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Problems with his health enabled Bruce Gettler of New York City, 56, to develop the best selling computer program “Pedestrian curses in seventeen languages.” Gettler came about his success in an unusual way. Through no fault of his own, Gettler can no longer drive. It has forced him to depend upon mass transportation, and more often than not, his feet. He has a common complaint among Pedestrians, “Driver’s don’t know what “STOP” spells!”

New York City is a melting pot. Nobody knows this better than Gettler. “When you lose something as precious as your driver’s license, you learn to appreciate other things.” Said Gettler. For Gettler one of those other things was an ear for language. “As a Pedestrian it is often necessary to communicate with the Drivers. To politely tell them ‘hey, I’ve got the right of way.’” Gettler added. “How do you say, ‘Your Mother,’ in Spanish? Or ‘Hey, Asshole.” In Italian, or the all-important ‘Shithead’ in Russian.”

Gettler saw a need that wasn’t being fulfilled. He first approached the people at Berlitz, but they weren’t interested in marketing his computer program, “Pedestrian curses in seventeen languages.” So Gettler decided to market it himself. First he had to learn the languages.

Italian was easy. Having been a lifetime fan of Chico Marx, Gettler realized that all he had to do was to add a strategic “A” in the middle of a statement and use his hands. So, “Hey Asshole,” became “Hey Ass A Hole.” For Russian he realized that all he had to do was to add “ski” to the end of a word. “Shithead” became “Shitheadski.”

Joan Silverman, a resident of Forest Hills in the Borough of Queens, recently purchased the product says that “This has been invaluable, especially in Queens. Queens is the most ethnically diverse county in the Country. We need to learn to communicate with our neighbors. I can think of no better way.”

Silverman demonstrated what she learned in Yiddish, by gently reprimanding a moped delivery man riding on the sidewalk of Queens Boulevard. Silverman, naturally belted out, “Gai kakhen afenyam, Putz.” When we asked her for the translation, she said that she “would prefer not to translate it, because it loses all of the beauty and elegance of the Yiddish language when translated in to the vulgar English.”

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