By: Dr. Abdul-Salam Ojeili
Translated by: Ibrahim Alalou
My other neighbor did not come threatening but apologizing. He said he said something and attributed it to me while I had nothing to do with it.
My neighbor owns a shop close to the clinic where he sells fresh fruits and vegetables.
He came and said:
– I know Doc you will laugh at what I tell you. I hope you do not feel disgrace towards me. Yesterday a man came to me and bargained me to buy a watermelon from my store. He asked about the price and I said half a Lira per kilogram.
He replied: No problem as long as I test the inside, which means it has to be ripe and red, and cut it for him to see with his eyes that it is as he wished.
My neighbor went on in detailing what had happened between him and the buyer which did not interest me and made be bewildered what the point of all his telling was.
I waited patiently to see the end of his tale and he resumed:
The man picked up a very large watermelon several kilos in weight and after I weighted it I took a knife to cut it I was disappointed to find it white fleshed and far away from ripening.
What can I do?
It will be a substantial loss for me. Then I told the man: What luck. Good to be like that. This is the watermelon I was looking for. I will not sell it to you.
The man asked: You are looking for it? Why?
I said: It is the watermelon that my neighbor, the doctor across the street, prescribes for patients who suffer from kidney stones. I will sell it to a patient who requested me to keep it for him.
The man replied: I suffer from kidney stones. I will buy it even if it is not red.
I said: Please. I will sell it to the patient for a higher price. Three-quarters of a Lira per kilogram.
The man said:
- No problem. I will pay you that price.
My neighbor added: So I sold that raw unripe watermelon to that man for that high price after I was selling the ripe one for half a Lira a kilo.
As the shopkeeper expected I laughed.
He said: I came so you forgive me of that white lie I attributed to you when I faked a prescription you did not make at all. Will you forgive me?
I laughed again and said: No problem. It seems you are a very clever.
This story and the one before are some of the tales I could have sent to the magazine I talked about in my introduction but I did not. And I do not regret it.
Because telling them to my friends and readers satisfy me.