Subject: 5/17 - Joel's Yiddish story
Newsgroups: alt.tv.northern-exposure
From: hoffman@Xenon.Stanford.EDU (David Hoffman)
Date: Sat, 29 May 93 21:12:07 EDT


I knew that story sounded familiar--my grandmother had an ancient-looking copy of this in a box of stuff. I have reproduced it here with all the possible spelling errors intact, partly to preserve the traditional spirit, but mostly because I don't know enough Yiddish to correct it. Anyway, it's funny no matter how you spell it.


Amul is geven drei Indians; Der Tatte, Geronowitz, Die Mutter, Pokeyenta, and die Tuchter Minnie-Horowitz. Ain tug is Minnie-Horowitz gekummen ahaim un gezuckt tzu Pokeyenta, ``Mamma, ich vil haireten''.

Zukt Pocayenta, ``Gut, siz shoen tzeit. Du bist yetzt an alta moid, zektzen yur olt; ver is der bucher?''

Zukt Minnie-Horowitz, ``Oy, Mamma. hab ich getruffen mit a bucher! Hoich und heldishe, azoy schein, azoy shtark!''

``Un vos iz zein nommen?''

``Ere hayst zach Sitting Bullvon.''

``Un vos far yiches hut ere?''

``Oy, ere hut a grosser yiches, zein tatte, Michuggeneh Ferd, is die ganzer macher fun alle die Shvartz-fuss leibe.''

Zukt Pocayenta, ``Gut! Mir vellen hubben a groisser chassene - Oy, vais mir!''

``Vus is der mehr?''

``Mir hubben ain tzore.''

``Vos is der tzore?''

``Die tzeepee is nit grosse genug tsu halten alle die gasten fun die chassene - alle die Shvartz-fuss, und die Shmohowks, and die gantze mishpuche.''

Shreit Pocayenta tzu Geronowitz, ``Geronowitz, shtaitt uff fun dem tuchess und gay krigen far mir a buffalo.''

Zukt Geronowitz, ``Far vus vilst du a buffalo?''

``Mit der flaish fun die buffalo ken ich machen a gut gedemte buffalo tzimmes, und mit die peltz ken ich machen groesser die tzeepee, und mir vel kennen inleiden die gantze velt tzum chassene.''

Arois is gegangen Geronowitz. Ain tug hat passiert, tzvey taig, drie taig, un nish kain Geronowitz. A vuch mere, kumt ahaim Geronowitz mit gurnisht in die hent.

``SHLEMIEL! Vu is mein buffalo?'' shreit tzu ihm Pocayenta.

``Due und dein buffalo tzimmis, iech hub ach baide in bud.''

``Far vus? Vus is der mere?''

``Die ershte tug hub ich gezehn a buffalo, nisht gut genug far die tzimmes. nish grois genug far die tzeepee. Die tzvayte tug hub ich gezen anunder buffalo, grois genug ober mit a farfoite peltz, a meiskeit fun a buffalo; die tritte tug hab ich gefinnen nuch ains un siz geven schein, shmaltzedik, grois--a perfect buffalo!''

``Un nu? Vuden?''

``Vuden? Ich hab gegangen tzu scheecheten der buffalo, ich hub gekukt in mein tasch, un du vaist vus? Nar vus ich bin--chub genemin mit mir die milchidigge tomahauk!''


Synopsis of joke follows (in English):

Father, mother, and daughter Indians. Daughter announces she is going to get married. Mother is concerned about how to feed all the guests and that the house will not hold all of them. She sends father out to kill a buffalo to supply meat for the guests and a skin to make the teepee larger. He is gone for a week. When he returns he does not have a buffalo. When asked what happened he replies that on the first day he found a buffalo that had a beautiful skin but was too skinny to feed all the guests. Then he found one that had plenty of meat but an inferior skin. When he found the perfect buffalo, he went to kill it and found he had brought his dairy tomahawk instead of his meat tomahawk and thus couln't kill the buffalo.


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