Tel Aviv Light Rail Pool: Turning Lemons Into Limonana

People, these are heavy days in the Jewish state.  Worldwide condemnation….relations with our neighbors heating up…


Why sweat the small stuff when we have bigger falafel balls to fry?  You want problems?  I’ll give you problems.  After roughly 87.2 bajillion years of waiting and delays, the Jerusalem light rail finally launched and some dude outran it.  That’s just embarrassing, more so because the man is a paraplegic.

Ok, just kidding, but would it surprise anyone? I boarded the train the first week at King George and Jaffa to get to the central bus station.  Without any hyperbole or exaggeration, I think I could have walked there in the same amount of time (somewhere between 10-15 minutes).  It wasn’t the speed of the train while traveling that was such a problem, more the fact that every time it stopped (and the stops are built much too closely together), we sat there and at every traffic light for at least 2-3 minutes.  Honestly?  I’m still on the train.  I’ve been here for a month and they won’t let me off.  Can someone make sure I turned off the dood?

August 19, 2011:  I would take a picture of myself today in the same seat
but my iPhone died two weeks ago.

Well, here’s something for the people of Tel Aviv to look forward to:  YOUR TURN, SUCKAAAAS!

It’s true-as reported in this Globes article, the next stage on Tel Aviv’s light rail began yesterday.  I couldn’t make this excerpt up.

Wednesday morning, the bulldozers will begin working at three sites on the Tel Aviv light rail’s Red Line.

In contrast to the elaborate cornerstone laying ceremony 15 years ago in the presence of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (in his previous term) and then-Tel Aviv Mayor Roni Milo, tomorrow’s event will be low key, possibly in remembrance of the previous embarrassing ceremony.

HAAAAAA!!!!!  Hilarious!

Look, I can’t even complain about Jerusalem’s situation that much; I’ve only been a resident of this city just under three years.  Others have had it much worse than me.  But Jerusalem is nowhere near the concentrated “city” that Tel Aviv is; I can’t even imagine what digging up entire roads is going to do to traffic.  The estimated deadline right now is 2017; does anyone really believe that’s going to be met after the delays of Jerusalem’s train?  They haven’t even worked out the payment system yet; it’s free here for at least another month.

People of Israel, Jews of the world:  in such tough times, how to navigate this crisis and find the light at the other end of the tunnel?

I bring you THE  TEL AVIV LIGHT RAIL POOL, that’s how!

Step right up and place your bets, my friends.  If you’ve done a Super Bowl pool, a fantasy sports league, or wagered on when Mashiach will come (who hasn’t?), you know that gambling makes everything a lot more fun, even when the outcome isn’t the one you desire (I have next February 9th, 2012 in the Mashiach pool….I hope he’s wearing a sweater.  By the way, where is that dude supposed to arrive from exactly?  If he’s coming via America, maybe he can bring us all toiletries or something.)

I posted this idea on Facebook yesterday and the response was pretty positive, and frankly, why wouldn’t it be?  Can you imagine having September 23rd in the pool, and finding out on August 23rd that it was delayed a month?  How ecstatic would you be?  This has the potential to turn this inevitable nightmare of logistics and expectations on its head, providing laughs, suspense, and a possible big payoff for all involved.  You know who wouldn’t be pissed about delays, inefficiency, and unforeseen gaffes?  People in the Tel Aviv Light Rail Pool, that’s who.

So let’s figure this out:

  • How much money are we talking?  20 shekels?  50?  The bigger the pot, the more exciting obviously, but I don’t want money to be a barrier to entry.  30 shekels?
  • How to pay?  Paypal only?  Cash is tougher if this thing takes off.
  • What the heck do we do with this money?  Invest it somewhere?  In my friend’s Mort’s words, “You know how much the compound interest is going to be on 20 nis by the time they get it up and running in 2074? My grandkids will be so rich that they’ll never have to take the train . . .”The fun doesn’t stop there!

“Pick a day? I think year or possibly decade would be more logical.” –Robin

“Not joining. Won’t be able to collect as I’ll be six feet under.” -Baila

If I don’t have a jetpack by the time this thing is done, I’m calling it quits anyway.” -Shai

“I’m in, but you have to invest the money somewhere, otherwise it’ll be worthless by the time I win.” -Menachem

“2017? By then I’ll be able to transfer from the Jerusalem light rail to the Tel Aviv light rail via the Jerusalem -Tel Aviv high speed train. Yeah, right!” -Tony

Feel the optimism!  I think we’ll have at least five entrants.  (And by the way, in honor of the above quotes, did you know that the Messiah is supposed to arrive on a multi-colored donkey?  Gee, I wonder why he hasn’t come yet.  We only cloned our first sheep fifteen years ago, ya think we’re close to breeding an ass with Rainbow Brite?)

Ok, that’s gross.
 Although the donkey looks pretty pleased about it.

  • So if you have ideas of what to do with the money, please comment below.  Also, I like the idea of giving some percentage to a cause.  Kids in need?  People who can’t afford to eat?  The “You’ve Been Working on for THIRTY YEARS!  Jesus Christ, Hurry Up!!!” fund?  I’m open to suggestions….  Something connected to public transport?
  • I lean towards the rule that you should have to live in Israel when the train goes live to win.  You can’t take home the prize if you’re not suffering.  I’d like to include my Zionist oppressor brothers and sisters back at home though.  Thoughts?
  • The money will be divided among all of those who come the closest.  It’s not “Price is Right” style-you’re allowed to go over.  If I guess September 1, 2024 and Ruti Guf-Tov guesses September 3rd, 2024, and the train opens to the public on September 2nd, 2024, not only will Ruti and I split the money, but half of Tel Aviv will kill themselves by 2019.
  • When is the deadline to enter?  I mean, seriously-it’s not like this thing is going to be done anytime soon to keep people from entering, although if someone paid and locked in his date tomorrow, and then next week they pushed back the completion date by another year (hypothetically of course), the first guy loses out.  Do we publicize the pool, have people send in their money, and announce that the final day to enter and choose your date will be six months from whenever?  April 1 seems kind of fitting.  Can you imagine how much buzz and money we could generate in that time?  Which of course leads to the question, is this even legal?  Israeli and international lawyers, please chime in now.
  • How about sponsorship or just a funny name?  Move over, Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, and make room for the Ayn Matzav Light Rail Pool!  Having the logo be the proverbial tortoise from this classic fable cracks me up.  What about the Stephen Hawking Light Rail Pool?  Although my friend Tal raised the point that while we could see this potentially getting some attention, our collective cynicism isn’t exactly great PR for Israel.  But it sure would be funny…  Of course, the problem with sponsorship is that anyone with enough money can be in cahoots with the builders to sway the completion date.  Oh wait, nobody in this country has a lot of money.  Never mind.
  • If you’re bored at work, feel free to create a simple logo and send it to me.  Thanks in advance.
Ok, that’s it for now.  If you like the Tel Aviv Light Rail Pool, spread the word.  It’s time to take back this country!

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