Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Writing, satire, Jewish humour and tango dancing...perhaps in that order.

These activities were a great part of Bel Kaufman's 103 years of life. Would you believe she enjoyed dancing the Tango at 100 years of life? What will you be doing when you reach your 100th birthday? Besides, that is, having your telegram from the Queen of England read to you? Yes perhaps some of us won't even reach the triple number. My genes tell me I probably won't. But that doesn't stop me from reading the death notices in the West Australian each day. So far I'm doing very well compared to many others I have known.
The writing of the late Bel Kaufman is there for everyone's benefit. For instance one of her favourite jokes:
A Frenchman, a German and a Jew walk into a bar. The Frenchman says 'I'm tired, I'm thirsty, I must have wine.' The German says 'I'm tired, I'm thirsty, I must have beer.' The Jew says, 'I'm tired, I'm thirsty, I must have diabetes.'
So laughter is the best medicine. Bel Kaufman taught a course on Jewish humour besides writing the now famous book, Up the Down Staircase which published in 1965 stayed on the best seller lists for 15 months including 5 months at no.1. The book was also made into a movie.
The cynic I can hear in the background...Yeah but they didn't have the internet then!!
No they didn't but Bel Kaufman lived most of her years in Manhattan though having been born in Berlin in 1911.
Back to the tennis in New York and the brave Australians.

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