I broke off a small piece of chocolate babka and sampled it to test its moistness, you really could never know with babka, sometimes it melts in your mouth and other times it feels like an energy bar sticking to the roof of your mouth and preventing your voice box from working like in that classic Aaron Bur Oreos commercial. It was good and I took a full piece and munched on it some more pausing every few moments for a cool swig of ice water which I am sure was even more polluted then New Jerseys and I would leave this event with 3 nipples that glowed green. A bottle of some fancy bourbon sat in front of me making a depression on the freshly laid white tablecloth and plastic covered tables. I sat by myself and kept glancing at the 4 serving trays with little fires glowing beneath the trays- I wanted to leap out of my chair and tear the covers off and dive into whatever contents lay in those shiny trays, small streams of steam were flowing from underneath the covers and condensation was forming on the outside signaling that the contents would be dried up to nothingness if no one acted now.
I sat wondering what lay inside those silver trays, maybe it was stuffed cabbage and some pepper steak, maybe they had some salmon or franks and blanks? I could hardly contain myself and the all of the sudden the feeling passed, two guys sat off to the right of me and motioned for me to pass them the “good stuff”. They hurriedly took the bourbon and each poured themselves about 6 ounces or the light brown liquid. They started hocking about whether to make a mezonos or a L’chaim first and wondered out loud- they were doing the “show em how frum you are” dance, by wondering out loud what to do. A short plump man with an equally short and trimmed beard that looked more like a goatee mumbled something. Then it began…
You’re from Monsey huh? I have a cousin he just moved there about a year ago, Deitsch, lives somewhere around there. Nah, don’t know him. I sat listening to the beginnings of what always turned into a crappy conversation based solely on orthodox Judaisms way of keeping folks from having anything interesting to say in the name of keeping all random conversation to the art of Jewish geography. The conversation died down for second while short-guy tried to think of something to say. I could see him searching the files, kind of like when someone wants to show how many names they have for misheberach’s on shabbos. Then they say aha, I found one, and he did and he mentioned it. But he struck out again and missed, two strikes in a row during a good match of JG- Jewish Geography- is virtually unheard of, because usually one of the people will say, “oh yeah I know that guy- he probably doesn’t know that guy- but both sides have a vested interest in making the chossons tish go by as fast as possible. The booze is usually not very good and once the initial stuff-your-face with really stale cakes and Smirnoff is over with the folks feel obligated to sit around while the holy dudes up at the front go through the ketuva between swigs of seltzer and hugging random people.
My friends father looked helpless as he stood and watched the suites hocking around with the ketuva. I think they might have even pushed the guy, he is a little unassuming guy with his slightly brown skin, little mustache and short stature- he looks like he may own a few gas stations or something. One of those guys that rushes out of his cubicle when some dude walks out with a stick of gum he didn’t pay for. He rushes out waving some stick he has that is attached to the bathroom key and screaming in some mixed Arabic-English- Hindi combination that no one really understands. Then he walks back into his store cursing in his native tongue and slumps his shoulders. This is what my buddies dad looks like.
The conversation next to me progressed into the classic “how did you get here?” The goatee guy was from Detroit while the guys across from me had flown. They were talking about how they had hocked with the ticket agents who had no more flights and were going into some sort of tirade about frequent flyer miles or something. It was classic Brooklyn talk, always show the out of town folks how savy the city folks are with their cars and flight arrangements and then make anyone who is not from NYC feel inadequate and that their city sucks.
Someone, presumably the father of the kallah came hobbling in and yelling at everyone for not eating what was in the glorious silver trays, he paid for it after all. At that command all the men went into Kiddush mode, which is plow everyone down so you can be first, and make everyone suffer as you try and find the best piece. The row consisted of the most disgusting looking pepper steak/cholent concoction I had ever seen, withered franks and blanks that looked like they could use some steroroids, burnt rice and Swedish meatballs. Despite the poor look of the food, everyone including me loaded up, we piled everything on top of one another and sat down to assume our fressing positions. Somewhere amidst me hesitantly trying the pepper steak that looked like cholent and trying to gnaw through the dead hot dog I heard the plate smash. Mazel tov was sang and my friend told me to come with him to the women’s side where the real food would be.
