Bon Appétit – Part 2, The Monocle

In our last episode, Wally, who looks a lot like Ronald Coleman, has just rescued Maxie, the love of his life, who also happens to look a lot like Ronald Coleman. We pick up the story…

I’m sorry. I digress. I was talking about Wally and Maxie. Did you know they once rode together across Canada on a bicycle built for two? Not naked, I hope. Early in their marriage they lived and worked on a commune in Mendocino County, I recall it was a cash crop, and changed their names. Walt went by the name of Moonman; I imagine there’s a story there, don’t you?  And memory fails me but I think Maxie’s commune name was some kind of incense, Patchouli or Jasmine. Musk, maybe. The point is, is these wonderful, amazing, delightful people have always been open to experimentation. Their openness made them ideal members of our Gourmet Club. It was, after all, their suggestion three years ago that we all attend a lutefisk festival. To this day I am unable to look at a piece of herring. It was also their recommendation that brought our club to the Renaissance Faire for an unbelievable medieval feast, made even more memorable when a wayward lance speared Wally’s foot and he lost a big toe.

However, about three months ago Wally and Maxie decided they needed another challenge. They had already mastered the art of being Reform Jews, which admittedly has rather lax standards. So, what was their next adventure you might ask? Well — and it’s just like you two — they didn’t take just one step and join a Conservative synagogue. No. Not a chance. They bypassed Go and leapt all the way to Orthodox. We all applaud your convictions, dear, and correct me if I’m wrong, but your new spiritual home makes gourmet dining out a little more complicated. Isn’t that right? It’s not as if I don’t know a little something about this. After all, my father was an Israeli Jew. Very secular, though. So secular, in fact, he changed his last name to Wilson when he first came to the States before changing it back when he returned to Israel.

My concern with all this conversion business is, I’m guessing adhering to a strict Sabbath means no more gourmet dinners out on Friday evenings. And driving a car is out, too. I looked it up before coming here this morning and there’s plenty of stuff you can still eat. Right? Beef is okay, as long as it doesn’t have any flaws or diseases. What’s that all about? I mean, it’s not as if the rest of us go to a steak house and order our beef smothered in Mad Cow Disease gravy. You can still eat chicken and salmon. That’s nice. I love both and they’re healthy for you, too. But if we were to all follow your lead there would be no more bacon-wrapped scallops, stuffed pork chops, crab cioppino, or any thing remotely resembling a New England clam bake. So, what are we left with? Kosher wine? As my father, may he rest in peace, would say … Oy.

In scheduling our gourmet dinners I can work around religious dietary restrictions and the no more Friday evenings. I really can. What’s turning out to be more problematic is what happened to Kyle and Susie this past summer.

(to be continued)

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