"Why’re your friends lookin’ so sad? Maybe I should let them have turns to push the dollies"
- 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
GERSHON: Three cheers for the B.A.N.G. Gang! You know, Mr. Langsam called my father to tell him what an amazing job we did the other day. My dad was beaming!
NOSSON: Good old Mr. Langsam! Aron, you were spot-on in realizing that Mr. Langsam wanted to give as well as to receive. Yum, that lekach was really delicious, huh?
NOSSON: Aron? You there? [mutters to himself in surprise] He was there a minute ago.
ARON: Just went to cut myself a piece of chocolate cake. A fella’s gotta eat, you know. Hang on while I make myself comfy on the couch.
[An unfamiliar voice is heard, complaining bitterly.]
BORUCH: Who’s that?
GERSHON: It’s our Polish cleaner, Zofia. She turned up again out of the blue. She’s annoyed that we’ve run low on cleaning supplies.
NOSSON: What’re you gonna do?
GERSHON: Dunno. My father’s at work, and my mother can’t get out now.
BORUCH: Hey, why don’t we go to the store, on a B.A.N.G. Gang helping mission?
GERSHON: [long pause] I was hoping you wouldn’t suggest that.
NOSSON: Why not? We’re super shoppers! Just ask Mr. Langsam.
GERSHON: [lowers his voice to a whisper] You see, Dobra Baila is hanging around the door. If she sees me going out she’ll insist on coming along — with her pink tricycle.
[There is a deep silence; the memories of their ill-fated biking trip with Dobra Baila are still fresh.]
BORUCH: We’ll go on foot. Tell her it’s a no-bike outing. She’ll probably hang around waiting for someone else to take her out.
[Gershon agrees. The boys arrange to meet shortly, as the cleaner is sounding increasingly irate. Gershon and Nosson are there within minutes; Aron arrives late, as usual, brushing cake crumbs off his shirt.]
ARON: Mmm. Great cake. Hey, where’s Gershon? He’s usually first.
[The boys look around, only to see a sight that fills them with despair. Gershon is walking toward them, reluctantly pushing a dolls’ stroller, and accompanied by a small, pigtailed girl.]
[Enter Dobra Baila]: C’mon! Faster!
GERSHON: Look, I think this is a bad idea. Why d’we need to bring your dollies? I’m taking them home.
DOBRA BAILA: If you do dat, I’ll scream and scream and scream.
GERSHON: Okay, okay. Let’s get to the store already.
DOBRA BAILA: Why’re your friends lookin’ so sad? Maybe I should let them have turns to push the dollies.
GERSHON: [hastily] No, they’re fine really, they’re just a bit — uh, tired. How about you push the dollies?
DOBRA BAILA: [assuming a pitiful expression] I’m also tired.
GERSHON: [hopefully] Maybe you wanna go back home and rest?
DOBRA BAILA: [decisively] Nah, not dat sort of tired.
[They’ve now reached the shop. Gershon is too embarrassed to enter with the doll’s stroller. Nosson speaks up]: I’ll go in. Just tell me what to get.
GERSHON: Gosh, I forgot to take the list with me. I’d better call home. Zofia? It’s Gershon. I’m at the store… Yes, I know, you need cleaning supplies pronto… What should I get?
[Gestures to Nosson to write it down.]
GERSHON: Kistka for cleaning? [shrugs] Uh huh. And Fay Ree for washing dishes? Okay, bye.
NOSSON: [mumbling to himself] I sure hope the shopkeeper knows what these weird-sounding cleaning products are.
[Nosson hands the list to the frazzled shopkeeper, who tosses a couple of items into a bag and hands it to him. The boys make their way back home, Gershon hoping desperately they won’t meet anyone they know on the way.]
[Enter Zofia, who greets them with a scowl and an outstretched hand. She pulls out the first item from the bag and stares at it with a scowl]: Huh? This kishka, this no Kistka. [Pulling out the second item]: This flame-baked pizza, no Fay Ree. [Her face darkens]: I no clean kitchen wit kishka and pizza. I tell your Mama you makin’ games wit me!
To be continued
Kistka — spray
(Originally featured in Mishpacha Jr., Issue 828)
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