Uncle Slappy is staying with me while he's up in New York from Florida for a shiva. He sent me this email today:
Today, being in New York as I am so infrequently, I went for a walk in your neighborhood looking for a place where I could maybe get some lunch without spending an arm and a leg. What I found was nothing. A Starbucks with their cellophane wrapped sandwiches for $7.95. Who knows when that sandwich was made? I want a sandwich that was made in the same time zone I live in, that's too much to ask, Mr. Upper East Side? And not something, like I said that's an arm and a leg.
I know you left lunch for me in the frigidaire, but a walk I needed.
So I made my way down to 74th St and found the Glendale Bakery where in addition to the things they sell in an ordinary bakery, like baked goods, they sell a cup of soup a regular $2.50, a medium $3, with a slice of bread with it.
They have a choice of three soups. "What's good," I say to the soup girl. She looks at me like I have two heads. "What's good?" I repeat. She repeats only their list of soups which I can plainly read. "We have mushroom barley, vegetable and chicken noodle."
I take a cup medium of mushroom barley, a nice warming soup in nice cold New York. I sit on a stool at the little table by the window and open my soup and what I find I have is half a cup. The soup she didn't fill all the way in the cup to the top.
Now coffee I understand you don't to the tippy-top fill. People add to it cream or some such, but soup, soup is a thing you don't add to.
"Miss," I walk back to the counter and say to her, "my soup, you didn't fill it. It's down to here and it should be up to there." I point out. She doesn't understand and calls over a fat Puerto Rican, the manager wearing a tie.
"Young man," I say, "a whole medium soup I wanted and I am down an inch." He looks at me and he looks at my soup sitting there lonely in the medium cup. He ladles more soup in, up to the top now. "I'm sorry for the inconvenience, sir," he tells me and carries for me the mushroom barley to my table.