Tuesday, August 30, 2005

To Shnorrer, Perchance to Scheme

Yiddish is a language that beautifully captures human nature in a way that English is too polite to do. Take the word “Shnorrer” for example. Tightarse and cheapskate don’t do it justice, as those both have pejorative connations. Shnorrer is a word that conjures up both disgust and admiration. I
t can be a noun – He’s such a Shnorrer he takes his own popcorn to the movies, then sells it back to his family for a profit.
It can be a verb – I managed to Shnorrer the best parking next to a broken meter. (Actually breaking the meter yourself would turn you from a Shnorrer into a Ganif).
It can be an adjective – look at the Shnorrer sandwich she made me, there’s barely any meat in it.
Jews admire a good Shnorrer and are often boasting to each other of their latest shnoradike escapades. Our friends know R and I as the Royal Couple of the Shnorrer holiday. We’re constantly targeted by timeshare schemes who invite us to a ninety minute presentation with the promise of a free holiday. We’ve managed to never buy timeshare, yet we enjoy the same benefits the honest hardworking folk who purchase it do. We’ve had 2 free holidays a year for the last five years courtesy of various vacation clubs. Tasteless? Yes. Classless? Perhaps. But the feeling of joy we get when we see the shmuck in the room next door paying his bill is priceless. I don’t care how crappy the room is or how disdainfully the hotel staff look at us when we show them our voucher, a holiday is much sweeter when you didn’t pay for it.

When The Entertainment Voucher book came out in Sydney a few years ago, Jews flocked to it like dieters to a black forest cake. We renamed it The Shnorrer Book and proudly carried it wherever we went. The joke that a non-Jew would be offended if you used a Shnorrer voucher on a date, while a Jew would be offended if you didn’t is only funny because it's true. Of course, there is a line that should never be crossed when shnorrering:
Never Shnorrer from a friend without them knowing.
Never Shnorrer at someone’s funeral.
Never Shnorrer your child out of a good education.
Never teach a Wasp to Shnorrer – it confuses them and upsets the delicate balance of the Universe.

Being such an expert in the ways of the Shnorrer, I feel silly that I didn’t realise a very obvious fact about my latest predicament. It’s like God’s looked down at our many years of shnorrering, both locally and internationally, together and apart. He smiled upon R and I and granted us the ultimate two for one deal.

One pregnancy, 2 babies.

A shnorrer mother's dream.


Blogger Lin said...

Loved it! We have friends in Milwaukee who embark on an annual California schnorr which we look forward to every year. Apparently, we've been rated "Best Schnorr in California!"

4:17 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm updating my blogroll and would like to add you to it. Let me know if you'd rather not be on there.

9:59 am  
Blogger Ova Girl said...

You are a very clever, very funny girl. (That is two compliments for the price of one! Both true)

11:22 am  
Blogger Zogdoid said...

In Zogdoid I ran business that gave other dogs two sniffs on the one dog-bum.We thought it encouraged a spirit of cummunity. THe officials closed it down as they said it encouraged a disease called snout'n'bum virus.

11:17 am  
Blogger Papercollector said...

I found your blog today just noseying around. You are witty and insightful. Congrats on your new babies. I had no idea what a schnorr could be or would be or is... thanks ; )

9:51 pm  
Blogger Mommy Drinks said...

As a New York Jew- this I can attest is too funny and too true!

4:52 am  
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1:16 am  
Blogger I Like 2 Read Blogs said...

Ever consider donating your timeshare?

1:37 am  
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11:04 am  
Blogger Hoodia said...

Help me Dude, I think I'm lost..... I was searching for Elvis and somehow ended up in your blog, but you know I'm sure I saw him in a car lot yesterday, which is really strange because the last time I saw him was in the supermarket. No honest really, he was right there in front of me, next to the steaks singing "Love me Tender". He said to me (his lip was only slightly curled) "Boy, you need to get yourself a San Diego cosmetic surgery doctor ,to fit into those blue suede shoes of yours. But Elvis said in the Ghetto nobody can afford a San Diego plastic surgery doctor. Dude I'm All Shook Up said Elvis. I think I'll have me another cheeseburger. Then I'm gonna go round and see Michael Jackson and we're gonna watch a waaaay cool make-over show featuring some Tijuana dentists on the TV in the back of my Hummer. And then he just walked out of the supermarket singing. . . "You give me love and consolation,
You give me strength to carry on " Strange day or what? :-)

1:41 am  

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