Off to Jail

Yodar Schussheim has returned from the dead today. He is very old—probably well over 120 years.

I first learned the story of Yodar on one of my first dates with Dad. He came into Dad’s life when his father decided he would not pay the telephone company to have an unlisted phone number. Your grandfather reasoned that to not print a name should not result in a fee.

Further research led to the discovery that one did not have to have their name, address and telephone number listed using their actual name. Any name was acceptable; thus, your grandfather decided that their family would be listed in the Yonkers telephone directory under the name “Yodar Schussheim.”

When I was told this story, I had no idea that Schussheim was a family name—Dad’s grandmother’s maiden name. It was not until I decided to climb Dad’s tree that I learned this piece of family trivia. I believe the name “Yodar” was invented by Dad’s father.

Once that name was listed in the telephone book, applications for credit cards and magazine subscriptions began to arrive at Dad’s house. Your grandfather would fill out the applications, explaining that Yodar was in great debt, spoke no English, and was unable to sign his name. One of his relatives was filling out the application for him. Then he signed it with an “X,” and the credit cards began arriving at the house!

No charges were ever made on the card. That was not the point. The point was just showing that anyone could get a credit card. That is how stupid those banks issuing the cards were.

Yodar “lived” for many years and probably died sometime around the time of your grandfather’s death I suppose.

Every once in a while, Dad would repeat the legendary tale of Yodar. Today, Yodar rose from the dead when we received a call from “the IRS,” telling Dad he was going to be arrested because he owed them money.

When they asked for Dad’s name, that is when Yodar rose from the dead. “Yodar” explained to the “IRS agent” that he did not have the $4986 to pay the taxe bill, which allegedly spanned a five year period from 2008-2012. They admitted we owed the money because of an error. Failure to pay today would result in accrued interest payments of $19000.

The “IRS agent” suggested  that Dad could pay $2000  today and then the rest via monthly payments. Yodar said he had only $56. That is when the “agent” gave up and hung up the phone. The lesson learned is that you don’t mess with Yodar Schussheim!


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