Guest Post by Eric M. Danis
Around this time of year, I always start feeling like I need a fix, something to just get me through the season. Inevitably, I call my local dealer. Heâ€™s got some great stuff, and heâ€™s very discreet. He always has his biggest score at the beginning of autumn.
Usually, we meet in his basement. He doesnâ€™t like his competitors (not to mention the licensed authorities) to view his wares, and the expansive yet private basement allows him to fully display his merchandise without fear.
â€œCome in,â€ he told me during our most recent meeting, his sneaky smile illuminating the dankly lit basement. â€œI understand you are again looking for a transcendent experience.â€
â€œYou know I am,â€ I said, hoping that my eagerness wouldnâ€™t drive up his prices further. â€œThis year I want to get REALLY high.â€
â€œWell, youâ€™ve come to the right place,â€ he said.
As I started examining the merchandise, my dealer started complaining about his competitors.
â€œThis year the competition is worse than ever. There is practically a dealer on every street corner. It used to be that there was some honor among dealers, but now itâ€™s a dog-eat-dog world, with everyone invading everyone elseâ€™s turf.
â€œAnd donâ€™t even get me started on the customers. There is no loyalty. People jump from dealer to dealer, looking for the best prices.â€
â€œI understand,â€ I said, hoping my sympathy would get me a cheap fix. After all, I desperately NEEDED his product. â€œSo, how much are you charging this year.â€
â€œ150 shekels for everything,â€ he said.
I told him that sounded a bit steep, which caused an eruption.
â€œThat is the market demand for the product!â€ he screeched. â€œDo you know how many customers I have? People are beating down my door for this stuff!â€
â€œI donâ€™t know,â€ I said. â€œLast year your product was a little leafy, and it didnâ€™t seem 100 percent pure.â€ I pulled a magnifying glass from my pocket and carefully examined this yearâ€™s crop. I held the product close to my nose, like a connoisseur, and took a deep inhalation of the pungent aroma.
My play seemed to work. â€œOK,â€ he said, looking defeated. â€œIâ€™ll cut you a special deal, even though Iâ€™ll probably end up losing money and my overseas suppliers will be VERY angry. And you donâ€™t want to see these guys when they get angry. One hundred and twenty shekels, but that is my final offer.â€
â€œItâ€™s a deal,â€ I said. Then I collected my lulav and etrog, exited the shady basement, and returned to my apartment ready to get spiritually high during the joyous holiday of Sukkot.
What did you think I was talking about?????
Eric M. Danis shakes his lulav in Modiâ€™in, Israel, but still remembers his childhood every time he sees the Boston Celtics flag that proudly adorns his Sukkah.
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