Tel Aviv (Surprise!): Summer might be over, but for Haaretz it’s still apparently Four-Twenty. That’s right, the uniquely ridiculous Lefty News Institution on the other side of town has apparently dipped into the edibles again, because they just discovered some new Gods that they will no doubt soon disappoint with their self-absorbed goofy schtick. You see, our friends at Haaretz are like a gift. A gift that once allowed us to write a story about a performance artist at a Haaretz cultural symposium who threw oranges at the audience and stuck a flag in his tuchus (This. Really. Happened.). So growing into a disappointment to other deities besides the Yud Hey Vav Hey isn’t really a stretch. The Daily Freier launched an intensive flurry of investigative journalism, tracking down several of these deities on their alternative planes of existence.
“I just feel that Gideon Levy’s writing is getting so…. derivative.” complained Thoth the Egyptian deity of Wisdom and Science as he languished on the shores of the Nile. “And don’t get me started on Amira Hass. She just seems nuts…..Can I say that? Is that offensive? My kid just came back from Oberlin and said that I’m ‘part of the problem’. I’m honestly having a hard time keeping track of the new rules.“
The Daily Freier then spoke with Ishtar, the Akkadian Goddess of Love and Beauty. “I like going out with my girlfriends on Fridays to check out a new cafe or maybe a gallery opening, so I still get the weekend paper delivered to my flat in Neve Tzedek. But their online English edition just seems insane.” Ishtar took a sip of her Tubi and stared into the distance. “So what’s Bradley Burston upset about this week?“
In order to ensure impartiality, the Daily Freier spoke with HaShem, who was dwelling just outside of Tzfat in a reality beyond human concepts of Time and Space. “I know that Schocken has been trying to bait me for years, so right now I’m giving him the silent treatment.” mused the Tetragrammaton as (your favorite pronoun) absentmindedly created a new marsupial. “For years I’ve been complaining about Haaretz to Thor, Quetzalcoatl, and Vishnu at our Sunday poker games…. now maybe they will see what I’ve been dealing with.”
As the Daily Freier was about to end our Zoom call with the Lord of Hosts, we could have sworn that we overheard The Creator offering to trade Haaretz to the Gentiles for Dolly Parton and Chinese food.
Tel Aviv, Ibn Gavriol: Tel Aviv: Tel Aviv residents “in the know” are facing a dramatic new reality: You don’t need to work for Wolt to be a total dick.* The city has re-discovered a Tel Aviv icon named Dan who is proving once again that being a total dick is a state of mind that should not depend on working for a company where the drivers appear to be encouraged to run over pedestrians on the sidewalk, block bike lanes, and ignore crosswalks.
You see, the Daily Freier first met Dan G. in 2015 when he refused to give in to the Knife Intifada and instead kept going about his business of being a jerk. Next, we caught up with Dan in 2019 when he proved that with an e-scooter, one did not actually need a car to park like a dick. But now Dan is taking a stand once again, insisting that he does not need to work for Wolt to maintain his credential as a total zayin. The Daily Freier caught up with Dan to hear his side of the story.
“You see that?” Dan asked, motioning to a Wolt driver jumping a curb and almost hitting a woman before blocking the sidewalk with his bike and walking into a restaurant to grab an order. “That’s amateur hour. Call me when you double park your car, walk into a supermarket, then cut the line claiming you were there before and just left for a moment.”
The Daily Freier asked Dan if he felt that the proliferation of Wolt drivers doing mildly sociopathic things was diluting his own personal brand of being a dick. “That’s a good question.” Dan mused as he stood in the bike lane forcing cyclists onto the sidewalk. “The Covid epidemic and the rise of takeout food allowed a lot of these guys the opportunity to get paid while making life difficult for others. But what’s going to happen after Corona?” Dan thought for a moment as his unleashed dog chased another dog. “They’re going to learn that their blue insulated delivery bag was just a crutch.”
