Monday, December 04, 2006

No Room At the Inn

171 No Room at the Inn

12/2006

So, isn’t this how the whole thing got going in the first place?

See, there’s this Jewish couple, Joey and Mary. And she’s beaucoup preggers – like it’s any minute now. Water mellon on sore feet. That waddle-walk. The contractions, and all – and Joey and Mary are on the road.

So they get to this motel and there’s a “no vacancy” sign. But Joey’s a persistent kind of guy so he goes into the office and asks “really full?”

“Yeah,” says the desk clerk.

“No ‘no-shows’?” Joey asks, “My wife’s about to give birth.”

“Sorry,” says the clerk, “not even a broom closet.”

So Joey and Mary get back on the road and keep slogging on. A few miles down the road, there’s this barn.

You know the rest of this one. But, to remind, a whole big thing grew out of the incident, and pretty quickly, too.

So, here we are in 2006, in the middle of nowhere, and looking for Chanukah decorations. At four supermarkets, two big name big box stores, a national chain of craft stores and a place that sells what it calls “religious supplies.”

Aisles and aisles of Santa, and wreath and tree, and lights and balls, manger scenes, hymn books, recordings, coloring books, music boxes, candle holders and five pointed stars.

Not a menorah, dreidel or piece of chocolate Chanukah gelt to be found.

No real biggie. Chanukah’s not a big holiday – not like Christmas or Robert E. Lee’s birthday, or anything that REAL Americans celebrate.

And in these parts, Jews are almost as scarce as Malaysian Methodists. Those guys in the long black coats and big black hats? The ones with long beards? They ain’t Hasids.

But the local population of Malaysian Methodists is greater than two. Perhaps as many as four. And the Jewish population, although small, also exists – and shops.

Called to their attention, the stores had varied reactions. Three of the supermarkets did not reply to e-mails. The fourth one said it was in the process of setting up a small display, and that it would have been bigger except there was a problem getting its merchandise out of Israel because of the recent fighting there.

One of the two big box stores did not respond, the other pointed out that they have a small selection of wrapping paper and other stuff. Yes, indeed they do. It’s so far off the beaten track, you need a passport to reach it.

The craft store is still knocking out automated replies.

“Thank you for expressing your concern. A customer service representative will be in touch with you soon.”

“Would you please fill out this form with your name and address and phone number so we know how to contact you?”

(If someone sends you an e-mail, doesn’t your e-mail address show up? Since they replied, it probably does.)

There’s a large collection of emails in the “Save” folder, but no answers to the original concern.

Last time a handful of Jews was ignored, a whole new religion grew up around them, eventually coming to pretty much dominating the global religion market for a long time.

So watch out when you say there’s no room at the inn. You never know what’ll spring up when a couple-a three Jews put their heads together in the face of adversity.

I'm Wes Richards, my opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.


(c) 2006 WJR

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