Askew

Joel Schatz

Joel Schatz offers a slightly off-center look at the news.

Askew

Hamas, Apollo, Sruli and Yankel

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Hamas seizes Greek god Apollo

A Gaza fisherman caught way more than he expected last August.

According to Reutershe scooped up an 1,100-pound bronze statue of the Greek god Apollo from the bottom of the sea, tossed it on a donkey cart and headed home, apparently having little sense of what he had caught.

But as word spread, others sensed that this was something special, and suddenly it appeared on eBay, listed at $500,000 – far less than archaeologists believe the incredibly rare 2,000-year-old work of art is worth. Most such surviving works are marble or other types of stone.

It didn’t stay there long, however. Police from the Islamist group Hamas, which controls Gaza, seized the statue and carted it off, holding it for investigation, the Reuters report said. Frustrated archaeologists haven’t had a glimpse of it since, save for a few photos of it laid out on a Smurf blanket.

Can he handle the truth?

A year ago, a video of 4-year-old Sruli Muschel became a bit of an internet sensation (a designation so universal today that Andy Warhol's remark may have to be revised to "Everyone will be world-famous for 15 seconds") when he delivered Jack Nicholson's "You can't handle the truth" monologue from memory while sitting in a bathtub full of water.

Now he has taken to a whole new stage. The one on the “Jimmie Kimmel Live” late-night show. Sruli is still in the bathtub, albeit fully clothed and immersed in bubbles. But the speech this time is Matthew McConaughey’s “First rule of Wall Street” lecture from “The Wolf of Wall Street.”

Perhaps reflecting the breadth of his television audience, Kimmel didn’t ask Sruli to perform one of his other presentations: the 39 categories of work prohibited on Shabbat.

With or without it, though, Elissa Goldstein reports on Jewcy.com, Sruli still is adorable.

That’s not supposed to happen

The Royal Guard’s soldiers at Buckingham Palace are known worldwide for their stoic nature. Absolutely nothing fazes them. 

Except, perhaps, Yankel.

JTA reportsthat in yet another posted video, the otherwise unidentified Yankel, presumably a young tourist dressed in traditional Orthodox garb, edges up beside one of Her Majesty’s finest and begins weaving a colorful tale of the lifelong relationship he and his new besty have shared since they began school together.

At first, the soldier holds true to protocol and maintains his composure. As the fanciful details of their mythical past continue, however, there is first a crack of his lips, and then an outright smile.

Yankel and his buds with the camera celebrate with glee, and then he dances away.

Milk, honey, whisky?

Think whisky – single-malt, to be precise – and the country that comes to mind is Scotland. But at a time when the popularity of the hard stuff is soaring, everyone wants to get in on the act – even six guys in Israel.

As the world’s largest whisky exhibition, Whisky Live, made its debut in Tel Aviv last week, one of the most popular displays was for a label that hasn’t yet produced a drop.

According to Daniella Cheslow, writing in Tablet, the Milk and Honey Distillery in northern Jaffa was started in 2012 by six friends, and it hopes to produce something drinkable by late 2018. Since those first bottles will go to the crowdfunding backers who got things going, it will be some time later than that before the label shows up on shelves anywhere.

As Cheslow noted, Scotland’s climate is wet and cold, while Israel’s is largely arid. But Milk and Honey co-founder Simon Fried told her that’s actually an advantage. The whisky will age more quickly, and will be ready in three to five years, rather than 10 to 12 for the Scottish varieties.

We won’t know until then whether the results are comparable.

Chutzpah Lane?

Shabtai Tsur, deputy mayor of the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon, recently asked the city to rename a local side street after him.

The thoroughfare currently is known as Hayl Hayam Street, a name honoring the Navy, the Times of Israel reports. Tsur’s boss – the mayor – and the city committee in charge of such things already have signed off on the switch, and the city council was expected to approve it this week.

Fall guy

A Bat-Yam, Israel, resident who tripped and fell due to an uneven sidewalk went to the doctor, who ordered tests and then sent the patient for physiotherapy. 

In the course of suing the city for $1,142 in damages, the victim sought to turn the mishap into a cash cow by targeting 10 other localities, suing each city hall (with different lawyers) for identical accidents. The victim used copies of the medical reports from the first fall, which, due to an oversight, failed to mention the site of the mishap.

Three municipalities fell for the bait and sought to settle out of court for a tidy $4,286 each – provided the injured party drop the charges. But it turned out two of the three cities were covered by the same insurance company, which put two and two together and blew the whistle.

Courtesy www.chelm-on-the-med.com 

 

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