Norman Allan
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Short Stories
and sketches








Jewish Numbers and the "N" Word



Slavko has been having bad luck. The decades have cascaded on him. Now, in his seventieth year, he dreamed of lottery numbers. He became vividly alert and he remembered the numbers when he woke. He told me, and he knows I'm Jewish, has a high regard for me, but he has the habit of identifying any Jewish person he interacts with as "Jewish this" and "Jew that"… in the manner of how our dear white Christian brothers might identify, say, "A black lawyer…" or an "Indian doctors, or a Jew…

When my father was a lad in the 1920s, 1930s, he followed his mad dad as he raved on a Montreal streetcar ranting, "We're not the Jews. The Negroes they're the Jews."

So Slavko told me, "The 7 and the 9 were good, but the 13, that was a Jewish number, so I changed it." He changed the 13 to an auspicious number (I forget which) and there was another Jewish number, but all the numbers he dreamed, Jewish numbers and all, were good. He won a hundred dollars for getting four numbers right but missed out on the ten million dollar jackpot that the Jewish numbers might have brought him. It preyed on him for weeks. And then after that other, normal misfortunes resumed and continued to rain on him.



No Swaztikas: Happy Auschwitz