A Purim story for all ages
So easy, even a 5-year-old could write it
Gabe Kahn is the editor of The New Jersey Jewish News.
I don’t understand, why are we writing Daddy’s Purim column? Isn’t that his job?
—He said he was very busy with an important project and needed our help.
—That doesn’t make sense. If he has so much to do, why did he go into that empty office and turn off the lights? By the way, I’m pretty sure I heard a snore coming from under the door.
—Yeah, I heard it, too. Maybe that’s why he made us promise not to tell Mom.
—How are we even going to do this? You’re 7 and I’m 5. I can’t even read yet!
—LOL. I’ve read a couple of them before and believe me, a 5-year-old is overqualified.
—So how does Daddy usually write his columns?
—From what I’ve seen, they don’t require much thought.
—What are they like?
—He usually starts off with a story or some example that he thinks is really profound and telling and relates to a current crisis.
—Like how the people in Shushan were ruled by a despot more eager to expand his own power than govern fairly; who pretended to be on the side of the Jews while secretly subverting them; who was married multiple times; who changed his mind frequently; and who was highly susceptible to the influence of his advisers?
—I guess, but I don’t see how that’s relevant to any modern-day issues.
—What do you expect? I’m 5. Anyway, that doesn’t seem so hard. Let’s get started.
—No, no, that’s not all. He drones on for a while after that.
—His poor readers!
—So then what?
—He uses examples of stuff to prove his point and includes some statistics, but I think that’s just to distract people from the fact that his logic doesn’t hold up. Then he tries to justify his moral outrage by bringing up a story from the Torah, though I’m pretty sure he gets his biblical references mixed up a lot.
—That’s true. He’s always confusing the Old Testament with the new one.
—Exactly. Anyway, after that he makes sure to include a joke that’s not funny.
—Wait, he intentionally writes jokes that aren’t funny?
—That’s the only explanation. Also, he goes out of his way to praise the Patriots, but people in Jersey get annoyed when he does that.
—What do they have against the model franchise in professional sports, a team that has consistently won over the last two decades even though the salary cap is supposed to make that kind of longevity and dominance impossible?
—Personally, I think they’re just jealous of the defending champions, but that’s not the kind of thing we can put in writing. Besides, Dad gets in enough hot water for taking at least one dig at Trump per column.
—The guy who sells the steaks?
—Yeah, him. Finally, he sums it all up, as if there’s a linear connection between the beginning and the end of the column.
—OK. Hey, what’s that folder in his email?
—That’s where he keeps the Letters to the Editor, the stuff he’s always talking about at dinner, you know, about how much the readers appreciate him?
—Oh yeah. Can we look?
—Don’t see why not. Let’s see … woah! I shouldn’t even know these words until I’m in fifth grade. Mom once sent me to my room just because I asked her what that one at the bottom meant.
—They’re allowed to print that in the paper?
—I don’t think so.
—Does that mean the letters they publish are the nice ones?!
—Um, I never thought about that before …
—Whoops, I accidentally leaned on the keyboard. Can you take that out?
—I’m 7. I only know how to use iPads, not these old desktop computer thingies.
—Right. Well, I’m sure one of Daddy’s editors will catch it.
—I wouldn’t count on it. Besides, he doesn’t like when anyone makes changes to his writing. He claims his columns are perfect on arrival. I once saw him fly into a rage when the copy editor took out the apostrophe from “it’s,” even though he should have written “its.”
—Uh oh, I hear him stirring in the other room, so we should get started on the column. Do you have any ideas?
—Just one: Next time we have a day off from school, let’s go to Mommy’s office, instead.
Chag Purim Sameach!
Contact Gabe Kahn via email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or