The other day Hassan agha came to see me. He lives in Ohio and, I hate to say, he visits me on the first day of April every year. He is a good man with a good heart and nothing gives him more pleasure than to tease people, specially on April Fools’ Day. So after a short hello and how are you, we sit in his car and go to the nearest mall so Hassan agha can do what he does best.
The first store he enters is the houseware and furniture store, Crate and Barrel. He darts to the first salesperson and demands, “give me three barrels and eight crates.” The salesperson is taken aback and replies, “sorry we don’t sell barrels and crates.” Hassan agha takes the salesperson outside and points to the store name and reads it, “Crate and Barrel. Now give me three barrels and eight crates.” “But sir we don’t sell these items,” the salesperson stutters. “So you lie to your customers, draw them in and then switch the merchandise? This is illegal and I am going to get Weissman, Weissman, and Hassan Kachal to come after you,” Hassan agha threatens. “Who are these people?” the salesperson asks with a shaky voice. “They are my lawyers and they handle all my lawsuits,” Hassan agha barks at the salesperson and leaves the store with his head high up. I follow sheepishly with my head down, trying not to be noticed.
He next enters the store two doors down and I follow. Hassan agha slowly approaches the young salesperson and with a low voice asks, “young lady, please tell me what is the secret that the owner of this establishment has and is hiding from her customers?” The salesperson looks puzzled, so Hassan agha asks again, “what is this Victoria person hiding from us?” “It is just a name. Victoria’s Secret is just a name and nothing more.” She answers trying to be as convincing as possible. Hassan agha asks, “have you ever seen a movie called Victor Victoria? I think in reality Victoria is Victor and THAT is his secret.
Hassan agha comes out and I follow. He then asks me if we could grab a sandwich from Subway? I think to myself that the pranks are over and happily agree. We enter the restaurant and he goes to the counter and orders a foot-long sandwich for himself, while I take my time deciding what to order. After a few minutes the server brings his sandwich and places it on the counter. Hassan agha looks at the sandwich and asks the lady, “how long is this sandwich?” “One foot,” she answers. “How do you know it is a foot long if this is the first time you see me here?” Hassan agha asks. The serving lady looks at Hassan agha with puzzled eyes. In three seconds flat Hassan agha has taken his shoe and sock off and has lifted his foot up and on the counter next to the sandwich, and asks, “is the length of this sandwich anywhere near the size of my foot, lady?” “Oh my God, you have such a big foot! It must be at least eighteen inches long!” the lady announces excitedly. There are lots of ooos and aaas from the other women customers, some standing up clapping, whistling, and carrying on as if they had just won Hassan agha and were taking him home for dessert. The counter lady then lovingly explains to him that they use a ruler to measure the sandwiches and not the customers’ feet. She offers him a free bag of chips, all the time giving him that “I wish you were mine, baby” look. While we are having our lunch Hassan agha receives four personal phone numbers from customers. Three from very attractive and blushing ladies and one from a very handsome gentleman.
We get out of the restaurant and I notice that Hassan agha is wearing his jacket without having his arms in the sleeves. He asks me to button him up. I do without asking why. He then turns and winks to follow him into the Men’s room. I follow and not knowing what is about to happen, start washing my hands with soap and water. The door opens and an old man walks in. Hassan agha goes to him and says, “I am terribly sorry to ask you this, but I’ve lost both my arms in war and I need to use the urinal. Can I be bold enough to ask you to help me?” Well, you should have seen the look of horror on the poor man’s face. He bends down and open’s Hassan agha’s zipper and with two trembling fingers very carefully looks for Hassan agha’s alendelon. After half a minute of looking he decides to engage more of his fingers and very soon he has all his ten fingers in there searching. “I can feel your nuts son, but where the heck is your Johnny Dollar?” So Hassan agha asks him to count all his fingers and if he counts eleven, then the eleventh one must be IT. The man complies but to no avail. Hassan agha thanks the man and tells him that he needs to rush home and have his nurse use her special tweezers to find the lost thing.
We come out and I feel the sweat of embarrassment washing down my face. “We should leave now as it is getting late,” I say and head toward the parking lot. I can’t help myself not to comment on what I just witnessed in the Men’s room, “Hassan agha, for a man with such a large shoe size you must have the tiniest you know what.” He turns to me smiling and says,” Victoria is not the only one with a secret. This morning before coming to see you, I duct taped my Yul Brynner to my chest.”
I am so glad that I will not see Hassan agha till the next April Fools’ Day.