I would not be sharing this humiliating affair with you unless I felt that other Israelis, like me, suffer their shameful condition in silence. Last week, my beloved readers, my butt itched something awful.
Most of all, I suffered from loneliness. It is one thing to suffer from an illness, any illness; but suffering from a terrible itch in your behind is far more dreadful and humiliating. Sufferers do not even share their itching problem with their wives. They suffer alone, in silence.
I imagined facing a firing squad and being asked: Mr. Daum, I am the governor. This is your last chance. If you let your wife - who you love and share everything with - check you for worms, we will let you live a long life with your family and children. Will you let her? No, I yelled, I will let no one dig their fingers into my backside, even if my life depended on it!
In desperation, I tried to get to the bottom of my itch by myself. If you ever tried to check your trunk, you must know that it is located so far back that after a day and a half of attempts to look at it in the mirror, I sprained my neck. Next, I bought a small mirror and stood up side down on a chair in the bathroom, trying to get a glimpse by calculating mirror angles.
However, because one hand of mine held a mirror and my neck hurt, I lost balance and hit the floor, smashing the mirror in the process and making terrific noise. Efrat, my wife, rushed into the shower, only to find me stretched out on the floor amidst pieces of shattered glass, with nothing but my T-shirt on. She gave me a terrified look and asked, Chanoch, did you just try to commit suicide?
Listen, I told my family doctor, a friend of mine has worms. Can you give him something? Sorry, he said, I cannot write a prescription for your friend without seeing him. Anyway, how do you know he has worms? I saw them, I cried. The good doctor stared at me: You mean your friend let you look up his anus?
Friend? I said. Why are you speaking about friends? I meant my son. I am sure you said friend, the doctor said, but if you insist, it is your son. In any event, he said, this is not the first time Yehuda has worms, so I will give you something for children.
If, however, it is your friend, you should know this would not help him. Friend? What friend? I asked. Any friend, the doctor said. I mean, if you ever have a friend with worms, this will not help him. This is weak medicine, for children.
Yehuda never had worms before, thus the fact that doctor said it was not first time could only mean that I was not the only adult in my family who secretly visited his office and blamed the kid for his trouble.
Who has worms? I heard a cry from the living room. No one, I said embarrassed. So why is there worm medicine in this bag? My wife asked. Truth is, I mumbled, that I am helping a family in need. They cannot afford medications and asked me to get something for their children. They have worms. I am going to Jerusalem soon to give it to them.
I never heard of such charity before, Efrat laughed. Why? I protested. This is no small thing. I am about to save an Israeli family from ass itch. Do you know how terrible it is? No, I don’t, Efrat said. Do you?
Only people with a worm-made quarry in their behind know how hard it is to remain polite in the presence of others. People around you discuss a new business concept, and all you can think of is ways to rub against the sharp edge of your chair to put out the backside flames.
You are restless. You sit on your mobile phone and wait for it to buzz, not ring. All you want is to make urgent peace with those damn worms. They dwarf your every achievement. How can you manage your bank account or run a family when your butt is the only thing on your mind?
I decided to go to an East Jerusalem pharmacy and obtain medication for adults. They hate settlers anyway, so I have nothing to lose, I figured. Listen, I told the pharmacist, my body is itching all over, including my backside. Your entire body, he echoed. Yes, I said, and my backside.
Have you seen a doctor? He asked. Do you have a rash? No, no rash, I said. Besides, the skin itch is all gone now, only that backside business stayed. I see, the pharmacist smiled at me most kindly. Let me get something to relax you, even though you don’t have a prescription. Can you wait, please?
Can I wait? I will evacuate settlements if you find me an ointment that would soothe my rear chaos. I will give you a free passage to the Wailing Wall. I will give you a right to vote in the municipal elections and, if you wish, the entire City of David in a permanent arrangement. If you give me something effective, I will consider that. We can even discuss the right of return, Mr. Pharmacist. If you transfer my worms, I will establish a Jewish movement for the rights of the East Jerusalem Arabs.
He smiled and handed me the medication. Tell me, I asked embarrassed, how did you understand at once that I have worms, and how come you are so well stocked with medicine to give away? This is our main source of income here, he replied. Do you think you are the first settler who travels all the way to East Jerusalem for worm medication?
I was about to leave the store, when the pharmacist said: You look familiar. Do you happen to write a newspaper column? Yes, I said, still greatly embarrassed, and wend back to shake his hand. How do you do? Yair Lapid is the name.
I understand you are presently looking for a president who is highly respectable, not controversial, with extensive knowledge on a variety of issues and no slips of the tongue, who is not suspected of financial crimes, government corruption, sexual harassment, political appointments, bribery, nepotism, tax evasions, and violations of the elections laws.
I hope it is clear to you, young Mr. Daum, that I will not undertake the presidency too, yes?