"Hello, Mrs. Parker, we’ve come to help with your shopping. What d’you need?"
The B.A.N.G. Gang is still smarting from the scolding they got the previous day from Mrs. Parker, Boruch’s elderly housebound neighbor. As they walk home from school, they discuss their harrowing experience.
- ARON, a slow-moving fellow who likes to take life easy
- BORUCH, trying to cope with a big sister who always knows better
- NOSSON, clever and articulate, often talks in italics to make a point
- GERSHON, creative, and quick to think of new ideas
BORUCH: Whew, I’m still bruised from being tripped up by that cat. I’m positive he did it on purpose.
GERSHON: Ha! According to Mrs. Parker, he’s the world’s darlingest cat and wouldn’t harm a fly. You did try explaining it was Tiddles’s fault that you had to go back to the pharmacy to get new Alka-seltzer, but no dice.
NOSSON: Yeah, all she wanted to do was complain about how long it took us to do one simple errand. Considering we had to go twice, it was pretty quick if you ask me. And we paid for the second batch ourselves, too.
ARON: Like I said, who needs all this hassle? After a long day at school, we could all be relaxing at home.
BORUCH [looking uncomfortable]: Er, not sure how to break this to you, guys, but Mrs. Parker asked us to run another errand today.
GERSHON: Whaaat? I thought she said we were a bunch of nincompoops!
BORUCH: Yeah, well, she stopped me this morning. Um, I guess she really does need our help.
ARON: Count me out.
NOSSON [half-heartedly]: Hey, chill, Aron. It’s hard, but we can do it. [rallying] You know what Rebbi said about lefum tzaara… according to the effort is the reward.
GERSHON [more enthusiastically]: Yeah, c’mon, guys! We’re the B.A.N.G. Gang! We can’t let such a small setback hold us back.
BORUCH: I’m game, but I’ll let you be the spokesperson this time, Gershon.
[ARON shuffles his feet as the others arrange what time to meet at Mrs. Parker’s house.]
NOSSON: Right, see y’all later. Including you, Aron!
ARON: Well, if everyone is going, I guess—
NOSSON: We’re all in, then. Bye!
[At the appointed time, the B.A.N.G. Gang meet, gloved and masked to the eyeballs, making sure their bikes aren’t touching Mrs Parker’s lawn. GERSHON rings on the doorbell. The door opens right away this time.]
GERSHON [politely]: Hello, Mrs. Parker, we’ve come to help with your shopping. What d’you need?
[Enter MRS. PARKER}: Two brown flours.
GERSHON: Yes, certainly. What type of flowers?
MRS. PARKER: Weren’t you listening? I said brown.
GERSHON: Oh, ah. Brown. I see.
MRS. PARKER: You get them in the shop around the corner. And make it snappy this time!
[GERSHON and the Gang are soon on their way.]
BORUCH [looking around]: You sure she said to come here? This is a kosher supermarket.
GERSHON: Yup, definitely. Let’s go inside and look around.
[There are no flowers to be seen; only a bag of brown bulbs marked “daffodils.”]
GERSHON [doubtfully]: Is this what she meant? Daffodils are yellow.
NOSSON: Let’s ask a salesperson.
[The assistant insists he’s never heard of brown flowers, and the nearest thing they sell is brown bulbs.]
BORUCH [shrugging]: Let’s take them. There’s nothing else here that fits the bill.
[MRS. PARKER is waiting by her front door.]
GERSHON [smiling ingratiatingly]: Here you are! They didn’t have brown flowers — we got brown bulbs instead. These’ll grow into daffodils; real pretty.
[Mrs. Parker stares in astonishment.]
MRS. PARKER: Daffodil bulbs? What do I need daffodil bulbs for? It’s far too late to plant them now. Where’s the flour?
BORUCH [stepping forward]: These are the flowers — or they will be, after they’re planted.
MRS. PARKER: Flowers? Ridiculous, boys! I need flour for baking, not flowers for the garden. [witheringly] These will make a fine sponge cake, won’t they? Grr!
BORUCH and GERSHON [backing away]: Oh, sorry, it was a mistake. We’ll take them right back.
[GERSHON starts riding back, with the others following. Tiddles the cat runs in front of him, forcing him to swerve. The bag of bulbs goes flying. A bulb sails past Tiddles, barely touching him, but he sets up such a yowling that Mrs. Parker’s door crashes open.]
MRS. PARKER [glaring at the boys]: Now, what have you done to my cat?
To be continued…
(Originally featured in Mishpacha Jr., Issue 826)
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