As the Daily Freier ended the interview, a Wolt deliveryman asked us to step off of the narrow sidewalk into the street so he could pass more easily. Dan stared at him for a moment in silent awe.
Tel Aviv, The Old North: OK, so this is going to be a LONG night. I mean, Hamas promised they would attack between Midnight and 2 AM, and in the past couple of days their on-time rate has been a lot better than most Israeli companies. But the shelter in the building is kind of nice. There are some kids playing. Someone brought their dog! Also, there’s the hot girl from the second floor. This isn’t too bad!
Huh, what’s this? Oh no. Oh no no no. That guy just showed up. With a guitar. Wait, is this the one who was expelled from Hebrew Union College after he failed guitar class?” HaShem help us.
I just told him that I refuse to sing along to Wonderwall. But those guitar chords he’s doing write now…. They sound familiar. Oh no. I think he’s trying to play Stairway to Heaven. Badly.
Maybe if I cause some sort of commotion, it will make him stop. Here, let me jostle the broken futon in the corner that someone abandoned here 20 years ago. Maybe that will end this cycle of violence.
Wait, I think he’s moved on to John Mayer. I hate you Guitar Man. I really Hate you. But no, it gets worse. Someone just requested the Chili Peppers.
That’s it, I’m going outside to take my chances with the missiles.
Jerusalem, Katamon: American Olim across Israel are puzzled by the bizarre behavior of their British, Canadian, and South African friends. You see, in the Diaspora we’re all Jewish. But somehow when we arrive here, the Israelis decide that we’re all “Anglo-Saxons” (really). Anyhoo, it turns out that Americans have less in common with their fellow English-speakers than one would initially suspect. The Brits and other assorted Commonwealthians are in fact all obsessed by potato chips (Wait… they’re called crisps? Really?) that taste like they fell in salad dressing at a picnic. And now a reasonable facsimile of those chips has arrived in Eretz HaKodesh.
“Look at them plotting their route of makolets; it’s like they’re planning the D-Day Invasion.” noted an American Olah named Dassie as she watched her roommates huddled in a Katamon Cafe. The object of their desire? Salt & Vinegar chips.
“Yesterday, I saw my roommate Hannah taking selfies in the supermarket like a teenager.” Dassie confided. “I’ve lived with this girl for 4 years and I haven’t seen her so excited since the time her cousin from Leeds came to visit and brought a suitcase full of Cadbury chocolate and PG Tips teas. Who makes such a fuss over something silly like that?“
As we sipped our ice coffee, we heard a ruckus in the snack section of a nearby kiosk, a British guy and a Canadian guy violently fighting over the last bag of salt & vinegar chips. The shocked kiosk owner remarked “Wow… A Canadian acting rude…. and a British guy showing emotion!Moshiach is coming!“
When we got finished laughing at this foolish reaction over silly potato chips, we accidentally told Dassie that we’re planning a trip back to the States this month and she asked us to bring back Ziploc bags, K Cups, Dunkin Donuts coffee beans, the new iphone, and some decent cleaning products.
Tel Aviv, Charles Clore Beach: Residents are calling it a modern miracle, as untreated sewage has chased the recent oil spill away from Tel Aviv’s beaches.
A few weeks back a bunch of oil started washing up on Israel’s shores, hurting wildlife and closing the beaches. Nobody knows exactly how it happened, but if you think that’s going to stop an Israeli politician from pontificating on something, well Boker Tov. Environmental Protection Minister Gila Gamliel decided that this would be a good time to publicize her personal Fauda Fan Fiction Blog, and blamed Iran for the oil spill because why not? Anyhoo, the oil spill was doing serious damage until Thursday night. You see, Tel Aviv’s sewage treatment system works amazingly well except for extremely rare events…. like whenever it rains a bit, and then a whole bunch of untreated sewage flows into the sea.
And that’s where the miracle happens. Sensing a violation of our sovereignty, the patriotic untreated sewage attacked the oil spill, forcing it to retreat toward Lebanon, which naturally submitted a UN resolution condemning Israel (OK, this part is actually true). Reaction from Israel’s streets was immediate.
