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: While all of you losers were complaining about our 5th or 6th election in 18 months or whatever, the Daily Freier did something about it. That’s right, thanks to some helpful friends in Estonia who we met playing Minecraft, we have our own Bot Farm. Not only that, but using Artificial Intelligence, we created our own Political Party! In fact, our very own Science & Technology columnist Mark Levy is the brains behind this ambitious project. Hopefully, this will work out better than the last time we built a Bot.
Our party’s manifesto is to replace the entire government sector in Israel with the world’s first sovereign AI algorithm consisting of a Bot Farm managed from our underground data center near Eilat. The AI algorithm, which we call “HaMedina” (the State), is programmed to replicate as realistically as possible the level of service provided by your average Israeli government office.
“The algorithm takes virtual coffee and smoke breaks once an hour.” explained Mark. “It works between 10:00 and 15:00 Mondays to Wednesdays and 09:00 to 11:00 on Thursdays but only during years with an even number…. in the Hebrew calendar.”
The algorithm’s default response subroutine is “no, that’s not possible” and it has even been imbued with the ability to create red tape and bureaucracy out of thin air. “There’s going to be a special ishur needed to apply to interact with the bot.” Mark continued. “And there’s going to be another ishur (permit) needed to apply for it.”
The party itself, he said, will consist of 5 virtual MK’s. Each would be an algorithm with a unique personality that would appear in plenum through a unique hologram technology that would be capable of generating a unique “face” for each member of Knesset.
“We’ve also managed to impart certain cultural characteristics into each virtual MK,” he said. The MK bots for instance are able to periodically interrupt one another while speaking and also heckle members of the opposition.
Levy believes that our ambitious project — a world first — is entirely without precedent. “We’re planning to upend the entire state bureaucracy.” he admitted. Levy projects that the ambitious project could end up saving the taxpayer tens of millions of shekels.
“High tech is the strong suit of Israel’s economy and we have good reason to believe that our algorithm and virtual MKs will do a better job than what we have now.” The only costs associated he said would be maintaining the data center and paying a small team of algorithm engineers to program the MKs (and bureaucracy) with new interests. But we’re probably going to ask MASA for some free interns so that should cut down on overhead.
“We’re even working on a fully drone operated delivery service called ‘Leiat Leiat Yisrael’ that we expect could fully emulate the level of service provided by the Israel Post Office.” Mark noted. The tentative delivery service would periodically dump packages into the Dead Sea, thereby losing them, and circle the country for months before arriving at their destination.
Also, none of the Bots ever made money on a deal involving submarines.
Bnei Brak: Despite the ongoing lockdowns, there are still some folks out there who refuse to stop living their best life. That’s right, all of the various and evolving Corona mutations just met up for an evening of speed-dating! You see, Rabbi Haim Meir Wosner, a senior ultra-Orthodox rabbi, died on Sunday at the age of 82 from COVID-19. Thousands of mourners attended his funeral in Bnei Brak, creating the perfect forum for our friends in the Corona Mutation Community to have a “meet & greet” and just maybe meet that “special someone“. The Daily Freier was live on the scene while maintaining appropriate social distance protocols.
“I’m really looking for Mr. Right.” noted Sarah, an Olah Hadasha from South Africa. “I really want to meet a guy who has done a lot of traveling. Maybe a guy from Europe!” Sarah dropped her voice down to a conspiratorial whisper. “I don’t want to jinx myself, but I’m naming my first child “Avi Ben SARS-CoV-2 VOC 2021-2/08” if it’s a boy, and “Rachel Bat SARS-CoV-2 VOC 202012/01” if it’s a girl!“
While we were speaking to Sarah, a number of Olah Hadashot Corona Mutations from the United States seemed to be creating quite a stir. “OMG OMG did you hear that British mutation’s accent?” asked Leah from Boston. “It is SO. HOT.“
Wanting to learn more, the Daily Freier approached this very Eligible British Bachelor Corona Virus Mutation: Richard from Manchester. “I just love the atmosphere here. Even if I don’t get a date, it’s great to meet up with all my friends.” Richard scanned the room and continued. “All of the police barriers were getting in our way and preventing us from being ‘Single Ready to Mingle’, so I was really glad when the funeral guests removed them after 10,000 people showed up!”(Real World Non-Satire Alert: This Really Happened.)
