Remember my friend Frank from Fifty-Ninth Street, whose feelings for fairness are so fine-tuned that any abuse sends him into an ardor of alliteration and assonance that invariably infects me every time we have a heart-to-heart on Hangouts? Frank requires forbearance and a willingness to lapse into his lingo. I can talk perfectly normally, and here’s proof, but you know how it goes with people who hold powerful political perceptions—if you can’t chant their cant, they negate your notions and insist you are insipid.
I used to try to contain his cascading consonants and viva voce vowels, but then relinquished all resistance. Frankly, I was happy that there had been a hiatus—for some four fortnights my Skype had been silent, but then belatedly on my browser, just as I was autographing my absentee ballot, his avatar aparated.
“Hey, Frank, wherya been?” I queried on my qwerty keyboard.
Post-pregnant pause, Frank formulated: “Brooding on the blight that plagues the planet.”
“As always,” I answered.
“I have been agonizing over William Butler’s legendary lyric: ‘a kind of chaos is unleashed on the universe, the blood-blinded tide is untethered.’”
“You mean Yeats?” I yammered. “But you revise his vocabulary.”
“Dare you doubt my veracity in verse?” Frank was awfully offended.
With a sad sigh I said: “Apologies, amigo. This señor is at your service.”
“I call with concern in connection with your far-off franchise.” My chum chided: “As our buddyhood began before our birth, I have grave grounds for goosebumps. Do you value your vote? Do you take your suffrage seriously?”
“Absolutely,” I affirmed. “In fact, my ballot is before me.”
Haim Watzman The editor of The Jerusalem Report, Steve Linde, has dismissed the magazine’s long-time illustrator, Avi Katz. Readers of South Jerusalem are well-acquainted with Avi’s illustrations for my Necessary Stories, but Avi also produced an editorial cartoon for each issue of the magazine. As editorial cartoons are supposed to do, they angered some readers. … Read more