So Mike Pascale calls me and asks, “Do I wish you a happy Yom Kippur?”
“No,” I tell him. “It’s a meaningful Yom Kippur. Call next month to wish me a Happy Holocaust Remembrance Day.”
“Oh,” he says.
“Now go and impress your Jewish friends,” I tell him. But I don’t have to worry about that because he’s in Detroit.
Then, just hours before sundown, my cell phone starts buzzing. I’m rushing around like crazy, but I pull the little nuisance out of my pocket and look at the caller ID. It says Restricted. Which can only mean one thing. So I pick it up.
“Yeah?” I ask.
“Yeah?” responds the familiar voice. “Is that anyway to answer the phone?”
“I learned it from you,” I say.
“I’m calling to ask your forgiveness for anything I might have done this year.”
“You’ve never done anything to me,” I say. “Ever.”
“You’re supposed to say, ‘I forgive you,’ schmuck,” says Harlan.
“I forgive you,” I say. “I moichel you.”
“That sounds like something you’d cough up.”
“It’s Yiddish for forgiveness.”
“I know that.”
“Hey, did you ever notice that it’s only friends who call before Yom Kippur to ask for absolution?” I ask. “Your enemies should be calling. They’re the ones who do crappy things to you.”
“They don’t call because they’re assholes,” says Harlan. “So do you want to hear two jokes or not?”
“One chicken is looking at another chicken across the street and he calls out to him, ‘Hey! How do I get to the other side?’ And the other chicken says, ‘You’re already on the other side.'”
“Next,” I say.
“Okay, a chicken and an egg are lying in bed and the egg is smoking a cigarette. And the chicken says, ‘Well, now that we’ve answered that one.'”
Wishing you Jews an easy fast, and a meaningful Yom Kippur. And to my goyishe friends, a happy Superbowl Sunday. May we all merit a year of peace for all mankind.