Monday, January 7, 2019


Huxley Pryce Aylsworth-Eitner, my step-great grandson, is one of the new people in the world. He is ten days old with twenty toes and fingers combined, with their appropriate phalanges and well-distributed. His name is a mouthful but he carries it well into this brave new world.

Amazing how his nose is perfectly centered and below it the tiny mouth into which will come mother’s milk and eventually solids and out of which will trot words which will rearrange his world.

I had a long talk with him yesterday apologizing for the state of our country’s disrepair that he has been bequeathed and how we are living under the reign of a man whose development has been arrested at an age not far from his own. It’s a preexisting condition you’ll have to deal it, Huxley. He did not disagree so I presume he’s been following our woes while doing the backstroke in that embryonic sea.

Speaking of mouths I have learned a couple of things in this New Year pertaining to that aperture which keeps us well-fed if our address happens to be a happy accident. Otherwise we might be spending a large fraction of our allotted time here scavenging for a decent meal.

On New Year’s Eve I had a bottle of bubbly at the ready as the ball descended in Times Square. The champagne was properly corked. If you want to know how it is approaching eighty-six imagine yourself struggling for thirty minutes to pry the cork from the bottle. It’s a case of arthritic and enervated phalanges. By the time I popped the cork the crowd in NYC was headed for the subway. For several years now we’ve settled for 9 P.M. as midnight. In three hours the clock will get around to us. I’ll take their word for it.

We took our glass and a half and went to bed. Then I had to deal with the rest of the stuff. Trying to replace the cork was out of the question, even with a normal cylindrical one and even when sober the next day. Ron (Huxley’s Grandpa) to the rescue. He advised me to pour out a few plastic bottles of water and preserve it therein. Beyond that, to cook with the Brut instead of wine. I did and it worked; I even drizzled some on an apple-cinnamon loaf. Now I understood William Trevor’s short story entitled, The Day We Got Drunk on Cake.   

I must tell Huxley about this discovery which took me over eight decades to learn. My second tidbit of culinary delight comes from Marcia T. whose knowledge of such things is unimpeachable. (It’s hard to write that word without sinking into political mud). She mentioned in passing that the best way to re-heat leftover pizza is to heat a pan on top of the stove for a couple of minutes, turn off the heat and then place the pizza on the covered pan for a minute.

There’s so much to pass along to my step great grandson. When I continued telling him about the President Huxley gave me a wise burp of recognition as if he knows that the dangerous fool in the White House will soon become an asterisk in the chronicle, a tiny hiccup in the narrative of human progress.   

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