Saturday, September 25 2004
Fearing the possibility of thunderstorms, I unloaded the ton of gravel from my pickup truck as quickly as possible. I first parked the truck on the lawn as close as possible to the southwest corner of the house (with Gretchen directing me) and then unloaded it mostly with a plastic bucket. The biggest complication was caused by the plastic membrane I'd attached to the foundation wall. The force of the falling gravel detached a corner and then a bunch of it peeled off. That meant I had to dry everything off with a fan so I could goop on some more asphalt and reattach it. I thought I'd need Gretchen's help to unload the truck in a timely manner, but work progressed rapidly with just me doing it, and I was done in a couple hours. Meanwhile Gretchen was upstairs watching women's basketball.
A little after 4pm I took Gretchen back to the Woodstock synagogue so she could conclude her Yom Kippur observances. Before she returned, both Meatlocker People arrived to break the Yom Kippur fast. They were so famished that they couldn't wait to start eating.
When Gretchen finally returned home, she was driven by Suzy from Gardener and her new boyfriend (another sculpture, like herself). We had a fast breaking meal of squash (ick!) and matzah ball soup (yum!) out on the south deck (which neatly conceals all my excavation). This was necessary because Suzy's new boyfriend is deathly allergic to cat danger.
Unlike the others, I hadn't done anything approximating fasting all day. But then again, I was the only non-Jew at the table.
Later it was just Gretchen, me, and Mr. and Ms. Meatlocker sitting around the kitchen table, and we talked about the time recently when Gretchen met Ms. Meatlocker's family and all of them assumed she wasn't Jewish. When Gretchen made a passing reference to something only a Jew would know about, one of Ms. Meatlocker's relatives said, "Oh, you're good!" So then Gretchen said, "Wait, I am Jewish you know!" Then to prove it, she put her sweater over her hair to simulate a babushka, and there it was, what everyone could recognize as an unmistakeably Jewish face (at least that's the impression I got from Gretchen's description of the success of this demonstration - which she did again as she retold the story). I said, "Wait a minute, maybe everyone looks Jewish when they wear a babushka!" So I grabbed the sweater and put it over my hair and Gretchen had done, half-closing my eyes in a world-weary way and saying "Oy! Oy!" But Gretchen said the babushka was doing nothing to my perceived Jewishness. If anything, she said, I looked Finnish.
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