Friday, December 28, 2012


I'm in Antigua, one time zone and several thousand miles from home, but that didn't stop Uncle Slappy from giving me a ring-a-ling this evening.

"Boychick," he began, "It's been written that when a poor man eats a chicken, one of them is sick."

"I've heard that, Uncle Slappy," I responded. "It's Sholem Aleichim, is it not?"

"Let me tell you what I mean, and don't be such a wise ass," the old man stormed forward. "I fear I am becoming a chicken."

"You're becoming a chicken?"

"You know I hate fish, yes? I wish I could figure out how to re-jigger W.C. Fields' line about hating water...'fish fuck in it.' But I can't make it work. In any event, I can't stand any fish that isn't smoked. Smoked salmon, I'll eat. Smoked whitefish, sturgeon. But regular restaurant or filet fish you get at the market, well, it turns my stomach."

"I see," I responded wisely.

"And with my weight about 20 lbs. too high, I have to give up pasta. The only food I really love. Dr. Richard P. Cohen, my internist, not Richard T. Cohen, the podiatrist, says I must eat as if it's Passover. No grains. No bread. No pasta. No rice."

Again I interjected an "I see."

"So, chicken I am left with. Chicken roasted. Chicken baked. Chicken marsala. Chicken salad. Chicken until it's coming out my ears.

"The chicken or the poor man might be sick to Sholem Aleichim. That's fine. But I'm well and sick of chicken."

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