Thursday, December 08, 2011

From the "Say What?" Department

The above tweet is from Kristina Killgrove, whose Ancient Roman DNA Project is part of the #SciFund Challenge. The Challenge runs for only one more week! Go there and check out some awesome science! And while you're there, you can maybe drop in a little gelt, nu? (I.e., money) They've got great swag for Chanumas-Chrismakah-Saturnalia-Kwanzaa-Boxing Day-whateverileftout.

But failing pacemakers and Hava Nagila I don't know from, so I came up with a little something. And if you go out and it's chilly, wear a sweater or a coat, you shouldn't catch cold. And a hat. And have a little bite first, you shouldn't starve...

Yiddish Pacemaker Song
to the tune of "Hava Nagila"*

My poor pacemaker,
My poor pacemaker,
My poor pacemaker's
Bupkis tonight.

My poor pacemaker,
My poor pacemaker,
My poor pacemaker's
Not working right.

Heartbeat's meshugenah.
Ferklempt meshugenah.
Plotzing meshugenah.
Oy vay, revive!

Kvetching meshugenah.
Retching meshugenah.
Fetching the ambulance --
Keep me alive!

Oy! Oy!
This little tchotchke gives me tsuris.
Call the mishpocheh, I've got tsuris.
Get a nice doctor, where the cure is.
Not a shlimazel, I've got tsuris!

Give it a potch!
Give it a potch!
Give my ticker chicken soup!

Yiddish references, in order of appearance

Bupkis: absolutely nothing; nothing of value (Source: Wiktionary)
Meshugenah: crazy (Source: Leo Rosten, The Joys of Yiddish. NY: Pocket Books, 1968)
Ferklempt: choked up; overwhelmed (Source: Fact Monster)
Plotz: to burst (Source: The Joys of Yiddish)
Oy vay: oh, pain (Source: The Joys of Yiddish)
Kvetch: complain (Source: The Joys of Yiddish)
Oy: an all-purpose ejaculation to express anything from trivial delight to abysmal woe (Source: The Joys of Yiddish)
Kenahora: a magical phrase used to ward off the evil eye (Source: The Joys of Yiddish; I use an alternate spelling that's not in the book)
Tchotchke: a trinket (Source: The Joys of Yiddish)
Mishpocheh: family (Source: The Joys of Yiddish)
Shlimazel: a chronically unlucky person (Source: The Joys of Yiddish)
Potch: a smack (Source: The Joys of Yiddish)

* Disclaimer: The original "Hava Nagila" is sung in Hebrew, not Yiddish. But I grew up with Mickey Katz records.

Elissa Malcohn's Deviations and Other Journeys
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