Thursday, April 23, 2020

Our weekly column from the humor site PreOccupied Territory

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labrador puppyJerusalem, April 23 - Neighbors, relatives, and friends of a local resident expressed shock this morning upon discovering that he had purchased a coffee-colored pooch but given it a moniker other than "Shoko," thus defying a powerful societal custom.

Concerned citizens in the immediate social circles of Amit Dolev, 34, voiced surprise and dismay Thursday when he informed them his new brown retriever is named Kinamon (Hebrew for cinnamon), and not Shoko, the name that every other brown dog in the history of Israeli society has carried.

"I'm stunned," admitted his sister-in-law Adi, the only close relative willing to go on the record. "This isn't something anyone in the family ever expected, especially from Amit. He's generally not a troublemaker or anything, and I never would have pegged him as having imagination or an abundance of daring. I mean, he's an accountant who likes reading and maybe some occasional fishing. This is going to take some time process."
"Oh, so it's true?" wondered a neighbor who declined to be identified by name, citing concerns of associated shame in the deeply conservative society of secular Israelis. "Wow. Just wow. I grew up in the 1980's amid rumors of someone in our school, always a sibling or cousin of an unnamed student in a different grade, or who'd already graduated, whose car wasn't a white Subaru, so I'm used to this sort of thing, but it's still kind of shocking when it happens, and happens so close by."

Mr. Dolev himself appeared oblivious to the controversy and scandal his actions have generated. "I was considering the name 'Fistuk' (Hebrew vernacular from the Arabic for pistachio)," he recalled, "but figured that might better work for a smaller breed. Then I thought of Hummus, Juju, Looloosh, Loco, Lafa, Mocha, and a bunch of others, but none of them had quite the right flavor. Then I thought, 'Hey, what's something brown that everyone likes and makes a cute name for a dog? Cinnamon, obviously.' So here we are. I can't wait to introduce her to everyone."

Experts observed that while rare, such a flagrant departure from tradition has occurred in secular Israeli society on several notable occasions. "It would be analogous, to give non-Israelis an idea of what's causing the confusion," explained Tel Aviv University sociology professor Enka Zedavar, "to a Hollywood director having somebody get shot on a rooftop or other high surface and not have the character scream as he falls several stories to the ground. The last time anything like this happened here was probably a flight landing at Ben Gurion in 2014 on which no one clapped at touchdown."

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