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Lotsa Matzah: It's Not Easy Being Chosen

In my family, the only acceptable way to enter a conversation is to start yelling louder than the person who is currently speaking.

In my family, play of any kind is strictly prohibited in the house. "You'll take an eye out like that."

You see, we are a Jewish family. You might not be able to tell at first glance (we had our horns surgically removed), but I'm one of God's "chosen ones" (referring to God's decision to bestow upon my people his greatest gifts -- chest hair and lactose intolerance).

I keep kosher, in that I feel very guilty while eating a delicious bacon double-cheeseburger. I wear a yarmulke (pronounced, "bee-nee") on my head on holidays. I've seen "Fiddler on the Roof" 17 times.

So when I took my non-Jewish girlfriend (commonly referred to by Jewish parents as a "shiksa" or "just a phase") home with me last week to meet my family and celebrate Passover with us, I realized that I was going to have a lot of explaining to do.

"That's 'gefilte fish.' It's kind of like a meat loaf made out of fish. It tastes a little bit like sweet vomit. But if you put some of this horseradish on it, it tastes like bittersweet vomit. Try it."

Or "this is 'matzah.' It's kind of like a big, bland cracker. Contrary to popular belief, it is not made from the blood of Christian babies. Really. Try it."

For those of you not "in the know," Passover is essentially the celebration of the Jews' escape from slavery under the Egyptians a very long time ago.

Without getting into the details, the story also involves a lot of famous biblical stuff, like Moses parting the Red Sea, the 10 plagues and the first recorded mention of the importance of waiting at least a half an hour after eating before you go swimming.

Anyway, to me, the story has always been an uplifting tale of the Jews' triumph over their hardships. To the non-Jew however, the story is, in the words of one scholar, "very, very scary."

For one, the 10 plagues thing is just plain freaky. Frogs rain down from the sky, swarms of locusts cover the land and the Nile flows red with blood. It sounds like the stuff bad acid trips are made of.

Even scarier is the fact that we sing songs about them. Happy, fun songs about frogs in the Pharaoh's bed and frogs on his head and frogs on his nose and frogs on his toes. It's kind of like the Heffalumps and Woozles song in "Winnie the Pooh." Very twisted.

Also, God, in this story, is very, very mean.

I don't know what crawled up his or her ass that day, but God was seriously pissed. Smiting the first-born in every Egyptian family? What's that about? I'm thankful for my people's freedom, but it sounds to me like God had some issues back then.

Someone get this God a puppy.

(Just kidding there, big man. You know I got nothing but love for ya, guy. Keep bangin'. By the way, can you believe what Marty said? You better keep an eye on this one. He's got "troublemaker" written all over him).

Beyond that, the hardest part of Passover is fighting off hordes of vicious relatives, all scrambling to get their fair share of the matzah ball soup. Many a life has been lost in the Great Matzah Ball Wars.

I'm sorry. I should clarify that. For those of you who are not Jewish, matzah ball soup is a sort of chicken-based broth with little dough-like balls made out of the blood of Christian babies.

No! I mean, they're made out of egg and matzah meal and some other stuff, not including Christian baby blood. The point is, it's really good.

I swear.

Try it.

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David Povill loves Christian babies. Send evangelical texts to pfunk@email.unc.edu.

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