On the Lower East Side one very hot summer day, a young fellow buys a newspaper and goes across the street to a bench in Sara Roosevelt Park to read it. An old Jewish man is sitting on one end of the bench, fanning himself in the heat.
"I am thirsty. I am so thirsty," the alter kocker states unhappily. "This heat...oy! I am thirsty."
The younger man nods politely, and returns to his newspaper.
"I am thirsty. Moses in the desert was never so thirsty."
"I am so thirsty."
He proclaims his great thirst in a monotone, over and over again, until finally the man reading the newspaper can stand it no more. He gets up, walks purposefully across the street, buys a bottle of ice cold mineral water, returns to the bench and hands it to the old man, who is rather startled.
The young man picks up his newspaper and continues reading.
The old man raises his eyebrows in acknowledgment. He twists off the cap and takes a long pull, followed by an audible "ahhh!" of what appears to be satisfaction. The young man takes that as a thank you, and nods in return.
"I was thirsty. I was so thirsty... "