Monday, September 22, 2008


I stumbled into the Young Library at UCLA, carrying two heavy suitcases of books to return. I stopped at the sofas near the issue desk.
"Are you English?"
The man addressing me in a loud voice had very few teeth, John Lennon glasses, and a long grey hair. He was slouching and his feet were on the small table in front of him.
"Are you English?" he asked again.
No, I'm not. But I live in London.
And where are you originally from?
"Ah, Israel..." he grimaced, emitting a sigh of obvious disgust.
Maybe he realized that was rude, because he then said
"But at least in some ways you're progressive, I hear you openly recruit gays to work in your MI5".
I replied that I deserved neither credit nor blame for the Shin-Bet recruiting policies.
"Of course not! Because you don't work for them, you work for the Mossad! Ha! Ha!"
He walked off pleased with himself, muttering long sentences to no one in particular.

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