Arrived Tel Aviv one afternoon Late ‘78. Soon to be Stoned, Dazed and Confused and somewhat abused. One of my fellow SFM drivers, Perry, a good bud of mine, had convoyed with me into TA. Each of us driving deuce and a’halfs and at dangerous speeds.
We checked into the Pal Hotel which SFM had retired to after the New Sheraton had made it plain they no longer desired nor needed the patronage of Sinai Field Mission types, specifically the Texan ones. I preferred the Pal Hotel anyway.
“Screw you Sheraton New Hotel!”
Of course for both of you Lenny Fans out there in ‘Radio Land’ I just had to drop this audio bit in. It really is not germane (nor certainly not German) to the point, but it do expand on the title somewhat.
It occurred to me that when using the term ‘Tits an’ Ass” some would not know the etymology. Lenny first coined the phrase. (Bless his heart). He did some jail time too… for his transgressions.
So…when I first arrived to SFM and folks would talk of TA, imagine my confusion.
Lenny Bruce audio below ‘Tits and Ass’
Worth a listen
After settling in, Perry called me from his room, “Hey Lance. Got anything goin’ tonight?”
“Nope,” I replied. “Not a damn thing. You know Gladys done dumped me for that Venzu-walon dude.”
“Come on up to my room. We’ll smoke a bowl.”
“On my way,” I said and hung up. We smoked a few bowls of hash, drank some Amstels, and decided to head over to Dizengoff Street to check out the action. And sate some munchies. Just yet another night in TA.
We stepped out onto Hayarkon Street just after sundown and proceeded to float on toward Dizengoff, a few short blocks away. We were stoned beyond repair. As we tried to navigate across the busy Hayarkon four lane, we noticed more than the average number of folk on foot. As soon as we had arrived on the leeward shore of Hayarkon, a teenage girl came running up to us and smacked us both on the top of our heads with a little plastic mallet. Then said something unintelligible in Hebrew and ran giggling away.
“What the fuck was that?!” I asked Perry.
“Dude, I gots no idea, but look yonder!” he said pointing up the street. Sure as shit, there were people everywhere; all armed with similar plastic mallets, just wailing the shit outta each other’s heads.
“Dude! We gotta sort this out. This is just too weird. Must be some kinda religious ritual.” This is what my hashish soaked brain was telling me anyway. We made our way to Dizengoff, after having our heads bonked repeatedly by overzealous religious fanatics. I spied a street vendor displaying the plastic mallets with aplomb.
“Perry, we gots to git one ah them for self-defense.” We purchased one each and went to whackin’ pretty Sabras about the head. (Great way to meet women, I must confess—Kinda Neanderthal—but what the hell?) Later I was told we had experienced some joyful Israeli Halloween-Like festival. Mardi Gras, it weren’t but dammit! I had fun. (But I didn’t get any beads)
To this day, I do not know the holiday, or festival. Are there any out there who would care to enlighten me? Tis one-of-those-unknown-things that still haunt me today. Perhaps if I had not been stoned…My Jewish Friends: Was it Purim I had experienced? My enquirin’ mind really do wanna know.