The food was pretty much the same in the women’s side, the walk over was interesting, first of all the hotel was filled with the most ghetto looking people I have ever seen and most of them were wearing just bikinis signaling they were going or coming from the pool. Large black women with two piece bathing suites are not conducive to eating large meals, they tend to activate the whole “I just threw up in my mouth feature” and I was appalled at their nastiness as well as the fact that all these frummies were just walking around like they weren’t there, problem was they were all staring at us- like “what da hell is dese crackers doin.”
The tray of ribs was very inviting and was for the first time in my life horrible. I mean how can baby ribs be messed up, these were mostly inedible. The chossons cousin even made a comment of going to get some pizza or something because he had never had such bad food. I tried to get some glimpses of the kallahs friends but to no avail, I then found the fruit table and munched on pineapple chunks while marveling at all the folks who were obviously not Jewish and wondering if they happened to be staying in the hotel and just figured they would get a free meal.
I think this wedding will go down in history as the first frum wedding with half naked black women in the video as they dance the chosson down to his kallah before the chupa. Later on I would find out that al these fine ghetto folks were Hurricane Katrina victims and this is where they were living, what I fine place for a wedding eh. I can just imagine the video, with all the backwards walking hats locking shoulders with my buddy and these gaping black folks clutching their towels and wearing their swimsuits- it was very funny.
Like last weeks wedding, once again it was an outside chupa, once again the announcer could be understood and wasn’t one of those real yeshivish ones that try and call up people in the worst accents ever, and once again were there a bunch of the kallahs hot friends standing on the side hair waving in the wind and creating a nice distraction for me during the whole period between sitting down on uncomfortable chairs and the glass smashing signaling the couple can get freaky in the yichud room. Interesting to note that my buddy the brown sphardi guy, pulled out this talis in the middle of the whole service and draped him and his kallah under it so they could makeout in public without anyone actually seeing. This went on for many moments until they emerged smiling. I was wondering how it would feel to have your first kiss with a women who fasted all day, morning breath in the afternoon with 10 times the bacteria, unless they quickly bust out a Listerine pack. I think someone should make yichud room survival kits, they could have, Listerine, condoms, lube and maybe a poem to read to your women before you rock the 5 minute quickie. It could come in an easy to use pouch that fits neatly under your hat or tucked into your jacket pocket. Maybe it could include a “how to” guide for those of the sexually challenged.
The meal wasn’t bad, no appetizer, but entertaining table folks who were very high on the fact they lived in Brooklyn and were very bitchy about it. I as well as most folks who have tried it think the pizza store in Detroit is the best pizza around. I fantasize for days before going about their world famous cheese sticks, more like cheese garlic bread if you ask me. These guys thought it was the worst thing since the cholent burger. The problem with Brooklyn pizza is that it’s expensive and it all tastes the same.
I started talking with one of the guys at the table about blogging and turns out he used to be addicted to commenting. I usually try and bring it up and that always works for interesting conversation. I usually do the “shocker JG” that is when they look at you and assume based on your modern external looks you will not be able to bust out some hearty JG. WRONG, I retain the look of shlumped out pot head because that’s the summer look for me, but I can hold my own in some good JG. If I really don’t want to play JG I just tell them I live in Upstate New York- they say they have been to Lake George and that’s it we’re done, if I want to get it on, I then throw in that I went to yeshiva andgrew up in the City. To go all out I can say my old man learned in various yeshiva’s and is from Brooklyn- though that’s reserved for older folks JG.
The wedding itself was actually real fun, all the geocentric Brooklynites were way fun and the dancing was good too. Everyone got up and danced, it wasn’t one of those weddings with a bunch of stragglers, it was hopping. There was one point when everyone donned cowboy hats and started square dancing though the women were having way more fun judging by their screaming unless that was due to standing on the other side of the Berlin Wall.
Let me note that the main meal was actually pretty good and due to the poor overall quality of the food I had two main meals. The dish was this chicken encased in filo dough with some veggies on the side. It was colorful and filling, oh and there was this amazing cranberry ginger ail that I was grooving on the whole time.