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Jr. Tales: Idea Man

Rivka Small

Suddenly, Yitzy realized that the voice that had said “Enter” belonged to Uri’s grandfather. By then, it was too late to turn around

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

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Y itzy knocked on his best friend Uri’s door, and the call came from inside to come in. Yitzy realized belatedly and with a sinking feeling that the voice that said “Enter” belonged to Uri’s grandfather. By then, it was too late to turn around.

Yitzy liked Zeidy Krauss, but he knew the older man had a tendency to tell long stories, mostly about the many devices he had invented in his younger years. He also had a tendency in the middle of the story to suddenly and unexpectedly ask a sharp question about the content, which ruled out a listener being able to nod off while listening. Yitzy was a polite boy, and when he caught sight of Uri’s grandfather in the armchair, he smiled widely and said, “Hello. How are you feeling, Mr. Krauss?” “Baruch Hashem, can’t complain. Because if I do everyone stops listening to me!” He chuckled, “That’s a joke. Nice to see you, Young Yanky.”


“No, no. Asher Zelig, but you should know not to call an old man like me by my first name.” The conversation was starting to confuse Yitzy, so he asked, “Would you know if Uri is here, Mr. Krauss?”

At that moment, Uri staggered into the living room under the weight of a very large… thing. He panted, “Where should I put it, Zeidy?”

“Put it right down there, that’s a good boy, Uri.” So Uri dropped the large aluminum thing with a crash onto the floor.

“Yikes, watch the Unhoister!” Zeidy yelled, just as Uri’s mother yelled from the kitchen, “Yikes! Watch the wood! We just had that refinished!”

“The Un-what?” Yitzy asked in fascination, staring at the object that had just gouged a chunk out of the wood floor. The object reached his waist and looked like a metal bunk bed that could sleep four, one on top of the other, but compacted so the “beds” were one right on top of the other.

“Unhoister,” Uri replied, his breathing back to normal. “It’s for taking down the succah.” “Succah! You haven’t taken down your succah yet?” Yitzy wanted to know.


“We took down the succah a while ago, but someone wants to see Zeidy’s Unhoister to see if he wants to market it for next year Succos.”

“It’s for so much more than taking down a succah!” Zeidy pointed out. “It saves a person untold back pain and unending annoyance of running steps!”

“Why? What does it do?” Yitzy asked. He knew Mr. Krauss had been some kind of inventor in his younger years, and everyone knows that any inventor likes to explain his inventions for approximately three times as long as it actually took to invent them.

“What does it do, you ask?” Zeidy boomed. “This piece of machinery is specifically designed for handing succah boards and sechach down from raised ranch houses — known as bi-levels some places — decks, and from second-floor porches and roofs by one person disassembling the succah to a second person standing below. You see—”

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