Well … What Are You Gonna Do?

On September 13, 2013, I published the first of what would be a series called Seven Days In Jerusalem.  The story was called “Sheitel.”  In it, the “Tourist” comes to meet his old friend, “Chaim Glicksman,” to catch up on old times.  Now, in the second installment, Chaim takes Tourist in and around Jerusalem to see the sites.

Photo by C.E. Ayr.  Thank-you, sir.

I based this story on an actual anecdote told by our Israeli tour guide about an incident that happened while shooting a Frank Sinatra movie in 1969.


Chaim pointed at the field. “The stunt pilot for Cast A Giant Shadow got lost during the filming and landed here —- on what was our airfield.”

“They mistook it for a hostile act?”

“Hey, you set down your plane on property we use for our two-plane air force, the farmers will surely come at you with axes … which they did!  So, the pilot, scared witless, got out of the plane, hands raised, yelled whatever Hebrew words he knew:  ‘Shalom!  L’chaim!  Chutzpah!  Gefilte fish!’

“The farmers rolled their eyes, threw up their hands in disgust and went back to work!”

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89 Responses to Well … What Are You Gonna Do?

  1. Dear Cuzzin Notnek,

    Don’t forget the horseradish! Hahahahahahah….perfect illustration of the ugly American. Funny!


    Cuzzin Shelley

  2. wmqcolby says:

    What would the horseradish be for? It’s after 6 AM and my mind is guacamole.
    Ugly American? No, just a confused pilot trying to save his hide.
    After all, when all axes are on you … what are you gonna do? 😀

  3. neilmacdon says:

    You can’t make that stuff up, can you? Or did you? Really?

  4. jellico84 says:

    Oh, a good chuckle with that one! Gelfite! hahahaaaa! 🙂

  5. wmqcolby says:

    Yeah, that was a hoot!

  6. Sandra says:

    I’m always a little wiser when I leave your page. And my spirits a little ligher too.

  7. Dale says:

    That was a hoot… and to think it really happened. What? No gravlaax?

  8. Lynn Love says:

    Is this really based on a true story? Thank goodness the pilot knew some garbled Hebrew or things could have turned out very nasty for him. Great tale – entertaining as your anecdotes always are 🙂

  9. Iain Kelly says:

    A good laugh, even better that it’s based on a true tale 🙂

  10. wmqcolby says:

    Yes, isn’t it? It was really funny the way the tour guide told me.

  11. James says:

    Well, it worked. They didn’t kill him.

  12. I loved how you presented this as telling a tale. Wildly entertaining.

  13. wmqcolby says:

    Why thank-you, Kecia. I appreciate the comments.

  14. elmowrites says:

    Ha, I like the attitude of the narrator as well as the story itself.

  15. His knowledge of Hebrew is better than mine. Thanks for the laugh.

  16. wmqcolby says:

    Hahahaha! You’re welcome, Alicia.

  17. That’s pretty funny! I could picture it happening. I have to admit I don’t know and Hebrew, so when I looked the words up it made it even funnier…

  18. plaridel says:

    all’s well that ends well. 🙂

  19. A great tale – I wonder what the pilot’s version is like

  20. Liked that bit about pigdin Hebrew saving the pilot’s life. Nice fun piece, carried a lot of anecdotal punch, true or make believe.

  21. wmqcolby says:

    Thanks, Neel. Of course, Mark Twain always said, he never let the facts get in the way of a good story. 😀

  22. gahlearner says:

    Hehe, that gave me a good chuckle. Five out of five gefilte fish. 🙂

  23. wmqcolby says:

    With horseradish. 😀

  24. gefilte fish… that IS disgusting… loved the story… 🙂

  25. wmqcolby says:


    And lutefisk ISN’T? 😀

    • Ha Lutefisk is much better than the fermented herring.

      • wmqcolby says:

        One of my Swedish friends from grad school, who now works in Swedish TV as a content producer, I used to make fun of her somewhat saying that lutefisk, looked like someone sneezed in a bowl of fish heads. She took it OK, but wondered why. In Minnesota, no one seems to like it, probably because they don’t make it right. I’m sure in your neighborhood it’s probably a LOT more palatable. 🙂

  26. Michael Wynn says:

    Really enjoyed this, great anecdote. I think like others though I’d like to see the farmers, disgusted yes but laughing at his idiocy too.

  27. wmqcolby says:

    Thanks, Mike. What makes it funny is the very Jewish reaction, that kind of “psssshhh! Just another ‘schmegegi’ flying into our airspace” when they have an air force with two planes in an open field and that’s it. Irony on irony.

  28. rgayer55 says:

    Great tale, Kent. The pilot made it easy for the farmers to see that he was just an idiot looking for a village. Shitstein happens.

  29. ceayr says:

    I tried to translate the Jewish words into Scots and decided that where I come from the farmers would probably have eaten him.
    Great little tale, sir

  30. It sounds like something I read in a story. I don’t wonder that they were disgusted!

  31. Ha ha, I’ll have to try that if I get into trouble in Mexico. I really only speak in immediate commands formulated in “word salads”. Hopefully it won’t be with a gun to my head. I never can remember español when that happens.
    5 out of 5 dreidels.

  32. I love how you spin a story!

  33. wmqcolby says:

    Well, thanks, Dawn. I hope to get better at it. Funny stuff is what I’m always on the lookout for. This is because brevity is the soul of wit and they are much more challenging. Fun, too.

  34. Lovely. A deep knowledge of languages certainly helps us get by. Totsiens.

  35. wmqcolby says:

    At least they knew he was harmless. Kind of endearing, actually.

  36. Thank God for the odd word picked up here and there.

  37. A great tale – all the better for it being true! 🙂

  38. wmqcolby says:

    I’m very happy you liked it, Clare. Thank-you for your nice comments. 🙂

  39. Love the humor here, Kent! I can see it happening here… though today, the farmers might not laugh, or wait. Such tension!

  40. ComputerBook says:

    . It’s one of the things I truly dread about Passover

  41. maxlcrepeau says:

    . In Minnesota, no one seems to like it, probably because they don’t make it right.

  42. wmqcolby says:

    Isn’t it lutefisk?

  43. gumersindo says:

    . In Minnesota, no one seems to like it, probably because they don’t make it right.

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