Saturday, August 1, 2009

Verbal Typos*

The Scene:
A large, well-appointed Shabbat dinner at the home of an observant Jewish couple in Jerusalem. Sixteen people are seated around a table, eating. Apart from one person who is speaking, the room is quiet.

The Characters:
Host, a respected author who writes about religious topics and who is a regular lecturer at Aish Hatorah.

Hostess, an equally respected journalist and activist.

Guests which include: a local builder; a US biochemist in Israel on vacation; a US Jewish educator in Israel on a study fellowship; the rabbi of a large and prestigious US congregation and his wife (also an educator); the executive director of the Hadassah Organization's office in Israel; the Host and Hostesses' ultra-orthodox daughter and her husband and an Modern Orthodox couple with their three young, impressionable children.


We can all see the disaster coming, no?

Before I even tell you what happened, I must say that, honestly, up until this point, I was on my best, most charming behavior. I was pleasant. I made polite conversation. I asked people about themselves. One of the guests was not only single, but he was seated next to me and I did not torment him at all. ** I asked the man about his hobbies. I realize that those of you who either know me or are frequent readers of this blog may not believe me, but honestly--I did not deserve this.

Right, so now what happened.

Hostess asked us to introduce ourselves to the table. It was my turn. So there I was, you know, speaking in a charming manner and telling a charming anecdote... about the bombing. (Said bombing not brought up by me, just so you know). Anyway, I got to a point where I had to describe my behavior at a certain point in time. With a big smile, a dramatic eye-roll and my usual "I-am-hard-of-hearing-and-assume-you-are-too" volume I announced:

"I was being a complete twat!"

Faces morph from pleasant smiles into frozen stunned expressions. Stunned with a touch of horror. I realize what I said. And in front of whom I said it. FUCK!

"Twit! I meant twit!"

Nervous laughter. Further down the table, the Executive Director repeated my explanation to the Rabbi. "She meant to say 'twit'".

Not one of my better moments. ..

Why why WHY do these things happen to me?

*Many thanks to the aformentioned Jewish educator in Israel on fellowship for coining this phrase.

**Galia is going to be very bitter when she hears about this. I am NEVER so nice to her guests.


Anonymous said...

As the aforementioned biochemist in the article, I must thank you for providing me the most entertaining moment of the evening. I feel I have found a comrade-in-arms. Todah rabah.

Unknown said...

Dearest Gila,
This is the hostess. I couldn't imagine what disaster you were getting to--until you reminded me of the twat/twit comment. Just added to the lively conversation. Everyone gets to miss a vowel in this life. You were a charming, feisty, highly-valued guest, as always. I never know what will be with an eclectic table, and thought this one (17, not 16 BTW) worked just fine. Jerusalem Shabbat tables have their own energy

Anonymous said...

so if it makes you feel better...i've NEVER HEARD of that word....and I didn't grow up THAT sheltered. I had to ask my husband what the big deal was...i was actually waiting for you to explain it in the blog...

aliyah06 said...


And don't think you're the only one who has ever dropped a vowel....there was the time a friend, who needed to replace certain clothing items for his child asked, "Sarah, do we have time for socks?" except that his substituted an "e" for the "o" and looked a bit put out that I was doubled over in laughter....

cba said...

Gila, it could have been far, far worse.

In fact, I slightly misread part of this and thought it had been far, far worse--that is, I thought you had said "Fuck!" and not just written it.

Just so you know, I was LMAO (nooooo! I meant "laughing really hard") when I read this.

Anonymous said...

I know that officially the word twat has an offensive meaning, but I actually think in every day use people (or at least Americans) do interchange twit and twat and don't mean the sexual meaning. Maybe it is the brits that really use that word in the intentionally offensive sense...?

Mikey Lee said...

Gila, in "Smokey, and the Bandit" Sheriff Justice refers to his son as a "moose twit". I don't think your slip was really that bad, and everyone seems to be entertained by it! (Including me);)

Anonymous said...

You have obviously been listening to David Cameron:

RivkA with a capital A said...

Oy, Gila! Once again you have me laughing at your misery!!

I am not sure if you bring out the best or the worst in me!!

I feel so "sheltered" -- I had to look up "twat" on

If I ever heard it before (not sure I have), I am sure I thought it meant the same thing as twit.

AliyahO6 -- thanks for adding even more laughter to this post!!