The Story of “The Last Surviving Dinosaur: The TyrantoCrankaTsuris”



The Story of “The Last Surviving Dinosaur: The TyrantoCrankaTsuris”

The Story of “The Last Surviving Dinosaur: The TyrantoCrankaTsuris”


“Tsuris” is the Yiddish word for problems.

Now, when I say “problems”, I am not talking about a minor daily inconvenience. I am talking about a major life changing traumatic event that has brought on such suffering that has never been experienced by anyone since the beginning of time, and something you would never wish on your worst enemy.

Consider the difference in the two statements made:

“I have this problem.”


“Oy!!!!! I have such tsuris!!!! Oy!!!!”

While a problem is something you may choose to keep to yourself, “tsuris” is something you have to share with the entire world. Think of some “tsuris” you may have and try to keep it to yourself.

See!!! You can’t do it.

I grew up in a very Jewish home in the Bronx. My parents as well as the rest of my family came over from Europe after World War II.

And my home may have been like many other Jewish homes. At least in my neighborhood, all the relatives would get together and start kvetching (Yiddish for talking only about Tsuris in a very competitive manner) about their “tsuris.” “You think you have tsuris? If I had your tsuris, I would be doing cartwheels! Nobody can outdo my tsuris!”

We all talked about our tsuris with a huge sense of pride. For us, there was a feeling of real accomplishment. It was as if we were all training for the Olympics, and Tsuris was an Olympic event. One of us was going to get the gold!

“How are you doing, Aunt Zaydie?”

“I am ok, but I have these warts on my toes, and I can’t get rid of them!”

My second cousin Dottie chimed in; “I would take the warts! I got my warts removed, and my toe nails fell off! And, the fungus between the toes! There is serious vegetation growing there!”

Aunt Sandy leaned herself over and proudly said, “Oy!! But you both did not go through what I went through! I went to Florida, and then got bit by an alligator!! Look at me now! I am turning into a reptile!!”

On the other side of the room, the men were talking.

“How are you doing, Uncle Mottie?”

“I could be better. For years, I thought I had this terrible problem with dandruff. Used every brand of dandruff skampoo. Nothing helped. I finally found out it was lice. I am a walking plague!”

My cousin Whiny interrupted. “Don’t tell me about lice. I never leave the City. Stay on concrete. Don’t even go into a park. Know what happened to me? I got ticks! Deer ticks!! Only I can get deer ticks in Brooklyn!”

Uncle Shmukie, with his booming voice, grabbed the gold; “I would take lice and ticks in a heartbeat! I just got back from the doctor, and I have an inoperable brain tumor. The doctor says it is not life threatening, but it is a brain tumor!!! The doctors put a metal plate around the brain tumor to keep it from growing. Now, I can’t fly on airplanes. They think I am carrying a bomb inside my head!”

So, this prepared me very well when I became a father and my daughter would have a temper tantrum. I put her in time out, and told her that when she comes out, I will tell her the real story about how most, but not all, of the dinosaurs became extinct.

My daughter then thought to herself; “This will be a good story!” So, she quietly composed herself while in her bedroom.

When her time out was over, she said, “I am ready for the story, daddy!!….But you said that not all dinosaurs are extinct. That is not what I learned in school!”

“It is not true. One small little dinosaur survived. And even though she was the smallest dinosaur, she was the most dangerous dinosaur of all the dinosaurs. 

And believe it or not, us humans are ancestors, and we all are descendants from this one little tiny dinosaur.

“What was the name of this dinosaur?”, my daughter asked as her interest perked up.

The TyrantoCrankaTsuris!”

“I never heard of that dinosaur”, my daughter replied.

So, I told her the story. “The TyrantoCrankaTsuris was the smallest dinosaur on the planet, and all of the other dinosaurs made fun of her because of her size. All the other dinosaurs liked to brag how tough they were! “I can eat an entire forest with one bite!!” A second dinosaur exclaimed, “My teeth are so big, they are the size of an entire forest!” A third dinosaur boasted, “I floss my teeth with an entire forest!”

And they laughed and laughed at the little TyrantoCrankaTsuris, until one day, the little TyrantoCrankaTsuris got really really mad at the other dinosaurs and let out the biggest and loudest CrankaTsuris:

“I have bad warts on my toes that do not come off, but they came off and my toenails came off with them, and then, I grew fungus the size of an entire forest so I went to Florida to soak my forest feet in the ocean and an alligator bit off by forest feet, but bit my feet too, and it hurt soooo much!!

And with that CrankaTsuris, the whole planet shook, and went dark.

The TyrantoCrankaTsuris did not stop.

And then, I couldn’t stop scratching my scales, and I thought I had dandruff, but it was really lice, and then I found out I had deer ticks even though deer do not exist in prehistoric times, and I can’t get the deer ticks removed because, I have an inoperable brain tumor, and if they tried to remove the deer ticks, my brains would splatter all over, and my head would really hurt even worse!!”

 She went on and on and on and on and all of the bigger badder dinosaurs on the planet had vanished.

Except one. The TyrantoCrankaTsuris met another tiny little dinosaur, the TyrantoKvetchaTsuris. When he arrived from Florida with the alligator, they fell in love and cranked and kvetched happily ever after.

Millions of years later, these last two dinosaurs evolved into humans.

 Before, you were getting a bit cranky and kvetchy. That is the part of us humans inherited from the TyrantoCrankaTsuris and the TyrantoKvetchaTsuris. Even mommy and daddy can be a CrankaTsuris and a KvetchaTsuris!

“You need to be careful with this power”, I told my daughter.  “Remember, all of the other dinosaurs did become extinct when the TyrantoCrankaTsuris just would not stop!”

So we learned to be careful not to express our inner TyrantoCrankaTsuris or TyrantoKvetchaTsuris too often. Just the right amount to keep the planet happy and not too cranky.

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