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

by Robert J. BAUMANN

Fax is our store cat. She used to belong to Jesse's daughter. Jesse, by the way, is the dish washer/deliveryman/errand runner of Flip's Hole. When his daughter died in a car accident a few years back Fax wound up in our store, sharing Jesse's small space while at the same time taking charge of the entire store territory. Fax went almost everywhere one might imagine possible, climbing into the most unique of places. Nothing was too high or too low for Fax's investigational explorations.

Lori had disrupted things a bit. The dining area, cleared of boxes, was now an internet cafe in the making. With Flip down in Brooklyn the tables had been cleared and washed. Tablecloths hid whatever soap could not remove. Fax was in a state of confusion. The normal dirt and disarray were gone. It did not seem to please her. Her first sign of displeasure was the clawing off of one of the table cloths. Lori yelled at Fax and Fax ran off into the kitchen for safety. In a battle of wills, I'd put my money on Loretta DeGaetano. Between Fax and Lori, Lori had the advantage of size. Both of these alley cats knew how to fight.

At the same time Lori was yelling at Fax, Flip was staring at the barrel of a gun. Next to Flip was his good friend, Rabbi Dombitz. Both men were in the hospital, as has been endlessly described to you already. The other companion, Morris Trabsend [the World's Foremost Impressionist], was doing a fairly good imitation of an unconscious heart attack victim. Add to this mix one more fellow of African American persuasion who had barged into the room, gun in hand.

There had been gun play going on in the hospital when Flip first arrived. It was an extension of a battle between the Crips and the Bloods over some meaningless thing or another. From the color of the clothes this gang banger was wearing, you could determine he was a full fledged Blood. He was wearing red. It was a good color choice. Red hides a lot of blood. Good color if you get shot. This particular "Blood" was bleeding true enough.

He pointed the gun at Flip and bleated out "Where y'all got a place to hide?"

"Hide?", said Dombitz. "You want a place to hide? A man who wants to hide shouldn't wear red."

"Uh, Rabbi. Let me handle this", said Flip. "How many are after you?"

"A whole posse of Crips, man. I gots to find a place in here to chill. They be comin' through this hall any moment. They see me an' I sees them, we be shootin'. Somebody gonna die, man."

"Nobody's gonna die today. The room has a clothes closet. Get in it."

The young man acted fast and within seconds not a trace of him existed. Flip grabbed a rag and wiped up the blood the young man had dripped on the floor. He went out into the hall and mopped up the blood drops away from the hallway, too. The rag went into the garbage and was shoved to the bottom. Flip went back into the room to confront an astonished Dombitz.

"Rabbi, get on your knees near the bed and start saying a prayer."

"Jews don't kneel down to pray. I am not a Catholic, Flip. We daven and we bow our heads, but we do not kneel."

"There's gonna be a bunch of bad boys through that door in a few seconds. I want them to see you in prayer, praying for the life of this poor dying man. If they see this, they may just leave the room and look elsewhere. Whatever they do, don't open your mouth. These may look like kids, but they kill. OK?"

"You think I am a moron? I know when to keep my mouth shut!"

"Pray!", Flip ordered. The good Rabbi began a prayer. He prayed for Trabsend, to be sure. When that was done, he added a prayer for Israel. No one had entered the room, so he said another prayer for God to move things along as his feet hurt. Flip, who had seen Jews in prayer at the Wailing Wall had taken a curtain and draped it over his shoulders as if it were a prayer shawl. He did a terrible impression of a Jew in prayer. He was kneeling and rocking back and forth at the same time. This despite an occasional whispered aside from Dombitz that he stand up.

In an instant the room was filled with blue clad Crips of all shapes and sizes. They looked up. They looked down. They looked at Dombitz and and Flip. The man in the bed was clearly not a Blood, but I can assure you that if Trabsend was in good health, he'd have improvised. The Crips, not finding their intended victim, left the room in pursuit of their phantom prey. It was only a few seconds of time. When they were gone, Flip breathed a sigh of relief. He went to the cabinet door and quietly said:

"Hang in there. They just split but they might be back. Don't move."

Dombitz and Flip exchanged glances. They both ran for the door so fast that they wedged themselves through it almost at the same time. What was needed was a cop, but where in the hospital would the cops be? Flip knew the answer instantly! Doughnuts.

"We find out where the food is and we'll find the police." A genuinely inspired idea thought Flip. Where was the cafeteria in this place? Everyone Flip tried to ask gave him the brush off as they bustled from one place to another.

"You know a person could die in here and not get noticed",  said Dombitz. "You want I should stop somebody?"

"How are you going to do that?", asked Flip.

Two seconds and one orderly later, Dombitz walked up and spit into the man's face. It had the desired effect of getting his attention. Had it not been for Flip, Dombitz would have needed his own hospital bed.

"My father is off his medicine. Forgive him. If we could find the cafeteria I promise to give him his medication."

"Third floor, rear. Follow the signs. Tell him he's lucky you spoke fast. I don't let anyone spit on me in this place."

Dombitz could not resist. "So, may I ask where you do let them spit on you?" Flip hustled him to the elevators. Dombitz shouted to the orderly "Nice to have met you, sir. Save my spit. It may be worth millions some day or my name is not Dombitz!" To Flip he gave an evil eye.

"Your father? I look older than you? Such a lie. You have no shame."

- . -

To be continued.

E-mail: rbaumann@nyc.rr.com

This issue is dedicated to the Peace Process of SRI LANKA & prominent Turkish author Yasar KEMAL

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