Southern & Jewish
Southern & Jewish celebrates the stories, people, and experiences – past and present – of Jewish life in the American South. Hosted by the Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life, posts come from educators, students, rabbis, parents, artists, and many other “visitors-to and daily-livers-of” the Southern Jewish experience. From road trips to recipes to reflections, we’ll explore a little bit of everything – well, at least all things Southern and/or Jewish. Shalom, y’all!
The tension in the air is palpable as we prepare for today’s tip-off at the Manischewitz Arena. Mensch Madness Game 4 is going to involve some serious trash-talking!
Today’s match-up will pit a Serpent and a Donkey against one another, and in a fascinating twist, both of these animals are able to speak (no, the donkey is not related to Eddie Murphy’s character in Shrek)!
Also, it looks like the trash talking is on and off the court today, folks. As the snake came out for his pre-game warm-up, he encountered two fans who seemed to be drunk. One of them (due to privacy concerns, he will be referred to only by his first name, Adam) was shouting about some piece of fruit, and Adam’s companion, Eve, was yelling that the Serpent was a lying fraud. Based on this serious allegation, a test was administered on the Serpent for performance-enhancing drugs, but it came back negative. Adam and Eve were escorted out by security, and told they could never return – ever.
While the players wrapped their warm-ups, a man named Balaam gave a pretty poor rendition of the national anthem. He stumbled over the words, and some said that was because he was trying to sing about the “home of the cowardly” instead of “home of the brave.” Apparently the folks operating the sound system edited his words in real time.
As the game began, the Serpent immediately went on an 18-4 run. His ability to walk on two legs — that’s right, sports fans, a two-legged snake! — was immensely helpful, and the donkey just couldn’t hang with him as she tried to dribble with one of her four legs. Soon, the Donkey was called for travelling. She got in an argument with the ref. The Serpent ran over, demanding that the Donkey be called for a technical foul. Sure enough, the ref blew his whistle and made the call. Then Serpent began dancing around, taunting Donkey, trash-talking her and telling her to break another rule if she really wanted to win the game…
This would prove to be a turning point.
A voice on the loud-speaker boomed: “Serpent, because you have enticed the referee to make this excessive call and continue coaxing Donkey to break the rules, you will no longer be able to prance around the court on two legs. You will henceforth be required to attempt mid-range jump shots while slithering around on your belly.”
We searched the entire NCAA rulebook, and we found no such provision, but that voice over the loudspeaker was pretty powerful. And so, just like that, the Serpent’s two-leg advantage slithered away.
Donkey took a massive lead, as the Serpent’s ability to play defense was almost completely eliminated. It was so bad that a benchwarmer named “Angel” was summoned to assist the serpent on defense. What was strange is that none of the fans could see this Angel character. His clothing blended in with the court. Only the Donkey could see him. When she started dribbling frantically in circles to try and avoid Angel’s terrific defense, the fans thought she was just wasting time and milking the lead.
Anthem-garbling Balaam was incredibly upset, and threw his hot dog at the Donkey. Next came the Dippin’ Dots. Finally, after being pelted with an entire box of nachos, Donkey couldn’t take it anymore.
She yelled, “What have I done to you that you’ve launched these food items at me three times? This ‘Angel’ guy was going to confront you due to your horrendous national anthem rendition, but because I gave him the opportunity to play defense against me, I saved you from that thoroughly unpleasant interaction! And this is the thanks I get?!”
Balaam, like Adam and Eve before him, was escorted out and banned for life from Manischewitz Arena. As the game drew to a close, the donkey coasted to a victory over the helpless serpent, who spent most of his time slithering around the three-point arc, air-balling desperation attempts from downtown. The final score was 83-68.
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 Genesis 3:14-15  Numbers 22:22-25  Numbers 22:26-33