the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

A Story for Sophia


At 6:00 AM, I was dragged out of bed with a mighty force. I was carried along the floor like a sack of potatoes until I found myself in the living room, lying at the feet of a white-robed man with a long white beard. In his hand he held a staff made from the finest wood.

“Moses?” I asked, surprised.

“How dare you insult God in your last blog post.” he said. “You and I are mere men and we cannot judge God for his actions. He was especially pissed off about you telling him to “talk to the hand.””

“Tough. It’s my blog. If I want to show him the hand, I’ll show him the hand. I can say anything I want on MY BLOG… well, as long as Sophia approves of it first, and until I put Google Ads on the sidebar soon, which will restrict me from making fun of Google, and… oh, I can’t talk about my Aunt Tilly, who has been divorced four times and has a little bit of a drinking problem…”

“Is this what the Tribes of Israel have become… bowing down in front of false gold idols like the one you prominently display on this shelf for all to see?”


“Uh, Moses, that isn’t a false gold idol. V-grrrl sent this to me that after I wrote a post about the Peeing Boy of Brussels. And while I’m sure V-grrrl has money, I doubt she would send me anything made of real gold. My blog isn’t THAT good.”

“Apologize to God.”

“No. He’s been a pain in the ass lately. Sophia shouldn’t have to go through this again.”

“Why have you so hardened your heart?”

“And what do you care?”

“I am Moses. I have been sent by God.”

“Yeah, and what are you going to do about it?”

Moses lifted up his staff. The room lit up like a Hanukkah menorah as lightening blasted through the ceiling.

“With this staff I bring a plague of frogs into this home!”

Thousands of frogs jumped out of the Panasonic big screen TV. They covered everything, even opening the US Weekly magazine on the coffee table to read some article about the cast of “Gray’s Anatomy.”

“Eh, frogs don’t bother me. We already have silverfish in the bathroom. Have you ever seen a slimy silverfish? Now THEY are disgusting!”

“I have p–plenty of more p-plagues to inflict on you!”

“Huh? What did you say?”

“I have p-plenty of more p-plagues to inflict on you!”

“Wow, the Bible is right, Moses… you do stutter!”

“Tell me about it. Usually I have Aaron here to do all the talking. But I hate having such a Dependent Personality Structure. I wish Aaron wasn’t such an enabler.”

“You know, maybe Sophia can help. She does work as a dialect coach, after all.  In fact, she’s the best Russian dialect coach around. She’s worked with big Hollywood stars like Nicolas Cage to help them with their pronunciation.  Maybe she can help you stop stuttering.”

“Hmm… I don’t really have any money on me… a few shekels. I can’t pay much.”

“Moses, Moses, Moses, you glorious fool… we could never allow Moses to pay.”

“Ha ha ha… Moses, Moses, Moses… from the Ten Commandments, right?

“You’ve seen it?”

“Can you imagine that NRA nut Charlton Heston as me?! He’s about as goyish as they come.”

“Did you really have a thing with the Pharaoh’s daughter?”

“Nah. Besides she was fugly.”

“Let’s go wake up Sophia.”

I went upstairs to wake Sophia. She wasn’t too happy at being woken up, since she was up late last night watching poker. I thought her demeanor would change when I told her that Moses was downstairs, but instead, she seemed more upset.

“Did you clean up the living room before he showed up?” she asked.

“I had no time! I was dragged there.”

“That’s no excuse. I don’t want him seeing my underwear sitting on the couch. Take him into the kitchen and clean up the living room before I come down.”

I told Sophia about Moses and his stuttering.

“But why would you offer my services for free?” she asked.

“He’s Moses!’ I protested.

“First him, then the next thing you know — Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are all showing up, wanting things for free!”

Seeing that I already promised Moses, Sophia came down and started helping Moses with his speech.

Sophia’s tutoring of Moses went surprisingly well. Within a few hours, his stutter had practically disappeared.

“I love to preach
and eat a peach
while in Redondo Beach.” said Sophia. “Repeat that one more time.”

Moses took a deep breath.

“I love to preach
and eat a peach
while in Redondo Beach.”

“I think he got it!” I screamed joyfully.

“Mazel tov” said Sophia, and we all toasted him with some vodka.

“I feel like a new man.” said Moses.

“Can I be honest with you?” asked Sophia.

If there is one thing Sophia is famous for, it is speaking her mind.

“Shoot.” said Moses.

