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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 Oct. 16, 2006 / 24 Tishrei, 5767

The funny side of ‘Beowulf’

By Dave Barry


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | I believe that we parents must encourage our children to become educated, so they can get into a good college that we cannot afford.


I try to help my son, Rob, with his schooling, but over the years this has become more difficult. Back when he was dealing with basic educational issues such as why the sky is blue and what a duck says, I always knew the correct answers ("It doesn't matter" and "Moo"). But when Rob got into the higher grades, he started dealing with complex concepts such as the "hypotenuse," which hadn't been invented yet when I was a student. So these days I'm useless as an educational resource, except on those rare occasions when Rob is studying a topic I'm familiar with. For example, last year, in history class, he studied The Sixties. That's right: The Sixties are now considered a historical period, just like the Roman Empire, except that as far as modern kids are concerned, The Sixties featured stupider haircuts. Because I lived through that era, when Rob asked me about it, I was able to give him helpful information.


"What did you do during The Sixties?" he asked.


"None of your business," I informed him.


Other than that, my main contribution to his education is to provide encouragement. For example, the other day I asked him if he had any homework, and he told me he had to read "Beowulf." "Yuck!" I said, encouragingly. I was exposed to "Beowulf" when I was a student. If my memory serves me correctly (and I believe it does, because I am copying this directly from the encyclopedia), "Beowulf" is an Old English epic poem concerning a hero who freed the court of the Danish king Hrothgar from the ravages of the ogre Grendel and Grendel's mother and thus became king of the Geats.


This raises some questions, including: Who are "the Geats"? And why would anybody want to be king of them? I mean, the word "Geat" sounds like an insult, doesn't it? As in: "Some stupid Geat put salami in the disk drive!"


(Let me just state, before I get a bunch of hate mail, that I myself am two-thirds Geatish.)


My point is that I have never been a huge fan of "Beowulf," or epic poems in general. "Epic," in my opinion, is a code word that English teachers use for "boring," the same way they use "satirical" when they mean "you will not laugh once." Nevertheless I stressed to Rob that he should make this homework his absolute highest priority, allowing nothing to come ahead of it, but that first we would go out for Italian food. I like to do this with Rob because he always orders pizza, which I am not allowed to eat because it contains cholesterol, but it is a scientific fact that your body will not absorb cholesterol if you take it from another person's plate.


Rob drove us to the restaurant. I like to let him drive because it improves my circulation by causing my heart to beat 175,000 times per minute, although this particular trip was fairly relaxing right up until Rob made the rookie error of actually stopping at a red light rather than accelerating through it, as is customary in Miami, the result being that we were rammed by the car behind us. The other driver, as required by local law, was uninsured and spoke no English. This gave us an educational opportunity to brush up on our Spanish by engaging in a dialogue with the other driver, which went like this:


US (pointing at the light): Rojo! ("Red!")


OTHER DRIVER: No! Amarillo! ("No! Yellow!)


US: Like heck-o! ("We disagree!")


OTHER DRIVER: Que son? Guitos? ("What are you? Geats?")


It took two hours and two police officers to sort it out, with the outcome being that the other driver received a ticket-o. Fortunately, my car sustained only superficial damage, which I'm sure at today's bodywork prices can be repaired for no more than it would cost to purchase the entire contents of the Louvre at retail.


Because of this delay, we were late getting back from the restaurant, but Rob still would have had time to do his homework, except that—this is true—the police had set up roadblocks around our neighborhood and were not letting anybody in. An officer told us there had been several reports of shots fired, and police were going house-to-house with dogs. I was concerned about this, but Rob took it well; I think he was hoping that one of the dogs would eat his copy of "Beowulf."


The police never found the source of the shots (it was probably just some innocent thing—perhaps a neighbor who couldn't locate his remote control and decided to turn off his TV with his AK-47). But we had to wait at the roadblock for over an hour, which meant that Rob did not start reading "Beowulf" until after midnight. So basically, this entire column is really just a note to his English teacher to say: Please excuse Rob if he was unprepared. And I hope you were not offended by my tone.


It's satirical.

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Previously:

HOLY HEAT WAVE, BATMAN!
Abs-olute madness
Beware of brainy bugs
I'm in a sorry state
The frog plague: The inside story
If she had a hammer….
Keeping an eye on crime
Camping and Lewis and Clark
When in Iowa, don't forget to duck
Junior takes the wheel
Growing old with Dave
Sites for sore eyes
Beware of sheep droppings
Ireland, land of bad Elvis
Mr. Peabrain's misadventures
When they're out to get you, keep cool
Mothers of invention
Kill 'em with kindness



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

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