Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Israel Thrives Office Christmas Party

  Mike L.

{A Tip 'O the Kippa to Joshua Pundit.}

FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All Employees
DATE: November 1, 2012
RE: Gala Christmas Party

I'm happy to inform you that the company Christmas Party will take place on December 23rd, starting at noon in the private function room at the Grill House. There will be a cash bar and plenty of drinks! We'll have a small band playing traditional carols... feel free to sing along. 

And don't be surprised if our CEO shows up dressed as Santa Claus!

A Christmas tree will be lit at 1:00 PM. Exchanges of gifts among employees can be done at that time; however, no gift should be over $10.00 to make the giving of gifts easy for everyone's pockets. This gathering is only for employees!

Our CEO will make a special announcement at that time!

Merry Christmas to you and your family,


FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All Employees
DATE: November 2, 2012
RE: Gala Holiday Party

In no way was yesterday's memo intended to exclude our Jewish employees. We recognize that Hanukkah is an important holiday, which often coincides with Christmas, though unfortunately not this year. However, from now on, we're calling it our " Holiday Party."

The same policy applies to any other employees who are not Christians and to those still celebrating Reconciliation Day. There will be no Christmas tree and no Christmas carols will be sung. We will have other types of music for your enjoyment.

Happy now?

Happy Holidays to you and your family,


FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All Employees
DATE: November 5, 2012
RE: Holiday Party

Regarding the note I received from a member of Alcoholics Anonymous requesting a non-drinking table, you didn't sign your name. I'm happy to accommodate this request, but if I put a sign on a table that reads, "AA Only", you wouldn't be anonymous anymore.

How am I supposed to handle this? Somebody?

And sorry, but forget about the gift exchange, no gifts are allowed since the union members feel that $10.00 is too much money and the executives believe $10.00 is a little chintzy.



FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director
To: All Employees
DATE: November 7, 2012
RE: Generic Holiday Party

What a diverse group we are! I had no idea that December 20th begins the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which forbids eating and drinking during daylight hours. There goes the party!

Seriously, we can appreciate how a luncheon at this time of year does not accommodate our Muslim employees' beliefs. Perhaps the Grill House can hold off on serving your meal until the end of the party or else package everything for you to take it home in little foil doggy bags. Will that work?

Meanwhile, I've arranged for members of Weight Watchers to sit farthest from the dessert buffet, and pregnant women will get the table closest to the restrooms.

Gays are allowed to sit with each other.Lesbians do not have to sit with Gay men, each group will have their own table.Yes, there will be flower arrangement for the Gay men's table.

To the person asking permission to cross dress, the Grill House asks that no cross-dressing be allowed, apparently because of concerns about confusion in the restrooms.


We will have booster seats for short people. Low-fat food will be available for those on a diet.

I am sorry to report that we cannot control the amount of salt used in the food . The Grill House suggests that people with high blood pressure taste a bite first.

There will be fresh "low sugar" fruits as dessert for diabetics, but the restaurant cannot supply "no sugar" desserts. Sorry!

Did I miss anything?!?!?



FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All #*%^ing Employees
DATE: November 12, 2012
RE: The #*%^ing Holiday Party

I've had it with you vegetarian pricks!!!

We're going to keep this party at the Grill House whether you like it or not, so you can sit quietly at the table furthest from the "grill of death," as you so quaintly put it, and you'll get your f*%^ing salad bar, including organic tomatoes.

But you know, tomatoes have feelings, too. They scream when you slice them. I've heard them scream. I'm hearing them scream right NOW!

The rest of you f*%^ing wierdos can kiss my *ss. I hope you all have a rotten holiday! Drive drunk and die.

The B*tch from H*ll!!!


FROM: Joan Bishop, Acting Human Resources Director
DATE: November 14, 2012
RE: Patty Lewis and Holiday Party

I'm sure I speak for all of us in wishing Patty Lewis a speedy recovery and I'll continue to forward your cards to her.

In the meantime, management has decided to cancel our Holiday Party and give everyone the afternoon of the 23rd off with full pay.

Happy Holidays!