“I always knew our poorly maintained municipal infrastructure would save us.” noted Yafo-based musician Assaf K. “Am Yisrael Chai.“
“This reminds us of the importance of not doing anything to fix our problems!” enthused Alert Local Ronit S. as she walked past a storm drain blocked by debris. “Imagine what would have happened to us if we had actually planned ahead?“
The Daily Freier looks forward to the Oil Spill writing an Op-Ed for Haaretz next week where it blames its departure from Israel on The Occupation.
Tel Aviv, Atarim Square: Experts fear that yesterday’s winter rains have decimated Tel Aviv’s famed dry pee smell, setting back the city’s strategic reserves by up to 6 months.
“We’ve lost everything.” complained the guy at the kiosk in Atarim Square that sells hot dogs. “First it was Corona, and now this. We might not recover before the summer.“
“Months of hard work are gone forever. Lost in just a few hours.” lamented Yoni, a Wolt bicycle delivery guy who had stopped in one of Atarim Square’s passageways “for a break”. Yoni surveyed the newly clean-ish floors and started to cry. “This was all we had.”
News of Tel Aviv’s crisis quickly reached the highest reaches of Government, with President Rivlin urging a unified response to the crisis. “The parties need to come together quickly with a plan. Up to 20% of Israeli men have never peed in Atarim Square.* We are failing as a nation.”
UPDATE: Some good news emerged Friday morning as the NGO “Birthright Israel” promised to have future buses stop at Atarim Square, Allenby Street, and the Central Bus Station. (Editor’s Note: this is in fact NOT the most ridiculous Taglit/MASA idea that we have ever come across.)
Tehran: People all across Israel woke up to some disturbing news. The Iranian Government released photos of suspects in the untimely death of the Iranian Nuclear Scientist, and some of them look kinda familiar. The Daily Freier wandered around Tel Aviv pestering strangers until we got 250 words for this article.
First we stopped Assaf G. as he walked his dogs in Dizengoff Square. “The heavy-set one with the helmet of hair? I think he was the Shputznik I called last year about the mold in my bathroom.” Assaf continued to stare at the photo. “Did the Iranians catch this guy? Because he still owes me money.“
“The angry looking one with the stubble? He drives the Number 5 Sherut.” explained local housewife Dafna. “He seems tough but he’s actually quite nice. I talked to him about the elections last year on my ride home from Dizengoff Center. He voted Meretz.“
Finally, the Daily Freier ran into our very own Emily Goldstein, who studied the photo of the man with the receding hairline and the beard for several minutes. “I think I dated him when I first made Aliyah. He said he was in High-Tech but he picked me up on a scooter. He went home to Hadera every weekend with his laundry and came back Saturday night with 12 Tupperwares of his mom’s food for the week. He made me shakshuka once and acted like he invented the clock.“
Tel Aviv, Dizengoff Center: Many of you know Dizengoff Center as a place with quirky shops, a playground with a slide exiting an elephant’s tuchus (really), and a Kafkaesque design plan. But did you know that Dizengoff Center has a rooftop Urban Eco Farm? Well it does, and it contains really cool things like bamboo, an herbal wall, beehives, and greenhouses! Trouble is, the insects that are supposed to inhabit the ecosystem keep getting hopelessly lost in and around Dizengoff Center. That’s right, the insects in Dizengoff Center are just as confused and disoriented as you are. The Daily Freier stopped by to talk with some of our friends from the Invertebrate Community and offer our support.
