Sunday, June 30, 2013

Uncle Slappy and the heart attack.

I got a call from Uncle Slappy, as I do so often on Sunday morning. Uncle Slappy, like me, listens to National Public Radio’s “Weekend Edition,” and he pretty much always calls once “The Puzzler,” Will Shortz is over. I couldn’t quite set my watch by him, but I could come close.

“How are you, Uncle Slappy,” I began.

“I was not well this morning. I had a terrible headache and I was overheating. My forehead was schvitzing. A good feeling it wasn’t.”

“I hope you’re feeling better now.”

“Of course, whatever I had passed. Our coffee maker broke. I was probably just caffeine deprived.”

“That makes sense.”

“In all, I learned something from the experience. When I was feeling horrible, I said to Sylvie ‘I think I’m having a heart attack.’”

“Oy,” I said. “It was that bad?”

“Aunt Sylvie’s reply was a history of almost 6,000 years of Judaism.”

“What did she say?” I asked, once again playing my familiar role as Slappy’s straight man.

“Don’t you think you should have breakfast first?”

I laughed with more than a little pain radiating down my left arm. There was a moment of silence and then he spoke.

“In other words, I guess according to the Talmud, never do anything important, like a heart attack, without having something to eat first.”

With that, he hung up the Ameche.

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