Okay, this has nothing to do with Passover, or parenting, except that I thought of it when I saw some photos my friend David put on Facebook of his seder, and he has a lovely new daughter, Georgina.
He was seated at the table with his guests and they were all wearing little paper hats (along with yarmulkes), each one embossed with the name of a plague. I couldn’t make out which one was his in the photo, so I’m just going to typecast and go with lice.
Anyway, this made me think of the summer in college that David and I shared a little house in New Orleans. We had very little money so, as might be expected, the place was a shithole. It wasn’t far from Tulane, and the landlord rented it out in during the year to students. In the summer it was under repair. This meant there were no locks on the doors, no doorknob on the back door, and a hole in the bathroom floor large enough to see the ground.
Still, we had fun. I got a job as a fry cook at Fat Harry’s, a popular bar in Uptown. David and our friend Gregg used to come in while I worked and I would feed them all evening. When I wasn’t working I was drinking beer, pretending (badly) to be a pool shark, and striking out riotously with women. Things could have been worse.
The only problem we had was that the landlord never respected our space. He was trying to get the place rented for the upcoming school year, so his agents always used to stop by unannounced to show it. This was a problem for me: my shift at the bar was from 10pm to 8am. I needed my sleep, and if strangers were tromping around the house during the day I wasn’t going to get it.
David, for some reason, seemed to take this worse than I did. He would get irate each time someone came, and finally he announced that the next time anyone showed up without notice he’d fix them.
This happened shortly thereafter: an agent came by with two young men around noon. I was asleep, but I woke up to let them in. David happened to be in the kitchen frying pork chops, and when realized what was up, he told me to stall them in the living room for a minute and then send them into the kitchen.
This I did, chatting drowsily with the agent and not neglecting to mention the stellar plumbing. Then I told them not to miss the kitchen–it was fantastic.
They went in and things were very quiet for a few moments, the only noise being an astonished “Oh, my,” from one of the guys looking at the apartment. Then they burst out of the kitchen and made for the street, the agent promising to call in advance from now on.
When the were gone I walked into the kitchen. David was at the stove, buck naked, frying pork chops.
“Hungry?” he asked.