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: