Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter

Jolly Solly: Streetlights

R. Atkins

Mr. Krankowitz glanced out of a nearby window — to his surprise all of Sunny Lane was in darkness. Whatever in the world was going on?

Thursday, February 02, 2017

 Mishpacha image

Photo: Shutterstock

I t was the weirdest thing. One minute Mr. Krankowitz was sitting in his favorite armchair, smoking his pipe and reading the evening newspaper — and the next thing, there was a little “pop,” and all the lights in the house went out.

Muttering crossly to himself, the old man got up to check what was going on. He tried flipping a few different light switches on and off, but it was no use. None of them was working.

Mr. Krankowitz glanced out of a nearby window — to his surprise all of Sunny Lane was shrouded in darkness. Whatever in the world was going on?

The door of the house next door was flung open, and he was just able to make out Fishel and Faivish Friedman racing out, waving their arms and yelling, “It’s a blackout!”

The Morrises’ door opened next, and Bracha — who’d come for a short visit from Eretz Yisrael with her lively toddler Avi — appeared with a flashlight. “A blackout!” she exclaimed. “All the lights in the entire street have gone out.”

“Humph! Well, I don’t suppose there’s much to be done about it until the powers that be get things sorted out,” Mr. Krankowitz grumbled to himself. But then an alarming thought struck him. “What about my rosebushes? I’m sure it can’t be good for them to be sitting in pitch darkness. Ha! I’d better call the electric company.”

With some difficulty, the old man managed to find some matches and light a candle. By its flickering light, he located the telephone number of the electric company, and dialed. Fortunately, the telephone was still working normally.

“Good evening, how may I help you?” a bored-sounding voice asked.

“How may you help me? Ha!” spluttered Mr. Krankowitz. “I’ll tell you exactly how, and you’d better be quick about it too. You can get the lights working again, that’s how. Do you know what this dreadful darkness is doing to my roses? They’re looking poorly already, I tell you. What in the—”

“Sir, this is the electric company, not a garden center. Good night.” And with a click, the call was disconnected.

Mr. Krankowitz was livid. How dare they hang up on him! What a nerve! He had a good mind to complain to the mayor, and maybe the president too. He marched out to the front again to check on how his roses were bearing up — and heard a familiar, cheery voice from somewhere nearby. It was Jolly Solly! There was the clown across the road, his jolly hat glowing cheerfully in the dark, talking to some neighbors about the blackout.

Related Stories

Jr. Tales: Dark Secrets

Y. Bromberg

“Scaredy-cat,” Chavie said, shaking her head. “What do you think you’re going to find out? That ther...

History Highlights: Baghdad

Rabbi Meir Goldberg

When most people think of Baghdad, they think of wars and armies fighting over it. But for thousands...

Another Kind of Revolution

Avital Jeidel

Most people would prefer to go to sunny, safe Florida for midwinter break, and you couldn’t pay them...

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.

Using Our Free Will Effectively
Yonoson Rosenblum The image we carry of ourselves is key
Eytan Kobre The ripple effects of one Jew’s kiddush Sheim Shamayim
Living the High Life
Rabbi Avrohom Neuberger It is exhilarating to matter, to be truly alive
It’s Time for Us to Speak Up
Rabbi Dovid Eliezrie We must speak out proudly for the values of Yiddishkeit
Kiruv Is Not Dead
Rabbi Meir Goldberg Do these sound like uninspired or closed students?
Frosting on the Cake
Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman “Let’s not let a missing chocolate cake ruin our siyum!”
A Warm Corner in Flatbush
Yosef Zoimen It was a simple shul with a choshuve leader
Out of Control
Jacob L. Freedman “That’s illegal, Dr. Fine. I can’t have a part in this”
Song of Reckoning in the Skulener Court
Riki Goldstein “It’s awe-inspiring to watch the Rebbe sing this song”
“U’teshuvah, U’tefillah, U’tzedakah”
Riki Goldstein Throughout the Yamim Noraim, three words accompany us
The Rebbe Held His Gaze
Riki Goldstein A moment etched in Reb Dovid Werdyger’s memory forever
The Road Taken
Faigy Peritzman In the end it’s clear who really merits true happiness
Sincere Apology
Sarah Chana Radcliffe A heartfelt and complete apology can turn things around
Power Pack of Mercy
Mrs. Shani Mendlowitz The 13 Attributes of Mercy are “an infinite treasure”
The Appraiser: Part II
D. Himy M.S. CCC-SLP, and Zivia Reischer “Eli needs to see people who struggled to achieve”