The one who ‘knows’ you
You went to high school together and actually palled around for a time before you understood that he has the IQ of a tennis ball. But ever since, he is certain he knows everything about you. “It’s a shame you’ve colored your hair to black,” he tells your wife who is trying to be invisible, “he prefers smart blondes, you know, the ones who go to foreign films at the Cinemateque.”
And to your kid, who actually respected you until now, he insists on telling the story of how the gang did not want you to be part of the group that signed up for the paramilitary corps. When you try to protest, he pokes your chest with his finger. You can’t fool me, he says, only someone who knew you during those years really knows you. He’s got something there. Otherwise how would I know that I can’t stand him?
The one who always tells the truth
And in the name of the sacred truth he just has to say: “Get over here, hey fatso, you’ve put on, what, five kilos, get a look at yourself.”
By the way, the answer is that I look a lot better than you will with a shish-kebab skewer through your eye. This guy has not yet internalized the fact that we are always the first to know the truth about ourselves. We know if we have gained weight, if the wife is stressed out, understand without any help that work is not going well. Besides if it is so important for this guy to tell the truth why does he only relate to the negative? Why isn’t there anyone who takes you aside and quietly tells you straight: “Listen, don’t tell this to anyone else but you are a fantastic person.”
The one who wants a meeting
Because it can’t be done on the phone or by email. He tells you in hushed tones full of meaning that there is no choice so you have to leave your home in the heat of August, get caught in the bumper to bumper traffic, sweat from places on your body you did not know you had, all because he thinks that in another year or two, when he retires, the two of you should start a business together. He also has an idea of the kind of business but that will have to wait until your next meeting.
The one who understands you
Because he knows what you are going through. From his perspective you are one stage behind him in the evolutionary process. “It’s okay,” he claps you on the shoulder, “I used to think that way as well.” But that was before his chakrahs opened up and he let in the spirit dripping with god-like wisdom. Every time you try to explain that you see life differently, he immediately understands that you are in denial. He doesn’t want you to worry, it’ll take time, after the coaching, and the scientology, and the deep psychology therapy, and the year at Or Sameach Yeshiva, and all the rest of the wonderful processes and hard work that have brought him to the elevated status of total idiot.
The one who wants you to recognize him
No, I don’t recognize you; I don’t know how we know one another. I have no idea where we met. Your voice doesn’t tell me anything, neither does your face. I hate quizzes so you are asked to stop blocking my view with that facial expression, shiny from expectation about to ask me “So, you don’t remember where we met?” I do not but at least I remember why I forgot you: You’re a pest.
The one who is always on the short end of the stick
So he went to the secretary who told him that that is the way it is and he told her that it cannot be so she told him to talk to the boss because she thinks that he won’t do it because they are always like that and that is why the country is the way it is, so he went to the boss, but the boss wasn’t in, so he asked where’s the boss, and who works here for whom, and the boss showed up after an hour. An hour! So he showed him the papers and that on page 22 it clearly showed that he was in the right, or that the boss fainted from sheer boredom, and in the end he did not get the permit, and why? Because they did not tell him that a notary’s signature was required. And I ask you, so, I ask you, what would you have done in my place?
The one who thinks everything is a state secret
True, the draft dodgers are an upsetting phenomenon. Yes, I noticed that I always wear black. Hey, good idea to have Shlomo Artzi as a guest on the show. Wow, do you really think Holocaust survivors should be helped?
The one who is asking on behalf of his kid
He wouldn’t ask for himself. Never. It’s for his kid you see. His son wanted to be on “A Star is Born," (Israel’s Idol ) so a meeting with the host Zvika Hadar has to be arranged. He is only 15, the kid, but he really has a beautiful voice. He also plays guitar. You know Avi Singolda (popular studio guitar musician) don’t you? I hope it isn’t too much chutzpah for me to ask but my kid doesn’t really have the stamina to stand in those long lines like everyone else waiting for an audition. Maybe you can help him?
The one who always blames
You just know that the minute you call you’ll have to start apologizing for all the times you didn’t call. He has heard that everyone was at your place on Friday. They weren’t busy and had the time. How could you forget to mention that the kid is going into the army? And why did you forget to mention that Rina had a birthday? She always remembers yours. And why don’t you ever come by anymore? And is it true you all meet at the beach on a regular basis? Listen, oh never mind, I get it. You already have new friends. You don’t have to if you don’t want to.
The one who comes back from abroad
You exit the hotel dining room and turn left, you listening? After you turn left there’s a kind of pool in the shape of a diamond which leads to the sea. You’ve never seen water this color, a shade of blue that we don’t have in Israel. Then there’s the nightclub with dancing and a band who did covers, they were great, they sang Abba and a lot of Beatles, and the buffet was also open at night, so we would sit there, you wouldn’t believe the laughs we had, and in the morning the kids woke up and went out on the banana ride. It’s a yellow rubber inflatable thing that is pulled by a boat. After once around we all fell off and I’ve had brain damage ever since and I tell everyone how much fun I had.