Uncle Slappy called just a few minutes ago and he was not a happy man.
"It's Sylvie again," he huffed. "She's at it. She's cooking."
"Cooking?" I asked, "What's wrong with that?"
The old man drew a deep breath and started, "Cooking she is for Thanksgiving already. And it's gone on all day. Cooking like this. 'Slappy, will you bring in butter from the ice box.' 'Slappy will you go to the grocery and buy 10 lbs. of cooking apples?' 'Slappy will you the stainless steel bowls get down.' It's Slappy this and Slappy that and it's still two weeks from Thanksgiving."
"You should be happy Aunt Sylvie likes to cook Uncle Slappy, and she's such a good cook. There aren't too many 85-year-olds that can hold a candle to her," I temporized.
"Cook? She is cooking enough for all of Florida, she is cooking so much. Five apple pies she made for the freezer today, five."
"Well, you do love apple pie, Uncle Slappy, and who makes better than Aunt Sylvie."
"She makes them of course, but I am slicing the apples. With an 8-inch paring knife I could cut myself and bleed to death and maybe this is preferred."
"Uncle Slappy, it's nice that you two work together in the kitchen."
"Working together in the kitchen is nice in theory," the Old One clarified. "In practice I would rather be a dental assistant."
I knew whereof Uncle Slappy spoke, so I tried gently to change the subject.
"It's amazing that at your age you and Aunt Sylvie are still hosting Thanksgiving," I said.
"Nice to you, maybe. Me I would rather to Golden Corral go. And I haven't mentioned the worst of it," Slappy continued. "Aunt Sylvie is down at Cindy Lindenbaum's now using her ice box because ours and the deep freeze in the garage too are full."
"Well, look at it this way, you'll have apple pie for a year."
I heard the old man inhale deeply and I thought I heard a tear register in his voice.
"She leaves a pie at Lindenbaum's, another at Weintraub's, another at Siegel's. The only problem is, she never picks them up after leaving them. After Thanksgiving she loses the list where she left them. When Aunt Sylvie, god forbid, passes, her pies will for decades remain."
I could reply with nothing but an "Oy." An "Oy" resonating with the 6,000 years our people have suffered.
"Oy is right," the old man agreed.
"Pie," he said "anyone can make. It takes Sylvie to bake tsurris."
He hung up with one last oy.