No Drugs, No Rugs, No Plugs

Alan J. Schwarz
10 min readApr 13, 2021

Herschell Ostrepeller was nervous and couldn’t stop thinking about what had just happened. He had gone to his friend Moishe’s men’s wear store to buy a new suit. Moishe had looked after him, helping him pick out a dark blue pinstripe suit. Moishe’s wife Linda (known as the local yenta or gossip) had selected a belt, fancy socks, and three shirts for him to go with the suit.

Moishe wanted to shoot the breeze, but Herschell had to get back to his butcher shop. He had left his nephew Yankel in charge and he was worried. Yankel had a tendency to undercharge and the last time he ran the store, Herschell came back to empty shelves. When he questioned Yankel about where all the beautiful steaks were, Yankel smiled and said Mrs. Moscovitz said he should have a sale while his Uncle was gone so he did. Mrs. Moscovitz suggested he drop all the prices by a dollar a pound. As a result, Mrs. Moscovitz cleared out the shelves and called her friends who came over and helped her in her efforts. At the end of the day after doing all his calculations, Herschell had made a net profit on the sales of thousands of dollars worth of meat of four hundred and ten cents. However, he couldn’t get upset with Yankel because the next day all the Jewish women in the neighbourhood were lining up to buy his meat. He raised the prices on everything and they didn’t complain as they thought they were getting great deals. The end result was he made up for the deep discounts of the day before and he had happy customers. Yankel in his own way was a crazy genius, but Herschell didn’t want to have a repeat of the situation.

After settling up with Moishe for his new purchases, Linda came over to join them. ‘’Herschell, how long has it been since you’ve been on a date?’’ Herschell didn’t want to answer. He was embarrassed, it had been almost ten years. He just didn’t feel comfortable as the death of his wife Saide was still on his mind. Her ending had been tragic. She had gone swimming in the ocean in Miami Beach, Florida. Somebody had seen a shark near where she was swimming and before Herschell knew it, Saide was gone. Her body was never recovered and the shark escaped. If only he had learned how to swim, it just wasn’t on Herschell’s list of priorities and he kicked himself about it every day. He was okay with beef and land he just never got into fish and water, he was all turf and no surf.

Alan J. Schwarz

Alan Schwarz loves life. He is the founder of JAMS Productions, a television production company based in Toronto . His passion is writing.