Columns - 2009

    The Week That Almost Was

    by Doug Brook
    Southern Jewish Life columnist

    The following news briefs cover events that almost occurred. Any similarities to actual people or events are purely intentional.

    On the heels of recent domestic peace talks, the White House revealed today an attempt to apply a similar method to foreign policy.

    In the radical spirit of, albeit in a different direction from, the infamous Beer Hall Putsch, the White House announced plans for the Beer House Push.

    In it, President Obama resolved to resolve the everlasting lack of Middle East peace by inviting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to the White House for a beer.

    "It's a difficult situation, and I recognize that it might take two beers each," conceded Mr. Obama in announcing the initiative.

    Unfortunately, his count was still incorrect. Mr. Abbas declined the invitation, reminding Mr. Obama that Islam forbids the consumption of alcohol. Mr. Netanyahu also declined, because he prefers the Israeli brand Maccabee Beer, which is beer in name only.


    Two hikers encountered a bush on fire several hundred yards off the beaten path. Upon arrival, park rangers found a bush but there was no indication of fire consumption.

    The hikers insisted that they heard a booming voice coming from the bush, speaking in what sounded like an ancient language such as Aramaic.

    The park rangers summoned federal authorities, who placed the hikers under psychiatric lockdown pending full evaluations. A threat to national security has not been ruled out.


    An Orthodox man was trapped on an airplane and forced to fly on the Sabbath against his will.

    His four-hour flight, scheduled to land two hours before sundown on Friday night, left the gate nearly ninety minutes late. Due to extensive weather delays, the plane was held on the tarmac for nearly five hours without taking off.

    The man insisted to the flight crew that he had to be allowed to deplane so he would not violate the Sabbath by riding. The plane was not allowed to return to the terminal and safety policies did not allow deplaning on the tarmac except in an absolute emergency.

    The man ended up flying over two hours into the Sabbath. The airline also had neglected to load his kosher meal. He is reportedly consulting legal counsel for exactly what grounds he can use, and against whom, in potential litigation.


    Three trout fisherman observed a bearded man in a flowing white robe walking across the top of the Cuwakahogee River. One fisherman reportedly saw him well enough to observe that he wasn't getting his feet wet, though another man claimed this was mainly because he was wearing shoes.

    Authorities spent the next several days dredging the waterway for potentially shallow rocks or other objects he could have been walking on, without success.

    The fishermen were not available for comment, as they claimed the gefilte were biting so they had to get back to the water. Authorities are now dredging the fishermen for potentially shallow intellects.


    Authorities confirmed that three observatories around the world found that the Earth is still continually spinning on its axis as normal.

    This announcement is in response to several Jewish mothers who independently reported to authorities during the last week that the world had stopped spinning.

    Several of the women had children who recently decided to not become doctors or lawyers. Two others had either a single son or daughter whose relationship with another Jewish single didn't work out.

    Authorities confirm that such reports increase in the late summer each year, upon the approach of the High Holy Days, what with their inherent community gatherings and surreptitious social re-estimations during sermons.


    The Pentagon revealed that a state of heightened alert occurred for several hours last week off the eastern seaboard.

    Radar detected a vague, fast-moving contact. One technician, initially struggling for words, later described it as "a spirit moving over the face of the waters."

    The Air Force combat air patrol was immediately rerouted to the area but they reported no visual contact. Neither pilot reportedly knew the definition of firmament, either.


    Authorities arrested several ultra-religious rabbis in the New York area for alleged involvement in money laundering and acting as middlemen for organ transplants...

    Doug Brook is a writer in Silicon Valley who agrees with Yentl that nothing is impossible, though he hasn't seen the film. He also wants you to become a fan of The Beholder's Eye on Facebook. For more information, past columns, other writings, and more, visit

    Copyright Doug Brook. All rights reserved.