Monday, 12 October 2009

The Sukkah

Every now and then, I tire of the responsibilities attached to being one part of a cool, trendy multi-culti, multi-ethni, multi-(agnostic)religious household...

(Actually, I tire generally of the responsibilities attached to being a parent, full stop. But that's neither here nor there.)

At the moment, the bane of my existence is the Sukkah in the backyard. Allow me to explain.

This is a Sukkah. We have one erected on our balcony at the moment, in commemoration of the Jewish festival of Sukkot, or Tabernacles, which ended the day before yesterday. Observant Jews - and quite a few non-observant ones, as you'll come to see in a moment - eat all their meals in one during the 8 days of the holiday, recalling the sojourn of the Israelites in the wilderness.

So far, so good.

When Mrs Goy asked if we should put one up, for the benefit of the Small Noisy One, the only appropriate answer, obviously, was yes.

To elucidate: It's not that I have anything against the principle of the Sukkah. Indeed, I think that it is crucially important that we remember the sojourn of Moses and the Israelites - although 40 years does seem a bit steep. I guess they had a different concept of time back in the day... in any case, I quite enjoy dining al fresco. More to the point, Heaven forbid I become the one to lead my child away from his Jewish roots...

It's just that someone had to put the damned thing up. Guess who?

Actually, I received plenty of help, technical and physical, from Mrs Goy and the Small Noisy One. Allegedly, the structure was idiot-proof, sort of like an Ikea bookshelf with sacking to wrap around the frame and matting to chuck over the top.

But then, our flat is littered with the distended corpses of incompetently put-together Ikea bookshelves, courtesy of yours truly. I rather suspect that if Mrs Goy hadn't been at hand, to mop my fevered brow and to tell me which part went where, I'd still be struggling with the wretched thing today.

But I...we...they - with a little help from me - succeeded in the end. And a week of fun was had by all, eating under the stars and having little noisy friends of the Small Noisy One over for food fights and the like. But, as they say, what goes up must come down. Or be dismantled. And I do dismantling even worse than I do assembly.

Under normal circumstances, I wouldn't have worried at all about this. My usual tactic - tried and tested over several years with our Christmas Tree (now, since we live in Israel, masquerading as a sort of Hannukah Bush) is to ignore all requests to do the necessary until either the wretched thing falls down in its own time, or it mysteriously vanishes overnight (for this, read that the better half has tired of my procrastination and subterfuge and dealt with the matter herself).

The problem with the Sukkah, however, is that we borrowed it from family who had no use for it this year. Family whom have used said Sukkah year after year without the need to replace missing or damaged parts. Family whom, quite reasonably, expect their property to be returned, promptly and in one piece.

So it seems that I'm going to have to deal with it now, rather than hope that a stiff wind might just blow it away one night.

Heavy(ish) metal poles + a hammer + me = lots of potty language.

Wish me luck

ps - just in case you wondered, the picture is not of our Sukkah. I mean, they have a tablecloth on the table! C'mon...I bet they use cutlery and all too :-)


Adam said...

Nice blog, It caught my eye, having a similar theme to my own. I wanted to say to you 'screw the sukkah, you've got what appears to be the best backyard in the country!" but then I read your disclaimer at the end. Bummer.

Anyway, nice read, see you around the blogosphere...

Goy said...

Thank you :-)