Friday, 1 April 2011

Late Night Blog Search Caller


I’ve just finished a very surreal conversation, not affected in the least by the fact that I was woken up at 1am by the caller. Rather than paraphrase the conversation I’ve woken myself up enough to write down most of what was said the late-night caller and I.


“Hallo?” The voice sounded American but muffled as if the speaker had placed a handkerchief over the receiver. “Is this Shimon Tomski, the Trainee Golem Builder?”

“Yes, this is Simon Tomasi.” I tiptoed out of bed and headed downstairs in order to carry on the conversation without waking up anyone else.

“Listen Shimon!” the called shouted ecstatically. “I found your vlog!”

Having just woken up by a strange caller and fumbling for the light switch downstairs this was all a bit too much to take in at once.

“Do you mean my blog?”

“Vatever,” suddenly his voice became a lot clearer. “Anyvay, let me introduce myself. My name is Rabbi Bar-zel Arieh Tzion, perhaps you might have heard of me?”

I sat down, paused and the gears in my brain slowly started turning. “Sorry no, but for some reason it reminds me of a song by Bob Marley.”

“Ya, Ya,” he continued excitedly. “I need you to make me something…”

“Wait a second Rabbi,” my brain was still several minutes behind in the conversation. “How did you say you found my blog? If you found out about it by an online search, can I assume that you are not part of the communities that shun the use of the internet?”

“Sure, Sure,” he whispered. “The world wide interveb is forbidden. I got a flyer through the door explaining all about how it is treif and corrupts the young people. But don’t you vorry about me Shimon; I did a search on Google in something, my son assured, me is called Cyberspace.”

“Uh Rabbi,” I was about to attempt the herculean task of trying to explain the internet to a Rabbi at 1am when he interrupted me again.

“Listen Shimonelle,” he cooed. “I search this Google thing with the words Agile, Self Regenerating and Golems. Then guess what?”

“You found my blog?” I answered hoping that I could finish the conversation quickly and cordially. My bed was calling to me and my legs had already decided to go to sleep without waiting for the rest of me.

“Yes, your vlog.” He sounded very pleased with himself. Which for someone I pictured as a white bearded Luddite calling from across the Atlantic would be considered an achievement.

 “Just a moment Rabbi,” something was very wrong here I realized. “How did you get my number?”

 “Oh,” he responded sounding even more pleased with himself. “I asked a Maggid”.

“A Maggid,” now he had my full attention. “Do you mean the human type of Maggid that goes from town to town as a preacher? Or do you mean the angelic type of Maggid who teaches secrets?”

“I dialed 0800-Maggid”, he said as if speaking to a child. “I thought you were the smart one with technology Shimon.”

I stamped my feet less out of frustration than to try to get the circulation going again so that I could go to the kitchen and make some coffee.

“Anyvay Shimon, vat can you tell me about my search words?” has asked. “I came up with them after some delicate Divination work”. I could tell by the background noise that he was holding his breath.

“Well…” I answered feeling the gears finally warming up. “Agile is a term in Project Management that refers to a way of working in which the development can respond quickly to change. It means that the work adapts quickly to change and promises greater chance of delivering what the customer wants.”

During my answer I could hear the breathing commence and the sounds of a pencil scribbling furiously in the background.

“Self Regenerating….” I pondered. “This to me means the ability to rebuild, to repair oneself in the way that some lizards that lose their tails are able to re-grow them. You might like to do some research on Totipotency and the ability to regenerate plants from a small number of cells.”

“Gut, Gut,” he answered whilst the scribbling continued. His repetition of words was beginning to get on my nerves. “And Golem I know already. You use Sefer Yetzirah to make a man of clay come to life. That is great Shimon, you have linked all three vords together.”

“Actually Rabbi”, I corrected him rather tersely. “I’ve not combined the search phrases.”

“Oh,” he sounded rather deflated. “But I need to know what they mean together. Whatever it is, I need you to build it for me by Tuesday.”

I was about to remind him that he was the one who came up with the search phrases when a moment of Chochmah inspiration blazed in my mind like a mini-supernova.

“What! You want me to make you a self regenerating golem that is able to adapt quickly? What you are describing sounds very much like the Borg.” My patience had finally run out. “They are a fictional race in the Star Trek TV show. Man-machine hybrids that have a hive mind and are hell-bent on assimilating everything in their path to make it just like them.”

“The Vorg?” he sounded perplexed.

“Vatever,” I shouted and slammed down the phone. I then picked it up again and pressed the “end call” button before storming off to bed.