EVERYTHING SHOULD BE UNDER THE SUN...
NO New Nuclear Weapons... NO New Nuclear Targets... NO New Pretexts For Nuclear War... NO Nuclear Testing...
NO Star Wars... NO Weapons In Space...
NO All Types Of Weapons, War & War Culture...
We have only one WORLD yet! If we destroy it, where else will we go?

Flip & Dombitz
Part: V

by Robert J. BAUMANN 



"I came
 here to see myself because someone told me I had died. I arrived to much confusion and found out that I was not dead. It was somebody pretending to be me. He was dead until I gave him a clop for giving me such trouble. No sooner was he healed by the Great Dombitz than there was a gun duel in our room and somebody was shot who was not me or myself. It was another fellow whom we hid in a closet because Flip told me to."


 

 

Brophy was another of Flip's unique customers. He had one word for everything and everything was "Brophy". His dog was named "Brophy". His  wife was named "Brophy". When he asked for something for breakfast, all he  said was "Brophy". In all the years I'd watched him while at Flip's Hole, I'd never heard any other words than "Brophy". Even the garrulous Buddy Taub could not provoke him into an exchange much beyond that word.

 Buddy would sit next to him and ask Brophy his name.

 "Brophy?", asked Taub.

 "Brophy" was the reply, said with an intonation that offered confirmation. If Brophy wanted salt or pepper, he would point at the item and then add "Brophy". Taub would then point to it and ask if he really wanted the item by saying "Brophy" in a questioning voice and "Brophy" would be the reply. It did not leave much room for scintillating conversation, but as Taub once said "A few politicians I know could say a  lot more by taking a few lessons from Brophy."

 I was thinking of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton becoming a one-word Senator, but that would be too much to hope for. Besides "I quit" are two words, not one.

 Lori came from the back, where she was putting the finishing touches on the cybernet cafe she had installed almost as soon as Flip was out the door. Flip was still at the hospital and it was getting near closing time.

 "Any calls from Daddy?", Lori asked.

 "Nope."

 "What do you think? Should we call the hospital and find out how  Rabbi Dombitz is? If Daddy is in his room, maybe he'll pickup the phone."

 Lori tried the number and actually was able to dial into Rabbi  Dombitz' room, but no one was answering the phone.

 "I guess we'll hear about it tomorrow," Lori said.

 "Yeah. We'll hear about it right after Flip makes us undo all this work."

 "He's gonna leave that stuff alone, Boo-Boo. Trust me. If anyone can  get around Flip DeGaetano, it's me."

 "You forgot your Mother."

 "Same thing. She can. I can... and I can do to you what I do to  him!"

 It called for a smile, so I flashed one while thinking "no way,  baby... never". What did I say to her? Easy. I just said "Brophy".

 As we were locking up for the night, Flip and Dombitz were  confronting a security guard at the hospital. A gang member was in Dombitz' room, hiding in a closet and bleeding from a wound. To get him to safety Flip and Dombitz went looking for the police. Instead what they found was Officer Valenzano.

Scott Valenzano did not seek to be a security guard. Like many  people do, he fell into this kind of a job quite by accident. The regular pay, easy work and good hours kept him at the hospital year after year. Soon Scott no longer thought about being anything more than a day older, if not wiser. He was now in his fifth year of service.

 The best place to hide at the hospital was the cafeteria. It was the  last place Valenzano expected to be approached... and certainly by this  unlikely pair of men. He was about to sink his teeth into a plate of industrial strength lasagna, when they approached from behind and the shorter of the two tapped him on the shoulder.

 "Excuse me, but there is a problem on the fifth floor and we need help."

 "Security phone is on the wall. Dial a 6 and ask for Gary Simpson.  He'll be glad to take your call. If he's not there, leave a message or dial a 1 for the Helpdesk."

 "You are here and you want me to use a phone to reach you?", asked Domitz incredulously.

 "No, I want you to let me eat dinner. The phone on the wall is what you need."

 "So a man should bleed to death in a hospital because of you?", Flip chimed in.

 "See this? It is dinner. Dinner. I am eating here. If you need  Security, use the phone."

