EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - I have been a student of language for a long time and have come to the conclusion that sometimes only profanity, Italian, or Yiddish will do. profanity must be used until it reaches the level of comedy or it's really no good at all. You need to be incredulous, inquiring about what somone's problem is or anything else that puzzles you. Italian, especially the kind we think we speak in New Jersey, is great for describing feelings of repulsion or for naming foods correctly. Ah, but Yiddish! It's a the wealthy language of poor people, using words to descibe the various misfortunes of life and the less-than-intelligent people whom we encounter daily.
Donald Trump recently appropriated some Yiddish to deride Hillary Clinton. It was gross, coarse, and sexist. Not really something that elevated the level of political discourse in our country. It was not funny or even functional. Yiddish has homely humor that Trump, who lives in the world of the hyperactive angry people dealing in high-level finance, does not get.
Yiddish words are our friends here in the "Greater Metropolitan Area," whether or not we are descendents of the German Jews who brought this language of the people to New York. We all speak a little bit of it. That's why we knew what Trump meant and did not have to be told by CNN, where reporters coquettishly skirted around it. Bernie Sanders should have punched him out for language abuse. Hillary Clinton should have used some Italian on him. Bill Clinton could at least have sent a profanity-laden text message.
So, in a truer appropriation of 25-generations-removed Yiddish, my Irish self has declared the day after Christmas as "Schlub Day" here in East Brunswick, New Jersey. Schlub. It's usually a noun, as is the word used by Trump, according to the Urban Dictionary, that means "unkempt in appearance, either due to lack of effort or lack of awareness." I like that the Urban Dictionary also notes that it's "the opposite of metrosexual." That makes it not seem so bad, actually. Today we are schlubs "due to lack of effort."
As I write this whateveritis, I am still in my jammies (it is 3:09 pm) sitting here eating some chocolate candy I got for Christmas, having had some of yesterday's macaroni and cheese for breakfast. My family has been binge-watching Star Wars movies all day in preparation for our trip to the mall (sometime) to see the new film, whatever it is called. The dog is asleep on a pile of crumpled wrapping paper. My son convinced me to try one of the beer-flavored jelly beans that showed up in his Christmas stocking. I tried it this morning and it have regretted it. Tooth-brushing requires far too much energy on Schlub Day, however, so I will suffer in silence.
East Brunswick, then, has added at thirteenth day to Christmas, featuring the inactive image of "13 Schlubbers Schlubbing." Pizza delivery guys, get ready for us. We will crawl off the couch in a few hours to summon you. The whirr of microwaves vibrates in each home in suburban harmony as cold coffee makes its way back into our used cups.
Yiddish is the language of the day for us schlubs. We do not have Donald Trump's energy or vehemence, but we do use a language correctly and with love. We will not be schlubs forever, just for today. Save the rest of the year for Italian, profanity, and the endless possibilities of English. Today is day to celebrate Schlubs, if any of us had the energy or desire to celebrate, that is.