Tuesday, March 15, 2016

A warning from Uncle Slappy.

“Shakespeare wrote,” said Uncle Slappy as I picked up the horn at 6:17 this morning, “Shakespeare wrote,” he continued “the words of the soothsayer: ‘Beware the Ides of March.’”

“Set him before me,” I said, “let me see his face.”

“Today is the Ides of March,” Uncle Slappy continued.

“Actually, Uncle Slappy,” I dissertationed, “the Romans divided their months into five or six day periods. One of those—roughly between the 13th and 18th was the Ides.”

“Thank you, perfesser. Your edifications always warmed my heart. But today, I want to talk about what happened yesterday.”

“Yesterday was also the Ides,” I clarified.

“First it was down by the pool, Ida Blumenthal, her husband was in insurance out in Jersey, six chaises by the pool she takes. People on the concrete were laying on towels and she has six chaises all festooned with stolen hotel towels and cheap novels.”

“Ida Blumenthal,” I said stupidly.

“Then Sylvie says, ‘Let’s to the market go and to the pool we’ll come back later.’”

I reordered the sentence in my head.

“So,” Uncle Slappy continued, “We get in the car and drive over to the Stop and Plotz to pick up a few groceries. If you should happen to visit anytime soon, a sponge cake we have in the ice box.”

“I’d love to make it down, Uncle Slappy. But work is unrelenting.”

“We’re in the checkout, the 15-items or fewer and ahead of us is Ida Plotnick with, count ‘em, 22 items.”

“22 items, that’s terrible."

“Well she counts four cans of chicken noodle as one item. That’s how she beats the system.”

“There ought to be a law,” I said.

“So an imbroglio happens between Sylvie and Plotnick. It looked like there would be a cage match between two alter cockers in the Schtup and Plotz.”

“What happened,” I asked.

“The manager, a nice Puerto Rican opens a lane for us. That’s fine but something to Ida Plotnick he should say. Four cans, four items. That’s in the Talmud.”

“You had quite a day.”

“It’s what led me to re-write Shakespeare,” Uncle Slappy said, setting me up. “He said, ‘Beware the Ides of March.’ My version is better. At least for Boca: ‘Beware the Idas of March.’”

And with that, he hung up the blower.

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