Uncle Slappy came up yesterday, on the Amtrak, all the way from Florida, wet and looking worse for wear. It was raining like a sonofabitch in Manhattan yesterday when Uncle Slappy's train pulled in. I had gotten him car service to take him up to my place because I knew there would be no cabs, but it was still a distance for him to walk and no one was there to help him with his bags, though he'll be 85 in April. I should have met him down there, I know, he's my father's brother. But I crapped out on the old man, figured I was doing enough with the car service and staying in my guest room.
"A roller bag, you should get," Uncle Slappy, I offered. "Cousin Howard's in the business, for half price he can get you."
"Roller bags are for fiegeles, Mr. Roller Schmoller. When it comes to the point I can't schlepp a bag, I get to the point where I stay home with Sylvie and watch Oprah. Better than staying home with Oprah and watching Sylvie." I agreed.
Then Uncle Slappy who was up in New York for a shiva told me a bit about life.
"First, in your twenties," said Slappy "you go to weddings. The weddings of your friends. Then, the baby namings, and B'nai Mitzvot of your friends' children. Then the funerals of your parents. Then the weddings of your kids. Then the namings. Then funerals. Funerals. Funerals.
"Sponge cake longa, vita brevis. All is mutable. Except for the challah and the sponge cake."
Uncle Slappy fell asleep around 8:30 after he had had a slice, thin, of sponge cake we picked up from Park East. Feh, not like the old days. The Knicks were on the TV beating the Hawks by a dozen.