...I'm reminded of the time that my charming neighbors Ednetta Davis and her devoted daughter Rachel decided to prepare a quiet Rosh Hashanah dinner for just themselves in their studio apartment in Far Rockaway! They carefully made all the arrangements; the special scented candles, the "Golden Delicious" apples, the special lavender honey, pomegranates, cous-cous with seven vegetables, challah bread, gefilte fish, matzo ball soup, brisket and roast chicken, potato kugel, tzimmes complete with sweet potatoes, and dates and honey cakes for dessert. And of course, an assortment of elegant wines for each course!
Oh, they had spared no expense for their little feast, and on their limited income too, but Rachel didn't want to make her elderly mother feel guilty for all the extravagance. The dinner cost her two week's salary as a substitute art teacher at the elementary school down the street. It was all going so well, until Ednetta decided to hold the dinner in the kitchen until Elijah arrived to fill the empty chair. Rachel tried gently to explain to her sweet but addled mother that Elijah is waited for on Passover, not Rosh Hashanah... and that it's a tradition, but that he never actually comes to the table. At that point, Ednetta became very agitated and began yelling Elijah's name out their window overlooking the corner of Mott Avenue and Gateway Blvd. Her escalating screaming attracted a crowd and finally the police who had to intervene and take her to Bezalel Hospital for observation.
Poor Rachel. She blew out all the candles, turned off the oven, and left the dinner completely untouched. She didn't have the heart to remind her mother that they were actually Presbyterians... Oh well, I wish all of you a L'shana Tovah!
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