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The Gold Mine

Let me just state for the record that when something tragic, sad or depressing hits my family, I usually find that humor is a great way to deal with disaster. And so, this past week, when my husband, kids and I raced to Boynton Beach, Florida after hearing that my dad had a heart attack (read Role Mommy Confessions for the story) I discovered what I believe to be the birthplace of Jewish comedy as we now know it. Yes, the borscht belt is alive and well in a remote retirement hub in Florida and the undercover mom mined for some golden nuggets while she was immersed in a family crisis. DEFIBRILLATOR PERSON OF THE MONTH The comedy gems were subtle at first. Like the sign we encountered as we approached the front desk at my parents' development in Palm Isles to get the kids guest passes for the pool. Perched atop the receptionist's desk was a sign that read "Defibrillator Person of the Month." Now who exactly gets this kind of honor bestowed upon them? The person who defibrillates the most senior citizens in 30 days? Or is it the unsuspecting guy who is suffering from a nasty case of heartburn that's defibrillated upon? You know you've hit the retirement scene when they're honoring the defibrillator person. What I later learned was that each month, a new person is trained on the defibrillator so if you're having chest pains or want to freak some people out, just give a jingle over to the defibrillator person and he'll come a running. COFFEE TALK Before we headed over to the hospital, we hit the Palm Isle cafe where all the yentas and kibbitzers were congregrating and conversating. As they noshed on bagels, omelets and lox, I started to give a listen.
"I heard that while Neil (my dad) was lying there on the tennis court and the players on the other court just kept on hitting. Can you believe it?" A few feet over I eavesdropped on a table of eight chatting loudly about my dad's condition. "You know, he even visited his doctor before he came down to Florida and that bastard gave him a clean bill of health. Can you believe it?" THE SHOW MUST GO ON In addition to being an avid tennis player, my dad is quite the thespian and this year he has a pretty meaty role in the latest Palm Isles Players tour de force. So when he was holed up in his hospital bed, the director's phone began ringing off the hook.
"Hello Myron. What can I do for you?"
"You know Phyllis, if Neil can't do the show because of his condition, I can do a mean fox trot."
While waiting to be checked out of the hospital, my dad wanders to the front desk to ask the name of the internist on duty who can give him a clean bill of health.
"His name is Dr. Gorgeous."
"You mean you don't have a Dr. McDreamy in this place?"
Paging Dr. Suck Up. Paging Dr. Suck Up.
"I'd like to order lox, whitefish, cream cheese, tuna salad..."
"Not so fast - I can't remember that well," says the elderly man taking orders.
After asking the customer what else he needs, he replies,
"I just need the bagels now."
"Oh, we're running kind of low on those. How about a babka?"
As my mom and I are waiting on line in the bakery section at Publix, a heavyset bald man speeds by in his motorized wheel chair while his wife calls out to him.
"Irv - should we get a pie?" "NO!!!" Irv scowls back. When a friendly woman walks over to look at the pies too, she asks Mrs. Farbissina, "Are there any sugar free pies over there?" "How should I know? Do I look like I work here?" Irene shrugs. Incidentally, I discovered on this trip that Jerry Seinfeld's mother lived down the street from my parents in Palm Isles and Larry David's parents lived in Sunrise - where my aunt and uncle used to live. Now I know why they were both comedy geniuses - they got 3/4 of their material from the yentas and the kibbitzers down in Florida!!! Now that Seinfeld is in syndication, I've officially assigned my mother comedy dictation duties. Anytime she observes something hilarious, she's instructed to write it down and send it my way. So have no fear, there's plenty more tales to tell from the shores of Boynton Beach and I can't wait to uncover them!

Posted in: Blog, Undercover Mom on 12/27/2006


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