The Fly in the Ointment CrankaTsuris
Once upon a time, there lived a man named Shmulie Shmendrick. Shmulie Shmendrick was a special man because he owned the one ointment factory in the entire town. Shmulie Shmendrick had an ointment for everything. If you had a rash, he had an ointment for that. If you had sore muscles, he had an ointment for that. If you had a chest cold, it was not a problem. He had an ointment for that as well.
Because he had an ointment for every possible condition, Shmulie Shmendrick was the most beloved man in town. There was not a single person in town that did not use at least three of Shmulie Shmendrick’s ointments. The ointments were sold in jars, and it was very typical to find a fly in each of these jars of ointments. People never complained about the fly in the ointment because they were convinced that it was the fly in the ointment that gave the ointment its magical powers.
One day, Shmulie Shmendrick went to the finest restaurant in the town for dinner. He was seated at his special table, and he immediately ordered a cup of the fly soup. After the waiter brought over the soup, Shmulie Shmendrick looked at the cup of soup and saw a fly staring at him, flapping its wings.
The fly said to Shmulie Shmendrick; “I was flying all day looking for my family. I got tired from flying and looking all over. Finally, I asked this ladybug if she may know where they are. You know what she told me. She told me that they all ended up in one of your jars of ointment. Is that true?”
Shmulie Shmendrick was frightened by the talking fly, and immediately summoned the waiter.
“Yes, Mr. Shmendrick. How can I help you?”, asked the waiter
“There is a fly in my soup.”, Mr. Shmendrick exclaimed.
“But, Mr. Shmendrick. You ordered the fly soup.”, explained the waiter.
Mr. Shmendrick instructed the waiter:
“Just bring over a cup of the fly soup, but without the flies.”
In order to make his customer happy, the waiter came over and Shmulie Shmendrick was then presented with a big bowl of fly-free fly soup. However, he was so frightened by the talking fly that he was determined to sell jars of ointment without any flies. In fact, he personally inspected every jar of ointment, and if the jar of ointment had a fly, he would throw the jar of ointment out.
Unfortunately, Shmulie Shmendrick soon found out that selling jarred ointment without any flies was quite expensive, and he was unable to make a profit on selling these fly-free jars of ointment. Eventually, Shmulie Shmendrick had no choice, but to sell his beloved company.
Shelly Sheygitz saw the ad in the paper notifying everyone that the ointment company was up for sale. Immediately, Shelly Sheygitz ran to the ointment factory, and expressed his interest to Shmulie Shmendrick in buying his company. In fact, he was so interested, he told Shmulie Shmendrick to name his price.
Shmulie Shmendrick replied to Shelly Sheygitz:
“Mr. Sheygitz. I am not interested in the price. I am interested in one thing only. You have to promise me that if you buy this company, you have to sell ointment without any flies in the ointment.”
Mr. Sheygitz was very excited with this offer, and he offered his hand to Mr. Shmendrick.
“Deal!” he said.
Soon after, Shelly Sheygitz took over the ointment factory, and immediately went from selling the ointment in the large jars that had been used by Shmulie Shmendrick to tubes of ointment. Apparently, the flies were not able to fit inside the tubes, and the tubes were also much cheaper than the large jars used by Shmulie Shmendrick.
Everybody in town loved the tubes, and forgot about how they once thought that the fly in the ointment contained magical powers. They now believed that if there was a fly in the ointment, it must be impure and should be thrown away immediately.
Poor Shmulie Shmendrick was now remembered in town as the man who sold the dirty ointment. He was scorned by everyone in town. A child was walking with his mother, and when the mother saw that Shmulie Shmendrick was approaching them, they immediately crossed to the other side of the street.
“Who is that man?” the child asked.
The mother replied, “That is the man who put the fly in the ointment!”
“Ooh, that is gross!,” the child responded.
Shmulie Shmendrick died penniless and with a broken heart. Shelly Sheygitz, who made a fortune with the ointment factory, came to Shmulie Shmendrick’s bedside just before he passed.
Shmulie Shmendrick’s last words were: “If I only knew about the tubes.”
To this day, people have big problems with the person who put the fly in the ointment. This is interesting because you never really hear complaints about flies at a picnic. We do not want mosquitoes or bees showing up because they bite. Also, those ants can be really annoying at a picnic. If we have a picnic, and the only flying object we encountered was a fly, we would all consider the picnic a huge success.
With our own CrankaTsuris, we become too accustomed with not wanting to feel any discomfort. We train ourselves wanting to swat the fly. There are some bugs that bite and cause severe pain, and perhaps, there should be some consideration given to swatting them. However, that is a severe form of CrankaTsuris that is not dealt with here, and any such discussion would open up a hornet’s nest.
Yet, even with the biting bugs, we should always be reminded that we need the bees to bring us the honey. Our survival depends on the bees, and the sweetness they provide.
Because of this, instead of looking at the fly in the ointment as some impurity, we should begin to look at ourselves and remind each other that we are all flies in the ointment at some point. We each get lost in the CrankaTsuris ointment, and sometimes, we feel stuck. However, once we think of ourselves as being the fly in the ointment, we can learn to help each other get out of the ointment.
And, what happens sometimes when we get stuck in the ointment? We learn that even the ointment can have magical powers and help us be more effective in dealing with our personal CrankaTsuris.