Wednesday, March 23, 2011

David Amoyal's Kiosk

Languages sometimes do strange things. In English, for example, they drive down the parkways and park in the driveways. In Hebrew we've got the word "pitsuts", which originally means explosion. From there to the description of a terrorist attack is a short and obvious step (the terrorist attack itself is called a "pigua", while the explosion is the "pitsuts"). Oddly, however, the word also means a really impressive event: How was the party? Pitsuts! You really missed it! Moving deeper into slang, we've got "pitsusia", which is a kiosk, often a 24-hour kiosk, where one finds things at 3am that are needed for a good time, or simply someone to talk to.

Playing on all these meanings, there's a kiosk near the central bus station which is owned by a man who was injured when in the 1990s his kiosk was damaged by a terrorist attack. Predictably - well, predictably if you understand Israeli humor and resilience - he re-named his kiosk after the attack, and it's now called "A Pitsus of a Kiosk" (Pitsuts shel kiosk).

At four minutes to three this afternoon David Amoyal, the owner's brother in law who was manning the kiosk, called our equivalent of 911 to tell that there was a suspicious bag right next to him, and would the bomb squad please come and investigate. Another man was already shooing pedestrians away. The phone call was recorded, and broadcast on the evening news: about 30 seconds into the conversation the bomb went off, and Amoyal screamed.

This evening he's in Hadassah hospital, apparently seriously wounded. May he recuperate soon and completely. His brother in law, on TV earlier this evening, said he'd probably re-name the kiosk yet again, perhaps to Pitsuts shel kiosk 2.

Update: it has occurred to me he should rename his kiosk "Od putsus shel kiosk" (another pitsuts of a kiosk). Maybe I'll go by there later and suggest this formulation to him; it works better than the version he was considering.


Anonymous said...

pitsus shel sipoor

Wonderful and sad.

May he recover quickly.


Anonymous said...

Haaretz has the phone call and a picture of the Kiosk in their Hebrew edition.


Anonymous said...

and the Jerusalem Post has the story in English


RK said...

I'd like to shake that man's hand and buy him a beer.

Anonymous said...

Yes, indeed. He sounds like the typical kvetching Israeli,7340,L-4047278,00.html

At least he's awake and showing off the pellets that were packed in the bag.