By: Simon Tessmer
CHICAGO, IL—In a drastic misjudgment of the cultural leniency afforded by his slim quarter-Jewish heritage, Wicker Park resident, Anthony Becker, frequently jokes about the Holocaust. Becker has never actively practiced Judaism, and has attended only half of one friend’s bar mitzvah, yet he considers edgy references to World War II his way of connecting to his family’s past.
“I’ll never forget the first time my father mentioned that my grandmother fled Nazi Germany with her family when she was three years old,” said 22 year-old Becker. “From then on I knew I had to honor my lineage by using this hall pass to reference gas chambers at inappropriate times.”
Despite his predominantly Canadian ancestry, with Anthony’s three other Catholic grandparents hailing from Quebec, Becker tortures his Trader Joe’s coworkers with incessant and often illogical conversational connections to the Third Reich. Whether he’s implying that UPCs look like arm tattoos or referring to assigned team goals as that day’s final solution, Becker consistently reaffirms his rare workplace reputation of being universally annoying.
“Once Anthony just called our work building Dachau without even the slightest justification,” recounted coworker Lisa Paige. “It was that moment I realized it was never about ‘comedy,’ he just gets off on thinking he’s allowed to say whatever he wants about one of the worst chapters of human history. And if you complain, he won’t ever shut up about his grandmother.”
Indeed, all three managerial interventions in Becker’s workplace behavior ended with exhausted sighs and no punishment, as he thrice pulled the “grandma card” and insisted “measuring the amount of someone’s Judaism is exactly what Hitler did.”
“I told Anthony his language was making us uncomfortable, and he shot back all this nonsense about his grandmother and before I knew it he’d compared me to Hitler,” said Trader Joe’s manager Sam Adelberg, a practicing Jew. “I held myself back from strangling the moron, and later got word from my regional manager that if we fired Becker he could sue on ‘religious discrimination’ grounds, so our hands are tied.”
Until Anthony commits a separate fireable offense, something his grocery store coworkers desperately await with bated breath, his job remains secure and his sense of humor remains tasteless. “I plan on working here until the day I die. That’s why I’m always on time and in uniform, like a Nazi train conductor.”