Mensch on a Bench and Maccabee on the Mantle are riffs on Elf on a Shelf. So, here’s my riff on the riffs: a trio of tiny Jews—Yiddish stock characters—on Things. All are cautionary tales. However, unlike the toy/book combos just mentioned, they are not surveillance tools for moral accountability. These guys don’t really care about you or your kids at all.
1) Schlemiel on a Wheel. Remember the definition of Schlemiel vs. Schlemazel? Schlemiel is the guy who spills the soup, and the schlemazel is the guy upon whom the soup is spilled.
2) Schmuck on a Truck. I’m using the less-literal definition of Schmuck here, as in total jerk.
3) Schnorrer on a Menorah. This schnorrer is a no-good bum, but is also literally snoring. His knapsack and cap wait at the foot of the Public-Space-Judaism Menorah. What a shanda.
Wait! I have a fourth dude who is just for fun. He is Gallant to the preceding Goofuses. I include him because I couldn’t resist the rhyme and still have the Vaseline and gauze from a bris 8 years ago:
4) Mohel on the Oil. This only makes sense if you know that Vaseline is derived from petroleum oil and is also the balm of choice of many a mohel. Oily salve protects the newly covenanted, um, area from sticking to gauze bandage.
All stock characters are male as per the Mensch, Maccabee and Elf merchandise used as models. I tried to keep the themes going: male, stereotype, grammar, and as for the Mensch, Yiddish.
Feel free to suggest more characters. If it’s golden, I may add it here.
By they way, I do expect royalties from all proceeds derived from book/toy sales inspired by this post. Schmuck on a Truck should sell very well at the South Knoxville Walmart.
EDIT: (2 days later, 12/11/14) I made this and posted it on my facebook Page:
Mensch on a Bench (a Hanukkah product inspired by Elf on a Shelf)
Maccabee on the Mantle (at Modern Tribe)
The Word Mavens (to brush up on your Yiddish)
Ah, the ol’ South Knoxville Walmart…
BBBalabusta, you are the best.
You are, Jen, for reading to the end! Thanks, Dear.
You slay me, Joanna! I was roaring reading these. You know I’m going to be trying to come up with more . . . Hmm. A farshtinkener on a ???; a yenta on a ???, a gonif on a ??? Thanks for being you.
Thanks, Ellen! And balabusta on a ???
Love this! How’s about Schlep on the Step, Kvetch on a Stretcher? I have only the names — no ideas on how to flesh these out…..
Thanks! I warn you: once you start, it’s hard to stop coming up with more.
Love the post! I feel like there should be a hashtag trending for ideas! #BBBalabusta
See my review of Mensch on a Bench at Amazon-