The Mighty Shamas

December 20, 2011

Hanukkah is a kind of crazy holiday, with a bunch of stories about miracles the people sort of pretend to believe. Here's another one, which I believed for a long time but turned out to be not quite as true as I thought it was.


The Fifth Question

April 9, 2011

Everybody knows about the Four Questions, the ritual recitation of the youngest person at every Passover Seder. This year's Seder occurs on the evening of April 18, so with the cooperation of The Monti, Durham, NC's wonderful live-storytelling event, I'm sharing a story I told there around this time last year. It's the story of how our family ended up asking not four questions but five, because of some interesting properties of my Aunt Arlene.


The Monkey Story

January 29, 2010

I was kidnaped by a chimp one time. It happened a little more than ten years ago and the story has as you can well imagine coalesced into something of a dinner party standard. In its natural environment it meanders a good bit and profits mightily from interruption and digression, especially from others. When at a recent book club meeting a friend noted that a footnote in the book we read described chimpanzees smoking cigarettes and asked whether anybody had ever heard of such a thing, I made the obvious response. The host of that month's book club mentioned the story to Jeff Polish, organizer of "The Monti," a live storytelling event in Durham, NC, and Jeff invited me in. The rules of The Monti require a story to be 12 minutes long, so what you hear in this podcast is sort of the express version. You can hear the local if you buy me a beer, but you will be expected to contribute.

Whatever you do, you should keep checking in to The Monti ( for more great storytelling from the Triangle in North Carolina.