What did I learn during my vacation from Kosher? Relishing soulless shellfish on my wedding anniversary or for any future vacations to Mexico at Sammy Haggar’s Cabo Wabo Cantina in Cabo San Lucas could be resounding exceptions. Because that chilled Shrimp cocktail at our fine dining restaurant in Greenville, DE on our anniversary night, where they show off the fancy, out of reach wine bottles in sight while all the Nazi gold is buried out back, rocked my world and was holy shit, good living good to me. My crab soup wasn’t chopped liver either. The crabs were so fresh you’d think I just barebacked with Cardi B on the rebound. And my wife’s oysters were flush with more sweet svelte bites than boring briny ones, without tasing like forced maritime mop slop either.
Although along the way, I’ve realized how my relationship with non-Kosher food is no longer the same old situation. For example, when we went to Rehoboth Beach and ate at famed Pizzeria chain Grotto’s, my Stromboli, proved how pork hasn’t lost its allure on my tubby bitch’s soul one bit. I still recall fond, heartwarming memories of being introduced to Westchester’s finest Stromboli by my old childhood friend Ari in nearby Chappaqua, before Hillary Hammer Time Cankles stank fumed taint, tainted the area in general. Still, I recall the infusion of American cheese in that Stromboli while combined with Mozzarella in addition to well-spaced, garlic encrusted seasoning, taking this Stromboli into pleasure town USA so much higher. Till this day, I can’t eye a stromboli, without thinking of my dear old friend Ari Geller in addition our Holy Grail pursuit of the perfect cheesesteak and chicken cult sandwich to. One of the last times I saw Ari, was at his house in CT with his wife and 2 kids, to my only 1 at the time. Now, we both have 3. So, I shouldn’t have been surprised how when I visited, Ari grilled some chicken for us and made some homemade Tzatziki sauce in addition to warm pitas, which provided a nice hearth home infused touch. Ari gave me a great compliment that day, this was when I was writing Yelp reviews to keep my storytelling and comedy writing chops up, when he said, “I know I’m funny, but I don’t have your imagination, Killer. Plus, I’m not reading your stuff because I feel guilted into reading it. I genuinely enjoy reading it all. Do I think you can be a great standup like Jim Norton, no? But do I think you could be a great writer? Yes, without a doubt, just chill out on the wordplay already.”
I just paraphrased 2 lumped in conversations, but those talks stayed with me because when friends from your youth who came out to your stand-up comedy bringer shows and read your scripts and blogs over the years, don’t have to encourage and emote in your honor but when they’re smarter and were never treated like regretful dumb fucks by their parents, you’re going to take notice and add some extra validity to what they have to say. What does this historical rehash in my writing development’s honor from a combination of old friends from High School, who’ve been clearing 6 figures for more than 2 decades now, versus my zero, have to do with my vacation from Kosher exactly? First, it proves how I’ve never lost my respect for delivering the funny, and Ari was my original writing partner who’s the first and only man I ever wore a wig for in our sketch for the Pig Men book review we did in Junior High. Second, my suburban Jewish roots run deep, and unlike another old friend Chaim, a successful lawyer for some major firm and Ari, a big time Kidney doctor who owns a part of his practice in CT, never embarked on this Mensch and A Half journey that I started 2 years ago when I became intent on becoming a full time practicing, Koshertarian Comedian, not knowing if it would lead to any riches along the way, outside of some good filler for a new book, The Koshertarian Comedians. I never anticipated my youngest son Chosen Curls Was Bound To Woo to proclaim, “Always Kosher daddy”, but I still want to eat more Peeking Duck at P.F Chang’s in Scottsdale again.” Never in a million years, would I anticipate my meat averse daughter to embrace my Koshertarian Wings with a homemade barbeque sauce nor picture her other brother Arthur to insist on ordering a veggie cheesesteak at Wawa that he designs, versus a standard, ho hum cheesesteak that isn’t made with Kosher meat after exposing and getting him into Kosher meat at all. At the same time, Kosher law forbids you from mixing dairy and meat, but you get the gist.
