M r. Krankowitz snorted in disgust at the memory of his recent doctor’s appointment. He had been advised, of all things, to take up a sport or do more exercise. What did the doctor expect him to do? Whizz around on roller blades like Fishel and Faivish Friedman? Scoot around on a scooter like Moishy Morris? Or maybe turn somersaults like Jolly Solly?
The fellow was an idiot, decided Mr. Krankowitz. Pah! For two pins, he’d hit him with his walking stick — that would be exercise alright, the crotchety old man thought to himself grimly.
But as Mr. Krankowitz went out to the front garden to water his roses and felt the usual twinges in his joints and muscles, he groaned out loud. Hmm… maybe the doctor had a point after all.
The next day, a few more painful twinges helped him make up his mind. He would visit the sports shop on the high street, and ask them for some advice.
“Good afternoon,” he announced loudly as he entered the store, waving his walking stick. “I need some assistance.”
An eager-looking young man hurried forward.
“Yes, sir! How may I help you, sir? Are you looking for a football for your grandchildren, perhaps? We have a whole range of balls: big balls, small balls, medium balls, hard balls, soft—”
“Pah! Grandchildren? What grandchildren?” scoffed Mr. Krankowitz. “My doctor told me to take up sports. What d’you have to offer?”
The salesman looked doubtfully at the old man. Something told him that the usual skateboards and soccer balls wouldn’t go down too well.
Then his face brightened.
“We’ve an excellent range of exercise machines,” he announced brightly. “Over here is a top-of-the-line exercise bike. It has settings for—”
“What d’you do with it?” asked Mr. Krankowitz suspiciously.
“Well, you sit in the seat and pedal in one place.”
“What, you mean it doesn’t even go anywhere?” responded Mr. Krankowitz in disbelief. “I’m not paying good money for a bike that doesn’t go anywhere.”
The salesman looked around desperately for something better.
“Well, we do have a selection of racing bikes,” he offered doubtfully. “They range from eight speeds to—”
The old man spluttered angrily.
“What’s a man of my age going to do with a racing bike? Ridiculous idea. What else do you have to offer? And make it snappy, before I decide to go elsewhere.”
I don’t mind if you do, thought the salesman to himself, not sure what to do with this difficult-to-please customer.
After Mr. Krankowitz had turned down a few other items, the salesman wiped his brow.
“Sir, I don’t think we have any sports equipment suitable for your — er — talents,” he declared. “Perhaps you’d like to try the sports shop in the center of town.”
Muttering and grumbling, the old man walked off. He decided he’d had enough of shopping for one day, and made his slow, plodding way home.
He was about to enter the front gate, when he heard a commotion from next door. (Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 666)