TGI Shobbas

Shlap on shobbos

So, as it’s Friday, here’s an Ab cartoon for anyone hoping for a day of rest sometime soon.  Perhaps the phrase “You want that I should schlap on shobbas” requires some unpicking?  A”schlap” is a shlep, in my view particularly associated with carrying a burden.  “Shobbas” is Shabbat  – that is the sabbath.  So Ab is saying:  “Are you asking me to carry a burden during the day of rest when it is religiously forbidden to do so?”  Only, of course, he says it in the poetry of Yinglish, with all the layers of irony and self-deprecation one would hope for.

Celebrating thrift

Get yourself some new guttkas

This cartoon triggered a memory for me of my Mum saving precious moments by mending clothes while I was still wearing them.  And, of course, this cartoon reminds us of the old-fashioned virtue of thrift.  Those brought up in the Depression of the thirties, through the war and in the days of rationing afterwards valued resources and loathed waste.   And thrift was both a necessity and part of the culture for Celie and Ab as children of refugees.

Guttkas is one of my favourite Yiddish words.  It’s not a word that to my ears conjures up elegant, pleated, tailored trousers.  Guttkas to me is an earthy word – these are everyday working trousers.