That’ll Be the Day — “Necessary Stories” from The Jerusalem Report

Haim Watzman

The American ambassador wearily removed a cleaning cloth from the black case he’d placed on the prime minister’s desk. He shook it open, gazed sadly at the dust that danced in the beam of the ceiling light, puffed on his lenses, and rubbed the cloth over them. Holding his glasses up to the light, considered the flexible frames that had cost him an arm and a leg, and saw that they were still smudged. But at this point he no longer cared. Perhaps, he thought, Israel’s leader was better viewed blurrily. The prime minister seemed to be shouting in a deep, throaty voice.

       illustration by Avi Katz

       illustration by Avi Katz

“Come on everybody, clap your hands!” the blurry premier seemed to be saying. “Are you lookin’ good?”

The ambassador tried to collect his thoughts. He knew he did not look good at all, and this did not seem to be the prime minister’s voice.

He felt two strong hands grab his and pull him out of his chair. “We’re gonna do the twist and it goes like this!” the voice explained.

“Weren’t we talking about American aid?” he mumbled as the body before him gyrated like a dervish with an inner ear infection.

Then he saw that the voice was coming not from the prime minister but from the large plasma screen on which the pm generally monitored the BBC for anti-Semitic news coverage. A black man in a suit was singing: “Yeah, let’s twist again, twistin’ time is here!”

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