Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Kiddie continues

Kiddie worked very hard, washing dishes with an abandon reminiscent of Dunkirk. He saw great vats of chicken fat being rolled into the back of the restaurant and then deposited in a vault beneath the kitchen. He never actually got paid, because he was working off his bill, but after three and a half years he was done. The manager, who had proved to be a compassionate and caring individual, threw Kiddie into the street with nothing but the clothes on his back and some foie gras that he had managed to secret away. Though it looked like his goose was cooked, he had only one thought on his mind: to be the richest man on Diamond Island. Three minutes later a bank truck came rolling by, and Kiddie, ever the astute observer, noticed some chicken fat spilling out the back. He ran over, scooped it up, and decided to follow bank trucks around until he could think of something better to do. After a month or so he had collected enough chicken fat to open up his own account at the bank. They took his deposit, and asked him if he'd like a ARM? "Sure!" said Kiddie, and he was presented with a brand new mortgage, to love and treasure, as if it was his very own. Kiddie figured that the best way to increase his capital was to get into the real-estate business, but he also knew that he couldn't afford this yet. Instead he went onto the street and asked people if they needed a loan. One man said yes, and Kiddie gave him all the chicken fat he had gotten from the bank, with the provision that the shtuff be returned within thirty days. If not, the man would be subject to usurious interest rates unheard of since the middle aged Jews brought down the innocent Christian Kings. Kiddie resented this anti-semitic analogy, as he was by nature a fair and balanced young man, and he was quick to make the point that in fact the Jews were the innocent ones, and anyway, his loan wasn't too usurious.
Through much trial and error Kiddie slowly learned how to cheat, rob, and thieve, until every person of Diamond Island knew his as the meanest, toughest, and richest man to ever live. His chicken fat filled vast warehouses, and the manager at the restaurant now always saved the best foie gras for his frequent visits. The waiter was, unfortunately, quite dead, but that's just the way shtuff happens, eh?
After Kiddie was on top of the Forbes "Chicken 500" list for the seventh year in a row, he decided that it was now time to go home. He was ready to make his village wealthier than it had ever dreamed of becoming. He loaded all his chicken fat onto great ships, and ensconced in a private cabin decked out with the latest electronics, and a beautiful blue trim with red accents, he set sail. The village, forewarned of the great man's arrival, hurried to the port to greet him. They peered into the mist, and saw the great ships of the sea begin to emerge. At first they thought the stench was coming from the rotting yet still flying (who knew?) seagulls which were circling the dock, but then they realized that in fact it was emanating from the fleet itself.
The wiser among them proclaimed that whatever material it was that was doing the stinking must be the padding and protection for the diamonds that were obviously encased within, and the more gullible of the crowd believed them.
Kiddie's ships pulled in, and he jumped off the deck and tried to hug his aged mother and just-barely alive father. They jumped away as the horrible stink that enveloped him began to cloud around them. The seagulls squawked away, and Kiddie said, "Hey folks, long time no see! What's the issue?" The village elders asked in one voice, "What's that horrible smell?" Kiddie, looked confused, and then excitedly said, "Oh, that? That's all my money!" The elders said, "Money? It stinks!" Kiddie said, "It's just regular chicken fat, you know, I don't go in for the fancy stuff with the preservatives; it's a waste of money." "Chicken fat?!" "Chicken fat." "Chicken fat!?" "Chicken fat." "AAAAHHHH!!! The diamonds! Where are the diamonds?!"
In a perfect story, all the inhabitants of the village would now fall dead, and Kiddie, realizing his bone-headed stupidity, would die as well, with the sailors going back to Diamond Island and having the party of the century. But it's not a perfect story, and no one died. Yet.
Kiddie, who at least did realize his stupidity, put his hands in his pocket and took out a few diamonds, the only ones he had collected over the many years of his absence. The first thought that crossed his mind was, "Yuck! I've been wearing the same pants for many years of my absence? That's absolutely disgusting!" The villagers didn't seem to mind though, and they took Kiddie home, invested the diamonds in some good Cleveland real-estate (as if), and everyone lived happily ever after. Until they died. The end.

The Dubno Maggid explained that this story is really a Mashal for the soul's descent into the world. It's coming for diamonds, Mitzvos, but it gets confused, and collects material shtuff instead. Rabbi Schapiro Farbrenged, many years ago, that this is a big mistake. People think that the diamonds down here are worthless, and their value is only realized upstairs in the great big ballroom in the sky. But the truth is that Mitzvos are just as valuable down here as they are up there; you just have to use your brain a little. Kiddie may have been cunning, but he wasn't the smartest french fry in the Happy Meal.
You know, I enjoyed writing the Mashal a lot more than the Nimshal. I wonder why?

6 comments:

Eliezer said...

I don't get it. How by using his brain could kiddie have made use of the diamonds on Diamond Island? They *are* only good in the grand ballroom in the sky.

Nemo said...

Why didn't he turn his ship around and go right back to Diamond Island?

a kashia af a ma'aseh said...

Because once you're dead, in that big ballroom in the sky, there ain't know turning back.

Nemo said...

This is why I despise Mashalim.

The Real Shliach said...

I meant to write that the sailors did end up going back, and sure, Kiddie could go with them (gilgul), but the continued exposure to chicken fat would ruin his memory and once he'd get there the sailors would quickly dispose of him; in the end, it's probably just as well that he stayed in Cleveland.

Ht' Michoel Rose (Michael) said...

i always wondered about your where your fixation with chiken fat came from..