The Golem and the Full Day Excursion

If you know the secret Name of God, you can build worlds and you can destroy them. You can even move mountains. You can also make a human being – out of clay - a Golem. And that’s exactly what Glen did – by letting his anger reach boiling point. And whenever he reached this point, in other words on a regular basis, Glen would go out into the grden and, from the first suitable lump of clay that he found, mould the shape of a body. He would then blow into the Golem’s nostrils – and it would begin to stir. Then he would whisper the secret nme of God into its ear. “Rise up, and enter into life in widom and let there be a living soul in this body of earth! Let my soul be in the body of earth.” And the Golem would then come to life.

Once reanimated in this manner, the Golem could leap from roof to roof, like a bird, and he could disguise himself so that nobody knew who he was. Hecould drift through the air like a breeze on a cold day. In fact, he could do more or less anything for he was at once both human and inhuman. Although he had the appearance of a human being, he was not really human and therefore not required to fulfil all God’s commandments. In other words, he could get away with anything. And considering the liberties people are prepared to take with us, surely there are times when we need  recourse to such unfettered power. The full day excursion provides just such an example.

“I’m sure you’ll enjoy it,” Glen reassured his wife. “And with the weather being so bad, what else can we do? It’s a chance to see the rest of the island, and the excursion not only includes a visit to a leather factory, but liqueur tasting and a visit to a traditional market too. It makes no sense to come here and see nothing all week. We might as well have stayed at home.”

As usual, he bulldozed her into agreement until she reluctantly agreed to accompany him.

Glen paid for the tickets, two adults and two children, and the coach picked them up froom the hotel at nine o’clock as planned. However, the driver then proceeded to make at least twelve more stops to pick up holidaymakers from all the other hotels in the resort and the surrounding area. And in this way an hour was wasted with getting anywhere. Hardly the ideal start! The result was that the children, not surprisingly, got restless and starting with each other. Like Glen’s wife, they had neve wanted to go on the excursion in the first place and would have much preferred to stay in the hotel and play computer games.

To make matters worse, the journey entailed the coach winding around mountain roads. The result was that both of the children got travelsick and the boy threw up all over Glen and his trousers – the only pair he’d bought with him for the trip. (It was supposed to have been a beach holiday). He did his best to clear up the mess with the tissues hastily provided by his wife. However, the smell remained and, by the time they reached the first stop he was fuming.

The situation was exacerbated further by the so-called guide, who probably knew even less about the island than Glen did.

“The coach leaves the leather factory at 11.30 so please make sure you don’t miss it. It will be waiting here for you in exactly the same place. And don’t forget to hand in the vouchers I gave you to the assistant if you decide to buy anything to ensure you get the best possible price.”

“To ensure you get your fucking commission more like it,” Glen muttered under his breath.

It was clear already they’d made a big mistae when they chose this excursion, and they were about to be exploited yet again. His wife did her best to pacify him, but she knew the situation as hopeless by this stage and that he’d reached the point of no turning back.

The leather factory turned out to be no factory but a shop, the market was full of mass-produced items made in Korea, and the liquer tasting took place in a motorway sevice station – not the vineyards they had been led to expect. There were barrels of Banana, Hazelnut, Cherry, Chocolate, Aniseed, Coffee, Strawberry, and Apricot-flavoured liqueurs. The sickly-sweet contents of each barrel tasted progressively worse the more they tried and, by this stage, Glen had had enough.

“My own favourite is the Banana liqueur,” said the guide. “And I just know when you taste it you won’t be able to resist buying a bottle. You won’t find it cheaper anywhere else on the island – an ideal souvenir to take back home for your family and friends. And for every two bottles you buy, you’ll get a third one absolutely free, as long as you remember too hand in your vouchers,”

That last remark was the final straw and there was only one thing for it.  It was clearlytime for Glen to summon the Golem into action once more. He left the group, who were too busy fighting over the free samples of liqueur to notice his disappearance, and walked to the motorway lay-by where he found what he was looking for – a lump of clay. He moulded it into the shape of a body and blew into the Golem’s nostrils. Then he whispered the incantation in Hebrew into its ear and the Golem came to life.

Glen ordered the Golem to take Carmen the guide hostage and force her to drink the sickly muck she was so keen on promoting until she agreed never to take anyone to that dreadful place again.

So the Golem strode into the service station and the mere sight of him made everyone present freeze. He grabbed hold of the petrified guide, placed the Banana liqueur barrel over her mouth and opened the tap to let the liqueur flow.

“Stop, stop! Please stop - ! beg you!” Carmen spluttered as the ooze trickled down her throat. “I’ll do anything you want but just don’t make me drink any more of this disgusting muck,” she pleaded. But Glen was merciless and showed no pity.

I’ll only order him to stop if you promise never to subject anyone to this tour from hell again.”

“Yes, yes! Anything you say. Nothing ellse can be so awful as drinking this poison. I never want to work as a guide again as long as I live. As soon as we get back to the office, I’ll tell tem what they can do with their bloody job.”

So Glen instructed the Golem to release Carmen and to unfreeze the other tourists too. And they just went about their business as usual, as if nothing had happened, squabbling over the free samples and taking photos, just as tourists always do.

The journey back to the hotel was a very different affair, with an extremely subdues Carmen keeping her mouth shut and, much to Glen’s relief, it passed off without any further incidents.

The Golem once again had accomplished his mission and it was time for Glen to send him back where he came from. He whispered something into his ear, the eyes of the Golem closed, the soul departed from its body, and it returned to a mere image of clay once more.

As for Carmen, she stuck to her word. Apparently she entered a monastery the very next day ansd devoted her life to God after that.