"Hey, this looks great: The Never-Fail Chocolate Cake"
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: D’you guys realize this may be our very last teleconference? Vacation is here, more or less, we can go out now and do more stuff, and there isn’t really a need for teleconferencing.
[There’s a thoughtful silence]
ARON: But hey, I like teleconferencing. I get to speak to you guys from the comfort of my own couch!
BORUCH: Y’know, teleconferencing is kinda fun. Why don’t we keep it up, as well as doing other stuff?
NOSSON: Let’s give it another week, and then put it to the vote.
GERSHON: Okay, so we have time to learn another new skill. Any ideas, guys?
NOSSON: [unenthusiastically] Um, maybe photography again? I could get my camera charged up. We didn’t get very far last time.
BORUCH: No way! I can’t afford it.
GERSHON: Me too.
ARON: Me three. Can you guys hang on while I cut myself a piece of chocolate cake? All this lounging around’s given me an appetite.
[After a brief pause, Aron is back]
ARON: Would you believe it? Not a crumb left! [piteously] Guess I’ll just starve.
NOSSON: I’ve got it! I know what our next skill should be! Got the idea from Aron!
NOSSON: Baking! We’ll bake a cake!
[There is silence as the boys mull this over]
GERSHON: Hmm, not bad. But I’ll have to cheer the rest of you on from the sidelines. My mother won’t let anyone mess up her sparkling kitchen.
ARON: Oh, I’m a cheerer-on too — from the comfort of my couch.
NOSSON: Looks like it’s just you and me, Boruch.
BORUCH: No problem.
NOSSON: Let’s get started. I’ll pull out one of our cookbooks.
[A rustling of pages is heard]
NOSSON: Hey, this looks great: The Never-Fail Chocolate Cake. You need flour, sugar, cocoa… [rummages in kitchen cupboards]. Uh-oh, we’re clean out of baking ingredients. Sorry, Boruch, it looks like we’re down to just you. You okay with being a one-man band? I’ll cheer you on along with the others!
BORUCH: [shrugs] I guess. Read out the instructions for me, will ya?
[Nosson reads out the instructions, with helpful comments from Gershon. Aron has fallen asleep and can be heard snoring.]
NOSSON: Now pour the mixture into a baking pan, and put it into a hot oven. Well, actually, it says preheated, but I don’t think it matters.
BORUCH: For how long?
NOSSON: Thirty minutes.
BORUCH: Okay. [a minute later] Let me just see how it’s doing — oh, still the same.
[The boys, minus Aron who is asleep, chat with each other. Every few minutes, somebody asks how the cake’s doing. Boruch obligingly opens the oven and reports back. Finally the timer pings.]
BORUCH: Stand by, everyone, for the most marvelous, magnificent — uh-oh.
NOSSON and GERSHON: What’s up?
BORUCH: It looks — um — ugh. The whole thing is flat as a pancake. Except for the middle, which swelled up, but is cracked open at the top. I’ve never seen anything so weird looking in my life!
[Enter BIG SISTER]: What’s that?
BORUCH: It’s a — um — kind of an experiment.
BIG SISTER: Really? Hey, it would be perfect for my science lesson — I’m teaching the students about volcanoes and craters, and this would make a terrific model. How much d’you want for it?
[Boruch is too dumbstruck to answer.]
BIG SISTER: I get it; it’s hard for you to put a price on your masterpiece. Look, I’ve got ten dollars, will that be enough?
NOSSON and GERSHON [loudly]: Yes!
ARON [waking up just in time]: Guys, I know a place where we can buy amazing ice creams for a coupla dollars each! Why don’t we celebrate the success of the amazing B.A.N.G. Gang?
The other 3 boys: Yeah! Cool!!
Get ready for Act 3!
(Originally featured in Mishpacha Jr., Issue 818)
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