Uncle Slappy and Aunt Sylvie are up for the High Holy Days. They arrived yesterday from Boca and won't be leaving until the day after Yom Kippur, so in total they'll be with us for a dozen days. I won't complain, after all, there's never a dull moment when they are here.
Tonight for the celebratory meal for once my wife didn't cook. Her brother had invited us over to his apartment on the west side and he and his girlfriend handled the culinary chores. As Yogi Berra may or may not have said, we should have stood in bed.
Uncle Slappy was polite throughout the meal, but once we got into the cab to go home, he was non-stop.
He started as he usually does with a loaded question.
"They have some ordinance on the west side against serving food hot?" he began. "And the brisket looked like it was cut with a hatchet, not a knife."
I tried to temper the old man's anger. "They tried, Uncle Slappy."
Slappy returned my attempt with the fury of a Serena Williams forehand.
"Try, try. The food tasted like what they serve in the basement of a synagogue. When the schvartzes cook for the entire congregation."
I admitted it left something to be desired.
"You remember the Galloping Gourmet?" Slappy asked. "Well they have something in common with him. The food tasted like it was made by a horse."
At this point the cab was nearing my apartment. I looked over to Slappy and thought I saw a tear, an actual tear in his eye.
"A piece of cake, they could have served. I diet all year so I can have a piece of cake on Rosh Hashanah. Strawberries, feh."
We entered my apartment. I immediately brewed Slappy and Sylvie coffee the way they like it, strong like Turkish coffee.
"We have some cake, Uncle Slappy. Seven-layer or cinnamon babka."
Again I thought I saw a tear.
I gave the old man a small schtickel of each. And then seconds.