Wednesday, February 23, 2011

One Please

My husband took me away for a few days for a much needed break.
On our way, my husband stopped the car for a late Mincha afternoon prayer. I sat in the car quietly reading, and everything was fine until I heard shots.
Well, I didn't know what kind of shots they were. I didn't know if we were in a dangerous neighborhood (I didn't know there might be dangerous neighborhoods in Israel. Chas v'shalom. Could it have been a gang war?). All I knew is that I heard shots.
I tried to stay calm. I tried to ignore the shots that seemed to be getting closer - first over the hill, then at the top of the hill, then somewhere nearer, but I didn't know where.
When my husband came back to the car, I told him that I was about to drive around so I wouldn't have to be locked into this parking lot with shots fired around me.
He listened for a second and said, "Cap gun."
Cap gun?
"Yes, Purim is getting closer, and so there'll be more cap guns everywhere."
Boy, that was one loud cap gun.
The shooter was firing off hundreds of caps, one right after the other - a rapid fire cap gun, if there is something like that.
My husband was fascinated. "Wow, he's sure got a lot of caps. Do you know, when I was a little boy in Israel in the late 1950s, when we went to the store to buy caps for our gun, the storekeeper said, 'How many?' You could buy one, two, ten, whatever, but you paid by the cap. You can get a box like today. You couldn't even afford a box like today. I usually bought one and saved it, saved it, saved it, anxiously waiting for Purim when I could finally boldly shoot off my ONE."
Wow, I didn't know that. How special that ONE must have been! I thought of my husband waiting all year with great anticipation to fire off that ONE.
He added that lots of things in Israel were bought in ONEs. If you needed a bandaid, you went to the pharmacy and bought ONE. There were no boxes of bandaids, just ONE bandaid at a time.
And if you wanted a drink of soda, you didn't buy a six pack of Coke. You went to a soda fountain store (like a coffee shop) and you ordered one drink of soda. They gave you a glass, added flavoring and squirted in seltzer. Voila, one glass of soda.
When I think of all the waste today, and how nothing is special any more, I'm going to remember my husband's ONE.

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