Sunday, June 26, 2005

Weird thing of the day 26 June 2005/19 Siwan 5765


Tomorrow through Thursday I’ll be in Toronto for an epidemiology conference. There will not be any weird things of the day during that period.

Today’s weird thing is a story from Emily’s collection, included below. Enjoy.


Dov Kalmanson is an actor - or, at least, he would be if he could get his act together and find a job. He is down and out, and ready to settle for anything, any opportunity. Finally he gets a lead.

He discovers a job described in the classified ads as follows: "Actor needed to play ape."

"I could do that, " says Dov.

To his surprise, the employer turns out to be none other than the recruitment director for the local zoo. The director confesses that owing to past mismanagement, the zoo has spent so much money renovating the grounds and improving the habitat, that they can no longer afford to import the ape they needed to replace Betsy, their previous ape, who is now in ape-Heaven. He then offers Dov the job of playing a real, live ape.

Out of desperation, Dov accepts the offer. At first, Dov is at odds with his new job. His conscience keeps nagging at him, telling him that he is being dishonest by fooling the zoo-goers. And as you might expect, Dov feels rather undignified in the ape-suit, stared at by crowds of observers who watch his every move from the other side of the cage. But after a couple of days on the job, he actually begins to be amused by all the attention. He even starts to put on a bit of a show for the zoo-goers: hanging upside-down from the branches by his legs, swinging about on the looming vines, climbing up the cage walls, and roaring with all his might while beating his chest. Indeed, he begins to become quite a popular attraction at the zoo, drawing a sizable crowd.

One day, when showing off to a group of kids on a school trip, Dov starts swinging about on the vines with the greatest agility, when all of a sudden his hand slips, and he goes flying over the fence into the neighboring cage, the lion's den! Recovering from the fall, Dov lifts up his head to see the lion approaching! Terrified, Dov backs up as far as he can, covers his eyes with his paws, and screams at the top of his lungs, "Shema Yisroel Ad-nai Elokeinu Ad-nai echad!" (Hear Oh Israel, the L-rd is our G-d, the L-rd is one!)

The lion opens its powerful jaws and roars, "Baruch shem k'vod malchuso l'olam va'ed!" (Blessed is the name of his glorious kingship forever and ever!)

"Hush, you fools!" a panda bear mutters from a third cage. "You'll get us all fired!"
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