Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Where Was I Christmas Day? Speaking metaphorically, I Was At a "Chinese Restaurant"

If nothing else at least we can be assured Elena Kagan has a sense of humor. During today’s hearings Sen. Lindsey Graham asked Kagan, in relation to a question about the Christmas Day Bomber, “where were you on Christmas day?” Responded Kagan, to a deserved round of applause: “You know, like all Jews, I was probably at a Chinese restaurant.” Point Kagan.

I can top that.  I didn't just spend Christmas Day at a Chinese restaurant.  I spend every day at a "Chinese Restaurant."  My life is a "Chinese Restaurant!"

Let me explain.  I am referring to a segment from the Seinfeld episode, The Chinese Restaurant. The Chinese Restaurant  revolves around protagonist Jerry and his friends Elaine Benes and George Costanza waiting for a table at a Chinese restaurant, on their way to see Plan 9 from Outer Space. Unable to get a table, they loiter and talk, while George tries to use the phone that is constantly being used by another customer and Jerry sees a woman he recognizes.  At one point in the episode, Mr. Cohen, a regular, gets a table right away despite the fact that Jerry and company have been waiting for some time.

Mr. Cohen (enters): Hey, what stinks in here?

Bruce (laughing): Mr. Cohen! Haven't seen you for a couple of weeks.

Mr. Cohen: Well, I've been looking for a better place.

(Bruce laughs)

Bruce: Better place... Want a table?

Mr. Cohen: No, just bring me a plate and I'll eat here.

Bruce (laughing): Give him a plate and you eat here... Come on, I give you a table.

Jerry: Excuse me... we've been waiting here. Now, I KNOW we were ahead of that guy, he just came in.

Bruce: Oh no, Mr. Cohen always here.

Elaine: He's always here? What does that mean? What does that mean?

Bruce: Oh, Mr. Cohen, very nice man. He live on Park Avenue.

Elaine: Where am I? Is this a dream? What in God's name is going on here?!

My world is an upside-down affair of inexplicable events, odd coincidences, and incredible explanations that seem to have no basis in reason or common sense. Yes, where am I?


Gary Freedman said...

Vincent Brook, as part of his analysis regarding the influence of Jewish culture on Seinfeld, has said that the episode (The Chinese Restaurant) also conveys the theme of entrapment and confinement in a small space, a recurring theme on the show.

It was also a theme for Elena Kagan entrapped for several days of interrogation by the Senate Judiciary Committee in room 216 of the Hart Senate Office Building!

Gary Freedman said...

Elena Kagan should have shot back, "Where were you, Senator Graham, on Tisha B'Av?"