We made history tonight! The very first table was just fine! Yes, we did the seat assignment shuffle as anticipated, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as it could have been. We mostly did what my family does best, eat eat eat.
Available at Bo Brooks tonight were large crabs and extra-large crabs. Ordering the crabs involved cross- examining our server as if she were a serial killer. There were questions about the weight of the crabs; were the large crabs heavier than the extra-large crabs? If we ordered the large crabs and they weren’t heavy, then what? The server assured us that she would replace any anorexic crabs with morbidly obese crabs. Everyone seemed satisfied with that.
Then there was a philosophical discussion about the Maryland crab soup v. the cream of crab soup; before anyone ordered soup, my parents had to report on a new threat. They live in Ocean City, MD, and while the Maryland crab soup at most restaurants used to be quite good, there was some kind of killer black pepper invasion and the soup at all the restaurants in Ocean City is inedible now.
Apparently this is an African species of pepper that was smuggled into the country and has grown in strength and numbers and will soon be taking over the world. Just in the last year alone there have been 14 pepper-related deaths on the east coast. There is clearly a major government cover-up going on, because it certainly hasn’t been on the news. You heard it here first. Despite the dire warnings, some of us took a walk on the wild side and ordered the soup anyway.
In my family, once all the food is ordered, it’s time to talk about the food you just ordered, what you had the last time you ate there, where else you’ve eaten recently, where you used to eat when you were a child, and how that place had been gone for 40 years now. But second only to food, our favorite family activity is a game I like to call Name That Jew.
To get your bearings, Baltimore is the exact center of the universe, and everything good and right happened there 35-45 years ago. Either my mom or my cousin Bonnye will ask if the other ever hears from so and so. Ultimately, every single Jew in the Baltimore/Washington metropolitan area is separated by no more than 2 degrees. And we talk about every last one of them.
My mom has an extraordinary ability to travel across the space-time continuum. She will answer the phone to hear a friend she hasn’t spoken to in 30 years calling to catch up. The boy she dated in high school calls just to see how the last 60 years have been going. She may get a call from the girl who shared her bunk at sleep-away camp when they were 8. It is quite the phenomenon.
After that, the conversation took all kinds of strange twists and turns. Tune in tomorrow to hear the rest…I need to go sleep off all this food…