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My grandfather is a schmuck Yet to him that insult is doubly offensive because he is also anti-Semitic He tried to stop my father who was raised Catholic from marrying my mother who was raised Jewish He recently divorced my grandmother after 58 years of marriage My grandfather has told me many stories most of which were either exaggerations for the more boring ones or altogether facetious but always mind-numbingly dull In fact I have fallen asleep on the telephone with him before only to wake up to his snarling growling voice reprimanding my ear He also repeats stories many times because his memory is equivalent to that of a mosquito I have to thank him three times for any gift which is always money because if I dont he forgets and refuses to send a 20 check for the next occasion However there is one story my grandfather tells which exemplifies him and really holds a dear place in my heart It was the summer of 1941 My grandfather was 18 and had just been drafted into World War II The Nazis had invaded much of Western Europe though my grandfather didnt really care because they were Goddamn hippie Jews anyway He promptly went to training camp where he was lauded by all of the lieutenants as a future general He set national records on the ropes courses and still had time to help out in the mess hall with all of the negroes He was in peak physical shape a potent weapon ready to be released on the Furher and his armies But as in all good stories there is a villain and in this story this universal figure took the form of the 300-lb 7 man-nurse who performed a final physical on the troops before they were sent to Europe Every other member of my grandfathers infantry passed with flying colors every single one but him He had an undiagnosed heart disorder
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