Last night I got home late but as if by magic the phone rang the moment I unlocked the last of the seven locks that keep the outside out in the wilds of upper Manhattan. It was, naturally, Uncle Slappy, the only non-fundraiser who actually calls on my home phone.
"So, Mr. Big Schott," he began. (Uncle Slappy begins roughly 40% of all his sentences with the word "so.")
"Passover. It's coming. So what do you want I should bring, besides my kishkas and my weak bladder and Sylvie?"
"Hi, Uncle Slappy. Don't even think of bringing anything. You're coming all the way from Florida."
"Some coconut patties, maybe you'd like?"
We had in the dark recesses of our over-stuffed kitchen cabinets about 12-year's worth of coconut patties.
"No, we're ok in the coconut patty department."
"So, maybe some fruit, dried. A nice package of figs?"
"No, really Uncle Slappy, we're up to our pupicks in figs. Just bring yourselves."
"So the room is finished, no more smelling like Mr. Benjamin Moore's armpit?" We had been painting our spare bedroom last time Slappy and Sylvie were up and our apartment fairly reeked of paint.
"No, Uncle Slappy, your room is shipshape. Copacetic. And all decked out with a new internet radio and a flatscreen."
"So, a Sony Trinitron you got us? Boychick," he said hanging up, "A mensch, you are."