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


Lori had me scrubbing the one tabletop in Flip's "Dining Area". I really don't know what else to call this space. Flip had only one table and it had historically been a storage space that was deliberately left in a shambles. Lori wanted to clean it up, put in a computer and make the area an internet cafe. Lori's preference was latte or cappuccino, whereas Flip's idea of coffee was marginally flavored brown water. He could drink a cup at Starbucks [if someone else paid] and comment that it needed more water. Flip made coffee like he made chicken soup. The chicken was "introduced" to the water but pulled out before any flavor might be removed from the bird. Flip replaced the chicken with a very mild blast of flavoring and color additives. Noodles also help to mask how little real chicken was a part of the broth. Ditto for the coffee, save that it was served sans noodles.... so far.

The tabletop had grime on it from ages past. It was proving more stubborn to remove than one might have thought. One of the boxes that had sat on the table for a decade or so had left its own mark on the veneer wood-grained surface. I had spent the better part of an hour scrubbing the damned thing when Lori made her inspection.

"OK, Boo-boo. We'll use a tablecloth", she said.

"How about telling me that a lot sooner, Lori. I spent an hour scrubbing this thing."

"We wouldn't have known it couldn't be cleaned until you tried, could we... Sweetie?"

I grumped a bit at the logic of Lori's remark. If the tables had been reversed I'd have been hearing of her nails being broken in the effort, her back being thrown out while scrubbing, her hands being harshly burned by the detergent, etc etc. Lori was in someways exactly like the formidable Marie DeGaetano. Telling Lori this was a death sentence, so I avoided any comment that would surely lead to my own execution.

I wasn't exactly sure I'd survive when Flip returned to find his table cleaned and boxes discarded. The area being cleaned up was now only a day away from being set up to Lori's specifications. She had already secretly planned how to connect the computer to the internet via one of Flip's phone lines. Flip had two. One was for outgoing orders, which almost always never came and the other was for Flip's "important" calls.

Meantime Flip was addressing the healthy looking Morris Dombitz in the hospital room. He had arrived only to find Dombitz sitting in a chair, not in the bed. The bed was occupied by another man, dressed like the good rabbi. The "rabbi" looked a lot like Dombitz in the places where the makeup on his face had not rubbed off. This could mean only one thing. Flip knew at once who was in the bed.

        "This is no rabbi. This is Morris Trabsomething. What is going on here?", Flip intoned.

        "Yes, it is Trab... uh... Trab...."

        The good rabbi like everyone else had difficult remembering the name of the man in the bed. It was in fact Morris Trabshot, the "World Foremost Impersonator", or so his business cards said. Mr. Trabshot has been around the neighborhood of Flip's Hole in stories past and might be remembered by some. Then again, as with the rabbi, he might not.

        "Trablack," said Dombitz.

        "No, I think it was Trabway, wasn't it?"

        "Whatever. This cretin comes up to me a week ago and tells me he is up for a part in a major film. He's going to play the part of a rabbi and he wants to model himself after a legend, a genius of rabbis. Me!"

        "The 'World's Foremost Impersonator' wanted to imitate the 'World Self-Proclaimed Greatest Rabbi' ?", laughed Flip.

        "Yes, you are correct in that, except it isn't self-proclaimed. I have letters of praise worldwide. Fifteen or more languages. Letters from Jews. Letters from Christians. Letters from Muslims. Why I even have a letter from an Agnostic, blessing me. He said that fifteen minutes with me was enough to convince him to become an Atheist! Who else but a great rabbi could change a person's mind like that?"

        "Ok. I surrender. I am glad to see you are not dead, but what is Trablot doing in the bed?"

        "That's Trabshaw, I think. He appears to be breathing normally. This is an improvement. When he first arrived they could not find a pulse. They thought I was dead and the whole emergency room was in an uproar. The very thought of the great Rabbi Dombitz dying had everyone panicked. I came in to attend to the poor man, followed by hospital security. I kept telling them that I was him, meaning Trabknot, but they thought he was me. I had to reach into my own pants, which Trabcourt was wearing to show them a picture of myself. Problem is that I looked just like myself. There were two of us and so they decided to keep us both under observation. They thought one of us must be crazy, whereas the other was simply near dying. Death does not come looking for a Dombitz without a fight. I kicked the dumb bastard in the bed for getting me in such trouble and wouldn't you know it? He started breathing again! Dombitz! A miracle healer!"

        "So," Flip interjected, "how did Trabman wind up wearing your pants?"

        "Ach, it's a long story."

        For that very reason, I will have to return and tell you all the rest.... in the next installment.

This issue is dedicated to the legendary author and scientist Sir ARTHUR C. CLARKE for his 85th Birthday...


YES For The Global Peace Movement, YES Loving & Caring Each Other, YES Greatness in Humanity, YES Saving Our Unique Mother Earth,
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