Friday, April 22, 2016

Avian adventures with Uncle Slappy.

I was afraid last night in my apartment to even move.

My wife is in full-frenzy.

Like Mission Control at Nasa moments before landing the Mars rover. There is a concentration of effort. And intent in every motion.

And everywhere I turned, there was a chicken.

Coming out of the freezer there were frozen birds that emerged like Chinese troops crossing the border in the Korean War.

Wave after wave of kosher Empire chickens, they kept coming.

The soup pot, a large four or 14-gallon pot a small refugee community could bathe in, was boiling on the Viking. Soup was being made. Of course, soup was being made. The answer to 90% of all Jewish questions, ontological, liturgical or ecumenical is, according to my wife, ‘shhhh have some soup.’

The kitchen sink, the expensive double-deep, double-wide stainless steel affair that cost me a couple day-rates, was filled with birds. There were more birds awaiting their fate in our extra-large Sub Zero.

Uncle Slappy noticed, too, of course he did. He notices everything.

“I’m afraid to go to bed,” he said to me when it was time for him to turn in. “Under the 800-counts, there are more chickens, I assume.”

“Uncle Slappy,” I temporized, “I think we have somewhere chickens that are stuffed with other chickens that are stuffed with other chickens which will be served this evening…”

“All served on a bed of chickens.”

“The start of Passover is like an M.C. Escher engraving. Chickens to the vanishing point.” he said.

With that, Uncle Slappy padded off to the kitchen, kissed my wife good-night, then kissed me on the forehead good-night, and padded off to the guest room to read, then go to sleep.

He came back moments later with a reproduction someone had given me of John James Audobon’s classic bound collection of his unsurpassed paintings, “The Birds of America.” My copy is 694 pages, 13”x 16” and weighs in at a turkey-sized 18.1 pounds. It was all the old man could do to wrestle it into the living room.

With the decorousness of an old Pullman-car waiter, he placed the large volume on the coffee table in the living-room and turned on his well-worn slippers to go back to the guest room.

Not without a parting shot, of course.

“I’ll sleep better with this out here,” he said.

And he kissed me once again.

This time, just a little peck.

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