Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, November 6, 2021

MVNews this week:  Page B:5

OPINION Mountain View News Saturday, November 6, 2021 
B5 OPINION Mountain View News Saturday, November 6, 2021 




Susan Henderson 


Dean Lee 



Patricia Colonello 


John Aveny 


Peter Lamendola 


Stuart Tolchin 
Audrey SwansonMeghan MalooleyMary Lou CaldwellKevin McGuire 
Chris Leclerc 
Bob Eklund 
Howard HaysPaul CarpenterKim Clymer-KelleyChristopher NyergesPeter Dills 
Rich Johnson 
Lori Ann Harris 
Rev. James SnyderKatie HopkinsDeanne Davis 
Despina ArouzmanJeff Brown 
Marc Garlett 
Keely TotenDan Golden 
Rebecca WrightHail Hamilton 
Joan Schmidt 
LaQuetta Shamblee 

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Outside of my home my major enjoyment consists 

of long lunches with friends during which we continue 

to make the same complaints. Earlier this week a 

friend sat down with me and we spent a couple of hours 

talking. This man is as Irish and Catholic as they come 

but I guess because he spent a lot of time in New York his 

vocabulary includes a number of Yiddish words. Maybe 

these words have become part of the American or at least 

coastal American lexicon. You know words like mensch, 

schmuck, oy ve, bubbe, meshuggeneh, schmate , chutzpah, 

klutz, kvetch, tuches, and surprisingly kibbitz. If you ask 

me what any of these words mean your guess is may be as good as mine. Like many 

Americans, with foreign born or bilingual parents, languages other than English were 

used in the home but never translated. I repeatedly heard words but could only guess 

at their meaning or simply ignore them in the way that I ignored the fears that the 

previous generation had encountered. 

I remember becoming very aware of a small part my ignorance when I wrote 
a letter home from college to my grandmother. This was the person who spent all the 
time with me before I went to School as my parents were both working long days in our 
grocery store eponymously named Stuart Food Mart. This was the person who helped 
me to fold my papers prior to me hopping on my bike too the paper route. This was the 
person who hid around the corner when I was getting a hair cut in order to make sure I 
wouldn’t be hurt. I hope you get the idea that we were very close but as I began my letter 
from college I realized that I didn’t know her name or much about her life. My sister 
and I always called her “bube” but I didn’t even know how to spell it. I took her love 
and over- concern for granted. Now I realize I was ignorant and did not understand 
the reason for her fears. 

Really, my understanding of the meaning of Yiddish words and traditions and 
hopes are very limited. For example I know that being a “mensch” is a good thing. 
Whatever it means it indicates that you are respected and honored by other people. 
But is menschood limited to men, are there female mensches? Can one be a mensch to 
oneself or is it an honor that can only be bestowed and appreciated by other people? 
Can you be a mensch while you remain willingly ignorant?

 A few days ago an Irish friend used the word “kibitz”a couple of times and 
I wondered what he thought it meant? What do I think it means? I associated the 
word as a description of people who watch others do things and make snide comments 
generally intended to annoy. Imagine watching a poker game, not being part of it or 
even understanding the rules but just making comments to criticize and annoy other 
people with no real consequences. All in good fun, 

I have coined the word “rekibitzing to describe what my friends and I have been 
doing for much of our lives. We spent a lot of time complaining about governmental 
incompetence, deceptive behavior, cronyism, inadequate educations and continuing 
outrageously expensive medical care. I have voiced all of my opinions many times 
and have not made any changes in my personal behavior. It is as if I am watching the 
world as if it is a poker game that I am not playing. I am free to say whatever I want 
but it makes no difference and the game goes on without me. I want freedom, equality, 
living wages for everyone, gender equality, and a decent education. I want there to be 
no poverty or homelessness. I want guns not to be floating around everywhere and I 
want to feel safe and secure. I want the quality of life to not be determined by where 
one is born or the color of one’s skin. Frankly, I’d be happier if everyone drove around 
in electric golf carts and bicycles. I want that drastic action immediately be taken to 
stop carbon pollution and that safe water and clean air be our birthright. 

 I agree that the way to make positive changes is not through complacent 
ignorance and inaction; but, like many of you, I wonder if it’s not already too late. Has 
our entire generation done nothing besides kibitzing and rekibitzing. For now, at least 
keep the lights on, maybe we’ll think of something. 



November has arrived and things are going to really get 
hairy now. 

Every November, two charitable organizations I like, 
Movember and No-Shave November, raise funds by 
encouraging people to not cut or shave their hair. 

Movember began in Australia in 2003 when two friends 
joked about bringing back the moustache (or “mo”) as a 
male fashion trend. 

Inspired by a friend’s mother who was fundraising for breast cancer, they 
decided to create a Movember campaign in which men grow moustaches to 
raise funds for men’s health and prostate cancer. 

No-Shave November “is a month-long journey during which participants 
forgo shaving and grooming in order to evoke conversation and raise cancer 
awareness,” according to the organization’s website. 

