[The first night of Chanukah falls on Christmas day this year, and so with apologies to the late, great Dr. Seuss (but not to the greedy, litigious bastards at Dr. Seuss Enterprises, LLC) I would like to honor the occasion by making an annual tradition out of reposting the enduring holiday classic, How the Kvetch Stole Chanukah. Happy Christmukah.]
Down in Joo-ville
Liked Chanukah as such
But the Kvetch,
Who lived just north of Joo-ville,
not so much.
The Kvetch hated Chanukah, the whole Chanukah season.
Now don’t ask me why. What? Should I know the reason?
It could be he wasnt a mensch, that is all.
Or his petzel, perhaps, was two sizes too small.
Such meshugas comes from one thing or another,
But like most Joo-ish boys, we should just blame his mother!
The reason, whatever,
His mom or his putz,
The Kvetch hated Chanukah. Oy, what a yutz!
For he knew every Joo down in Joo-ville tonight
Was busy preparing menorahs to light.
And theyre giving out gelt! he sighed as he said
I need waxy chocolate like holes in my head!
Then he nervously whined as his fingers tapped horas,
I MUST stop the Joos from igniting menorahs!
The Kvetch knew that soon
All the Joo girls and boys
Would say the baruchha, then unwrap their toys!
And then! Oh, the oys! Oh, the Oys! Oys! Oys! Oys!
If its not what they wanted, the OYS! OYS! OYS! OYS!
Then the Joos, young and old, would sit down for a nosh.
And theyd nosh! And theyd nosh!
And theyd NOSH! NOSH! NOSH! NOSH!
They would nosh on Joo-latkes, and Gefilte-Joo-Fish,
Which was surely the Kvetchs least favorite dish!
Theyd do something
Which made the Kvetch plotz!
Every Joo down in Joo-ville, Bar Mitzvahed or not,
Would sit down together, their proud ponims grinning.
Then dreidels in hand, all the Joos would start spinning!
Theyd spin! And theyd spin!
AND theyd SPIN! SPIN! SPIN! SPIN!
And the more the Kvetch thought of this Joo-Dreidel-Spin,
The more the Kvetch thought, I cant let this begin!
Oy, for fifty-three years Ive put up with it now!
Chanukah, Schmanukah! Stop it!
Then he got an idea!
And the moment he had,
Im no Einstein, but this not half bad!
I know just what to do! Then he donned an old sheet,
And dug up some sandals to wear on his feet.
Im the Prophet Elijiah! Theyve set me a plate!
(For the Kvetch couldnt keep Joo-ish holidays straight.)
The Joos ll oblige ol Elijiah, no doubt!
I will simply walk in. Then Ill clean the place out!
All I need is a camel…
He looked far and near,
But this wasnt the desert, and camels are dear.
Did that stop the old Kvetch…?
That pischer? No, never:
If I cant find a camel, the Kvetch said, …whatever.
So he called his dog, Max. Then he took an old sack
And he tied a hump onto the front of his back.
He climbed on this
You never have seen
Such a schmuck on a camel.
Then the Kvetch cried Oy vey!
As old Max started down
Toward the homes, while the Joos
Where still schmoozing in town.
All their driveways were empty. Just SUV tracks.
All the Joos were out last-minute-shopping at Saks,
As he rode to a not-so-small house on old Max.
Its a good thing I brought the old Prophet Kvetch thought,
All these bags with to stuff all the stuff the Joos bought.
Then he looked at the chimney. It seemed quite a stretch
That a fat goy like Santa could fit, thought the Kvetch,
Still, the goyim believe stranger things, thats for sure.
Then the Kvetch shrugged his shoulders, and walked through the door
Where the little Joo dreidels were all strewn about.
These dreidels, he grinned, are the first to go out!
And he schvitzed, as he shlepped, with an odor unpleasant,
Around the whole house, as he took every present!
Barbie dolls! Mountain bikes! Brios! And blocks!
Pokemon! GameBoys! And all of that shlock!
And he stuffed them in bags. Then his arms spread akimbo,
He shlepped all the bags, one by one, out the wimbo!
Then he shlepped to the kitchen. He took every dish.
He took the Joo-latkes. The Gefilte-Joo-Fish.
He cleaned out the Sub-Zero so nimbly and neat,
Careful to separate dairy from meat.
Then he shlepped the Joo-nosh right out the front door-a.
And NOW! kvelled the Kvetch, I will shlep the menorah!
And he grabbed the menorah, and started to shlep on,
When he heard a whine, like a cat being stepped on.
He spun round with shpilkes, and coming his way,
It was Ruth Levy-Joo, who was two, if a day.
The Kvetch had been caught by this small shaina maidel,
Whod been watching TV on her big RCAdle.
The Prophet Elijiah? she quizzed the old fool,
You visit on Pesach, they taught us in shul.
And although the old Kvetch was surprised and confused,
Its not hard to lie to a girl in her twos.
Bubbeleh sweatheart he started his tale,
Your dad paid full price, when this all was on sale!
And like any good merchant, I just want to please ya.
Ill ring it up right, then Ill refund your VISA.
Then he patted her tush. Put a Barney tape in.
And she spaced-out as fast as the spindle could spin.
And as Ruth Levy-Joo watched her mauve dinosaura,
HE went to the door and shlepped out the menorah!
Then the match for the shamas
Was last to be filched!
Then he shlepped himself out to continue his pillage.
On the walls he left nothing at all. Bubkes. Zilch.
And the one speck of food
That he left in the house
Was a matzoh ball even too dense for a mouse.
He did the same schtick
In the other Joos houses.
For the other Joos mouses!
It was quarter to dusk
All the Joos, still at Saks,
All the Joos, still a-shmooze
When he packed up old Max,
Packed him up with their presents! The gelt and the dreidels!
The chotchkes and latkes! The knish and the knaidels!
He hauled it all up to his condo in haste!
(A Grinch might have dumped it, but why go to waste?)
Shtup you! to the Joos, the Kvetch loudly cheered,
Theyre finding out Chanukahs cancelled this year!
Theyre just coming home! I know just what theyll say!
Theyll ask their homeowners insurance to pay,
Then the Joos down in Joo-ville will all cry OY VEY!
All those Oys, kvelled the Kvetch,
Now THIS I must hear!
So he paused. And the Kvetch put his hand to his ear.
And he did hear a sound rising up from the shtetl.
It started to grow. Then the Kvetch grew unsettled
Why the sound wasnt sad,
It was more like the noise
Of a UPS trucker
He stared down at Joo-ville!
And then the Kvetch shook,
As truck after truck
Replaced all that he took!
Every Joo down in Joo-ville, the Golds and the Steins,
Re-ordered their presents by going online!
Chanukah HADNT been cancelled!
On UPS trucks but it came just the same!
Then the Kvetch, staring down at the gifts where they sat,
Stood kvitching and kvetching: For this, I did that?
It came without traffic! It came without tax!
It came without shopping at Bloomies or Saks!
And he kvetched on and on, til he started to shvitz,
Then the Kvetch thought of something which might make him rich!
Maybe stores, thought the Kvetch, dont need mortar and bricks.
Maybe toys can be bought with a few well-placed clicks!
And what happened then
Well in Joo-ville they say
That the Kvetch raised
Ten million in venture that day!
And the minute his web site was ready to go,
He raised ten billion more on his new IPO!
He sold back the toys to the homes they came from!
he the Kvetch
©2000 by David Goldstein
May not be distributed without permission