"She's doing it again! She's doing it again!"
It was Uncle Slappy, of course, and I could tell he was more than a little upset with Aunt Sylvie, his wife of nearly 60 years. They bicker and spar almost constantly Aunt Sylvie and Uncle Slappy and it's not at all unusual for me to get a call from the old man telling me he's through, that he's going to leave Aunt Sylvie and take up again with Mindy Haubenslag, his girl friend from just before the Korean War.
"We had hamburger for dinner. Not ground sirloin, god forbid. Ground sirloin is Yiddish for coronary infarction. We had," Uncle Slappy minced his words with the precision of a trained Shakespearean, "we had tur-key-bur-gers."
"Well, they are very low in fat," I temporized. "I eat them all the time."
"My money says they have no more taste than whole wheat matzoh. In fact, when Passover is over, carpenters use whole wheat matzoh as sandpaper."
"I suppose I don't disagree with you." It's been decades, really, since I had a genuine beef hamburger and I had to concede. Despite the salutary benefits of ground turkey, there are times I'd love the genuine article.
"So, of course with the turkey burger, you need ketchup. Something with flavor. A real-live hamburger, I can eat without ketchup. But the next time I eat a turkey burger, you should call Murray Klein my stock broker and buy 100 shares of Heinz."
"I think Warren Buffet beat me to the punch," I answered.
"Whatever," the old man replied. "So I loaded my tur-key-bur-ger with ketchup and put some on the side of my plate for dunking."
"I get the picture," I said. "So what did Aunt Sylvie do that got you so fuhtutzed?"
"The little hill of ketchup for dunking I didn't dunk. At the end of the meal it was still virgin ketchup, untouched by human hands."
"I came into the kitchen and found Aunt Sylvie back into the bottle putting the ketchup."
"Oy," I said. Oy being the universal Jewish cry that encapsulates over 6,000 years of our tribe's suffering.
"It's worse than that," the old man continued. "She was tsking. Tsk tsk tsk and back into the bottle with the ketchup."
I repeated the Eternal "Oy."
"I think we moved down to Boca with that same bottle 11 years ago," Uncle Slappy said. "That bottle will outlive the two of us."
With that he hung up the phone. And if I'm not mistaken, probably found a reason or two to give Aunt Sylve a peck on the cheek, probably for the millionth time during their marriage.