“Your hair is a mess. No one wears it so long anymore. I don’t mind that the hair is white. It looks good on men. But your white beard — it just makes you look so much older than you really are.”

“You think so? What can I do? I put myself in your hands. Darn it, there I am being dependent again! No, I want to change my appearance. This is for me. I think how your look outside sometimes reflects how you feel inside.”

“I know someone who can help,” said Sophia.

We all jumped in Sophia’s Prius. Moses was very impressed with the GPS system as we made our way to the Chris McMillan Salon in Beverly Hills. At first, Sally Hershberger‘s assistant said that the famed hairdresser was busy all day, but we were able to convince her to squeeze Moses in at 1:15.


“Holy Vidal Sasoon!” said Sally Hershberger. “This is going to be a challenge. Have you thought about what you would like, Moses?”

“Well, I brought in a few photos from US Weekly, but I know you’re famous for Meg Ryan’s shag cut. Do you think you can do something for me that has that layered look, but is still masculine?”

“Absolutely!” said Sally Hershberger.


Sophia and I put our “thumbs up” for Moses, and went next door to wait for him at the Coffee Bean. About a half hour later, the door opened and a middle-aged man entered. He had salt and pepper hair, a cleanly shaven face, revealing a strong chin, and he was wearing a new Armani suit. Moses had a gorgeous body, a glint in his eye, and you immediately knew this was an ethical cool dude. This was not the type of man who would covet his neighbor’s wife, but rather one who would be there for any emergency, like taking a friend to the airport.

It was Moses.

Every woman in the Coffee Bean turned to check him out, even girls half his age. Outside, Leonardo DiCaprio passed by the window, and no one noticed.


Moses stepped up to the counter.

“I’ll have a double latte,” he said, without any stutter, to the admiring female barista.

Sophia and I ran up and gave the big guy a huge hug.

“Jesus, Moses, you look fantastic!” said Sophia.

I was totally shocked at his transformation from dusty lawgiver to chic hearthrob.

“Wonders of wonders! Miracles of miracles!” I said.

The moment was short-lived, as suddenly it felt like there was a major earthquake. But it wasn’t an earthquake. It was only the Coffee Bean that was being shook around like a fragile leaf in a storm. The roof of the store flew off, as if a giant hand had pulled it away and tossed it across Wilshire Boulevard. A blinding light shot into the Coffee Bean from heaven itself, making us shiver with fear. The sound was deafening.

It was God.

“Moses? Moses? Where are you?”

Moses nervously stepped forward, holding his latte.

“I am here, God.”

“What have you done to yourself? You look more like an ICM agent than a lawgiver.”

“Listen, God, I love you. But I can’t be dependent on others forever. I’m my own man. And I like my new look. Why can’t I be a lawgiver AND still feel confident about myself?”

“Are you QUESTIONING ME, Moses?

“C’mon, God. Mellow out. How perfect are you? If you were really perfect, why do people get sick? Why is there cancer?”

Lightening flew down, smashing the cappuccino maker into pieces.

“How dare you speak to me like that?! I am the only God. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob…”

“OK, that’s it!” said Moses, angrily. “You made me spill my latte on my brand new suit!”

Moses looked up to God, raising his arm in protest.

“What are you trying to say to me, Moses?”

“I’m not saying anything to you, God! Talk to the hand!”



  1. mariemm3

    Laughing. Beautiful. Snort.

  2. ExpatJane

    Right now, I’m feeling about the same way as both you and Moses.

    Great story.


  3. deannie

    Too bad Moses lost the robes…something rather Hef like when a man wears his pajamas all the time…

  4. better safe than sorry


  5. Pearl

    Neil, B.R.I.L.L.I.A.N.T.

    I can just picture you standing in your living room, and taunting Moses: “Okay, Moses, so you think you’re so special, huh? Bring on those damn plagues. See if I care. You’re just a little ol’ puppet for G-d anyhow. Let him come and talk to me — face to face — and act like a man.”

    Neil, this piece deserves wider readership… Do something about it!

  6. Margaret

    Neil, I love the story, but to get back in good graces after teaching Moses the hand trick? I can’t imagine what you’re going to have to do, but if I were Sophia, I might tell the big guy I don’t know you

  7. Neil

    Pearl — Yes, I’ll send it to my rabbi for him to read as next year’s Rosh Hashana sermon.

  8. Otir

    Neiloshka, apparently neither you nor Moses have heard of tsimtsum. Too bad 🙂 That’s perfect for co-dependent personalities. Now do your homework!

