Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Uncle Slappy is angry.

Uncle Slappy just called and he was seething, not an unusual condition for the old man. I've learned from experience that the best way to get through his storms is to let them blow themselves out. He's like a tropical weather condition, Slappy is, before long he peters out into a light rain.

"It seems," he began "that everyone in the country is going to see Bernie Mann. I can't get you to fly down for a long weekend to visit me, much less the kids. Yet, Bernie Mann is as schmucky as the day is long, and he gets people seeing him left and right."

"I don't know Mann," I said, trying to let some of Uncle Slappy's steam out.

"A capital S schmuck, he is. A schmendrick, a schnorrer, a gonef, a putz. He lives two condos over. He's the one who gets up early and holds four chaises by the pool, sometimes six, when he needs only two. A grade-A, government-inspected schmuck. And he's all everyone is talking about?"

"Bernie Mann?" I interjected. "I've never heard of him."

"Everyone is going to Bernie Mann. They're going to Bernie Mann to get in touch with themselves. They're going to Bernie Mann like he's some citadel, some tower of nobility and accomplishment. He's nothing but a chaise hog and a low-life."

I finally caught on.

"Uncle Slappy," I began. "No one is seeing Bernie Mann. They're talking about a big festival in the desert out in California or Nevada. It's a big event. Hundreds of thousands of people go."

"So," he said.

"It's called Burning Man," I answered.

"Not Bernie Mann."

"No," I told him.

"Then never mind," he said. And he hung up the blower.

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