An Unsealed Room

War is Fattening

I just bullied my good friend Faye Bittker into writing down all the entertaining stuff she’s been telling me on the telephone and turning it into an article on Pajamas Media. Check it out…

I am no scientist, but my first-hand study has shown that when sirens are screaming, particularly if it is the second or third alarm in less than an hour, there is nothing more calming than a bite of fudge-filled chocolate cookie. Particularly when shared with the random gathering of strangers in the nearest bomb shelter.

Maybe it is different for people who are alone with the families in their residential “safe room,” but since I have spent most of the last week at my office at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, in the heart of Beersheva, I have had an opportunity to research the dynamics of public shelters. All the more so as my office is on the ground floor, so each new alarm brings in a different collection of random passersby. 

For even the toughest among us (and I am pretty tough), find it hard to maintain the stoic façade when faced with the group dynamics of panic and fear. Be it the child crying loudly in the arms of his panting father who has just done the 100 yard dash to the safe room or the woman hunched in the corner with tears streaming down her face because she “heard the boom”, I have found myself passing out chocolate and cookies, jokes and silly stories. Anything to distract us all from the brutal reality that someone really is trying to kill us.

I bitched at dear Faye for her decision to stay home this weekend and her refusal to come north and stay with me. A lot of the volunteer organizations trying to offer places to stay to people in the South are getting similar responses.

She quoted me a line from the famous book “The Siren’s Song” about the First Gulf War: “Don’t you realize that people would rather face missiles than face staying in a stranger’s house?”

Of course, she has no such justification to refuse to stay with me because I’m not a stranger. I think she just wants an excuse to eat all those cookies.