[Marxism] Lobsters attack Bernie Madoff

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Mar 23 13:18:14 MDT 2009

Tails of Manhattan
by Woody Allen March 30, 2009

Two weeks ago, Abe Moscowitz dropped dead of a heart attack and was 
reincarnated as a lobster. Trapped off the coast of Maine, he was 
shipped to Manhattan and dumped into a tank at a posh Upper East Side 
seafood restaurant. In the tank there were several other lobsters, one 
of whom recognized him. “Abe, is that you?” the creature asked, his 
antennae perking up.

“Who’s that? Who’s talking to me?” Moscowitz said, still dazed by the 
mystical slam-bang postmortem that had transmogrified him into a crustacean.

“It’s me, Moe Silverman,” the other lobster said.

“O.M.G.!” Moscowitz piped, recognizing the voice of an old gin-rummy 
colleague. “What’s going on?”

“We’re reborn,” Moe explained. “As a couple of two-pounders.”

“Lobsters? This is how I wind up after leading a just life? In a tank on 
Third Avenue?”

“The Lord works in strange ways,” Moe Silverman explained. “Take Phil 
Pinchuck. The man keeled over with an aneurysm, he’s now a hamster. All 
day, running at the stupid wheel. For years he was a Yale professor. My 
point is he’s gotten to like the wheel. He pedals and pedals, running 
nowhere, but he smiles.”

Moscowitz did not like his new condition at all. Why should a decent 
citizen like himself, a dentist, a mensch who deserved to relive life as 
a soaring eagle or ensconced in the lap of some sexy socialite getting 
his fur stroked, come back ignominiously as an entrée on a menu? It was 
his cruel fate to be delicious, to turn up as Today’s Special, along 
with a baked potato and dessert. This led to a discussion by the two 
lobsters of the mysteries of existence, of religion, and how capricious 
the universe was, when someone like Sol Drazin, a schlemiel they knew 
from the catering business, came back after a fatal stroke as a stud 
horse impregnating cute little thoroughbred fillies for high fees. 
Feeling sorry for himself and angry, Moscowitz swam about, unable to buy 
into Silverman’s Buddha-like resignation over the prospect of being 
served thermidor.

At that moment, who walked into the restaurant and sits down at a nearby 
table but Bernie Madoff. If Moscowitz had been bitter and agitated 
before, now he gasped as his tail started churning the water like an 

“I don’t believe this,” he said, pressing his little black peepers to 
the glass walls. “That goniff who should be doing time, chopping rocks, 
making license plates, somehow slipped out of his apartment confinement 
and he’s treating himself to a shore dinner.”

“Clock the ice on his immortal beloved,” Moe observed, scanning Mrs. 
M.’s rings and bracelets.

Moscowitz fought back his acid reflux, a condition that had followed him 
from his former life. “He’s the reason I’m here,” he said, riled to a 
fever pitch.

“Tell me about it,” Moe Silverman said. “I played golf with the man in 
Florida, which incidentally he’ll move the ball with his foot if you’re 
not watching.”

“Each month I got a statement from him,” Moscowitz ranted. “I knew such 
numbers looked too good to be kosher, and when I joked to him how it 
sounded like a Ponzi scheme he choked on his kugel. I had to do the 
Heimlich maneuver. Finally, after all that high living, it comes out he 
was a fraud and my net worth was bupkes. P.S., I had a myocardial 
infarction that registered at the oceanography lab in Tokyo.”

“With me he played it coy,” Silverman said, instinctively frisking his 
carapace for a Xanax. “He told me at first he had no room for another 
investor. The more he put me off, the more I wanted in. I had him to 
dinner, and because he liked Rosalee’s blintzes he promised me the next 
opening would be mine. The day I found out he could handle my account I 
was so thrilled I cut my wife’s head out of our wedding photo and put 
his in. When I learned I was broke, I committed suicide by jumping off 
the roof of our golf club in Palm Beach. I had to wait half an hour to 
jump, I was twelfth in line.”

At this moment, the captain escorted Madoff to the lobster tank, where 
the unctuous sharpie analyzed the assorted saltwater candidates for 
potential succulence and pointed to Moscowitz and Silverman. An obliging 
smile played on the captain’s face as he summoned a waiter to extract 
the pair from the tank.

“This is the last straw!” Moscowitz cried, bracing himself for the 
consummate outrage. “To swindle me out of my life’s savings and then to 
nosh me in butter sauce! What kind of universe is this?”

Moscowitz and Silverman, their ire reaching cosmic dimensions, rocked 
the tank to and fro until it toppled off its table, smashing its glass 
walls and flooding the hexagonal-tile floor. Heads turned as the alarmed 
captain looked on in stunned disbelief. Bent on vengeance, the two 
lobsters scuttled swiftly after Madoff. They reached his table in an 
instant, and Silverman went for his ankle. Moscowitz, summoning the 
strength of a madman, leaped from the floor and with one giant pincer 
took firm hold of Madoff’s nose. Screaming with pain, the gray-haired 
con artist hopped from the chair as Silverman strangled his instep with 
both claws. Patrons could not believe their eyes as they recognized 
Madoff, and began to cheer the lobsters.

“This is for the widows and charities!” yelled Moscowitz. “Thanks to 
you, Hatikvah Hospital is now a skating rink!”

Madoff, unable to free himself from the two Atlantic denizens, bolted 
from the restaurant and fled yelping into traffic. When Moscowitz 
tightened his viselike grip on his septum and Silverman tore through his 
shoe, they persuaded the oily scammer to plead guilty and apologize for 
his monumental hustle.

By the end of the day, Madoff was in Lenox Hill Hospital, awash in welts 
and abrasions. The two renegade main courses, their rage slaked, had 
just enough strength left to flop away into the cold, deep waters of 
Sheepshead Bay, where, if I’m not mistaken, Moscowitz lives to this day 
with Yetta Belkin, whom he recognized from shopping at Fairway. In life 
she had always resembled a flounder, and after her fatal plane crash she 
came back as one.

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