Fifty Two Shades of Blue-ish: An Interview With Author Karen S. Exkorn

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A85 52shades2

Excerpt of Fifty Two Shades of Blue-ish:


“Where have you been, Ray-Ray???”
It’s my roommate Leesa, and I’d completely forgotten to call her to let her know that I was not coming home last night.
“And what happened to your hair?”
Uh oh. I reach up to touch my head. Holy Hairspray! I’d forgotten to use my anti-frizz hair care product especially formulated for curly hair, and now my hair is a fright. It must have been a fright all night! Oh no! I can only imagine what Jew thought.
“What is that?” I say, pointing to the package Leesa is holding in her hand. I’m hoping that I can distract her from asking any more questions.
“It’s a package. For you. It just arrived.”
“Just a few minutes ago.”
“Let me see it.”
I tear open the package with passion, the way I imagine I would tear off Jew’s blue Oxford button-down shirt. Oh no! It’s a
“What is that?” Leesa’s eyes are saucer-wide. “And who is it from?”
“It’s from…” I stammer.
“Jew?” Leesa says.
“What? How did you know?”
“Because last night I was with Zen…his other half-brother from another mother.”
I’d forgotten that Leesa was dancing at the club with some guy last night. Dancing? No. It was more like grinding. Oh, but who am I to judge? I look over at Leesa and she is grinning. Her hair looks messy. Wait a minute…
“Did you?” I ask slyly.
“Did you?” she asks slyly back.
“I did,” she smiles widely.
“I didn’t, but…” I smile and blush.
“But what?” Her smile turns a little bit serious.
“I think…”
“Think what?”
“I’m in love.”
“With who?”
Holy Hanukah! Did I just say that out loud?
“No! Not You! JEW!”
Suddenly, something catches my eye. In the bottom of the package. I reach in and pull out…
“Is that what I think it is?” Leesa asks breathlessly.
“9.5 inches long and almost half an inch thick.” I answer breathlessly.
“Wow! Can I touch it?” Leesa reaches out her hand.
“Me first!” My heart is racing, pumping, doing flippity flops. I pull out my gift and put it on my lap.
“Turn it on!” Leesa squeals.
I push the power button and wait. I don’t know what to say.
“I don’t know what to say!” I say. “I…I…”
“…Pad! He gave you an iPad!”
“I know!” I stammer.
“What could this mean?” Leesa asks inquisitively.
“Let’s find out.” I immediately log onto my email account, which has already been set up.

From: Jew Ishman
Subject: Your gifts
Date: Time stands still
To: Miss Levine

Dear Miss Levine,
I hope you enjoy your gifts. This may be the first of many firsts. But that will depend on whether or not you follow what I set out in my forthcoming emails to you.
In the meantime, enjoy your gifts. Yes. I meant to use the plural for “gift.” If you haven’t already, then make sure to search the bottom of the box.
I await your response.

Jew Ishman
CEO, Kosher Candyland Inc.

I run my fingers along the bottom of the box the way I’d like to run my fingers through Jew’s hair and down his hairless back, tracing a line all the way down to his hairless bottom…Oh! I shudder and blush at the thought.
I carefully remove the bulge of bubble wrap that was carefully laid on the bottom of the box, and my fingers carefully rip at the wrapping. What could it be? My fingers rip and rip at the wrap. RRRippp! Why…it’s a bag full of… Butterfingers! Red Licorice Whips! Black Licorice Bites! Sugar Sticks! Grapeheads! Mr. Goodbars! Whoppers! Willy Wonkas! Candy Canes! Pop Rocks!
What the??? I don’t understand. But then I do. When I reread his email, I notice what I missed the first time. His title. Under his name. Next to CEO. No wonder he could afford to stay in such a lavish hotel room! He is the Candy King!
“What’s this?” Leesa says loudly, as she reaches into the very bottom of the bubble wrap. Her perfectly French-manicured hands pull out one last package of candy. That’s when I realize…
I really need a manicure.
“What is this?” Leesa asks again.
I shift my focus from her nails to what she is holding between her French-manicured fingers.
It looks like an ordinary bright yellow bag of M&M’s Peanut Chocolate Candy, but it is not. Because the first “M” in “M&M’s” has been replaced…with an “S!”
“It’s an “S”! Not an “M!” I cry. “Holy Handcuffs!”
“S…&…M?” Leesa cries.
“What does this mean?” I cry.
“I knew I didn’t trust him.” Leesa cries.
“What? Since when?”
“Since I saw him last night…eating candy…at the club…”
“Did he happen to be eating…a York Dark Chocolate Covered Peppermint Pattie?”
“HOW DID YOU KNOW?” Leesa screams.
I can hardly contain my excitement. This is all starting to make sense to me. His breath. His business. I am so intrigued. I want to know more. I have to know more.
I return to the email and hit “reply.”