  1. Could have probably done without the 'flower arrangement' part.

    Though it may surprise those who know me as the guy who eats cow eye tacos, Italian tripe sandwiches, duck hearts and lamb brains... I was actually a vegetarian myself between 2006 and 2009. Including a period of strict veganism, as well. So that part is funny, even though I was never THAT kind of vegetarian. ;)

  2. Earlier today, I traced down the exact spot where I believe the Broadwood Ballroom was, btw...

    Back in 1918, when residents of South Philadelphia's lower-middle-class ethnic pocket were loath to spend their hard-earned dimes on anything beyond sustenance, three recent high school graduates decided to start a semipro basketball team. Eddie Gottlieb, Harry Passon and Hughie Black wanted to go on playing their favorite game while casting about for their true careers. They proposed the idea to the South Philadelphia Hebrew Association's board of directors, and when the board agreed to spring for uniforms, the young basketball entrepreneurs were on their way.

    "We split receipts just like kids who have bands today do," says Gottlieb, whose Philadelphia Warriors were one of the early teams in the National Basketball Association and who, at 77 plus, still makes up the NBA schedules each year. "We got maybe five bucks apiece each game, but we were all working besides. We were going to be lawyers and doctors or whatever young Jewish boys were going to be in those days, not basketball players. We were just having fun."

    By 1921 the fun had become lucrative enough for Gottlieb, Passon and Black to take over sponsorship of the team from the South Philadelphia Hebrew Association and to supply the team uniforms. Philadelphia Inquirer sportswriter Bill Scheffer nicknamed the club the SPHAs (pronounced "spahs") for the association's initials that the players still wore on their shirts.

    "There were a lot of Catholic teams around for us to play," says Gottlieb. "The SPHAs represented the Jewish community. It was a togetherness thing."

    That one's from 1979.

    1. Some Frank DeFord from 1968 (wow, he's old!)...

      In the ancient days when basketball was an adolescent, Eddie Gottlieb and the game survived as the prelude to a dance. They remember those times in Philly: upstairs in the grand ballroom of the Broadwood Hotel, where for 65 men, 35 ladies you could "get the Saturday night SPHAs' habit" watching Chickie Passon scrambling or Stretch Meehan maneuvering under the basket or Cy Kaselman arching in those long two-handers from way out or Eddie Gottlieb, on the bench in a loud, flowered tie, managing the team and counting the house. And afterward, when Gil Fitch would climb out of his SPHAs' uniform (designed by Eddie Gottlieb) and climb up on the stage and lead his band, the dancing would begin.

      At some places, like the Visitation Athletic Club in Brooklyn, there was dancing before the game, too, and even in between the periods, but at the Broadwood it never began till after the SPHAs were finished playing. Of course, those ladies who did not wish to watch basketball were permitted to come late, when they could get in for just two bits. But very few would do that. "In those days," Eddie says, "many of the Jewish people would not let their daughters go to an ordinary dance, except they could go to the SPHAs. And listen, they were good times for the young people. We even gave whatshername, uh, Kitty Kallen, we gave her her start, and a lot of couples who are still to this day happily married, they met at the SPHAs' games. Isn't that right, Mike?"

      Mike Iannarella nods gravely. Mike is the ticket manager for the Philadelphia 76ers, with offices adjoining Gottlieb's. Mike has been with Eddie, more or less, since 1929, when Gottlieb first started booking games for Mike's baseball team, the 2nd Ward Republican Club. "How are you gonna get games with a name like that?" Gottlieb had asked him before he changed it to the Philadelphia Italians. "I changed a lot of names like that," he says. SPHAs itself stood for South Philadelphia Hebrew Association. Sometimes, out of town, Eddie had them go just as the Philadelphia Hebrews.

      Eddie Gottlieb passed away 33 years, 2 months and 2 weeks ago. I was just shy of two months old.

      I'll get to writing this diary before I start the new job in five weeks and disappear for a while, I promise! ;)

    2. Stretch Meehan. That's an Irish name. And he's from Newark. Played basketball with the SPHAs. This guy must be a half-soulmate of mine, or something... ;)

  3. I would like to point out that Patty Lewis is no relation to my other pseud, Andy Lewis.

    1. I don't know about that. We're on to you, Randall... ;)