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Not long after attending her grandson Paul’s 12th birthday party, Rebecca has a heart attack. While in the hospital, she starts to plead with her cardiologist. “Oy, doctor,” she says, “you’ve just got to keep me alive for the next 12 months so that I can attend my bubbeleh grandson Paul’s bar mitzvah. He’s my first grandchild.”

“I’ll do my utmost to get you there, Rebecca,” the doctor says.

“Thank you, doctor,” says Rebecca. And in 12 months, Rebecca does indeed attend Paul’s bar mitzvah.

A few months later, while Rebecca is seeing the doctor for a check-up, she says, “I have another request. My granddaughter Suzy is marrying a lovely man, and I desperately want to attend their wedding. So please ensure that I stay alive long enough to attend their wedding.”

“I’ll do my utmost to get you there, Rebecca,” says the doctor.

“Thank you, doctor,” says Rebecca. And 12 months later, Rebecca does indeed attend Suzy’s wedding.

A few months later, Rebecca calls her doctor. “Hello doctor,” she says. “It’s Rebecca here.”

“Are you OK, Rebecca?” the doctor asks.

“Nothing’s the matter,” Rebecca replies. “But I’m calling because I have another request to make. Do you remember when you enabled me to attend my grandson’s bar mitzvah?”

“Yes, Rebecca, I do,” he replies.

“And do you remember when you enabled me to attend my granddaughter’s wedding?”

“Yes, Rebecca, I do,” he replies.

“And are you aware that I’ve just celebrated my 80th birthday?” Rebecca asks.

“Yes, Rebecca, I know,” he replies.

“Well, I’ve just bought a new mattress,” Rebecca says.

“Mazel tov,” the doctor says, “but why are you calling me about your mattress?”

“Well,” Rebecca replies, “the mattress came with a 20-year guarantee!” n

© david minkoff