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Satirical Semite: Shopping for the Apocalypse

A good movie will entertain you, but a great movie will inspire you to change. I took up martial arts after seeing The Karate Kid,” skateboarding after Back to the Future” and street fighting after Rocky IV.” While rewatching James Bond in Skyfall” last week, I began an application to become a spy and join MI6, the UKs Secret Intelligence Service. Three of those four statements are true — the application is still open on my computer, and I am ready for my license to thrill.

The website states that you must not tell anyone you are applying under any circumstances. Writing about it must be an exception, because nobody assumes I am seriously applying, which makes me the perfect candidate since I am hiding in broad daylight. This perfect ruse is either a double bluff or a major blunder. I look forward to getting hired, wearing a tuxedo to the office and receiving an expenses-paid work car with an ejector seat, which will prove handy if I am on a date that gets boring.

COVID-19 has forced many people to reconsider their career choices. Many businesses closed, 43 commercial airlines went out of business, and nearly a quarter of Europes 740 airports came close to bankruptcy. Formerly well-paid professionals found themselves driving rideshares, and some theater actors began delivering packages for Amazon. On the other hand, some businesses have thrived, and Zoom has become not only a household name but the go-to verb for web conferencing, like Hoover was to the vacuum — at least until Sir James Dysons carpet-cleaning invention hoovered up the market.

COVID-19 has forced many people to reconsider their career choices.

Many of us threatened ourselves with transforming our lives during lockdown by learning a new skill, like studying Mandarin in preparation for the Chinese global takeover, learning to play baroque chamber music on Grandpas old mandolin or working out for three hours every morning and wearing speedos until 2pm.

The greatest loss to the Los Angeles Jewish community is the change at Ralphs supermarket on Pico Boulevard. The City of Los Angeles’ genius hero pay” legislation forced companies to raise salaries for grocery workers and give them emergency hazard compensation for the health risks they faced during the pandemic. It was honorable but misjudged. Ralphscorporate office said thanks, but no thanks, the additional $5 per hour mandatory increase is too expensive and were closing shop.”

Ralphs is expected to close next week. It is a cruise line of a supermarket that gets heavily populated at 5pm every Friday afternoon, throwing a lifeline to observant Jews who need kosher food for Shabbat. Jews would stampede to retrieve emergency supplies of hummus, besiege the bakery for last-minute challah and race to the rotisserie section to capture hot kosher chickens before they flew the coop.

The cruise is nearly over, and HMS Ralphs is about to be permanently docked like the Queen Mary ship in Long Beach. I enjoyed some ecstatic experiences in Ralphs, especially at the start of the pandemic when it resembled Disneyland with 45 minute queues for the checkout. The run for toilet roll prepared people in case they got the runs, and the scene inspired me to film an action-adventure web series called Shopping for the Apocalypse,” in which I wore a spandex bodysuit. Since it was Los Angeles, nobody noticed me wearing the lycra onesie, and Ralphs was the second happiest place on earth.

One thing which made me especially happy in Ralphs was the option to buy grass-fed organic kosher meat, a product which is impossible to buy in the non-organic UK kosher butcher shops. Last weekend I was walking with a friend and his dog through a field in the English countryside, and we were nearly attacked by a herd of post-partum cows with full udders. My friend’s pet had barked at the animals thinking they were big dogs. The herd moved across our path to cut us off at the pass, protecting their young from the apparent threat of two Jews and a puppy. One cow stepped towards us menacingly, so we turned and raced home. They may have won the war, but we know those beautiful beefy beasts will be next weeks organic grass-fed Shabbat dinner.

Maybe Im not cut out to be a spy after all (or maybe that is a triple bluff), and it would be better to stay at home and match everybody elses lockdown achievements: binging every episode of Tiger King,The Crown” and SchittsCreek,” drinking every bottle of Merlot in the cabinet and anticipating Septembers launch of the new James Bond movie.


Marcus J Freed is an actor, author, filmmaker and marketing consultant. Check out “Shopping for the Apocalypse” at https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLvq4KocXSAUW51VjOFNVfk_81XXvGyjnE

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