Short story 22

Caroline was beautiful and intelligent. Her husband Karl, was a giant. People said that he was proof that Homo Sapien had interbred with homo Neanderthalis, His bald head sloped backwards and he had immense strength. His wrists were as thick as most people’s thighs. Nearly every evening he frequented the pubs of Hampstead where he cadged drinks off acquaintances.

What he did during the day was anybody’s guess, which is why he never had any money to buy drinks for somebody else.

 Caroline was a literary agent, very successful and admired by all; men and women.; petite, immaculately groomed, articulate, with an infective sense of humour.

Nobody could understand how such a couple could have married. What that same body of society did not know is that they had come to England together on the Kinder Transport. There were no relatives or even other friends for support but each other while they grew up. They had step parents who had cared for them, who spoke a different language to start with, during the formative years, with whom they kept on friendly touch, but their only close support had been each other.

Caroline was a literary agent .George used to visit her for afternoon tea, when they would discuss, literature, painting, music and gardening. They would sometimes play table tennis, but the main attraction was Caroline’s encyclopaedic knowledge.

Suddenly overnight Karl had two books published in English and German, and a play performed in Berlin. Everybody stood back in amazement as the balance of power changed between them. Instead of Karle being Caroline’s husband, Caroline was Karle’s wife.

It was when George was round at their house one afternoon, discussing the racial subconscious and Freud, as one did, when it came up that George was not Jewish. Both were amazed.

“But most of your friends think you are Jewish,” Caroline offered.

“It never crossed my mind that people would take me as such.”

“I’m sure they do. Ask them.”

George did ask them. His Jewish friends said “Yes.” They had always assumed he was, but his non Jewish friends said that it had never entered their minds.”

George was puzzled. He then went round and asked his Jewish friends, “Why?” Most gave unsatisfactory non committal answers. That is until he asked John, who found it very funny. “Well you are intelligent, and talented, therefore you must be Jewish in their reasoning,” he said with a big smile on his face, “They are still stuck back in the middle ages, in both their thought and relegion.”

John was that rare creature an anti-Semitic Jew,

“We are the chosen people after all!”

(His smile broadened, “What is the difference between the chosen people and the master race?”)


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Thank you, Keith Beal