It was formalized in 2009, after Matthew Hill passed away from colon can-cer 
and his eight children created the charitable organization to raise funds for 
cancer research. 

Both organizations have made November a very fun month as people share 
photos of their thickening facial hair on social media. 

I’ve grown a goatee a few times over the years, but never went full beard until 
covid turned half the country into homebodies. 

Not having to shave every morning was a gift from the heavens. 

But an unexpected benefit of sporting a thick, graying beard was that strangers 
finally give me some respect — as though I am a college profes-sor or some 
kind of dignitary. 

Bearded, I look like the type of fellow who would never default on a bank loan 
or who can explain how the Federal Reserve works. 

(I have no idea how the Federal Reserve works. However, to my credit, nei-ther 
does the Federal Reserve.) 

I’m a big fan of the beard and both charities but there are always going to be 
those who rain on our parade. 

In 2019 a spate of beard-bacteria stories hit the news with headlines like this 
one in the Daily Mail UK: 

“Men with beards carry more germs than DOGS with deadly bacteria in their 
facial hair, study reveals.” 

I wonder if that study included dogs with beards. 

In any event, some previous beard studies found differing conclusions. 

Medical Daily reported in 2016 that beards may actually help fight infec-tion 

— and that even if a beard were to trap some bacteria all a fellow needs to do is 
wash it on a regular basis. 
Which brings us to the war against covid and our biggest anti-beard cru-sader, 
our beloved federal government. 

“Certain types of facial hair, like beards, can make mask-fitting difficult,” 
according to the CDC. “To have a better fit, people with beards can shave their 
beards or trim their beards close to the face.” 

The CDC goes into painstaking bureaucratic detail to explain which of 46 
beard styles are medically acceptable, reports CNN. 

Most beard styles are frowned upon, but a few, such as the “toothbrush” — the 
small moustache made famous by a certain Nazi dictator — get the CDC’s 
thumbs up. 

That makes sense, I guess, since top-down, big-government socialism is 
becoming popular of late. 

Anyhow, with all the mixed covid messages government public health ex-perts 
have given us the past year and a half, I’m not sure what guidance to follow 

I do know this: 

If our health experts want us to trust their guidance more, maybe they ought 
to grow dignified beards. 

Tom Purcell is an author and humor columnist for the Pittsburgh Tribune-
Review. Email him at 



A friend asked me to write a column on dating. I’m 
fairly certain, in my case, it should be called carbon 
dating. Undoubtedly most of you know that’s how 
they date old things up to 40,000 years. Some days I 
feel about 40,000. 

Let me categorically state that I am not, and I 
mean NOT even remotely qualified to discuss 
this issue. If I share my thoughts on the subject of 
dating I qualify as an ultracrepidarian. What is an 

ultracrepidarian? It means, “one who speaks above his 
knowledge, experience or expertise.” Though we may not have known what 
ultracrepidarian means, we certainly see it in practice day in and day out…
particularly rattling through local blogs.

 But I digress. Since I am a man (well a male anyway) , I will attempt to 
improve men’s understanding of women. The following is a short primer 
on what women really mean when they say something. (Guys, you might 
want to cut this out and put it near the remote control for access during 
commercial breaks.) 

When women say: 

“Do what you want” it means “You’ll pay for this later” 
“I’m not upset” it means “Of course I’m upset you moron” 
“Do you love me” it means “I want something expensive” 
“We need” it means “I need” 
“Sure, go ahead”it means “I don’t want you to” 
“Are you listening” it means “Too late, you’re dead” 
“I want new curtains” it means “and carpeting, furniture…” 
“Is my butt fat” it means “Tell me I’m beautiful” 
“The kitchen is small” it means “I want a new house” 
“Yes” it means “No” 
“No” it means “No” 
“Maybe” it means “No” 
If you detect displeasure and ask her, “What’s wrong?” 

“The same old thing” means “Nothing” 
“Nothing” means “Everything” 
“Everything” means “You” 
“Nothing really”means “You’re a jerk” 

Finally, in response to Dr. John Gray’s book, “Men Are From Mars, Women 
Are From Venus” let me tell you why I think women are like cats and men 
are like dogs” 

Cats do what they wantCats rarely listen to youCats are totally unpredictable 

When you want to play, cats want to be aloneWhen you want to be alone, cats want to play 

Cats drive you nuts, and cost an arm and a legCats expect you to cater to their every whimCats leave hair everywhereCats are moody 

Dogs lie around all day sprawled on a cozy chair or sofaDogs can hear a can of food being opened from half a block away, but don’t 
hear you when you’re in the same room.
Dogs look dumb and lovable at the same timeWhen you want to play, dogs want to playWhen you want to be alone, dogs want to playDogs are great at beggingDogs love you forever if you rub their tummies 

Dogs leave their toys everywhere. 

There, I hope my advice and suggestions help. I’m sure they will do 

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