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Is it illegal to be a sugar father?

Photo by José Martín Ramírez Carrasco for unsplash.com
Photo by José Martín Ramírez Carrasco for unsplash.com

“You’re a rabbi? What kind of job is that for a nice Jewish boy?”
-Author Unknown-

At the ripe young age of 70 on the morning of May 16, 2022, I received a call from Washington D.C. at 4:45am ET.

I did not pick up. The call was followed by a series of texts claiming to be FBI Special Agent Mr. Jones and that I needed to call him back right away; a serious investigation into Snapchat had caught my name in some kind of internet sting.

I was so startled, I googled the number and reread the texts and said out loud as Bashevis my cat, glared at me, looking frizzled.

With my gray kitty staring at me staring at my phone, my thoughts were vocalized in my still darken bedroom:

-This is highly unprofessional, Mr. FBI Special Agent Jones.

I blocked the number, and tried to go back to sleep thinking the FBI can send me a letter. I prefer a letter.

What illegal thing have I done? Except Western Union my young girlfriend $300 so she can pay the rent in Argentina. She is 19, and the nudes she sent me, well, I didn’t ask for. I was paying her rent for love and I didn’t want her in the streets. I have an addiction you see; of trying to save beautiful young Jewish women all around the world; though mostly from Argentina.

Despite my assured innocence I still pictured myself at FBI office in Miami explaining the situation to Special Agent Jones.

—Rabbi Guildenstern, we’ve noticed you send quite the bit of money to this woman Julieta.

—Yes, Mr. Special agent! She is my girlfriend.

The Special Agent returned a nice, hypocritical American smile at this.

—What’s so funny?

—Are you aware that you’re one of her many boyfriends?

—Perhaps, I said, but after she gets to know me better, she will dump all the rest.

—That’s funny. But let me ask you rabbi, did you know she was 16?

—-No, her Argentinian Cupid profile said 19

—-You sure about that?

—-Yes, am I allowed to show you? Is it illegal to be a sugar father? When did it become illegal? Please tell me.

—-It is not illegal to be a sugar father. On the contrary, rabbi, sugar fathers are highly encouraged by the American government. How else to prop up these failed Latin economies? We need mature, older bachelors like yourself to be sugar fathers.

He paused and looked at my cell phone on his desk and handed it to me.

I grabbed it and showed him a screen capture of my girlfriend’s profile that said 19.

—-You’re one lucky rabbi, you only lost $300. Your girlfriend scammed a Catholic Priest in Boca for $90,000. Now tell me rabbi, how can such a tech savvy older gentleman like yourself fall for such schemes?

—Do you not understand what I’m saying Mr. Special Agent? Do not come at me with hearsay and nasty rumors. This woman is my girlfriend. I am in a committed relationship and she is to come here, as soon as the American Visa is approved. She is definitely a Jew; she works at the Templo Libertad in the janitorial department. I only send her money when she is desperate.

—- But rabbi, there’s so many nice, age appropriate, available Jewish ladies in Miami.

—- Are you seriously asking me that, Special Agent? Have you even experienced the dating scene in Miami?

—Stop with the excuses and get out there, go talk to a real woman. Go hang out in Surfside more.

—-I am an old bachelor; born in Bet Leḥem. I am not from here. Do you know what it’s like to take out a woman on many fancy dinners only to tell you that she prefers a friendship? In Argentina I get to go on real dates. And who cares if they only want me for my green card—at least these women value the price of an American passport and the American ideal of freedom. The ones here don’t care anymore, they’re already here and take it for granted. These delusional American women want an idealized mensch that doesn’t exist. The Jewish women in Argentina are realists, and therefore love is allowed to bloom naturally.

–You don’t have to explain, Sugar Father. I understand.

–Thank you.

–You are free to go.

Special Agent Jones then stood up and made a motion with his right hand towards the door.  I stood up and grabbed my cell phone from his messy desk.

As I was leaving, I turned once again and said: please tell your brother, IRS Special agent Brian T. Jones, that I will return his early morning calls regarding my taxes as soon as I’m able.

About the Author
Fawzy Zablah was born in El Salvador but raised in Miami. Among his works is the short story collection CIAO! MIAMI and the novel RARITY OF THE CENTURY. His fiction has been published widely at Hobart, 3AM Magazine, Acentos Review and Expat Press. His short story, THIS MODERN MAN IS BEAT, was adapted into an award winning short film in 2015 currently playing on Amazon Prime. He is hard at work on a novel about the Arabs and Jews of Latin America with the working title of GITANES.
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