"Up, up and away, oh what a happy day,
    Dr. Herman has invented something you have never seen,
    Up, up and away, what shall we see today,
    It's the absolutely marvelous hormone machine.
    So come real close and listen
    These stories are for you,
    They're all about your hormones,
    What they try to make you do,
    We're going to do some research,
    Like you've never seen,
    With the absolutely marvelous hormone machine!

"D-d-d-dr. Herman?"

"Yes, what is it, Shpunky?"

"What does all this equipment mean? What IS the marvelous hormone machine?"

"That is a very good question, Shpunky. You will see what we can do with it when we get it operating. Basically, when we turn on the Hormone satellite, we can eavesdrop into every Jewish place in the world, and detect if any of our wonderful mammies and tatties are having problems with their hormones. Then, we can send them a song to help them overcome their nisayon!

"Boy, this sure is exciting, Dr. Hormone! Do you think we'll be able to help a lot of people?"

"Well, I really hope so, Shpunky. You see, a lot of sholom bayis problems are caused by simple lack of awareness of the physiological processes in the male and female bodies- specifically the endocrinological processes... now let me see- I have to activate the long range hypothalamus action potential detector where did I install that chip?...."

"Uhhhh, well, I'll man the tape deck, O.K. Dr. Herman?"

"That will be wonderful, Shpunky! Now, let's power up!"


"Ah, wonderful! Already a hormone alert! Now what do we have on the screen? Three men in the back of the shul. Hmm. The computer tells me that their names are Mr. Shpanning, Mr. Goldleaf and Mr. Zuker of Queens, New York. It appears that Mr. Goldleaf and Mr. Zuker are having a discussion and Mr. Shpanning is having a hard time trying to daven. He looks very irritated. Turn up the volume, Shpunky, we have to listen in..."

Mr. Z. Like I said, I'm really thinking of upgrading to a 586. I need a lot more speed.
Mr. G. Nah, I still say its your diskdrive. You just have to get a more recent version... I just saw in PC magazine....
Mr. S. [grimace, hiss] Didn't I tell you guys you can talk outside? This is a shul! [snarl]
Mr. G. Hey, keep cool, Avi! We're just finishing up!"
Mr. S. [growl] Yeah, right! I've heard that line for the past **** twenty minutes! [fume]
Mr. Z. Ehrr, Avi, have a bit of respect, Avi, this is a shul! [scuffle] ehrr, hey, Avi, that's the lapel of my best suit you have in your fist...

"D-d-d-dr. Herman! We've got to do something! Mr. Shpanning is going to punch Mr. Zuker out!"

"You're right, Shpunky! My instruments detect a high testosterone count and a stupendous surge of adrenaline! Quick, insert the tape labelled "For Men", we have to broadcast it immediately, before they have to call in hatzala!"

     "You were working on your engine yesterday,
    Mrs. Frank offered assistance but you shooed her right away!
    You see a pretty lady and you want to stand and shmooez
    They watch you play a video game and you can't bear to lose!
        It must be testosterone!
        It's that manly hormone that sets you on your own.
        Do you think that's what it means to be a man?
        The Torah tells you differently so listen if you can.
    You are davenning in shul, but some folk are a pain
    That computer talk behind you is driving you insane
     You want to teach respect, and it's really for Hashem,
    So you'll knock'em both unconscious, that'll be the end of them!
        It must be testosterone!
        It's that manly hormone that sets you on your own.
        Do you think that's what it means to be a man?
        The Torah tells you differently so listen if you can.

Mr. S - O.K. I apologize. I guess I was overreacting. But will you two guys please discuss this stuff outside? You really are disturbing the kavannah of people who are sincerely trying to daven.

Mr. Z. [phew] I'm moichel, Avi. I guess you're right, we were going on a bit, we hope you'll moichel us for the disturbance we've caused. It's about time we got down to some serious davenning.