“I’ve really just given up hope.” sighed a cricket named Dudu. “I moved here last month from Holon because the rent was cheap and the view was amazing. But I’ve been wandering the parking garage for five days and I have no idea where I am.” Dudu turned around, trying to find a familiar landmark. ” I just feel like I’ve made a huge mistake.“
“This doesn’t even make any sense.” complained a honeybee named Devorah somewhere near the food court. “I was supposed to meet a girlfriend for coffee so I left the hive early just in case…. I’ve passed that weird tattoo shop four times in the last hour.“
Finally, the Daily Freier met up with a speckled moth named Uri near the movie theater. “I left the greenhouse four hours ago to get a smoothie and now I can’t find my way home. I read the Daily Freier and thought that Olim only get lost here because they’re idiots.” Uri stared silently into the distance. “But it’s real… it’s real.”
Tel Aviv: So we got good news and bad news. First, the good news. We met a recent arrival to Israel who is enthusiastic, refuses to quit, and determined to make it work here. The bad news is it’s the Corona Virus. The virus, who immigrated to Israel in late February and is named Rachel or Sarah, was kind enough to sit down with the Daily Freier at that cute cafe near Ben Yehuda that’s really popular with Olim.
“OMG I love it here!” enthused the virus. The Daily Freier asked the virus about her story. “So, like my family was originally from China, but then I just started traveling! It was so exciting! Europe! North America! It felt like I was on Gap Year!“
The Daily Freier asked the virus if it had any long-term goals in Israel. “I’m going to start my own NGO!” she replied. “It’s going to be like Taglit, except it will bring young infectious viruses to Israel! Isn’t this exciting?!! Imagine…. a virus riding a camel! Taking shots of Tubi! It just made out with the cute soldier from the bus! It’s got mud all over its body at the Dead Sea! ” (Later, we reluctantly had to admit that this idea wasn’t the dumbest piece of Israel Advocacy that we had ever heard of.)
Then the virus started to “spill tea” on life in Israel. “I hooked up with a Golani last week! We met at the beach!” Then the virus turned introspective. “But why isn’t he calling me? I mean, I got his text that he’s sick with a high fever. But is that just some kind of commitment issues bullshit? They say he’s in an isolation ward on his base, but I think he’s just ghosting me.“
As we got up to leave, the virus had one more question. “So when do I get my 750 Shekels from the Government for Covid Relief?“
UPDATE: There appears to be an End Date to the Corona Epidemic. After the Holidays, she’s going to get married and move to Ra’anana and then nobody will ever hear from her again.
Tel Aviv, The Old North: Yesterday the Daily Freier woke up to its very own Al Naqba: the Facebook Page Secret Tel Aviv has closed down. That’s right, Tel Aviv’s #1 resource for Corona Hookups, getting your dog laid, getting your cat laid, directions to…ummm, the Shuk, and selling “someone else’s” adult movie collection is now shut down (apparently Secret Tel Aviv was also a resource for concert information, local events, buying and selling items, and finding jobs, but who knew?) Secret Tel Aviv founder Jonny Stark explained it all yesterday in a post, yet we still struggle for answers, because while the loss was felt across the city, The Daily Freier was clearly hardest hit by this tragedy. You see, Secret Tel Aviv has been like a reliable friend to the Daily Freier. If Writer’s Block occurred, all we had to do was sit down with our laptop, drink our Coffee Hafuch, and let the majestic weirdness of Secret Tel Aviv flow until our creativity returned. Well, either that or wait for Rabbi Shmuley’s daughter to open a sex shop just off Allenby. But whatever. This is basically our nightmare.
To make matters worse, it now appears that we are far less clever and witty without drawing from the endless well of bizarre Jews that they used to call Secret Tel Aviv. Sure, we can still wait for Sarah Tuttle-Singer to write her inevitable post-Corona epiphany involving an off the Derech lesbian cab driver who grows the best mangoes on her Yishuv. Or basically anything from Keep Olim in Israel. Or the Polar Vortex known as Dizengoff Center. Or, you know, why Jerusalem kinda sucks. But make no mistake about it, the feelings of loss that we’re experiencing right now are real. Which makes us wonder, where do we go from here?
Jonny, if you can hear us:
We’re all out of love, We’re so lost without you. We know you were right believing for so long. We’re all out of love, what are we without you. We can’t be too late to say that we were so wrong.