"She's done it again, she's done it again."
Uncle Slappy began our call as he so often does, without even the most cursory of greetings. He launched into his diatribe like a fat kid off a diving board.
"Do you know what I'm reduced to? I'll tell you what it's come to..."
"Hi, Uncle Slappy. What's gotten you so farkuckt?" I asked, using the Yiddish word for "shitty."
"Aunt Sylvie has me farkuckt," he continued, as if I couldn't have guessed.
Aunt Sylvie and Uncle Slappy have spent almost 60 years together--most of that time engaging in mutually assured farckucktion.
"So I went to Dr. Rosenthal the other day for my annual physical that at my age I do about every other month. And I gained seven pounds that Rosenthal said I should lose--and I quote the Supreme Court here--with all deliberate speed."
"OK," I answered with my usual sagacity.
"So your Aunt Sylvie from the freezer she throws out two half-full containers of Ben & Jerry's and another full container of Haagen-Dazs."
"Aunt Sylvie hasn't ever thrown out food for 85 years."
When you talk to Uncle Slappy as much as I do, you begin to mangle sentences as he does.
"Aunt Sylvie cares about you..."
"She cares about me so much," he ranted, cutting me off "that she put in the freezer something she bought called 'Skinny Cow.' This I am supposed to eat. An 86-year-old man eating Skinny Cow."
"A low-calorie ice cream I take it."
"Calorie schmalorie," he answered. When Uncle Slappy does the "schm"-prefix, you know he's irked. I tried to calm him.
"Bad? Does it taste bad?"
The phone seemed to go dead for a minute. And then Uncle Slappy broke the silence.
"I haven't even tasted yet. But imagine after 57 years of marriage you find out your wife doesn't want a husband but instead she desires connubial relations with something as indecorous as a cow, and a skinny cow at that."
With that, the old man hung up the Ameche.