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THE HUMAN CONDITION
aldimai

 

IN A PICKLE

ONE OF THE MANY BUSINESS VENTURES THAT MY FATHER AND UNCLE STARTED WAS A DRY CLEANING SERVICE LOCATED IN A HEAVILY POPULATED JEWISH COMMUNITY. IT WAS A RATHER TEDIOUS BUSINESS WITH A SIX DAY WORK WEEK, LONG HOURS AND LITTLE TIME FOR LEVITY. THAT ALL CHANGED ONE DAY WHEN TWO HASIDIC JEWS WALKED IN WITH THEIR STATELY BLACK HATS AND BOUNCING SPRING CURLS. ONE OF THE THEM APPROACHED THE COUNTER WITH A PILE OF BLACK SUITES, SET IT DOWN AND ASKED MY FATHER WHEN HE COULD PICK THEM UP. THE OTHER JUST STOOD WHERE HE WAS, WITH HIS RIGHT HAND IN HIS POCKET, AND HIS EYES TRANSFIXED UPON THE MOUND OF CLOTHES BEFORE HIM. BEFORE MY FATHER COULD CONSUMATE THE ORDER, THE GENTLEMAN STANDING AWAY FROM THE COUNTER PULLED  OUT A PICKLE FROM HIS RIGHT POCKET AN PROCEEDED TO UNABASHEDLY EAT IT AS YOU WOULD A PIECE OF CANDY. THE SOUNDS OF MUNCHING AND CRUNCHING RESOUNDING THROUGHOUT THE STORE BROUGHT A HALT TO MY FATHERS WORDS AND A CONTORTED EXPRESSION FROM A STIFLED LAUGH.

 THE FINAL COUP D’ ETAT IN THIS SCENARIO OCCURRED WHEN THE GENTLEMAN DEALING WITH MY FATHER ALSO BEGAN EATING A PICKLE OFFERED BY THE OTHER. “HERE SAUL, TAKE, TAKE ,” SAID  THE MUNCHER. WITH THAT, GOOD OLD DAD’S FACIAL COMPOSURE WOULD NO LONGER REMAIN STEADFAST AMID THE STEREO CRUNCHING JEWS. HE FINALLY RAN TO THE BACK ROOM IN A FIT OF HYSTERICAL LAUGHTER WHERE MY UNCLE WAS WORKING.  BECAUSE OF HIS FRENZIED STATE, HE COULD NOT EVEN SPEAK, BUT ONLY MOTIONED WITH ONE FINGER TO GO OUT TO THE FRONT DESK. SO HE DID AND FOUND THE TWO JEWISH GENTS STILL MUNCHING AWAY ON THEIR RESPECTIVE PICKLES. NO SOONER DID HE REACH THEM, DID THE SAME OVERPOWERING HYSTERIA FORCE HIM TO RUN BACK TO HIS ALMOST COMATOSE BROTHER. WHAT A SCENE! THE TWO OWNERS, UNCONTROLABLY LAUGHING IN THE BACK AND THEIR TWO UNATTENDED CUSTOMERS EATING PICKLES IN THE FRONT.

FINALLY, AFTER THE LAUGHTER SUBSIDED, THEIR LITTLE OLD JEWISH TAYLOR, MOISHA, WAS SENT OUT TO GREET HIS LANDSMEN. BY NOW, THEY FINISHED THEIR KOSHER DELIGHTS AND ONLY BLANK STARES REMAINED. THEIR ORDER WAS COMPLETED WITHOUT SO MUCH AS A WIMPER. MOISHA COULDN’T UNDERSTAND WHAT THE FUSS WAS ABOUT.   I GUESS HE UNDERSTOOD ABOUT PUBLIC PICKLE EATING.

 


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