I woke up early, as I do so often when I am with Uncle Slappy.
He is a 4AM riser--he's up with the fishermen and the farmers and the milkmen, as if there are fishermen and farmers and, haha, milkmen left.
Truth be told, perhaps the only vestige left of a kinder, simpler world, is for me, Uncle Slappy. At a time when everything in the solar system--and perhaps beyond--
seems to have skidded violently off the rails, Uncle Slappy and his wife of almost 60 years, Aunt Sylvie, are bastions of kindness, intelligence, moderation and that rarest of all attributes, stability.
So, it bothered me not a bit to peel off of the Posturepedic at 4:15AM and shuffle into the kitchen to share a cuppa strong black with the old man.
As always, Uncle Slappy dispensed with the small graces and solicitudes that seem to dictate so much modern social intercourse. There was no, 'how did you sleep?' or the equally anodyne remark, 'you're up!'
He was nursing his Joe and an English muffin and had his laptop open on the table. Of course, he was reading "The New York Times."
"I have been reading about the Million Woman March. These are times," he said, "where we need to protest, loudly, every little action, misspeak and injustice."
"I couldn't agree more."
"So Sol Benowitz two condos down and I are organizing 'The Dozen Jew March.'"
"The Dozen Jew March."
"There aren't many of us left," he admitted. "We will lock arms--the dozen of us--in front of Katz's Deli, 205 E. Houston. Then we will march up Broadway to Zabar's, then over to Barney Greengrass, we'll have a nosh."
"What are you protesting?" I asked. Having known Uncle Slappy my entire life, I am comfortable playing the straight man.
"We're old. We're bold. And we can't be told. Basically, we're angry."
"Angry at what?"
"You need to be angry at something? We're just angry. Angry at the dumbness. Angry at the avarice. Angry at the filth and the lack of caring. Angry at the blind acceptance and idiocy of a world that has done what the world has done."
"A good list."
"That ain't the half of it. We're also angry that a small piece of rugelach costs $1.50. So, we're marching."
"I'm there with you," I chipped in.
The old man looked up from The Times, sipped his black and answered me.
"The more the merrier, boychick, but one thing."
I paused as did Uncle Slappy.
"You buy the rugelach."