Stefanella's Drive Thru

Israel, U.S., conflict, war, peace, humor, travel, romance, fashion, fun

Toilet Treasures October 14, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — stefanella @ 6:12 pm

My friend Jellyfish SMS’d the other day.

The Hotzaah La’Poel people were just here. They say I owe NIS 18,000 ($4500) in taxes. If I don’t pay within 48 hours, they say they’ll come back and cart me off to jail.

For the non-Holy Land Central (Israel) dwellers, Hotzaah La’Poel is the equivalent of the “Repo Man”. They take away your stuff should you fall behind in tax payments, alimony, child support, mortgage payments, etc. No”stuff” to seize? No problem. They’ll throw you, the person, in jail instead until a friend or family member pays up on your behalf.

Sh*t man! I SMS’d back. You must be freaking!

My accountant is checking it out. He messages back.

Very calm, I think. Wow. I’d be pretty darned frightened.

A few hours later, Jelly calls.

Guess what, he poses. I’m afraid to guess.

I went to the bank to ask for a loan just in case I really do owe the government the money. And I’m talking to the bank manager. And he says to me: I understand your predicament but why do you think you might need a loan?

To cover the tax debt, I tell him.

But why a loan? he asks me over and over again.

I’m like: He’s the bank manager. Is he that thick?

Then he swings the computer monitor around to face me. And I see my bank balance. I have five times the amount I thought I had in my savings account.

DUDE! What’s wrong with you? I ask.

How in the hell could you have that much $ in your account and not know about it. Would you PLEASE, for the love of God, invest it or something? Sheesh!

And he tells me it’s all because this morning, when he was on cup #4 of coffee, he thought he saw the Virgin Mary’s reflection in the toilet bowl. I told him it was too much caffeine. He insists it was an omen.

Damn. I either need to up my caffeine intake or start looking for omens. Damn.


Doubled Over October 5, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — stefanella @ 3:40 am

For 18 years this is what I’ve done. I’ve been Ella* – ABC News producer. I’m not sure what it’s going to be like without all this.

On the other hand, my kids are growing up and this is it. You get one shot with them. Pretty soon they won’t want me around. So I want to be with them and not have to run off to London or Turkey or a suicide bombing or war.

And let me tell you: things got so bad during the early 2000’s that I woke up literally doubled over with stomach pain every morning. I went to specialists and had X-Rays and blood work done. Nada.

Then I visited a gastroenterologist and we got to chatting. And we started talking about my work. I mentioned to him that there wasn’t one suicide bombing outside Jerusalem I didn’t cover throughout the years. Not one!

I’d get the page or call and have to pry my 6-year-old daughter off me to run to the scene. At bombings I was literally walking through a sea of dead bodies and body parts.

Then I’d get home and all I wanted to do was shower. And my daughter would run and cling to me because she wanted to be with me. And I’d dream about the bombings. Then wake up doubled over.

The doc closed my file and told me: Your problem isn’t here in the charts. It’s your work. You need to see a psychiatrist.

So I did. And the pain stopped.

Maybe not being a news producer will be a good thing.
Conversation with a recently laid off former colleague


Freak Show October 1, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — stefanella @ 7:24 am

Clearly someone who has too much time on his hands