Monthly Archives: May 2014

Farfetched? Moi?

Well yeah, this little post is in fact far-fetched, As it were. And how!
These three odd phrases in English have,curiously enough, exact word-for-word equivalents in Hebrew; a fact I found comfortingly silly. The question is of course which language led off with the annointment of, for example, ‘and how!’ to the post of emphatic stress-maker. Similarly m,y neighbor’s wife just introduced herself as ‘Galore‘, adding that I’ll probably ‘never remember the name’. Ha, I’ll never forget it; the name’s got memorabilia galore. And how!

Ok, now to the far-fetchedness I promised.


Yes, that was the curt dialogue between this year’s Song & Art Contest-host Dr Abraham Fleischer, a surgeon who’d made malpractice what it is today, a bumbler probably better at being a sturgeon than his chosen profession, and one of his ‘victims’, who’d entered the contest under an alias and with vengeance in his heart.
Chester Omani did indeed have a solid ‘causus belli’, his son having had a testicle mangled and eventually removed following a botched hernia(!) operation in ’73. At the hands of the un-repentant Fleischer. And so posing as ‘Chester Arthur Allen’, he filled out the paperwork and entered the Contest.
The Rules:
This may be the place to quickly explain how the competion worked. Each contestant was given a piece of chalk, an eraser and four (4) minutes at the big blackboard to draw a convincing image or diagram which Fleisher chose from a prepared list of suggestions submitted by the panel of 7 judges, art critics mainly, who scored the success or failure of the entrant’s efforts in real time by majority vote.
Music? Yes, one of the novelties which has made this contest interesting for going on thirteen years now, is the ‘Name that tune’ part, done simultaneously with the drawing. The rules are that if the contestant names two correctly, he/she can select a song to then accompany his remaining alloted time. Correct choices are added to the points total. And of course the unlucky soul with a temporary mental block will thus suffer listening to ‘Wipeout’ for example, while nervously trying to draw ‘Girl with a Watering Can’ or ‘The Solar System’.

Ok back to the Contest. Archive footage of this year’s event circulating on the net clearly show Fleisher, up until that point cool and confident attempting to conceal his shock upon seeing Chester mount the stage. Fidgeting with his lists, he chose the most obscure entry he could find: the failed ‘Triple Helix’ conjecture for the structure of DNA posited by an unknown italian biochemist who predated Watson and Crick’s largely correct model. Oscar Carlo Leonardo, for his efforts, is these days a historical footnote a Wiki stub. Sadly, since he almost got it right.
And so finally, the magic moment.

Chester appears to think deeply for less than five seconds, as I watched the playback, and surprisingly, no one in the audience seems to have responded to the insult ‘ONE NUT’
Our hero wasted no time drawing the helix, amino acids carefully laddering their way up the diagram. And better yet, he effortless named the first tune( ‘White Bird’ from the ancient ‘Fever Tree’ album of the 60s,) followed by ‘Tchaikovsky, 4th symphony, 3rd movement’. The judges were already convinced they had a winner when Chester turned to the DJ and said, as if pre-arranged :” Play that song Sam. You know the one.” (This three-second interchange played a crucial part in the subsequent trial with Samuel Leder, the DJ named as an accomplice by prosecution, while maintaining in his defence that he just thought of the remark as a humorous aside.)
At any rate it was shortly after the opening bars of Dinah Washington’s exquisite rendering of Noel Coward’s ‘Mad about the Boy’ that Chester said, haughtily:
Fleischer seemed to understand the significance of the title.

But whatever thoughts he may have had ended abruptly. Three bullets from Chester’s 9 mm handgun struck him at almost point-blank range. One to the head one to the heart and one for good measure, a bullseye between the legs.

Words have power, Dear Reader. Backwards or forwards.
Do listen to the tune here: