This year, to celebrate Passover, E.S. and I went to the house of my second cousin once removed for a seder. There were about fifteen guests there, all of whom were related to me and none of whom I had ever laid eyes on before, with the two exceptions of my cousin’s daughter, who used to be Puff Daddy’s dresser, and my second cousin twice removed who is the funniest bitchy old lady I have ever met and who is in fabulous shape. She ended up sitting on my left; on my right was E.S., and on his right was a (literally) demented old lady (way older than my second cousin twice removed) who kept telling E.S. about how Hitler had built these camps, see, and sent everyone in her village there. She was talking to him, but it was impossible for me not to overhear her.
My experience of the seder conversation went therefore something like this:
FAUSTUS: Gosh, this turkey is terrific.
SECOND COUSIN TWICE REMOVED: Oy, I can’t eat a bite. It’ll ruin my figure.
FAUSTUS: But your figure is divine.
DEMENTED OLD LADY: Hitler built camps, you see? And he sent my whole village there.
SECOND COUSIN TWICE REMOVED: I love you. You wanna be my son? My son was supposed to be here tonight but his wife invited him for dinner. They’re separated, why should they have dinner together? Whoever heard of such a thing? Young people today.
DEMENTED OLD LADY: Everyone in the village. The men to one camp, the women to another.
FAUSTUS: Have some turkey and then come to my aerobics class on Sunday.
SECOND COUSIN TWICE REMOVED: I used to do aerobics all the time.
FAUSTUS: It shows.
SECOND COUSIN TWICE REMOVED: Pass me the salad.
DEMENTED OLD LADY: There were showers at the camps, but there was no water in the showers. Instead it was poison gas.
SECOND COUSIN TWICE REMOVED: What’s that book you wrote?
FAUSTUS: It’s called Gay Haiku. Here, have some more matzah.
SECOND COUSIN TWICE REMOVED: Make sure it’s the salty kind. Would I like it?
FAUSTUS: Probably. I’ll send you a copy.
SECOND COUSIN TWICE REMOVED: It better be good.
DEMENTED OLD LADY: When Hitler took over Poland, he started building camps, concentration camps.
FAUSTUS: It is. I promise.
SECOND COUSIN TWICE REMOVED: There’s not enough salt on this matzah.