I'm the kind of person who skips to the conversation when reading a book.
My addiction to word games led to a funny conversation the other day. I was trying to use all my letters in a game called “Word Mojo” and tried the word “tov”.
“Dang,” I said out loud to no one in particular. “I thought ‘tov’ might work.”
“What?” asked Grace, who happened to wander into the kitchen while I was talking to myself.
“I thought ‘tov’ might have been a word,” I repeated, “you know, like mazel tov.”
“What’s mazel tov?” she asked.
I knew that she had just seen Fiddler on the Roof, so I started thinking about a way to put it into that context. While I was busy thinking, Elliot wandered in.
“You don’t know what mazel tov is?” he asked. I wasn’t sure if he was talking to me or to Grace.
Grace answered him though. “No,” she said. “Do you?”
“Of course I do,” he said, with a little swagger.
“How would you explain it?” I asked, interested to hear his version of a Yiddish expression.
I started laughing. I couldn’t help it.
“No, Elliot,” I said, “that’s a Molotov cocktail. That’s different from mazel tov.”
His face reddened. “Well, they sort of sound the same,” he stammered.
All I could think about was the incongruity of shouting “Mazel Tov” while throwing a Molotov cocktail.
And how does my boy know about Molotov cocktails anyway?