Shashi Ishai

ASK AVIGAIL: Don’t Vote Pro on Crastination, or Things Will Never Get Done!

Dear Avigail,

I am writing to you from what was once the tribe of Gan. But, after I tell you what happened, Avigail, you will understand why Gan is gone. Because of my husband, Murray’s, procrastination disorder, it was beyond his culpabilities to take out the garbage; the stench became unbearable. Nearby hostile nations threatened to declare war on us. You’d think a war would be fought to acquire a better view, a more dependable aqueduct system, nearer access to wells, better school systems (with chalk!)  No, they wanted to burn and pillage our village – and install a system providing cross ventilation.  Soon, these tribes, not noted for its impressive list of card-carrying Mensa holders, began to attribute life’s ills to the mysterious odor: camels born with two humps, rather than the standard one hump, various plagues, for instance, the sudden tying up of single lane, caravan route traffic, etc.  I was not to sit around and listen to the latest rumors; so, I managed to drag Murray out of the tent, with his personal refuse collection, and hide in an oasis, till I think of what we should do. It is hard to find good lodging.  The signs say: NO PETS OR LIVESTOCK. And, every time we try to “blend in” and travel with a herd of no mads, they no sooner get irate.

Thanking you for a speedy reply,

Esme Esterholz

Dear Esme,

First, listen to this perfect quote of advice; “take it with a grain of salt.” The parting words from Lot’s wife.  Everything has a solution…

Talk about perfect timing!  Today, at 3pm, we had an urgent, pre-Exodus meeting. The slaves had permission to get off work, on the pretense of discussing better organizational techniques for storing straw and other combustable materials. I took the minutes, while Moses spoke.

  • No man or boy twelve or older leaves Egypt, without a circumcision. This is not an option, nor is it a fashion trend. It is a direct message from the Lord. You have a choice to go to Bernie Salzer, the butcher, and tell him “JUST A SLIVER “or; go to the barber, and tell him “JUST A TRIM.” Do not pay; but, you can tip depending on how happy you are with YOUR tip. REMEMBER. DO IT NOW. DON’T PROCRASTINATE.  The bus will leave, whether you are on it, or not.

Other lesser topics were discussed. Raisel Lavenhar questioned whether we should separate our garbage into meat and milk, but got hit in the head with a dried carob, indicating a swift nay.

A special reminder for everyone to get their EMUNAHzation shots, before we leave camp. Loss of faith and hope are difficult to heal, when you are smack in an abysmal hole, somewhere near Jumbuck, Egypt, without batteries.

Mothers should go to their children’s’ teachers and try to get homework…perhaps for eternity.

I went to Ramses Jr. High to see if I could get homework assignments for Shloime. First, I went to Shloime’s Biology Teacher, Ray Horace. I wanted to personally thank him. He taught the class the term, “HOMEOSTASIS.” I am not talking about the time he mistakenly said testicles, instead of tentacles; rather, the theory that no living organism can maintain complete balance, at any given moment. To me, this is the meaning of life. As soon as you sweep the tent floor, and your home looks like the front cover of DESERT DESIGN TODAY, your son and his entire hunting team will ravage your gourd collection, in the pursuit of creating a new record for drinking the most aloe vera!

And lastly. I stuck my head through the canvas hole of Ms. Ioannidis Hieroglyphics Lab. She was a spoil of war from a local skirmish with the Greeks, but soon landed a good job within the Pharaoh’s school system.

It was discovered that Shloime had a learning disability. He was ditzlexic. Try teaching a ditzlexic hieroglyphics! My only consolation was that it is NOT a spoken language!!!! She had so much patience with Shloime; she deserved my heartfelt thanks…

I got back to the tent. Nobody was there. I heard there was a big run for gauze at the embalming hall, as the men folk reluctantly fulfilled their promise to G-d. However, waiting for me, was an Angel. He introduced himself as a Messenger of the Lord, but the wings were an instant giveaway.  I reached into my toga, for a tip, and remembered I had no pockets. He rose from a chair. I have come to tell you that the Lord is very disappointed in your husband, Moses. If he thinks he is above the law by NOT getting his penis circumcised, he should know that the whole Exodus will be cancelled, the sandwich caterer and all. Generations from now, you will all be stuck as slaves, and you shall walk like an Egyptian.

Oh no, please have mercy on him. He truly forgets to do things. He promises to do them later, but later comes too late. What can I do to help?

Do you have a straight razor?

I know I have a toothpick. Wait, as a matter of fact, I do!

You must humiliate him at a gathering. Throw a weenie roast in his honor. Maybe that will jar his memory. He has until Wednesday, when the sundial casts a shadow at 4pm, sharp.

Thank you, kind messenger. Have a drink of water, before you go.

That night, I threw a weenie roast. Everyone came. At the sight of the wieners, the men involuntarily groaned. They were healing from their ordeal, but nevertheless, downed a few with homemade pita. Moses was slapping backs, working the tent. The butcher and the barber both came up to him, simultaneously. Suddenly, my husband’s expression changed, as did his complexion. He fainted, his face a shade of pussy willow white. We thought it as an opportune moment to perform the Bris, and wrapped him up in an entire cotton silo, this side of the Nile.

So Esme, even Moses could not overcome his procrastination problem. If this papyrus gets to you in time, I invite you to join the Exodus. Obviously, we are walking VERY SLOWLY, and I am sure you will be able to catch up to us.

As far as the lost tribe of Gan…I’m sure they will eventually turn up somewhere.



About the Author
Shashi Ishai is a former stand-up/cartoonist from Teaneck, N.J. She resides in Netanya with her husband, Yacov; daughter, Zehava; son Zaki and dog, Stanley .Shashi is the author of ASK AVIGAIL: Advice from a Biblical Era Sagette, available on Amazon.