Colin Powell, Elvis Presley, and Mario Cuomo



Neighborhood: Kew Gardens Hills, Queens

Like 8 Retweet 3

Often the Jewish dumpster is stuffed with bread: not tonight; but walking home a man in a hat says, “Excuse me. Are you Jewish?” I say “No” because last time I was asked that question I said “Yes,” and three Jews wrapped me in ribbons and made me repeat a lot of strange words.

So tonight I say “No,” and the Jew asks would I please unscrew the light bulb in his refrigerator. Sure, no problem. I follow him to his house. Up the steps and through the door we go. I meet the twin girls and their mother who, after I unscrew the light bulb in the refrigerator, offers me food. I say, “No, no, I’m fine,” but the grandpa snug in the cozy chair has words for me before I go. “You’re in good company,” he says, “Colin Powell, Elvis Presley, and Mario Cuomo unscrewed light bulbs for Jewish people.”

I say, “Well, it was my pleasure,” and see their dining room arranged for a feast. The house smells of seasoned, broiling lamb, and I want to confess that my grandpa was Jewish, stay here, be part of the family, or, if I am not good enough, perhaps they could put me in a chest and pull me out whenever they need to complete a trivial task.»

Colin Powell, Elvis Presley, and Mario Cuomo
Photo by hleung

John Oliver Hodges lives in Greenpoint, Brookyln, and is the author of The Love Box, a collection of short stories.

Rate Story
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading ... Loading ...

§ Leave a Reply

Other Stories You May Like

Nearby Kew Gardens Hills, Queens Stories

Dom’s Wife


As a teenager, the author savors the streams of extravagant verbal abuse pouring out of a neighboring apartment

Getting to St. Martin


It was my biggest disappointment in recent memory. I slumped in a blue plastic seat at the JFK terminal [...]

Fresh Meadows Revisited


In 1949 I arrived, aged seven, at the threshold of P.S. 26 in Fresh Meadows (Queens), and saw there, graven [...]

Take the A Train


Peggy Darlington has always loved the New York City subway. As a little girl, she rode the trains frequently, and [...]

Confessions of an Accidental Voyeur


She was an overweight Latina, and she immediately busted me gawking.