A gesheft hob ikh!

[I Don't Give a Damn!]


A room with a writing desk, a bed, and a piano. Motl’s mother tells him to write his homework assignment about the woods or else the teacher will yell at him, but Motl says he doesn't give a damn both the woods and the teacher and refuses to complete the assignment. His mother says he will grow up to be a fool if he keeps acting like this, and she will embarrass him by saying “I don't give a damn about Motl, he isn’t my son at all.” She wishes him good night and tells him to do his homework. Motl starts to write about the woods, but has trouble remembering if the word “iz” (is) has a silent aleph in it or not, and asks his Yiddish-speaking dog Shmaye for help. Shamaye asks why he should know, and goes back under Motl’s bed. Motl says he doesn't give a damn about the silent aleph. Next he asks Shmaye when to use the letter final nun, and Shmaye asks why he should know. If he had a mother who sent him to school, he would know, but unfortunately he is an orphan. Motl decides not to bother with any final letters and turns off the light. He and Shmaye go to sleep. The final letters, silent aleph, and dot from the pey come in through the window and examine Motl’s notebook only to discover to their dismay that the “bandit” has not included them. They explain their importance. Motl wakes up and is not happy to have been disturbed or to be confronted by each letter in turn. He tries to get Shmaye to drive off the letters, but the dog suddenly understands what is going on and tells Motl he cannot help him. The letters pin Motl down, cover his mouth, and final nun begins to spank him. Motl calls for his mother, who enters in her nightshirt and asks the letters what they want from her child. When they tell her they are spanking him, she tells them to stop. They decide he should correct his orthographic mistakes instead, although Motl’s mother says that it is already late and it can wait until the next day. The letters decide to dance instead, and each one dances in its own style and sings a song with its name and several words that include it. In the final verse they sing about how they will not forget the alphabet.