by Christopher Bachler
New York City’s flashers and voyeurs had a big letdown recently when their favorite son, former U.S. Rep. Anthony “Weenie” Weiner lost his bid for the Democratic nomination for mayor, polling less than five percent of the vote. It was also a disappointment for the trendy elite who looked forward to getting their first exhibitionist mayor.
Two years ago, Weenie became world famous for exposing his weenie on the Internet. Earlier this year, he proved that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks when he was caught, once again, posting his privates online under the moniker “Carlos Danger.” Political pundits were not fooled, however, when they recognized that same old weenie.
Having resigned his House seat in 2011, Weenie hoped for a comeback this year, possibly hoping that what the once disappointed electorate had found distasteful in a congressman they might find refreshing in a mayor. Perhaps he overestimated that always unpredictable voyeur vote.
We must concede that nowhere in this world is there more innovation than in politics where our leaders are always experimenting in ever newer ways to impress the voters. And had Weenie won, the city’s sobriquet might have changed from The Big Apple to The Big Weenie. But now we’ll never know.
This strange behavior has caused some to question Weenie’s fitness for higher office if not his fitness for a strait jacket. Many pundits are even convinced that Weenie’s exhibitionism was the cause of his downfall. But keener analysts know that Weenie’s fatal blunder was engaging in a heated argument with a constituent in a New York Deli. Evidently, Weenie was unaware of this old taboo.
There are actually a number of ancient laws proscribing arguments in delis, and with good reason. The first has to do with food fights. As every Three Stooges episode proves, it is always unwise to argue around food; for the minute one person starts to argue, another throws the nearest edible he can grab. In a deli, that might mean the nearest bagel or bag of carrots. How are you supposed to make tsimmes without carrots? And should these customers get their hands on matzoh balls, forget it!
This wouldn’t be so bad for business if the angry customers actually paid for the food they waste. But hotheads rarely do, always arguing that “fighting words” justify malevolent behavior, including the destruction of a poor man’s deli.
But arguments can also be bad for business in other ways. How is a deli owner supposed to get people to buy his bagels and lox if people are distracted by arguments? This stuff doesn’t keep forever! Moreover, who wants to hear a lot of noise about politics or someone’s sexual peccadilloes when all they want is to get some nice eats for a special holiday or bar mitzvah?
Contrary to popular belief, it is NOT okay to argue near the kosher counter. The nice bearded fellow is there to take your order, not to moderate your debate. You must also avoid debates anywhere near knishes, kishka or knockwurst. As a rule of thumb, avoid anything spelled with a “K.” Also avoid the wieners.
Exceptions may be made for debates near the pickle barrel as long as you’re not eating a pickle while arguing or blocking a customer’s access to the barrel. One fool who violated this rule was physically submerged into the barrel, and was never seen again. Customers still eat the pickles, however. Some even like them better.
Worst of all is arguing while your mouth is full of food, as Weenie had done. Causing a blitzkrieg of pre-chewed crud that flies in all directions is hardly appealing to shoppers. Still worse, Weenie did this while lambasting Mr. Kessler for “judging him”— as if voters should not judge their politicians, but make their choices by flipping coins.
Rules may also be strict depending on what you have eaten. It’s unclear what Weenie was noshing on while screaming in Mr. Kessler’s face. But it’s forbidden to get into anyone’s face if you’ve eaten pastrami or any of the more pungent cheeses, such as limburger. Some try to conceal their fetid breath by using lots of mustard, but it never works. Scholars continue to haggle over corned beef.
Yes, these ancient laws are confusing.
Here’s a word to the wise: If you’re running for office, be nice in the deli. Make your mother proud.
And stand up straight, ya schlub!
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