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Be happy, it’s Adar! For Jews, Adar, which falls this year in February, contains one of the most joyous, if not silliest of Jewish festivals. I am referring, of course, to Purim, that wonderful holiday where Jews dress up in costume and retell the ancient story of their deliverance from the evil hand of Haman through the influence of the Jewish Queen Esther.
During the reading of the Book of Esther, as Haman’s name is read, groggers or noise makers drown out his name as worshippers clap and stamp in complete antithesis of a traditional Jewish service. Silliness is encouraged on this day, with spoofs and parodies on all subjects being allowed and encouraged by Jewish law and tradition. In Eastern Europe, the Purim Spiel, or Purim Play, was always a delight. Now that I have Jewish law behind me, I wish to offer the following essay on a topic of importance to me — the stickie.
Now, you ask: What is a stickie? A stickie is a pesky, offensive little piece of goo that now becomes semi-permanently attached to avocados, peaches, pears, plums, tomatoes, peppers, oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, kiwi fruit, star fruit, tomatoes, Asian pears, cactus, cucumbers, lemons, pomegranates, persimmons, apricots — well you get the point. Now in the old days, we used to stamp our fruits and vegetables with a blue rubber stamp. Worst thing about that was whatever you touched would say the name of the fruit. I ruined four jerseys because they all said “Sunkist.” But the best was yet to come.
Enter technology and the stickie. These little labels just seem to stick to anything within two miles. I spend hours getting them off of cutting boards, knives, cereal bowls and counters. And just when I think they are gone for good, I find them sticking to the inside of the trash barrel. But that is not the worst of it, nor why I needed to inform you about stickies. I must relate some incidents that will surely prove my point — whatever that is.
First, I once served a salad to my guests. Somehow, a stealthy stickie slithered into the salad. My guests thought it was a new kind of vegetable. I didn’t say anything.
Next, there was the time one disappeared down the garbage disposal. The plumber ended up with a shredded stickie; I got stuck with a bill for $300.
Then, there was a time my son thought he could play a joke on Mom. Unbeknownst to me, he stuck a stickie to my sweater, dangerously close to my tuchus. He knew what he was doing. He retrieved it from a tomato and it said “plump and juicy.”
That’s all I needed. Being a teacher at the time, I was fair game for pranks. When I walked into class, the students burst into laughter. It took me two hours to figure out what was going on, and of course when I finally removed the stupid stickie, part of my sweater unraveled. Darren was grounded for a week for that caper.
But it was the incident with the rabbi that has solidified my annoyance with stickies. My congregation had invited this hotshot rabbi from out of town to a service to be held at my house. I cleaned the house for two weeks, but on the last day before the rabbi was to arrive, I could not find a stickie that had fallen to the floor while I was preparing the salad.
I searched high and low, even had four of my friends who don’t even need glasses search for me, but the elusive gunky label was nowhere to be found. I put it all to rest figuring it was somewhere in Stickie Land out of sight.
It was during an important Torah lesson when things became apparent. As the erudite rabbi was explaining an important tenet of the holy Torah, I happened to glance down at his shoe. There on the sole was the stickie for all to see, and it said “Perro Peppers.” Such a shanda (embarrassment)! I immediately offered to remove the offensive label while the rabbi sat there watching me attacking his shoe for two hours. Needless to say, he never returned to Ocala after that incident.
Now that I have concluded my expose on stickies, I hoped you have gleaned much knowledge. My main lesson I wish to impart is — oops! My breakfast peach stickie has stuck to my computer! I have gone from an Apple to a peach!
May we always laugh and find joy in our daily lives, and may all your stickies fall off with ease!
Judi Siegal is a retired teacher and Jewish educator. She lives in Ocala with her husband, Phil. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.