Sunday, March 28, 2010

A guest columnist.


My Uncle, my father's brother, Oscar "Slappy" Tannenbaum was the rabbi at a small east side congregation, Beth Yuiz Miwo Mannow, for over fifty years. They made him Rabbi Emeritus a few years back and stripped him of his congregation. Said he was too old and opinionated.

Anyway, Rabbi Slappy is up from Florida with his wife of sixty years, my Aunt Sylvie, staying with me in our spare bedroom. The other morning when I was writing my blog he asked to give it a try. What follows is his post.


My big schott nephew, Mr. Advertising executive has me over for the holidays and how do you think I feel? As helpful as an eggshell in the kugel. Is there anything I can do, I ask Mr. Big Schott. He looks me up an down like I'm a veal chop, and says, relax Uncle Slappy, why don't you for a little while watch on the Philco the schvartzes jumping up and down in the basketball. But I'm not dead, I tell Mr. Big Schott, you want I should go to the grocery? Twenty people you are having over for seder tomorrow. What are you I kibbitz, a seder masochist. But Mr. Big Schott says, Uncle Slappy, sit. Watch the Philco and relax. I get up and leave anyway. Mrs. Big Schott asks me to go to the grocery to get some coffee.

Everywhere I look these days I wonder as I wander. And everywhere I wander I wonder, what's the big schmear about Starbucks? Personally a good cup of coffee, I believe, is a pleasure, but to my taste buds, I'm not so sure that anyone has ever improved on the taste of a nice cup of Savarin, in the big red vacuum-packed can so it should stay fresh, not the flimsy bag you get for $10.99 at Starbucks. Slow, also, Starbucks is. Me, I'd rather have a Yente than a venti!

All this Starbucks and I started to think about supermarkets. It used to be you could pick up a two or even three pound drum of Savarin in a dozen different supermarkets, now it's as hard to find as Vitalis. There was Bohack's, King Kullen, Waldbaum's, Finast, Daitch Shopwell, the A&P and more. Now, zilch. The Italianishe D'Agostino and the Food Emporium. Emporium, my tuchas. Emporium we don't need. A nice grocery with Savarin, we do.

I walked from Mr. Big Schott's apartment on 83rd Street up to the Polo Grounds looking for Savarin. And my cupboards are bare. Even the Polo Grounds are gone. No more. replaced by big k-nocker housing projects.

I came back at ten. And Mr. Big Schott was furious. Where have you been for six hours Uncle Slappy? I was worried silly. And also I forgot the coffee.

Vus kenist steen?

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Carlos Saldivia said...

"Mr. Big Schott,"

I love it!!..We want more Uncle Slappy..

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I got fired from my job in advertising because I'm too old and opinionated. I may have to move in with you, too , George.

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