Yet not everybody was so enthusiastic about the event. The Daily Freier spoke with “Melissa from Florida” who was busy trying to stop her girlfriend Sarit from making “a huge mistake” with a Corona Strain from Italy “who really gets around”.
“Uggh, there’s Yosi. Thanks but no thanks. I’m sorry, but that guy’s been with EVERY girl at my seminary. And now he just got back from doing who-knows-what in Dubai. Sarit needs to stay away from that guy.”
“But he seems NICE!” argued Sarit. “I didn’t notice anything wrong with him. He even told me his Hebrew name: Yosef Lo-Symptomati!“
As the party continued to fill up, we ran into Richard again and asked him if the police might break it all up. “Don’t worry.” he replied breezily. “Bibi said it was OK.“
UPDATE: A prominent Israeli psychic predicts that someone on Secret Jerusalem will be really really offended by this.
Tel Aviv, Charles Clore Park: OK, so this is weird. But I think…. and I don’t have any actual proof yet…. but I think someone here might be smoking weed. I don’t want to cast accusations or anything. Because, again, I could be wrong. But the air has this strange smell. It almost smells like the Metallica jean jacket that my older brother wore in high school. Does that even make sense?
Also, you can’t really tell where the smell is coming from. It’s almost as if it’s coming from everywhere. I mean, I just passed a drum circle, and everyone standing around had like really really interesting hair. Maybe it was them. Plus, a bunch of people are on the hill waiting for the sunset. Then there’s these guys who ran a cargo strap from one tree to another and they’re walking on it like a tightrope. But where are their shirts? It’s cold outside.
There’s also a dozen Wolt delivery guys hanging around on their bikes. Maybe they’re on break or something. They probably see a lot of things riding around. I bet they would know the answer.
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.)
Tel Aviv: “What am I doing for Sylvester? Am I supposed to know him? And why are we supposed to be doing stuff for him? I don’t understand!” complained recent American Oleh Alex P. “All my Israeli friends keep asking me what I’m doing for Sylvester…. and I literally don’t know what they’re talking about.”
Alex explained that this past week, all his workmates could talk about was this mysterious guy named Sylvester. “One guy said he’s making a Barbecue for Sylvester. Another guy is hosting a wine & cheese party for him. My supervisor said he’s going to the pub for Sylvester. He invited me to join, but I didn’t know how to answer. I like pubs, but is this Sylvester guy coming with us? Wait, maybe Sylvester knows that other mystery guy Alan?”
As the Daily Freier got up to leave, we suggested that maybe Alex would understand his workmates better if he invited them out to socialize. “Yeah, I already tried that…and it totally didn’t work.” he explained. “I asked the guys if they wanted to do something fun for New Year’s, but they just laughed at me and said to ask them in 9 months.”
Tel Aviv: “It’s a hate crime! Ethnic discrimination! Racism!” cried Mindy R. “These stores and their discriminatory practices that make the food I like more expensive. It’s just because I’m Ashkenazi, isn’t it?“
Mindy, a Passaic native who now lives in Tel Aviv, tearfully described her experiences shopping for food at her local AM:PM supermarket. “These cultural micro-aggressions have got to stop!”
“They’re charging 21 Shekels for a tiny bottle of McCormick’s seasoning, and like 10 Shekels for a kilo of some random yellow spices I’ve never heard of.” Mindy complained. “Their motives are pretty obvious; they think they’re better than me and are trying to force me to be like them…. maybe I don’t want to serve yellow chicken and yellow rice and yellow vegetables for Shabbos like every Israeli I know? That’s why they made the jars of duck sauce so expensive, because they don’t want me to buy them! And yeah, I tried Amazon and Target but they don’t ship here.”
We headed to Mindy’s corner supermarket with her typical shopping list: jarred gefilte fish, duck sauce, and cream of mushroom soup (You know, the essentials!) in order to get the whole story from Rami the manager. “Am I racist against her? No way! That girl is one of my best customers; she easily spends 4000 Shekels every month!”
We asked Mindy why, if she felt uncomfortable at her local grocery store, couldn’t she just go to another store like Osher Ad? “I would need a car to get to a supermarket like that.” she said. “I would totally buy one, but groceries are sooo expensive.”
UPDATE: Stay tuned for tomorrow when this crisis migrates to Facebook and morphs into an angry rant on the popular page “Living Financially Smarter in Israel”!
Jerusalem: “What politically important issue are they protesting? Bibi’s corruption? Unfair draft laws? The lack of Skippy peanut butter these days?” asked Jerusalem resident Tamar R. as she passed a large crowd gathered on Yafo Street this morning. Upon further investigation, the Daily Freier discovered that the mass gathering was in fact a lineup for the Fox Clothing Store, which was restricting admission to only four customers at a time. “Who would wait three hours for sweatshirts?” pondered Tamar… until she saw her neighbor Aviva in line.
“I don’t mind waiting” explained Aviva. “We really built up a great community here in the past few hours. See that cute engaged couple almost at the door? When they started out at the back of the line, they didn’t even know each other!“
When the Daily Freier asked Aviva why she didn’t just shop online, she was confused. “You mean like Amazon?” she inquired. “That’s silly, they don’t sell Fox sweatshirts! Besides, they stopped their free shipping. And isn’t online shopping what I’m doing right now?… I mean, I am standing ON LINE….for Fox.“
As the Daily Freier waited and observed the Fox queue, a contingent of Peace Now activists descended on Yafo street, suspicious that this large gathering of people was trying to establish a new settlement outpost. “It’s not like that.” Tzvi, the Fox lineup leader explained. “But look, if establishing ourselves as am official community can get us some representation in the Knesset, then maybe it’s a good idea. You know, our numbers are growing every day.“
As the Daily Freier got ready to leave, we spotted Svetlana, our old Ulpan teacher standing in line. “Are you here to buy a sweatshirt or maybe some pajamas?” we asked. “I don’t even know, I just jumped in when I saw how long this line was.” Svetlana exclaimed “Look, I know enough from growing up in Russia that if you see a bunch of people standing in line for something, then it must be good! That’s what Communism taught me and it’s true!“
Somewhere over the Arabian Peninsula: Quick, somebody call The Scorpions, because The Winds of Change are here! That’s right, Ivanka’s husband has Peace springing up all in this joint. Our Treaty with the United Arab Emirates holds fast, despite the arrival of Israeli travelers. Serbia and Kosovo want to move their Embassies to Jerusalem. Now Saudi Arabia is starting to show signs of thawing its relationship with Israel by allowing Israeli commercial aircraft to fly over its airspace, vastly shortening trips to the Gulf, India and the Far East!
You’re flying EL AL to Dubai on business, feeling quite emotional about this historic change, and the Flight Attendant (Smadar?) is totally ignoring your request for a Coke. Only now she’s ignoring you over Saudi Airspace! Incredible! Im Tirtzu, right?
So Smadar has finally acknowledged your existence, and she’s reacting to your request for a soft drink as if you asked for a Gold Krugerrand on caviar. Only now she’s doing it over what looks like the lights of Riyadh! We’ve come so far!
Wait, she’s returning with what looks like a soft drink in a plastic cup! OMG! As we fly over a nation that was once our enemy but now is sort of our frenemy! Is that your Coke? Yes it is, and she just slammed it down on your tray table with all the strength of Start-Up Nation! Who would have thought just ten years ago that you could enjoy passive-aggressive EL AL customer service 10,000 meters over the Arabian Desert! Herzl is smiling down upon us!
Wait, so she didn’t provide ice in the drink and you want to get her attention? What are you, nuts? Do you have some sort of death wish?
Live from Tel Aviv. This is like Satire and Stuff.