"Dr. Herman, that's really fantastic! That song got Mr. Shpanning to put Mr. Zuker down, and it even got Mr. Zuker and Mr. Goldleaf to actually daven!"

"Yes, Shpunky, it looks like the hormone machine really works!"


"Dr. Herman, there's a woman on the screen, she looks very pregnant, and she's standing on the dining room table!"

"Yes, yes, that is Leah Levi of Neve Yitzhak, a suburb of Yerushalayim, in Eretz Israel! She is nine months pregnant and, hmm, she appears to be cleaning the ceiling with a large piece of scotchbright dipped in economica and wired to a sponga stick. Hmmm. My monitors tell me that her progesterone levels are high of course, and, oh dear, her blood sugar is way down low. It seems she hasn't taken a snack for some time. Ah, her husband, Tzvi, has just come home, carrying a box of matzas. Shpunky, turn up the volume!"

Tzvi- Leah, what are you doing?
Leah-I'm cleaning the damp off the ceiling, what does it look like I'm doing, training cheer leaders?
Tzvi-Why are you wasting your time? The damp is NOT chometz!
Leah-Go on, invalidate everything I do! You just don't appreciate how much work and thought I put into Pesach cleaning! You would never notice the difference, you would just be happy to live in squalor!
Tzvi- Just get down before...
Leah-I know you're not listening to me. You never listen to me on these issues. Of course I have to take care of the ceiling because you are busy with much more important things like measuring the lettuce and shmoosing about the latest Pesach halachos - well, I can't stand seeing it, day after day...
Tzvi- but you don't have to...
Leah- Don't try to tell me my job! This place wouldn't run if I weren't mending and picking up all the socks from under the beds- it won't happen by itself- and I'm expected to all this while.... [bursts into tears]
Tzvi-[angry] Just go lie down! If you can't be rational, you can't work.
"Oh, D-d-dr. Herman- that's just awful! Mr. Levi is upset, Mrs. Levi is crying on her bed. What can we do to help them."

"Shpunky, just insert the taped marked "late pregnancy" - we'll broadcast it to the bedroom where Mrs. Levi is crying, and to the salon where her husband is staring at the matzos."

    "Upon her bed, within the room
    a weary woman lies,
    And if you listen very keen
    you just can hear her cries.
    'Where has our Sholom Bayis gone?
    I'm feeling such a fool.
    I'd be out there and working still,
    if I'd stayed calm and cool.'
        Progesterone! Progesterone!
        Flooding her brain so she can't think so clear!
        Progesterone! Progesterone!
        Sensitivity hurting the ones she holds dear.
    'I want the best for our new child,
    I want the place so clean,
    I feel I have to work for that
    till I am tired and mean.
    So where has sholom bayis gone?
    I wish my mum were home
    Noone wants to hear my view
    I'm feeling so alone.'
        Progesterone! Progesterone!
        Flooding her brain so she can't think so clear!
        Progesterone! Progesterone!
        Sensitivity hurting the ones she holds dear.

Leah- Tzvi, I'm sorry I yelled at you. I guess I was being a bit hysterical. I've been making this cleaning for Pesach business such a personal, emotional issue!

Tzvi- It's O.K. I'm sorry too. I'm sorry I didn't understand how you feel. You do a great job around the house! You do need to take it much easier from now on, though. I'm going to get some bochurim in to help do the heavy work, and, if it's so important to you, I'll finish and paint this ceiling, cavod Pesach!

Leah- Oh, Tzvi! [bursts into tears]

"D-d-dr. Herman! What did we do wrong? Mrs. Levi is crying again!"

"No, shpunky, everything is just fine- in fact, everything is wonderful! Mrs. Levi is happy- it's just hormones!"

    "Hormones touch the way we act and how we think and feel
    Those steroids try to tell us what to do
    If you want to do what's right and really be a mensch
    You've got to know those hormones through and through!"

In the next episode, Dr. Herman and Spunky rescue a bochur and his shiduch from the effects of oxytocin!

Copyright © 1999 Gila Atwood

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