November 28th is Thanksgivukkah, a once in a lifetime convergence of Thanksgiving and Hanukkah. M. wanted me to get a menorah and light candles. For D.’s sake. But I’m a Hanukkah Grinch. And I warned her that Hanukkah was a gateway holiday. It’s bad enough they force D. to recite blessings in the city-run nursery. Or that they have Shabbat services on Friday morning and take a picture of him wearing a yarmulke. There’s no way I’m bringing those pagan rituals into my firmly Godless household.
But I love Thanksgiving. It’s my favorite time of year. Drunk relatives and turkey and yams. And giving. And thanking. And most importantly: No God. Or Jesus. Or Moses. Or Mohammad. Or Biblical tales of smiting or incest. Just good old fashioned reenactments of pilgrims thanking their Native American counterparts for teaching them how to survive the harsh winters. And grow corn. And live off the land. To which they were repaid in kind by diseased blankets, land grabbing and, eventually, a Kevin Costner movie.
But I’m giving back this year. That’s right. I’m coming out. Not of the closet. But of the trash can. I’m losing my misanthropy for just a minute to tell you about some causes that are near and dear to me which you should support.
1. Johnny the three legged dog. For the past few weeks I’ve been getting a link on my Facebook news feed about Johnny the three legged dog. My friend A. has been volunteering at the local Ramat Gan chapter of the Tsar Baali Chaim (SPCA). It turns out that Johnny was rescued from an industrial area and it’s a mystery how he lost his leg. I think he may have sniffed the wrong bitch’s butt. But that’s pure speculation. Johnny, despite his disability, is a very loving dog. And now that I think about it, most of the disabled people I know are the bravest, strongest and most courageous people out there. Johnny needs a home. Desperately. And so A. began Operation Find Johnny a home. Which is great. And heartwarming. Because it reminds me there are people out there, like A., who care enough about a three legged dog to make this her pet cause. No pun intended. And start this operation. And sometimes I wish I could do more to help. Because Johnny deserves a good home. And loving owners.
2. Light It Forward. I was up at three AM this morning when I got a message on Facebook from S. over at Macccabi USA asking if I could help spread the word on a great initiative they were working on. This past summer they brought over a thousand athletes, coaches, medical staff and photographers to Israel to participate in the 18th Maccabiah games. I’ve seen the effect these games have had on the young kids. They fell in love with Israel. They fell in love with each other. They fell in love with Judaism. It’s an amazing program and we should do waaay more to support them year round. So take a look at their website and then give them some money. Seriously. Some of them are pretty big and menacing. Like the rugby players.
3. Movember. All twenty of you that follow me on twitter (@privategilberto) know that I’ve been documenting my mustache since the beginning of the month. And I’ve paid the price. First of all, 10 percent of you have asked me whether or not I am experiencing some form of mental breakdown / mid life crisis. The answer is yes. And no. Yes on the mental breakdown. No on the mid life crisis. I’m 35 which means I have at least 200 more years to live. As a wise man once said, only the good die young. But I’ve been growing a mustache to help raise awareness for men’s health issues. Women have a pink bow for breast cancer. Men have a hairy ribbon. Which we wear on the top of our lip. And we do this to raise awareness to prostate cancer, testicular cancer and, my cause, men’s mental health. That’s right. Mental health. So go to Movember Israel’s facebook page and see how you can help raise awareness. And for fuck’s sake stop telling me I look like Khaled Sheikh Mohamad, Super Mario or Chester the molester.
My Anniversary. That’s right. November 24th is our wedding anniversary and anybody who reads this blog knows that M. has suffered so much. Whether it’s the strange and highly detailed sexual fantasies involving babysitters, cleaning ladies or transsexual midgets, she’s had to put up with so much these past few months for your entertainment. The least you could do is send her some flowers. Or a check made out to cash. Either way I’m treating this anniversary like a PBS telethon, minus Jerry Lewis. If you want to continue seeing misogynistic, self hating and hilarious anecdotes involving M., D., and me, please send her on vacation. I swear I won’t use the money for oxycontin.
5. Multiple Sclerosis Research. In a strange and serendipitous twist of fate my Aunt and Uncle’s (B. & A.) anniversary also falls on November 24th. So each year we call each other and my aunt, B., puts her cordless phone on speaker so A. can listen in. He’s had MS since the 1970’s and it has decimated his body. He is wheelchair bound and very hard to understand. Yet he continues to fight bravely. And in all the years I’ve known him, I’ve never heard him complain once about his disease or the infinitely tragic circumstances that reduced a once proud attorney, who, ironically, was once such a loud and vociferous supporter of civil rights and desegregation, to being unable to speak coherently. So go on to the MS website and support research towards finding a cure.
So this Thanksgivukkah don’t stop by my house and expect to light a candle. Or get invited in for a screening of Planes, Trains and Automobiles. Unless you plan on supporting one of these causes. Because if you don’t I’ll have to adopt Johnny the three legged dog. Which would probably make me very happy. And I hate being happy.
As Oscar the grouch says:
“People loaded with good will, giving presents, what a thrill
That slushy nonsense makes me ill
I hate Thanksgivukkah”
Well he said Christmas but I hate sticking to the facts.
Especially when they get in the way of a good ending quote.