! Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death!

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Let My People Go

Well, Pesach in California was fine, sort of a mellow, laid back, somewhat jovial homage to enslaved Jews the world over. The scene in Florida, not so much.


MOM has long ago given up the desire to be scraping gefilte fish off the ceiling for months following the event, so she (quite smartly) has long since passed the baton to younger and stronger relatives. The performance this year took place at a theater I have attended before- the Boynton Beach Playhouse located in the southern region of the always charming (I mean sweltering) southern tier of the Florida panhandle.

Even though MOM is seventy-five years old, still works for a living and has a loving-but-not-always-with-it HUSBAND, AUNT had no qualms about asking MOM to prepare somewhere between nine and fourteen traditional holiday dishes. Never mind that MOM has a bad back, a bad arm,a bum leg and difficulty breathing (I mean smoking) and barely has the time to apply her usual parrot-green eye shadow- AUNT , who has a state of the art kitchen, grown children (BOY and GIRL COUSIN) of her own and UNCLE to assist (I mean complain about) .......still asked MOM to cook. (WTF?)

Maybe it has something to do with this particular holiday (I mean Passover). If you require someone to act like a slave, enlightenment will follow.

So MOM does what is asked of her, saving the discussion (I mean complaining) of same for me; The ne'er do well son who can't be bothered to get on a plane & haul his ass to Florida to see his MOM on this all-important holiday, even though it "could be her last, God forbid"

The Kugel is made, the tsimmis is cooled, the chopped liver sprinkled ever so lightly with a dusting of boiled egg....the stage is set!

MOM loads the all purpose dolly with enough food to supply a third world nation and loads the Jew Canoe (I mean car) in only three trips from the eighth floor of her condo, stopping between trips to catch her breath (I mean smoke). She straps HUSBAND in (after explaining for the fifth time that they are going to AUNT and UNCLE's) and silently prays that he doesn't pee before reaching their destination.

MOM and HUSBAND arrive at the "planned community" (I mean prison) that AUNT and UNCLE call home and ring the bell. DOG barks. HUSBAND asks if they are at the bank. DOG- delirious to see new people who aren't screaming at each other (I mean yet) knocks the bundt cake right out of HUSBAND's hands, sending him and GRANDMA's antique platter to the floor. (somehow, no hips are broken in the process)

As MOM huffs and puffs to the kitchen laden with dishes, BOY and GIRL COUSIN ignore her and continue bickering over which of their BABIES is taller/cuter/smarter- BABY BOY or BABY GIRL.

AUNT, meanwhile, is spied in the kitchen, inspecting her nails and checking out her reflection in a butter knife. As they sit to begin the solemn Seder service, BABY GIRL begins to shriek. Apparently, an alligator has smelled children (I mean brisket) and has ambled up to the lanai to check it out, wreaking havoc in the dining room. Clearly this is all too much for GIRL COUSIN (who immediately begins to cry) and she races out of the house to collect herself (I mean snort coke)

By the time GIRL COUSIN returns (sans appetite) they are already on the third glass of wine (I mean vodka) and AUNT is still hollering at UNCLE to get rid of the alligator (who isn't taking "no" for an answer).

BOY COUSIN has a (possibly LESBIAN) WIFE who refuses to eat a thing, reminding everyone that she is a vegetarian. MOM points out (tearfully) that she slaved (there's that word again!) over several dishes prepared especially for LESBIAN (I mean vegetarian) and can't understand why the words 'Chef Boyardee' mean nothing to the WIFE- if anyone understands meatless, surely it's the world famous chef, himself!

UNCLE takes a break from drinking the traditional twelfth glass of wine (I mean vodka) to step out to said Lanai and smoke. BOY COUSIN ( who only smokes in secret) demands that he stop immediately, lest BABY BOY inhale the noxious fumes and AUNT takes BOY COUSIN's side. This upsets GIRL COUSIN, (who once again breaks down in tears) and she runs out of the house to locate BABY GIRL's pacifier (I mean snort coke)

After the smoke clears it's time for something extremely fattening (I mean dessert) and the search for the Afikomen (I mean a piece of matsoh wrapped in a napkin that smells slightly of cat urine).
Although the youngsters in the house are the "chosen one's" to tear the house apart looking for the urine-soaked unleavened bread, GIRL COUSIN doesn't feel that enough attention is on her, so she quite naturally begins sobbing and flees to the bathroom to fix her makeup (I mean snort coke) -meanwhile her own HUSBAND has long since retired to the extra bedroom (I mean den) to watch baseball and MOM"s HUSBAND decides this would be an excellent time to pee- forgetting altogether that he is sitting on the divan (I mean couch)


MOM gets out the inhaler so that she can breathe (I mean smoke) and declares that this is absolutely, positively the last time she works like a dog (who is still licking cake off the floor) to be faced with the drama that is her (I mean my) family.

She collects HUSBAND (while quietly flipping the couch cushion) , declares that not only can they call a caterer next year, they can also kiss her flat white ass and marches (I mean hobbles) out the door, swearing under her (labored) breath.

UNCLE smiles and waves, wondering aloud if there is any wine (I mean vodka) left, while flinging a piece of brisket to the alligator. GIRL COUSIN violently blows her nose, oblivious to the fact that blood is coursing down her cheek. LESBIAN (I mean WIFE) checks her pant suit to make sure there is no meat on it- BOY COUSIN measures height of BOY BABY one last time and AUNT touches up her nails.

MOM and HUSBAND zoom off at seven miles per hour and the curtain falls. Like all Jewish Holidaze, the story needs to be told. After all, It's a classic.


Taming said...

Oh, Gawd. They are my relatives too.

Lynne said...

ROFLMAO! It was great to hear from you darlink. We are all off to pay homage to Mom and Dad's for Easter Sunday which should be fun. At least the kids are old enough to amuse themselves but too young to be snorting coke... speaking of that, Keith Richards tooted Dad?! WTF!?

Anonymous said...

I love the parrot green eye shadow. :D

Lucia said...

Oy vey. It just never ends, does it?

Jeannine said...

Thank you for putting CHARACTER names in all caps, the better to follow your fabulously described proto-family's antics, especially neuvo-MOM and crypto-HUSBAND. I laughed, I cried ...
Must admit, the reading experience was amplified in my mind's ear because I could hear your voice rising, falling, smirking, chortling, punching at just the right moments -- the way you do. It was next best to a real Jonathan-in-person experience, the likes of which have never been, and never will be equalled.
Thanks for this. I'll savor it over a glass of wine (I mean red) while cursing you for the fact that I'll never look at a butter knife again without bursting out in embarrassing, uncontrollable, snot-bubbling laughter, with no way to explain why.

Anonymous said...

What a riot.
Kelli told me this story, but seeing it in your words is priceless.

Anonymous said...

hiliar! this needs to be put to film...i can see all the characters soooo clearly. you are too funny...LOVE it!!