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The Joys of Being a 4th Grader Who Reads Philip Roth

The Millions has an interesting post today: an alleged book report by a fourth grader who opted to read Portnoy’s Complaint for his summer reading instead of Diary of a Wimpy Kid:

 

"There’s a whole part in Portnoy’s Complaint called "WHACKING OFF" that I didn’t really get.  Philip Roth, who wrote Portnoy’s Complaint, keeps talking about penis, so maybe it’s about peeing?  Which I like, especially after asparagus, so it smells like asparagus pee.  But Portnoy doesn’t talk about asparagus pee at all.  Maybe Portnoy isn’t talking about peeing?"

 

It’s hard enough for a grown up gentile to fully comprehend this book, but to let a non-Jewish fourth grader into the world of masturbatory angst ridden Jewish teen guilt that is Philip Roth’s masterpiece should probably be considered some kind of psychological molestation.  Jesus, I almost had an identity crisis in 5th grade when they made us read The Giver!  Why not start him on Satre while you’re at it? 

 

"There are a lot of words in Portnoy’s Complaint that I didn’t really get, like shtupp and schlong and shmutzig and punim.  I don’t know what they mean, but they’re really fun to say!  Shtupp shtupp shtupp shtupp schlong schlong schlong schlong!"

 

Poor Zach doesn’t probably still isn’t sure whether the tooth fairy is real; now thanks to his dad’s laziness, leaving the brightly colored book where his son could snatch it, he’s nice and clear on how to rig up the bathroom door with his sister’s bra so that his parents don’t come into the bathroom when he turns thirteen and can finally whack it.  He’s also clear on the following words: bullshit, nipples, bitch, whore, ass, and shtupp.

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