"Double Header"

Balki walked out of his bedroom on a bright spring morning, ready for another day of work at the Chicago Chronicle. Larry was already sitting at the breakfast table, dressed and ready for work, and reading the morning newspaper while nibbling on a piece of toast. "Good morning, Cousin," Balki cheerfully greeted, entering the kitchen. "How are you today?"

Larry didn't answer.

Balki looked over, but could only see the back of Larry's head from where he was standing. He raised his voice slightly, "Good morning, Cousin!"

Again, there was no response.

Balki walked over, somewhat perplexed. He stood at Larry's side and examined his face. Balki could see his cousin was too engrossed in the article he was reading to notice he'd been spoken to. He leaned down, practically coming mouth-to-ear with Larry. "Good morning, Cousin!" Balki exclaimed, causing a startled Larry to squeal and fall out of his chair, launching the newspaper in several different directions. Balki watched the sections scatter like confetti. He then grabbed a page out of the air. "The funnies!" he cheered.

Recovering from the fright and wild-eyed with anger, Larry clutched the edge of the table and hauled himself off of the floor. He glared at Balki, who had taken a seat at the end of the table and started reading (and giggling at) the comics. Larry positioned himself back in his chair and reached over to take a hold of Balki's vest. With a snap, Larry yanked Balki close to him.

"Don't you ever…everrrr…do that again!" he growled.

"Do what?" Balki asked innocently.

"Scare me!"

"Ok!" He instantly leapt out at Larry, flailing his arms in the air and shouting, "BINKLI BINKLI!!!" Larry yelped and flew backwards over his chair, falling to the floor with a thud. Balki looked over his fallen friend. "How was that, Cousin?"

Larry shot up to come face-to-face with Balki. "Why did you do that?!" he demanded.

"You say 'Scare me', so Balki did."

"No, no, no! I was telling you not to scare me! I nearly had a heart attack!" He felt his chest. "It's beating like a drummer on amphetamines!"

"Now you don't need your morning coffee!" Pleased with himself, Balki grinned and returned to reading the funnies.

Larry sat back in his chair, still fuming. After a few moments, he let out a deep breath. "I am a hollow reed," he whispered to himself. "I am a hollow reed. Trouble blows through me like the wind." He let out a long, low whistle.

Balki rolled his eyes.

Larry looked through the scattered sections of the paper and dug out the article he was reading. "Now," he said, "where was I?"

"Oh, good! A guessing game!" Balki exclaimed, tossing down the comic section. "Let me think….. You were in the washroom!"


"The closet?"


"The fireplace?"

"Balki—" Larry then paused, the absurdity of his cousin's last guess now registering. "What???"

Balki eyed Larry's compact height. "Under the kitchen sink?"

Larry just stared at Balki. "Yes," he said straight-faced, giving up.

"Euriki! I'm good at this game! Now it's your turn. Where was Balki?"

"I don't know, but I wish he was still there."


"Nevermind," Larry grunted. "I just want to get back to reading this article. We have to leave for work soon, and I want to finish it before we go."

"What it is about?"

"It's about WHO."




"That's right."

"What's right?"


"Who's right?"

"Yes. WHO is right."

"That's what I'm asking you!"

"What are you asking me?"

"I'm not asking you what, I'm asking you who!"

"Who what?"

"Who you are talking about."

"That's exactly what I'm talking about – WHO."

"How should I know who?"

"You don't know WHO?"

"No, that's why I'm asking you. I don't know who you're talking about!"

Larry looked at his cousin, then realized what was causing the confusion. "Ohhh, I see what the problem is." Larry put the paper down on the table and pointed to a part of the article. "I'm reading about WHO – the World Health Organization." He looked back to Balki. "W-H-O. WHO."

"Oh, po po!" Balki grinned, feeling foolish. "You must think Balki is one snout short of a swine!"

Larry just arched his eyebrows. "This article is about what WHO does, who runs WHO, where WHO is and how WHO determines what, when, where, how and why actions need to be taken."

Balki sat in silence, trying to make sense of what his cousin just said, while Larry looked on. "Ok, so WHO does what?"

Larry referred to the article. "Well, according to H.R. Watt, what WHO does is—"


"What about WHO?"


"Yes, H.R. Watt."






"Yes, we've established that already. Now, Watt says WHO is taking dramatic steps towards combating serious health-related issues."

"I don't know what says that. How am I supposed to know who says what?"

"Watt, not WHO."



"What are you talking about?" Balki exploded. "You're talking about who and what, when I don't know who, what or when! All I know is that I was reading Ziggy, when you started asking me who and what! How I should know?"

Larry directed Balki's attention to the article again. "Of course – you should know Howe, too!"

"How to what?"

"Forget Watt for a moment. Let's talk about Howe."

"How what?"

"No, just Howe."


"WHO's Howe."


"No, not Watt. Howe!"

"How what???"

"Forget Watt. Just focus on Howe for a minute."


"Exactly. Howe is H.R.'s aide," Larry explained. "And Watt is the head of WHO."

"I don't know how H.R.'s aide is, and I don't know what the head of WHO is! Why do you keep asking me these questions?"

"What questions?"

"Yes! What questions, who questions and how questions! I don't know what, who or how!"

"You should! I've been explaining them to you this whole time!"

"Explaining who?"

"And Watt and Howe!"

"Then how come I don't know what you're talking about?"

"Because you don't know WHO yet; and you can't know WHO without knowing more about Watt and Howe!"


"Because Watt and Howe are an essential part of WHO."

"What about where, when and why?"


"Exactly!" Balki said, exasperated. "Now you know how I feel!"

Larry let out a huge sigh of frustration. He placed the newspaper section directly in front of Balki, who looked down at the article. "Look! WHO is the World Health Organization," Larry explained, pointing to the name. "W…H…O! WHO!"


"Now, see this picture? This is H.R. Watt, and beside him is Judith Howe. They are the top two people at WHO, the World Health Organization."

Balki sat back in his seat, finally understanding. "Ohhh, you were talking about WHO, Watt and Howe, not who, what and how! Well, why you did not just say so?"

"I thought I did, but nevermind that now," Larry said. "We're late for work! Let's get going!"

"Ok, cousin," Balki replied as he and Larry headed for the door. "Hey, I've got a great idea how we can forget the babasticki of that last conversation! What you say after work we go to the movies? It's Classic Comedy Night!"

"Sounds good. What's playing?"

"Abbott and Costello."