As happens so often with me, last night I was visited once again by Dame Insomnia. This time she woke me not with a soft whisper and a gentle touch on my shoulder. This time she wasn't even a she. Instead, I was awakened by Uncle Slappy with a poke and an insistent "Boychick."
I am closer to Uncle Slappy than I am to anyone except my long-suffering wife. Thinking that perhaps there was a problem, god forbid, I hopped out of bed like a fire-fighter and walked with my arm around the old man's shoulder into our eat-in kitchen.
He sat in his chair, which is my chair, when he and Aunt Sylvie aren't around and I quickly brewed a pot of coffee. As I served him a cup, black, and a small plate of three cinnamon rugelach with raisins (never serve him rugelach without raisins) he spun his tale.
"I have it, boychick. Our ticket to easy street."
"Uncle Slappy," I admonished, "it's three in the morning."
"Ach," he spat. "No one told Henry Ford the time, the anti-Semite."
"What is it you have?" I asked, filling his mug.
"The answer to Bit Coin."
I looked around our kitchen and saw a rumpled edition of "Wired" magazine. I knew immediately I was in trouble. Uncle Slappy is likely to have read something about new technology and is even more likely to be completely baffled by it all.
"I'm surprised you even know about Bit Coin," I said. "I'm not even sure I understand what it is. And my guess is that in five years it will be nothing but a dusty memory."
"Nevertheless," the old one continued, "I have conceived something smarter than Bit Coin. It will make us rich beyond our wildest dreams of mammon."
"I'm a big fan of mammon," I said laconically.
"I call it BitStrami. An online currency based on the price of Pastrami. You've got denominations of 'forschpice,'" he said using the Yiddish word for appetizer, "schtickle," the Yiddish word for a nice bite, "and sandwich. Sandwich is pegged to the price at Katz's."
I yawned. Maybe a little too emphatically. "Genius, Uncle Slappy."
With that, he finished his coffee and trundled off into his bedroom, parting with these words: "It's meshugga, to talk about such things this late."
I noticed he grabbed "Wired" on his way out.