"I’ve got an idea! My mother’s stocked up on shoe polish. I’m gonna go and polish the whole family’s shoes!"
- BORUCH, trying to cope with a big sister who always knows better
- ARON, a slow-moving fellow who likes to take life easy
- NOSSON, clever and articulate, often talks in italics to make a point
- GERSHON, creative, and quick to think of new ideas
Our four schoolfriends, aka The B.A.N.G GANG, are still stuck at home due to the pandemic. They are about to begin their next joint teleconference, and are keen to catch up with Gershon, whose mopping mission the previous week ended in disaster.
BORUCH: Hey guys, you there?
NOSSON: Yeah, just had to get my kid sister off the phone. She was having a crucial conversation with her friend about — get this — how to color in your parshah picture without going out of the lines. Gimme a break! Hey, is Aron here?
ARON: [yawns] Yeah, I’m here.
BORUCH: Where’s Gershon? Gershon?
[There is no reply]
NOSSON: Hmm. I’ll try him on the other line and see where he is.
[A ring tone is heard on the speakerphone, and Gershon's mother's voice comes on the line]
[Enter GERSHON’S MOTHER]: Hello? Can I help you?
NOSSON. Hi, it’s Nosson. Is Gershon there? We’re waiting for him to join our teleconference.
[MOTHER'S voice turns icy]: Gershon is currently unavailable.
[A little girl’s voice pipes up] Gershon can’t come to da phone ’cos he’s grounded, na na na!
GERHSON’S MOTHER: Dobra Baila, will you please be quiet!
DOBRA BAILA: But dat’s what you said. Because of da kugel that—
GERSHON’S MOTHER: Dobra Baila Schwartz, go and play right now! Boys, unfortunately Gershon will not be able to join you today. Goodbye. [click]
NOSSON: Uh-oh. What do we do now, guys?
BORUCH: Let’s at least decide on another job for our B.A.N.G GANG, or I’ll never hear the end of it from my big sister. I can just hear her: ‘What, you gave up after one tiny little hitch? When I was your age… yada yada yada.’ Whatever we decide, we can update Gershon about it when he’s not grounded anymore.
ARON: [yawns] Dunno what else we can do.
NOSSON: Well, it shouldn’t be anything to do with buckets and water. Or kugel.
BORUCH: Yeah, good point. [looks around for inspiration] Hey, I’ve got an idea! My mother’s stocked up on shoe polish. I’m gonna go and polish the whole family’s shoes!
NOSSON: Good idea, Boruch. I wonder if I—
[A squeaky voice speaks. Enter KID SISTER]: I need to call my teacher to ask her what color to make the parshah picture.
NOSSON: Well, you can’t, I’m on the phone now.
KID SISTER: [indignantly]: But Mommy said if anyone needs the phone for something important then people should let. Mommeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!
NOSSON: Okay, okay, I’m going. Bye, Boruch, hatzlachah with your job! Bye, Aron!
KID SISTER: Mommeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!
[All 3 boys] Bye!
[At home, Boruch gets ready to do a sterling shoe-polishing job. He lines the floor with old newspaper, and hunts around the house for shoes. As everyone is wearing theirs, the only ones he can find are his big sister’s, who has dozens of pairs to match every outfit. BORUCH finds shoe polish in different colors, and some rags.]
BORUCH: Right. This is a nice easy job that can’t possibly go wrong.
[He picks up the first shoe. It’s black, pointy, high-heeled, and delicate.]
BORUCH: Gosh, these look expensive! I’d better be extra careful. This looks like black polish.
[He picks up the bottle, applies it to the shoe and squeezes. Boruch stares, dumbstruck, at what comes out: to his shock and horror, it’s white polish!]
[A furious screeeeeeeeeeech is heard. Enter BIG SISTER]: Stop! Stop this second! What are you doing?!]
[Enter BORUCH’S FATHER]: What is going on?!
[Enter BORUCH’s MOTHER]: Someone must be hurt. Help! Hatzolah!
To be continued…
(Originally featured in Mishpacha Jr., Issue 811)
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