From: Rachel Levine
Subject: Your gifts
Date: Time is moving fast
To: Jew Ishman

Mr. Ishman,

Thank you for my gifts. But I cannot accept all of them. I will accept the candy. But I cannot accept the iPad. It is too big a gift, even though its dimensions are small.
But I need to know one thing. How shall I say this?
What, Mr. Ishman, is the meaning of the “S&M package”?


I am proud of my business-like tone but blush at my boldness. I also blush at the possible meaning of that bright yellow package. Suddenly, in an instant, there is a response. I smile.

From: Jew Ishman
Subject: Your gifts are yours
Date: Time is moving faster
To: Rachel Levine

Miss Levine,

The iPad is yours.
The candy is yours.
And there may be more that are yours.

Jew Ishman
CEO, Kosher Candyland, Inc.

I smile and quickly respond to his email.

From: Rachel Levine
Subject: Your gifts. My question.
Date: Time is moving faster and faster
To: Jew Ishman

Mr. Ishman,

No. The iPad is not mine. Yes. The candy is mine.
And you did not answer my question. About the yellow package.


Instantly, Jew replies. Again! I can’t help it that my smile turns into a big grin.

From: Jew Ishman
Subject: Your iPad
Date: Time is moving faster than fast
To: Rachel Levine

Miss Levine,

Yes. The iPad is yours.
No. I did not answer your question.
But I will.
In due time, my Jewess Babe.

Jew Ishman
CEO, Kosher Candyland, Inc

I stare at Jew’s words on the high-resolution screen of the iPad and use my fingers to stroke his prose. My mouth hurts from smiling so much. So I stop. I can feel myself blushing like a schoolgirl. Jew emailed me! And he called me his “Jewess Babe!” I cannot contain my excitement. When will I hear from him again? I wonder. He wrote, “in due time,” but what does “in due time” mean? Is that even longer than “Later”? If so, then how much longer? The anticipation is making my heart flutter like a hundred and one butterflies at the butterfly farm near my parents’ condo in Boca. I try to think of what to do to fill in the time until his next email. So I jump up and down and break into a spontaneous interpretive dance of joy for a whole ten minutes before I return to my iPad to check my emails.

From: Jew Ishman
Date: Time is moving too fast
To: Rachel Levine

Miss Levine,

I know that you want an answer to your question, but I cannot answer your question. At least right now. In due time, I may be able to provide an answer. But right now, you must feel satisfied with the knowledge that one day, I might tell you. Until that day, you may not feel satisfied. But there is nothing that I can do about that.
Or can I?

Let me explain.

In order for me to engage in a “love relationship” with you, I must first tell you that I do not engage in “love relationships.” If you are looking for a “love relationship,” then I strongly suggest you go to the J-Bait website, the premier dating site for Jewish singles.

Otherwise, read on…

I have certain COMMANDMENTS that you must follow in order to engage in a “relationship” with me. A “SEX relationship.” There will be no LOVE, only SEX. Read these COMMANDMENTS. You must agree to ALL of the COMMANDMENTS. Except if you want to change some. Then, and only then, will we discuss these changes, so as to determine if and only if we can come to a mutually-agreeable agreement.

If the aforementioned agreement is agreeable, then email back your confirmation confirming the agreement, and I will send you the “COMMANDMENTS.”

Jew Ishman
CEO, Kosher Candyland, Inc.

My heart is racing and pounding in my mouth. He sounds so business-like. He also sounds like he’s going to offer me an indecent proposal. Indecent Proposal? Wasn’t that an old movie with that skinny actress who practices Kabbalah, the ancient art of Jewish Mysticism?
What should I say? Oh, I want Jew so much. “I want you!” I say to myself. Wait a minute. I just realized that when I say it out loud, “I WANT YOU” sounds exactly the same as “I WANT JEW!”
It must be a sign.

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Author of Jewrotica's Double Mitzvah column, Tamar Fox is a writer and editor in Philadelphia. She will try anything once, including open relationships, dating someone who is chalav yisrael, and going to Suriname.