Flip was a bit annoyed by the brusque reply, and he'd have gone to the phone and dialed the number just to get faster help. Dombitz was less  patient. He grabbed the lasagna and ran. He shouted behind him "You want  to eat? Good. Catch me and you can eat." He was off and running. Valenzano looked at Flip and Flip shrugged. The chase was on. Valenzano followed  after the Rabbi and Flip followed behind them both.

Now, to add to the confusion I have to tell you that all day long Valenzano had been playing hide and seek with an escaped loon named  Glasser. Glasser was not only certifiably insane, he had Tourette's  Syndrome. His Tourette's Syndrome caused him to wrinkle his face in a  questioning way while repeating "Yeah, you want that?". He did this all  day long, even when he did not want to.

 As a patient in the hospital, Glasser had been confined to a locked ward. He somehow managed to escape and as he fled asked his pursuers

 "Yeah, you want that?". It was the last thing they heard before he disappeared. Valenzano was on the job and looked all over the place for Glasser. He found him hiding in different places, but Glasser would leap out and shout at him then run away. At dinnertime, Glasser was still loose and roaming about. He had somehow managed to get a white lab coat and, each time he found a doctor would engage a doctor with a ponderous  question. "Yeah? You... you... want that?". If doctors had many patients during the day, they'd have no idea what this was in reference to. The easiest thing was to say "Yes" and move along. Glasser heard this reply all evening, even when some doctors were approached a second time. The reply just became more surly. "I said I did, didn't I? Just take care of it!".

Who turned the corner as Dombitz fled down the hall? Glasser, of  course. He stopped Rabbi Dombitz to ask if he wanted "that". Dombitz handed the lasagna to Glasser and sped off. Glasser had not eaten all day,  so he began to pile the food into his mouth. It was at this point that  Valenzano turned the corner and bowled right into the pasta munching wack-o. When Flip caught up in the chase he found Valenzano sprawled on  the floor, out cold and covered in pasta and sauce.

 "What the heck is Dombitz doing? Oh, look at this mess here.  Sheesh."

Flip bent down and tapped lightly on Valenzano's cheek trying to revive him. He also tapped on Glasser's face and it was a stunned man who replied "Yeah... Yeah..." before groggily rising to his feet, stumbling off. It was shortly after that Sgt. Simpson arrived holding both Dombitz and Glasser in two rather sizeable arms.

 "Here. Help me out. Hold onto this fellow," he said, passing Dombitz  along to Flip. Simpson handcuffed Glasser to Dombitz and then bent down to look at a waking Valenzano.

 "What the hell happened here?", asked Valenzano.

 "I was just about to ask that of you. Bad enough we have Bloods and  Crips dueling in our hallways, do we have to have pasta-faced security  guards sprawled out on the floor, too?"

 "I was chasin' this guy," Valenzano pointed to Dombitz, "who stole  my dinner when I ran into this guy who I've been chasing all day."

 "You could have wiped your face off, couldn't you? You look like you swam through an ocean of lasagna." 

 Somhow in the collision, none of the pasta had covered Glasser. It was all over his pursuer.

 "Let me explain, " chimed in Dombitz. Flip let out a groan. "I came here to see myself because someone told me I had died. I arrived to much confusion and found out that I was not dead. It was somebody pretending to be me. He was dead until I gave him a clop for giving me such trouble. No sooner was he healed by the Great Dombitz than there was a gun duel in our room and somebody was shot who was not me or myself. It was another fellow whom we hid in a closet because Flip told me to."

Dombitz gestured to Flip and continued "So then we ran to get help  but instead we found him and he was no help at all. I borrowed his lasagna to get him to come to the room and help us. On the way this clumsy fool bumped into this gentleman and here we are. See?"

Simpson stood listening to Dombitz shout. Flip was staring at the ceiling. Valenzano was wiping pasta sauce from his face and Glasser added  his own commentary to the end of the story.

 "Yeah? You... you... want that?"

Flip just said "I know it sounds crazy, but if we all go to room 406 you'll find a gang banger with a bullet in his body. We tried to get some help so the fellow would not get shot a second time. See for yourself."


 - . -

To be continued...

E-mail to Robert J. Baumann: rbaumann@nyc.rr.com

   
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