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.