It wasn’t quite the Algonquin Round Table. Dorothy Parker was missing but the four of us probably topped well over 600 I.Q. points, and that included the drag of mine. We covered Odysseus (doesn’t everybody?), the lotus-eater, the schemer, was he or was he not a hero, I ask you, salad anyone? to Roger Angell, describing Carlton Fisk’s home run by contorting his body, telekinesis. Tinkers, to Evers to a Chance mention of astrology, heaven help me. Who is not drawn to the inexplicable, the unwilled combustion of the poem that must be written, he declared. Puccini, the fascist, versus Toscanini, with a side of Verdi’s Aida over eggplant sprinkled with sumac. I am back at P.S. 99 marching into assembly, no elephants. Speaking as we did, of mothers, are we not penguins, among the quarter million, who were found by our mothers? Found as Gilbert found Sullivan over songs and snatches. Kipling got a mention but not of this tide. Haagen Dazs and peppermint tea, mild carminative, I chimed. Pheromones, someone said. Soon she would be off to a retreat to ponder Catherine and Moses. No, not that Moses, the progenitor of Felix. All of them, great. Each, to our off-ramp, our sanctuary. Are you getting all this down Damon Runyon? It’s the stuff of more than patter with the D’Oyly Carte. Pass the hummus, would you, before you die, Wilfred Owen. Tell them, Rudyard, because those fathers lied. The talk goes from the Trojan War (as if yesterday) to WW I to Ukraine. Seen one you’ve seen then all; squandered lives by an ignorant patriarchy. Who the heroes are, we do not know. Bogart, yes Bogey, as Sam Spade dug deep, I should have said, was an offspring of Ulysses. Hard-boiled softy at heart but shifty, got the best of anybody, criminal or client. Greenstreet and Lorre, what a pair but they all came to me at the stop sign.