I say my relationship has changed with food since my Koshertarian Comedian journey began because having to serve my immediate, carnal rooted desires is now glaringly secondary to pleasing Hashem, with a little of Kosher commanded love and respect, which is a redemptive, less all over the place Jewy place to be. Granted, I’m only half Heeb Crazy, so technically speaking, I shouldn’t be completely bat shit crazy 365 days out of the year while denying myself some lobster tacos at Cabo Wabo to hear Sammy Haggar’s band perform live at his bar on the sand to some more Heavy Metal Music noise, especially knowing how at 75 years old, the former front man of Van Halen and Montrose makes Ryan Reynolds look like a metrosexual lesbian nerd in comparison these days. Vacation from Kosher is what it was, a temporary respite, away from our Koshertarian comedian blessed home, when eating Kosher isn’t so easy like when you’re visiting an old college bud Mike Paone to take in George Thorogood and the Destroyers and Sammy Haggar’s band the Circle play circles around other mere meh mortals half their age easy. When your bud orders you a deep-fried ravioli, with meat inside, you oblige. When you have the option to order a duck ham benedict during your vacation from Kosher when you haven’t done Brunch in 12 years, since becoming an unplanned father of 3 because you never mastered the art of the pump fake, you oblige. When your old college bud buys you tickets to see the Cardinals in town, who’ve won the 2nd most amount of world championships after the Yankees, and insists you try the Pork on the bone Sirloin sandwich at a local barbeque haunt before gametime, you oblige, just like you don’t shy away from ordering the mac and cheese side with the smoked, succulent bacon bits inside. Still, I come back from my vacation, hop on the scale and yell up above, “209 Lord, you’ve got to be kidding me. Are that many calories in Triple Sec and Simple Syrup while housing one Cabo Wabo swirled tequila after another? I ate pork for a grand total of 4 times during my vacation from Kosher while having no beer to touch thy lips for the past 6 months, and the best you can do for me is 209, my chest. Looks like we’re back to ungodly reason to resume our Koshertarian diet again, my chest times infinity, no offense.”
Other reasons my relationship with food has changed is because my relationships or lack thereof outside of house have. At this point, I’m averaging a summer getaway to see an old friend from college or from LA every other 2 years. Only planning these trips around rock shows like seeing Aerosmith in Vegas 3 summers ago, restricts your mobility a bit. For the past 2 plus years, I’ve been our in-house Koshertarian comedian cook star, and I’d like to keep that way as I continue to get, more curtain call generating yummy dances while my 3 Koshertarian Comedian friends get perpetually more giddy about giving the Koshertarian diet at home an extended chance. Above all else though, my main relationship that’s changed the most is with Hashem, the miracle maker, my redeemer, who makes all my sheets of comedy possible. Who allows me to grow closer to my children and his spirt through the more laughs and yummy dances I make.
My favorite part of Rosh Hashanah services this year, was when the Rabbi went to hold my hand at the end of services, while some yenta breath interrupted my 1st line attempt at conversation, before I put things at ease and said, “It’s ok, the Rabbi is used to be going long.” And we had met only once prior, when I went to pick up a spare Shofar for my son to practice with and freak out my in-laws with this past anniversary weekend, mission accomplished. My wife booked us for a service held outside by a zoo outside of Wilmington, which was lovely, to usher in a good new year. I even indulged in some Fried chicken and waffles to finish this vacation from Kosher in style. Afterwards, the waitress, wrote me a note on our check that said, “Your family has great positive energy, don’t ever change.” If that isn’t divine intervention or infinitude now, I don’t know what is. My takeaway from this moment was Hashem saying, “Don’t give on me delivering for you kid. And keep on pitching how controlling our kids with comedy can make our kids great again. Your 3 fuss free kids are living proof of it.” Later, infinitude now occurred again, when I blew the shofar on a mountain top in North Salem, overlooking a picturesque valley that looked too pretty placed to be true.” I blew that Shofar; 1st time ever and it sang soul piecing song. The Rabbi told me that the Lord, otherwise known as Hashem, reveals himself whenever the Shofar wails, and my blasts weren’t coming out of a wimpy softy soul either and I’ve got the Instagram video as my witness, despite it not being good enough for my mother, who immediately, asked for the video link of my son heavily doctored video link immediately later. My mom’s attitude was one of complete befuddlement that screamed, you sucked at the sax, so I didn’t see this semblance of beautiful musicality in you, really. And that’s why I’m the sloppy second son for a reason. But that doesn’t matter in the eyes of Lord. What matters is that I always allow myself the power to dwell on his awesome infinitude now, especially in the form of the beautiful hearts, laughs and worry line free faces of my kids, God’s children. “Here O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is one.”
God bless infinitude now and my Koshertarian diet journey. Vacations from Kosher have put me closer to my soul man and a half side. Arise Mensch and a half, meaning the standup person in us all, your chosen path to at one connection with the divine has been chosen. So, for God’s sake, give the big man upstairs some extra doses of Love on a more regular basis and give the Koshertarian diet a chance.