November 2020

Mazel & Mishagoss: An Interview with the Author

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By Stephanie Lewis

Einahpets: Thank you for agreeing to let us get to know you a little better, Stephanie. How did you first get started with writing?

Stephanie: I had a feeling you’d ask me that. I kept a diary from the 5th grade on. It had Snoopy (fittingly!) from the Peanuts comic strip on the front cover and this tiny silver key. I always assumed that because I was a nosy person, (who’d never pass up the opportunity to check out someone else’s diary) that other people would read mine. So, I’d make up these really entertaining fictional anecdotes and weave them into my daily journal entries. It turns out my entire family respected my right to privacy and my words just withered away on the pages. I swore after that, my stories would always have an audience.

Einahpets: Fascinating! My next question – how do you manage to combine Judaism with humor but not offend anyone?

Stephanie: I run my writing past local synagogue clergy before I submit it for publication. In all my years doing this, they’ve only found one article displeasing. It was a hilarious piece contrasting the differences between a Rabbi and a Rabbit. It’s not just about the letter “t” at the end, you know. For instance, nobody ever carried a lucky Rabbi’s foot on a keychain in the 70’s. And no Rabbi had a movie called, “Who Framed Roger Rabbi?” Some other key distinctions are . . .

Einahpets: That’s fine! Let’s switch to the subject of family. Is it true you have six children? And are they okay with you writing about them?

Stephanie: I am the mother of half a dozen kids, that’s correct. I never mention them in this column because I’m always extremely discreet. I have a daughter who doesn’t want anyone to know she’s painfully shy, and twin sons who are both working on two top-secret inventions. One designed an umbrella for dogs, which fastens onto the end of a leash. And the other conceived of a sleeping bag with built-in sleeves and pants for your arms and legs. My other children don’t really do anything worth mentioning. But they would never want that publicly disclosed, so shhhh.

Einahpets: Again, new topic! I’m sure you get asked this a lot – but if you weren’t a funny columnist in a magazine, what other kind of job would you have?

Stephanie: I would definitely be an annoying interviewer who asks funny columnists lots of lame and intrusive questions.

Einahpets: Well! There’s no need to get nasty.

Stephanie: Oh, c’mon now. Aren’t we both getting nasty? Don’t you think it’s about time to let readers in on the truth? You’re really me. In other words, I’m just asking myself all these questions. Because I’m not important enough for a professional to actually conduct an official interview. We’re big enough to admit that now, aren’t we?

Einahpets: Now you listen here… you’re not going to turn this thing around and put me on the spot answering your ridiculous questions. Awkward!

Stephanie: It’s even more awkward when you think about the fact that everyone figured out that ‘Einahpets’ is just ‘Stephanie’ backwards. So, the jig is up! Hello? Are you there?

Stephanie D. Lewis can be found in the comedy section of The Huffington Post and at her humor site OnceUponYourPrime.com

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