  9. GreenCanary

    I second Margaret’s comment! Perhaps Sophia should stand a few feet away from you, lest lightening strikes! 🙂

  10. GreenCanary

    I second Margaret’s comment! Perhaps Sophia should stand a few feet away from you, lest lightning strikes! 🙂

  11. plain jane

    Neil, you are a brilliant. Love it. This should give Sophia a laugh and cheer her up.

  12. Finn

    I was contemplating having one of my infamous conversations with God about Sophia, but I think I’ll skip it for now. I really don’t want to hear him bitching about Moses.

  13. psychomom

    What a fun story! From Moses to Shear Genius.

    Here’s my neice’s new saying…
    “Talk to the bootie, ’cause the hand’s off duty”.

  14. bella

    Interesting – I thought all the ‘dramatic’ conversations with God took place in the bible, or on movies – who knew that we could read all about them on the ‘net?

    And many good vibes for Sophia! (Her sides may hurt from laughing as much as from the doctors!)

  15. Shelli

    Hilarious. That should cheer Sophia.

  16. Amy K

    Are you sure it was Moses? Cuz that looks more like Charlton Heston to me…

  17. V-Grrrl

    This is all my fault. If only Manneken Pis had been circumcised, Moses wouldn’t be so PISSED.

    This also may explain why I have hundreds of tadpoles morphing into frogs in my dining room. My son, my first born, has brought a plague upon my house! Wah!

    I hope the frogs eat the silverfish and the surgeon gets what he came for and no one gets what they deserve but gets BETTER than that! AMEN!

    P.S. Say “Yo” to Mo for me.

  18. Ariel

    What goes on in your head makes for excellent reading…

  19. sarah

    i hope for your sake, that God can’t read the ‘net’. or maybe he’ll cure sophia, simply because He underestimated what she stuck her with, with you! Definitely warn her to walk a few feet away from you! : )
    And regardless, may He bless you both

  20. Neil

    I think God should get the same treatment as Cedars-Sinai or the Olive Garden — if he doesn’t provide good service, I’m going to blog about it!

    (that was a joke, God, really. I know you have a sense of humor)

  21. Bre

    My absolute favorite part of “The Ten Commandments” is the “Moses, Moses, Moses!” part. So clearly, this delighted me.

  22. Neil

    Otir — tsimsum? I need to google that.

    PsychoMom — Someone who watches Shear Genius! Is Bravo becoming a one-note channel? Will Top Cappuccino Maker be next?

    V-grrrl — Sorry. In this house, Manneken Pis HAS been circumsized.

    Bre — I’m waiting for Danny to come because he will remember the EXACT Moses, Moses, Moses line from the movie — was he an adorable fool?

  23. Karl

    I think my favorite bit was Sophia saying, “Jesus, Moses!” Heh.

  24. psychomom

    Bravo…..what about?
    Top Blogger!
    I get to be the judge and I put all of you in a house with your laptops and make you compete with memes and html code.

  25. Dana

    Hilarious! I loved the “Jesus, Moses!” too. Hey, Neil, was Sophia saying that about her underwear because there was laundry on the sofa? Or because you were wearing the Curious George panties again?

  26. Churlita

    Nice piece. Aren’t you just a little worried about pissing off god?

  27. Neil

    Churlita — No, I’m hoping to put Him in a better mood.

  28. DCChick1

    What I want to know is where did Moses get the suit so fast?

    I didn’t know “What Not to Wear” would’ve been there.

  29. Neil

    It’s just what happens when you get a makeover in Beverly Hills — ala Pretty Woman. You get a new cut, new clothes, and new shoes.

  30. Blitz Krieg

    Wow, two hand jobs in two days. God can’t be liking that. Whenever Moses gets brought up all I can think of is Edgar G. Robinson as Dathan. “Yea, where’s your God now Moses, yea.” The most ridiculous casting job in the history of movies.

  31. Eileen Dover

    I’m so glad Mose was able to get a good cut.

    I can’t imagine what would happen if he walked out looking like Meg Ryan.

    Oh wait. I’d probably be attracted to him.

  32. Marilyn

    We all get laptops?

    That was a great read.

  33. SJ

    When I read the “Moses, Moses, Moses” line, I heard Yul Brynner saying it. “Etcetera, etcetera, ETCETERA!”

    Great story! I could hear God chuckling all the way from here.

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