Friday, May 14, 2004


When I was a child, my sister would always say to me, Arye, cats are for throwing, and then she would mercilessly throw our very large cat at me. Now this cat was no ordinary cat. Our mischievous feline was 476 lbs. of lazy, furry flesh. Mom would constantly feed it better than she had fed us. Bongo, as we named our cat after the less intelligent character on Heathcliff (the cartoon), ate sushi, steak, caviar, and Fettuccine Alfredo. We, on the other hand, had peanut butter and jelly sandwiches every day. Three times a day. Nothing else was served in the Dworken house ever. When friends would ask if I got tired of PB&J, I would say back, I didn't know that there was anything else to eat in this world.

Then on a sunny summer day, upon returning home from school, I spotted a broken down car sitting in front of our home. It seemed as if the passengers in this car must have been important because of the tinted windows. My father always said, son, if you see a car with 'dem tinted windows, that means 'dem important people in the car. It turns out that Father was right because out of this busted stretch Chevy emerged Santa Claus, Richard Nixon, Superman and Stephen Hawkins.

"Who let Hawkins drive" shouted Nixon.
"Sorry. About. That," said Hawkins in his creepy robotic voice.

I had recently been practicing my French, which I found out years later was really Portuguese. I greeted my new best friends.
"You are right on time for Peanut Butter and Jelly," I said in my French/Portuguese.
"Wonderful," said Santa.
I then whispered in Superman's ear that Santa wasn't invited because I was Jewish and that since I didn't believe in him, he would have to wait in the car.
"No problem," said Superman.

Just then my sister, whose nickname was Leather Slipper, came home.
"What's going on here?" asked Leather Slipper.
"Just some friends coming over," I responded in my French/Portuguese.
"Does mom know you're having guests over? She won't be happy because she hasn't cleaned the house."
"Sacrea Bleu," this was French. I was sure of it. I had heard my French janitor say it when he spilled acid on my teacher. We had two weeks off from school because of this incident. During this time I flew to Jupiter and established the first colony there.

I walked into my house with Superman, Nixon and Hawkins (Santa waited in the car--I insisted) and heard loud banging emanating from the back.
"What's. That. Noise?" Hawkins asked.
"That's dad," said Leather Slipper. "He's f****ing building this mother****ing treehouse. ****, I said to him, we're too old for that ****." Leather Slipper liked to use colorful words all the time.
"Oh," said Nixon.

Just then Mom came down the stairs and spotted me with my guests.
"What in blazes is going on here, Arye?" She screamed.
"Mom, not in front of the guests, please," I said sternly in my French/Portuguese.
"We can come back another time," said Superman.
"No, it's ****in' ok," said Slipper. "I'll handle the old lady."
"Could we have PB&J in the treehouse?" I asked.
"No," Mom said. "We have no more bread. I fed it all to Bongo."


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