Guest Post by Eric M. Danis

Around this time of year, I always start feeling like I need a fix, something to just get me through the season. Inevitably, I call my local dealer. He’s got some great stuff, and he’s very discreet. He always has his biggest score at the beginning of autumn.

Usually, we meet in his basement. He doesn’t like his competitors (not to mention the licensed authorities) to view his wares, and the expansive yet private basement allows him to fully display his merchandise without fear.

“Come in,” he told me during our most recent meeting, his sneaky smile illuminating the dankly lit basement. “I understand you are again looking for a transcendent experience.”

“You know I am,” I said, hoping that my eagerness wouldn’t drive up his prices further. “This year I want to get REALLY high.”

“Well, you’ve come to the right place,” he said.

As I started examining the merchandise, my dealer started complaining about his competitors.

“This year the competition is worse than ever. There is practically a dealer on every street corner. It used to be that there was some honor among dealers, but now it’s a dog-eat-dog world, with everyone invading everyone else’s turf.

“And don’t even get me started on the customers. There is no loyalty. People jump from dealer to dealer, looking for the best prices.”

“I understand,” I said, hoping my sympathy would get me a cheap fix. After all, I desperately NEEDED his product. “So, how much are you charging this year.”

“150 shekels for everything,” he said.

I told him that sounded a bit steep, which caused an eruption.

“That is the market demand for the product!” he screeched. “Do you know how many customers I have? People are beating down my door for this stuff!”

“I don’t know,” I said. “Last year your product was a little leafy, and it didn’t seem 100 percent pure.” I pulled a magnifying glass from my pocket and carefully examined this year’s crop. I held the product close to my nose, like a connoisseur, and took a deep inhalation of the pungent aroma.

My play seemed to work. “OK,” he said, looking defeated. “I’ll cut you a special deal, even though I’ll probably end up losing money and my overseas suppliers will be VERY angry. And you don’t want to see these guys when they get angry. One hundred and twenty shekels, but that is my final offer.”

“It’s a deal,” I said. Then I collected my lulav and etrog, exited the shady basement, and returned to my apartment ready to get spiritually high during the joyous holiday of Sukkot.

What did you think I was talking about?????

Eric M. Danis shakes his lulav in Modi’in, Israel, but still remembers his childhood every time he sees the Boston Celtics flag that proudly adorns his Sukkah.

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