Federal Judge Alex Kozinski's 1996 Slate Diary

Previously published Slate articles made new.
July 26 1996 1:26 AM

Federal Judge Alex Kozinski's 1996 Slate Diary

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Day Seven  
Monday, July 29, 1996 
A while ago, my wife started talking about getting a boat.

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"No way," I said. "Jews don't belong on boats."

"Don't be silly," she replied. "The Old Testament is full of Jews who were mariners. Think about Noah."

"That was a case of dire necessity. Anyway, as I recall, he put up a big fight."

"OK," she insisted, "What about Jonah?"

"Proves my point," I said. "He got eaten by a fish."

"Well, Jesus was a fisherman," she insisted.

"Sure," I said, "And look what happened to him."

Some ideas can't be stopped, however, especially once my boys get into the act. They thought it was a great idea, so I reluctantly agreed. Of course, I don't know the first thing about boating, so whenever I'm out there on Big Bear Lake, as I was this past weekend, these absurd Dr. Seuss rhymes keep popping into my head. I feel a twang of reluctance about sharing them with the world--they would surely make me cringe if uttered by someone not of my faith--but self-mockery has always been an important component of Jewish humor, so here goes:

Jews and Boats

Jews and boats, boats and Jews.
Such a sight will sure amuse.

Why do they do it? I can't say.
All day long they play and play.

Say!
Look, two crawdads
they have caught ...
Such tasty crawdads
can't be bought.

But
they'll go free after a while,
'cause they're not even kosher style!

Tight and bright,
are their suits.
Their Bump-R-Tubes
are real beauts.

In the boat they jump,
Oh, dear!
To play some water games,
I fear!

I do not like
to tie a rope.
I cannot do it,
I cannot cope!
Slip knots, square knots, knots galore,
Oh! What a pain! Oh! What a bore!

It's so confusing
for a sport.
Which way's starboard,
which way port?

The kids are bumped
Bump!
Bump!
Bump!
Bump!
And in water
they get dumped.

I notice that
the engine's hot.
What is wrong?
Oh, quite a lot!

The water pump,
the rectifier.
What is that?
Please don't inquire.
A new propeller's
needed too.
And a tuneup's
long overdue.

Those who own one
know it's true.
A boat's a hole
in water blue.
A hole, a hole,
Yes! It's a sin!
A hole to throw
your money in.

Now our day is
almost done.
So much pleasure!
So much fun!
Three boys,
Mama and papa.
This family is
MESHUGGENEH!

TODAY IN SLATE

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More Than Scottish Pride

Scotland’s referendum isn’t about nationalism. It’s about a system that failed, and a new generation looking to take a chance on itself. 

What Charles Barkley Gets Wrong About Corporal Punishment and Black Culture

Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You

Three Talented Actresses in Three Terrible New Shows

The Human Need to Find Connections in Everything

It’s the source of creativity and delusions. It can harm us more than it helps us.

Jurisprudence

Happy Constitution Day!

Too bad it’s almost certainly unconstitutional.

Is It Worth Paying Full Price for the iPhone 6 to Keep Your Unlimited Data Plan? We Crunch the Numbers.

My Father Was James Brown. I Watched Him Beat My Mother. Then I Married Someone Like Him.

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