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CHELM-ON-THE-MED©, February 2011 - Column 1


When a junior clerk at the General Health Fund - Israel's largest public health-provider - made a clerical mistake in keying in the sum on a check, her supervisor picked up the mistake. But, rather than letting it go at that, the supervisor decided the clerk would have to pay dearly for her carelessness. She ordered the hapless employee to don a heavy-duty padded adult-size costume of the sick fund's 'mascot' - a dopey-looking little boy cartoon figure who stars in ads and commercials dubbed Chamudi (Sweetie), and spend the next day amusing patients in the waiting rooms, a la Disney World.

The junior clerk did as she was told, but far from amused, she then called corporate management - which hit the roof, promising to open "a swift and intensive investigation."

The illustrator who created Chamudi was equally mortified by the incident. Daniela London-Dekel said she was very upset at the thought that a teary junior clerk had been imprisoned inside a Chamudi suit, and was forced to prance around in public with the permanently frozen smile she had drawn, written across 'her face,' although, the creator stressed, she didn't think Chamudi looked like a dork.

For a first-hand look at Chamudi go to



There are over 6,000 Israeli Arabs enrolled in Jordanian universities - a full half* it turns out, are studying one discipline: pharmacy. Minister of Minorities Affairs Professor Avishai Braverman revealed that already 25 percent of all pharmacists in Israel are Arab Israelis who received their training in Jordan, and it is forecasted that within a few short years, the majority in this lucrative profession - where a chief pharmacist of a health fund at the pinnacle of the profession can rake in 144,000 NIS ($41,142) a month - will be 'in Arab hands.'

 * Most of the others are studying medicine or paramedical professions



Always dreamed of winning that supermarket chain's lottery? Read these two "worst good luck" scenarios. You may want to reconsider...

In one case, an Israeli won "all your grocery basket for free" at the checkout counter of a Supersol chain BIG food barn when he had only stopped to pick up a NIS 6.66 ($ 1.75) loaf of bread

In another, a divorced mother-of-five won a pricey new jeep in another supermarket chain's lottery that was launched to compete with Supersol's lottery - only to discover that pencil-pushers at the National Insurance Institute (who spied her picture in the newspapers posing behind the wheel) penalized the winner by canceling her income support payments "because she possessed a spanking-new jeep."



Fact at times being stranger than fiction, even Hollywood couldn't concoct this broken wedding farce: Minutes before an Ashkelon couple was about to tie the knot, it wasn't the groom who got cold feet and called off the wedding. It was the father-of-the-bride

Saving face over the about-face, he told the 550 guests who were already celebrating the event at the buffet tables and on the dance floor that "the groom didn't feel well." The celebration went on as scheduled 'til the wee hours, minus the ceremony - leaving no one the wiser to the drama unfolding behind closed doors.

What had sparked dad's last minute second thoughts? A friend of the bride had whispered in his ear that his future son-in-law was already a wife beater... and the couple wasn't even married yet. The groom - who happened to be a police officer - said the charge was a total fabrication, the work of a zealously over-jealous girlfriend of his betrothed who was out to break up the union.

Where was the bride through all this? She, it was said, "had no say in the matter." After a sleepless night, the unflappable love-struck groom - who had already signed the marriage contract when the bride-to-be's commanding father stepped in - said he hoped his fiancé would finally speak up and marry him.



Israel's not one-size-fits all army has again broadened the ranks of those eligible to volunteer to serve, inducting into the IDF ten moderately autistic youth who didn't want to be marginalized by not serving in the army.

The group was posted to serve under a specially-trained commander at a base that handles military equipment - further stretching Israel's unique credo of 'who's fit to wear a uniform.'



A duplex on Ben-Yehuda Street in Tel Aviv was broken into when the owner was out. The burglars had neutralized the surveillance cameras and the alarm system, then opened a series of safes in the apartment with a welding torch and gas canister they had brought with them which they left at the scene of the crime, for the burglars apparently had their hands full: Missing was a sizeable quantity of jewelry plus a large sum of money, part in cash. A unique case of 'the shoemaker who goes barefoot' - the victim was a former chairman of the board of the Menorah Insurance Company, who had not insured the jewelry.

On the advice of his son-in-law, he said.