to hope that more critters do not figure this out. That was the situation I found myself in, chasing the Demon Serpent around the pool. I'd get close enough to grab it with the tongs, and suddenly it would reverse direction, and WHOA! I was fleeing from the snake. This went on for several minutes - chasing the snake, fleeing from the snake, chasing the snake - until finally the snake made the classic tactical error of going into the pool filter basket. Once again, I was able to get close enough to get the tongs on it and EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

This time, when I dropped the tongs, the snake went into the patio planter, where it disappeared. It's still out there somewhere, lurking, and now I'm a nervous wreck, wondering how it got into the house and where it will show up next.

I'm also exhausted. YOU try sleeping with barbecue tongs.

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© 2006, The Miami Herald Distributed by Tribune Media Services, Inc.