"I know you: You’re the lads who saved my Tiddles. There’s no way you’re thieves"
Scene 6: The B.A.N.G. Gang is back in Mrs. Parker’s good books, having “revived” Tiddles with some fish. They are teleconferencing a few days before Succos.
- 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: Huh? Looks like I’m the only one on. Where’s everyone?
[beep] BORUCH: Hello?
GERSHON: Whew, at last! That hold music was coming out of my ears.
BORUCH: Yeah, sorry I’m late; it’s hectic here before Succos.
[beep] NOSSON: Hi, who’s there? Oh, hello Gershon and Boruch. Where’s Aron?
BORUCH: Dunno. On his couch, probably — you know how he always says it’s his favorite place.
[beep] ARON: Hello?
GERSHON: Speaking of the devil, heh heh… We were just saying you’re probably on the couch, your favorite place.
ARON: Nope. You guys got it wrong. That’s my second-favorite place.
BORUCH: So what’s your favorite?
ARON: The pantry, ha ha!
GERSHON: Okay, guys. Now, I heard through the grapevine that Mr. Langsam can do with some help putting up his succah. Anyone available tomorrow?
NOSSON: Oh, he’s such a sweetie! I’d love to help.
BORUCH: I’ll check with my father, but if he doesn’t need me at home, I’m game.
GERSHON: Aron? What about you?
ARON: Well, I dunno. Like, tomorrow my mother is baking her famous no-egg seven-layer chocolate cake. I gotta be there to help.
GERSHON: She lets you help with that sort of thing?
ARON: Well, basically, I lick out the bowls for her. Less to clean and all that.
GERSHON: I understand that’s absolutely critical, but surely you can still fit in Mr. Langsam?
ARON: Um, I guess…
NOSSON: Right, looks like we’re all in.
[Having obtained their parents’ okay, the B.A.N.G. Gang arranges a time to meet the next day. Mr. Langsam is delighted to see them, although he insists on first pressing some freshly baked rugelach on them, so they should have “lots of koach to do mitzvos.”]
GERSHON: [licking his lips] Thanks, that was delicious. Now, how can we help, Mr. Langsam?
[Mr. Langsam shows them his succah, which is missing some boards.]
BORUCH: Hmm. We’ll need some more wood.
GERSHON: No problem. Let’s go to the building-supplies store.
ARON: But it’s all the way on the High Street!
NOSSON: It’s not that far. We’ll walk fast.
[With Mr. Langsam’s blessings accompanying them, the boys march off. On the way, Gershon stops suddenly.]
GERSHON: Hey! See that? Someone dumped some wood by those dumpsters. I’m sure we can find a couple of pieces there for Mr. Langsam.
BORUCH: Genius, Gershon!
NOSSON: D’you think we need permission?
GERSHON: It’s clearly been dumped — must be waiting for the garbage collection. Let’s just take some and go.
ARON: Yeah, the quicker we do that the quicker we’ll finish.
[Glad they’d had the foresight to bring gloves, the boys pull out the two-longest planks. They march off briskly, feeling pleased with themselves. A short while later, two rough-looking builders arrive at the dumpsters — and find that some of the planks they’d temporarily parked there while going for a lunch-break have vanished.]
[Enter BUILDER 1]: Oy! Where are the long boards? We just went for quick break, and they’re gone!
[Enter BUILDER 2]: Someone nicked ’em!
BUILDER 1: Some nerve! In broad daylight, too!
BUILDER 2: Hey — look over there! Seem like nice, well-brought up fellas, too. Just goes to show. Come on, after them!
[The boys hear the sound of running feet behind them and shouts of “Stop thief!” They look all around them for signs of the thief, when suddenly they are beset by two ruffians. Uttering dire threats, the builders seize the planks and rush off with them. The boys are too shocked to say a word. As they stand there dazed, a lady with a walker approaches. Enter MRS. PARKER.]
MRS. PARKER: [tut tutting] I saw all that. I know you: You’re the lads who saved my Tiddles. There’s no way you’re thieves. Need some wood? I have a whole collection in my yard. Come and help yourselves to as much as you want!
B.A.N.G. GANG: Wow! Thanks a ton!
MRS. PARKER: [simpering] Don’t thank me. Thank dear old Tiddles!
To be continued…
(Originally featured in Mishpacha Jr., Issue 830)
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