On her way home, Chana stops by her friend’s house.
Chana: I can only stay one minute.
Friend: Are you mad at me?
Chana: Why would I be mad at you?
Friend: I don’t know, but you have a weird look on your face.
Chana: What look? I just came to tell you something.
Friend: If you’re angry, just say it. Don’t beat around the bush.
Chana: I’m not angry.
Friend: Whatever. I know that look.
Chana: Do you want to hear what I came to tell you, or not?
Friend: Of course! But I know what it is. It’s about my birthday, right?
Chana: When is your birthday?
Friend: Very funny! It’s about my birthday this weekend, right? Are my kids in on this?
Chana: I don’t know when your birthday is, and it has nothing to do with your kids.
Friend: If they’re thinking about giving me a surprise party, don’t let them. You know how much I hate surprises. I’m counting on you to put a stop to it.
Chana: Nobody’s planning to surprise you with anything. If your kids call me about your birthday, I’ll tell them you hate surprises. But I don’t believe you. Everybody loves surprises, even if they say they don’t.
Friend: See? You do know! What are they planning? Is my husband in on this?
Chana: There is no “this!” You’re driving me crazy! I wasn’t angry when I came in, but I’m getting pretty frustrated now.
Friend: OK, OK, have it your way. You realize, of course, that I’m on to you, but I won’t keep asking about the party. Just one little thing: Are they inviting a lot of people?
Chana: Do you ever let anything go? Out of pure, unadulterated friendship, I came here to tell you something, but I’m finished here. Your obsessive nature is coming out, and I have to leave before I strangle you. Goodbye!
Friend: See how fast you get mad? I ask one simple question, and, instead of giving me a straight answer, you overreact.
Chana: Yes, clearly, I’m the one who’s overreacting, not you. And now I’m out of here.
Friend: But, wait, you claim that you came over to tell me something. So tell me, already.
Chana: All right. Just listen. Do not comment. Do not interrupt.
Friend: I’m listening.
The phone rings, and Friend notes the caller ID. Friend looks imploringly into Chana’s eyes: Can I answer it? Chana nods, magnanimously, and Friend takes the call.
Friend: That was my daughter, with some lame questions about watching her kids this weekend. I could tell she’s keeping something from me. You know all about it, don’t you? You might as well just tell me and get it over with.
Chana: I was on my way home from the farmers market. I came to offer you some of the cucumbers I bought. I also came to tell you that one of my neighbors found a great handyman. You need somebody to fix your door, and I came to help you. That’s what friends do: They help each other. They don’t give their friends the third degree about things that don’t even exist.
Friend: I can see that you’re really upset. I’m sorry. I had to take that call because it was from my daughter. Don’t leave. Please give me the name of the handyman, and let me take a look at the cucumbers.
Chana gives Friend the handyman’s name, and they walk together to Chana’s car. Friend selects two cucumbers, and Chana starts to drive home.
Chana’s cellphone rings just as she’s about to pull out of Friend’s driveway. It’s Friend’s daughter.
Friend’s daughter: I just talked to my mother, and she told me you were there. You didn’t tell her about the surprise party, did you?
Chana: Of course not. See you Sunday!