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Stunned and Stoned
by Albert Russo

“Don’t you worry Bonky,” said Avi reassuringly - I repressed a laugh, coz it was the first time I had heard someone call him that, and it rhymed with ... donkey, which served him right -,"we’re quite open-minded in this city you know, and in any case people behave where I’m taking you. It’s pretty kosher. Zoopy will be like a fish in the sea there."

"Hey, Mooky Nooky Tushy yourself," I retorted, trying to squint and blink at the same time, "you do have a problem with names in this country," I grumbled hoarsely, like a school principal who’d had too many cocktails, addressing all and sundry around the table, "either you call me Esmeralda, as it is written on my passport, or Esmée, Zapinette too, if you insist, orrr Zapy, but no other donkey names, ok!"

Mahmood started to giggle and to shake like a bloomin camel that’s found a water hole in an oasis, after having trotted ten days in the desert, and soon everybody guffawed, including Bonka.

After telling myself that I shouldn’t be a killjoy, I joined in the most stupid laughter this side of the Negev. Jeezette, what baboons we are!

In order to make me pass for a young adult, Shanty applied some of her own makeup on my face. The moment I saw myself in the compact mirror she lent me, I almost jumped out of my skin, on account that I looked like a ventriloquist’s puppet, or worse, like Nina Hagen’s baby sister, a real witch, with all that mascara, the layers of rouge on the cheeks and the black lines surrounding my eyes. My mum would have had a heart attack seeing me like this. But, low and bee hold, my Israeli buddies thought I was a stunner.

Unky Berky looked stunned all right, only in his case I was afraid he would swallow his tongue forever, coz he could hardly recognize his darling lil niece. So as to avoid that such an accident should occur, I asked Miki to order a triple gin and tonic for my uncle, whether he liked it or not, I know how to put my foot down in situations of emergency.

I won’t tell you about my experience at that nightclub, except that both my uncle and I came out of it completely deaf and bleary-eyed. How can people enjoy all them decibels for so many hours? I hate techno music, oh yeah I hate it with all my guts, and I don’t care if that’s what my generation goes for. It’s the kind of noise that can give an elephant instant diarrhea, let alone make its tiny eyes pop out of their socks and turn its jumbo ears into two overgrown lettuces that have suddenly become all whitered and floppy, on account of an unexpected heatwave, which here they call Hamsin.