GUCI’s New Button Factory

by Ari Kalfus

Mark: Very few of you are aware of a situation that occurred this summer at Goldman Union Camp Institute. Our senior assistant director, Joe Slade, was suffering from quite a serious illness. He is still not cured, but he is mending, and he is supported by the entire GUCI community. To that end, we are now prepared to release a statement from Joe about his behavior, to better inform the community. Here is the prepared footage.

Scene: Joe’s bedroom. Camera is zoomed in on an alarm clock beside the bed, reading 6:59 AM. Camera pans outward, and Joe is sitting straight up in his bed with a big grin on his face. He looks at his alarm clock expectantly and excitedly. The alarm clock changes to 7:00 AM, and an alarm goes off. Joe hits the button of the alarm with obvious joy.

Scene: Joe is sitting and looking directly at the camera, as if in an interview. The camera is panned close to his face, obscuring the background setting. Unbeknownst to the viewer, this is taking place inside the trip shed, which has been renovated to look somewhat like a button factory.

 Joe: It all began with the alarm clock. I think that, back in the beginning, no one really realized what was happening to me. My wife had some concerns; I was waking up too early, I was microwaving things I didn’t even want to eat, I was getting juice instead of water from the beverage nook. But no one saw any connection between all of these things. No one realized that all of these actions, all of these eccentricities of mine, had to do with pushing buttons…

Scene: Joe sitting stoically in the Chadar Ochel. He is munching on his food without any expression on his face. People are talking around him, but he makes no effort to speak to them.

Scene: Joe is sitting at his desk, looking at his computer. His face is expressionless. Susan comes into the office. Joe does not look away from his computer.

Susan: Joe, I have a question.

Susan holds up a piece of paper. Joe swivels slowly around in his chair. He makes no expression, meeting Susan’s eye but not answering her. They look at each other, and Joe slowly shrugs his shoulders, keeping his face expressionless. Susan backs out of the room.

Scene: Joe is sitting and looking directly at the camera, as if in an interview. The camera is panned close to his face, obscuring the background setting.

Joe: I was never happy unless I was pushing a button. No matter what I was doing, if someone came to me and needed me to push a button, I would always say I wasn’t busy. It was more than a need; it was a hunger. Those buttons had to be pressed. I had to press them. It was the only thing that made me smile, those days.

Off screen, Joe begins to push a button with his right hand. The motion of his arm should be visible on screen.

Scene: Several staff members are in the Tarbut control room. They hook up a laptop to the system, and bend down to push the buttons that would connect it to the projector. Before they can do that, Joe bursts into the room, startling them. He dives to the control box, pushing the three buttons that connect the laptop to the projector. He then grabs the projector remote and sprints out of the control room, jumping onto the stage of the Tarbut to turn on the projector. This is all done in a feverish excitement.

Scene: Joe is sitting and looking directly at the camera, as if in an interview. The camera is panned close to his face, obscuring the background setting.

Joe: I’ll admit it. I have a problem.

Off screen, Joe begins pressing a button with his left hand.

Scene: A songleader peeks out of the sound booth, looking around furtively. Hesitantly, he leans back into the booth and gets ready to press the button that would start the morning slideshow in the Chadar. Joe leaps up from behind the shelf of the window of the song booth, shoving the songleader aside and pressing the button on the laptop, a wide grin on his face. His face then returns to its usual stoic, blank expression. He nods toward songleader, and walks out of the Chadar.

Scene: Joe is sitting and looking directly at the camera, as if in an interview. The camera is panned close to his face, obscuring the background setting.

Joe: I have a problem, but I have devised a solution. I have cured myself!

Joe gestures around him, grinning. The camera, for the first time in this scene, pans out, revealing the nearby setting. Joe is sitting in a room surrounded with buttons and button-like objects for him to press. He is pressing one with his right hand and one with his left. As the camera pans out, he begins pressing buttons with his right foot, and then the left foot. Joe laughs a wild, crazy laugh.

Mark: Yes, camp’s next building will be a button factory! Its foundation has already been dug on the sports field, and it is scheduled to be completed right before Kallah Aleph this summer. We are excited to share status updates and pictures of the building as it is constructed. We can’t wait to hear what the GUCI community thinks about the building! We believe this is the best way for Joe to heal, and we wish him a speedy recovery from his illness.

Mark turns his head.

Joe, I’ve finished recording. Joe, are you busy?

Joe: (voice comes from off screen) I’ve got it! I’ve got it!

Camera turns off.

Happy April Fool’s Day!

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