Zoe's right. It's been too long. And speaking of too long, here is the script of the Purim spiel I wrote for Temple Israel:The Long Hamantaschen Goodbye
Chapter One: A Scandal in Shushan
Call me Shell. Shell Shlemiel. I’m a private eye. Shushan is my town. That’s right, I’m Shell Shlemiel, the Shushan Shamus. I’m also shomer shabbos, but that’s another story. The story I’m here to tell is about a dame called Queen Esther.
It all started back in Shushan. Now Shushan was the capital of the Medes and Persians. Ask me “What’s the difference between a Mede and a Persian?”
[Chorus: ]“What’s the difference between a Mede and a Persian?”]
It depends: One man’s Mede is another man’s Persian.
But I’m losing track of the story. Shushan was a tough town.
[Chorus:] “How tough was it?”
Shushan was so tough that you could go from one side of town to the other and never leave the scene of the crime. One of the toughest people in town was Queen Vashti.
[“How tough was Queen Vashti?”]
Why don’t I let her tell you herself:
[Vashti tells her story:]
“It’s not easy being Queen. You have to be tough. I’m pretty tough. When the King tells people to jump, they say, “How high.” When I tell people to jump, I say: “I never told you you could come back down.” That’s tough. I’m a tough Queen. But things got really tough the night the King decided to throw a party.
The King and his pals drank a lot.”
[Narrator and chorus:] “How much did they drink?”
[King and cronies:]
Yeah, we drink a lot. We drink to forget. We drink to forget that we drink too much.
[Optional: King and cronies sing (to tune of Adon Olam):]
We drink all day. We drink all night.
We’ll have a beer. And we’ll get tight.
Instead of one. We might have ten.
We’ll be crude and we’ll be rude
And then we’ll start again.
Unfortunately, that night was typical. The King invited Vashti to the party, but she wouldn’t come. The King, though, was a lot like a five watt light bulb
– not too bright. So instead of sobering up, he got into an argument.
The King told Vashti he was mad. He wanted her to come to the party so that he and his friends could act stupid. [Vashti enters dressed as Hillary Clinton]. Vashti tried to interest the King in her universal health care plan, but had no luck. The King couldn’t think of a snappy comeback, and exiled Vashti to the New World. Vashti said, “You can’t fire me, I quit!” and told the harem the news.
The harem told Vashti stupid King jokes: The King is so stupid that:
o He spent a week trying to put a pack of M&Ms in alphabetical order.
o He finally gave up because he found too many ‘W’s
o He couldn’t count to one…even using the fingers of both hands
o He stared at a can of juice for a whole day because it said ‘concentrate’
o He thinks he can trust Haman
o [Add your favorite “stupid” joke here.]
Vashti thanked the harem and went off to run for President.Chapter Two: A Contest for a Queen
Now it happened that my old friend Mordecai lived in Shushan with his niece Esther. Now remember that the King was out looking for a new Queen. He put out word over all of Shushan that he wanted the finest singers in the land, male and female, to come to the capital to audition for a contest to find Shushan’s best looking and most talented pop singing idol. After he thought about it for a while, he decided to drop the men and the singing.
Morty was a pretty clever guy. When he heard about the King’s contest, he told his niece Esther to go for it. After that, it was no contest. Esther wasn’t the most beautiful Jewish dame in Shushan for nothing. And – she was a nice person. After Vashti, she looked really good to King Ahaseuerus..
Morty was not only clever, he was smart. He used to sit outside the gates of the city, because he learned a lot about what was going on and because that’s where he got the best cell phone reception. One day he overheard two guys plotting to kill the King. He passed the word to the King’s guard and he saved the King’s life, which was good. Mordecai knew the King was such a dim bulb that he would never figure out that he was in danger, so he warned the King’s guards about the bad guys. The guards arrested the bad guys and wrote down in the King’s official record that Mordecai had saved the King’s life. Chapter Three: Haman’s Evil Plot
Now, you remember the King, King Ahaseuerus? You’ve probably figured out that he wasn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer.
· His elevator didn’t go to the top floor.
· He was a few sandwiches short of a picnic.
· If you held your ear up next to his head, you could hear the ocean.
Every now and then, he would do something smart like picking Esther out of a crowd, but most of the time, he didn’t have a clue. And in a particularly clueless moment, he appointed a guy named Haman as his Vizier. Haman was a really bad guy. People really hated him. They used to hate him in installments so it would last longer. Haman looked down on everybody he saw, even when he was looking in the mirror. He made everyone in Shushan bow down to him. When Mordecai wouldn’t bow down, Haman was so mad that he wasn’t satisfied just being mean to Mordecai. Haman talked King Ahaseuerus and asked the King if he could borrow the royal signet ring for a while just to do one or two evil things. He said: “I’ll just use your ring to order all of the Jews in Shushan to be killed and then I’ll give it right back” The King, who was, of course, not paying attention, said: “Sure! Whatever! I have some drinking to do anyhow.”
