Whose list?

I was preparing a shopping list with my wife: “bread, milk, wine, poison…” when my mind wandered and I thought of PM Netanyahu doing a similar chore. Only his list would be a bit different, “coalition, submarines, Iran, Hamas…” I thought, what would it be like to be involved in really important issues, life or death issues, things for which you could go down in history.

But then I remembered that in revisionist history it is the lives of ordinary men that count, not the supposedly great leaders or the chronicles of wars. Those who continue to live their lives under difficult circumstances should be the object of scrutiny. I could be another Isaac Leibowitz as in “A canticle for Leibowitz” by WIlliam Miller (what, you’ve never heard of that sci-fi classic – read it immediately) in which Leibowitz’s list (“pastrami on rye”) becomes an object of intense study for the survivors of an atomic war. What would they make of my list, and why is “poison” on it?

Those of you who read my blog will know that aliens were summoned by my Maytag washing machine because it felt it was not being treated properly (this is an optional feature). At first these aliens were no bother, but after a while, since they had found a comfortable haven, they started to get on my nerves. So I decided I would get rid of them. I tried being unpleasant to them, but they bared their sting ray probosces at me. So now I’m going to try poison. However, there is a problem, most human poisons are based on interfering with our metabolic system, for example cyanide blocks the respiratory process. However, I have no idea if these aliens have the same biochemical make-up as us. I don’t even know if they have DNA. Anyway I’ve decided to use rat poison on them, mainly because you can buy this over the counter. So I spread it around on the floor near the washing machine.

Now, it’s somewhat later and I can report that the rat poion did not kill the aliens, although it turned them a bright purple color, but it did kill a mouse I didn’t know I had here. Why doesn’t PM Netanyahu have these kind of problems? Maybe he can send the IDF over to get rid of the aliens. I’ve decided that the revisionist view of history is a load of crap.

Please note that I will be on vacation for a while. Yes, I need to get away from the aliens.

About the Author
Jack Cohen was born in London and has a PhD in Chemistry from Cambridge University. He moved to the US and worked at the National Cancer Inst. and then Georgetown Medical School. In 1996, he Moved to Israel and became Chief Scientist of the Sheba Medical Center. He retired in 2001 and worked as a Visiting Professor at Hebrew University Medical School for 5 years.