Midnight Confession #32: Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel

  
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New installment of my spoken series of embarrassing stories! Usually I do these late at night, but you get this one a little earlier!

At the time, we thought her parody was the funniest thing we’d ever heard, especially when she added a third line, “It hurts when I pass gas.” (Rachael was hilarious, and does really cool art and theater stuff in New Mexico now.) My dad also had a version that made us laugh when we were little, “Dreidel, dreidel, dreidel, I made it out of clay; dreidel, dreidel, dreidel, I dropped it — oy vey!” My dad’s not Jewish, himself, but he loves Dad Jokes and Yiddishisms. My brothers and sister and I also loved Adam Sandler’s Hanukkah Song, and I used to DREAM of being notable enough to be listed in it. Never saw the movie based on it, though. I actually read a great article today about why there aren’t many Hanukkah movies, and I think it explains American Jews’ connection to even not-great depictions of Hanukkah in media, like Eight Crazy Nights and The Hebrew Hammer. Honestly, a Rosh Hashanah or Passover movie would probably be a better idea. Or Purim, which is kind of like Halloween, but even drunker.

The thing about Hanukkah (Chanuka? Hannukah? Whatever, they’re all technically correct, I’ve even seen it spelled with an “x”) is that it’s eight nights long, and unlike the other long Jewish holidays, you’re not commanded to do much more than light candles. So it’s kind of easy to forget it’s even a holiday, and usually around the fourth or fifth day, I do. Last night around nine I leapt out of the shower with shampoo in my hair to yell to Anna, “We forgot to light the candles!” “Oh shit!” she yelled back, and as soon as I’d rinsed out my hair and grabbed a towel, we set up the menorah.

I think it was a little easier to remember when we were getting presents every night. In our family, usually the big presents would be on the first or second night, and then if we got anything at all on the other days, they’d be practical or kind of nonsensical. First or second day presents were things like computer games or CDs we really wanted — No Doubt’s Tragic Kingdom was a big one, as was They Might Be Giants’s live album Severe Tire Damage, which probably says a lot about eleven-year-old me — and then fifth or sixth day would be socks or hair ties. I do remember getting a brand-name virtual pet the first night one year, then on the sixth day, getting a very cheap knock-off virtual pet. I loved them both, of course, but one lasted far longer than the other.

Actually, I think the brand-name virtual pet might not have been a pet at all, but a Nano Baby. Those things are kind of lost to time now, and all I could find as far as articles on them was this one from a Mormon newspaper. Basically, instead of a dog or cat, you were entrusted with a virtual child. You saw a mother and father with a heart between them, then an ambulance, then a doctor’s face, then a baby was born, and you had to take care of it. It sounds bizarre, but I am not making this up, you can see it for yourself! If you didn’t take care of the baby, the parents would show up and be angry with you, but if you took good care of it, the parents would eventually come to get them anyway and… be happy with you? I guess you were something of a nanny. I remember my actual nanny at the time looking bewildered when I explained how it worked to her, and saying, “What is this? Losing Isaiah?”

I think the Nano Baby still pooped on the floor like a Tamagotchi would, too. And now we’ve come back to the scatological, again. Happy Hanukkah!

Stuff I Did This Week: I’m working with Miry’s List again, to help resettling refugee families get what they need to make their houses into homes! You can go here to buy a housewarming gift for the Sofizada family, who just arrived from Afghanistan with two small children, and unfortunately had to leave the father of the family back in Afghanistan temporarily. I just bought them a rug! Please help them out!

I also have been helping out some friends who do mutual aid for unhoused neighbors here in L.A., and they could use some help, as well! They need food, in particular, as well as blankets and cold weather supplies (it can get cold at night in L.A.). I bought some jerky and tuna and can’t wait for my neighbors to get them!

Also, in case you missed it, I have a Cameo! If you have family or friends who like my movies or V/O or writing, you can gift them a message from me! Or just give one to yourself! I’m also happy to include a cameo from one of my cats inside that Cameo. I’m totally serious.