I told you the King was a few cheerios shy of a bowl. Chapter Four: Esther Takes a Chance
Well, when the Jews of Shushan heard about the how Haman had talked the King into letting Haman issue the order to kill all the Jews in Shushan they were pretty upset. They mourned and prayed and dressed themselves in sackcloth and ashes. It looked like the only chance they had to save themselves was if Esther went to the King to talk him out of Haman’s awful plan. The problem was that anyone who went to see the King without being invited would be killed, unless the King raised his golden scepter to greet them. Esther decided to take a chance. Chapter Five: Top Chef
Esther decided that she would invite the King to a special dinner. She told him to bring Haman along. But first she had to invite the King…and that meant going to see him without an invitation. If the King didn’t raise his golden scepter to welcome her, she would be killed!… What a mess…Esther was stressed: would she pass the test? Would the King be impressed? Would her best be less than she guessed? Would the scepter best her? Poor Esther….If the King wasn’t happy to see her--- Let’s put it this way: if the King wasn’t happy to see her, tonight’s story would be called the Book of Vashti, because Vashti was the runner up. But the King lifted his scepter, and accepted Esther’s invitation to dinner.
The King came to dinner as he had promised, and the party was a big success. The King was so pleased that he offered Esther anything she wished, even up to half the kingdom. If Esther had wanted, she could have asked for the half of the kingdom that went from the ground to halfway up in the air, and this would be a short story instead of a whole megillah. Esther didn’t ask for half of anything, but asked the King to come back for another feast the next night… and to bring Haman. Chapter Six: I Love a Parade
During this time, it happened that King Ahaseuerus couldn’t sleep, and there was nothing on cable except “According to Jim” reruns. Which is sort of what you’re all getting right now. So the King asked someone to read to him from the official records of the King’s court. Which is about as interesting as most TV reruns, but the King was trying to get back to sleep. It so happened that they read the King the story of how Mordecai had saved his life. He asked what had been done to reward Morty…and he found out nothing had been done! So the King called Haman into see him and said “I’m thinking of doing something special for someone…What would you suggest as a big reward?”
Well remember that Haman’s favorite person in the whole world was …. Haman. So he thought that HE was the man the King wanted to reward. So he told the King…”Give this special guy a suit of your own clothes, and put him on one of your own royal horses, and have some very important guy lead him through the streets of the city, saying, ‘ Thus shall be done to the man the King delights to honor!’ That would do for a start.” So the king told Haman to do all those things for Mordecai!
So Haman had to lead Mordecai through the city in a little parade. Haman was not happy.Chapter Seven: The Second Banquet
Well if you were paying attention, you’ll remember that Esther had invented the King and Haman back for a second banquet. She was having goose. She was hoping it was Haman’s goose that would be cooked. Esther could cook as good as she looked, which was saying something. The King was so happy that he offered Esther anything he wanted, even half the kingdom. I don’t want to tell the joke about the half the kingdom offer again, but I’ll tell half of it again if you want.
Instead of asking for half the kingdom, Esther told the King about Haman’s evil plot to kill all the Jews. As dumb as King Ahaseuerus was, he was smart enough to figure out what everybody else in the Kingdom already knew: Haman was a creep. So here’s what Haman said: It’s a knock knock joke:
[Haman (to audience):]
Haman biiiiiiig trouble.Chapter Eight: The Long Hamantaschen Goodbye
Well, Haman was done for. Let’s sing a song about that:
Na na na na
Na na na na
Hey Haman, good bye….
[Haman takes off his jewelry and hat and leaves the stage, while everyone waves goodbye.]
But the Jews were still in trouble, too. The King’s order to carry out Haman’s plan and kill all the Jews couldn’t be taken back because it had been sealed with the King’s ring. Oy. But Esther and Mordecai had a few ideas.
The King gave Esther all of Haman’s properrty, and gave Mordecai his ring to see if Mordecai could figure out what to do. Morty gave out an order that the Jews were allowed to defend themselves. And that’s exactly what they did…Chapter Nine: Party On, Jewish Dudes
The Jews defended themselves and were so happy that they had been saved that they declared that Purim would be a holiday for Jews forever. The drinking and the hamantaschen came later.Chapter Ten: Mordecai Gets a Job
Mordecai was smart and the King needed all the help he could get. So Mordecai became the King’s vizier. And our old pal Haman? Here’s another joke:
He’s the King’s vizier
He vizier a while ago! …… but now he’s gone and we’re not!
So three cheers for Mordecai [cheer for Mordecai] and three more for Queen Esther! [Cheer for Esther] And happy Purim to everyone!
Everyone sings “Hag Purim” and marches around…