Chapter 24 Memories of Meh Brisket

 

Burnt anemic, miniscule steaks was Joshua’s idea of eating Kosher, growing up in the hilly, leafy, pine tree rich, Colonial and Tudor lined streets, of Edgemont, New York. Sure, his converted mother made Brisket on a special occasion for Rosh Hashanah, cooked in margarine but not butter because of the rule prohibiting mixing dairy and meat, accompanied with a killer, sultry yet sweet onion based, brownish, teetering on Burgundy red gravy, which beat kosher ground meat burger night, minus the melted Landa Lakes American cheese on top any day of the week. Understand, Joshua’s mother was a good converted Jewish wife, who found the time to make Kosher prepared meals, ready to be served around 6:30 almost every night, even after she started commuting to the big city again to work as a high ranking Loan Officer  JP Morgan Chase  in their corporate office in Midtown Manhattan, which was no easy feat to pull off, on Adderall or off. Still, Joshua felt a tinge of sadness on his mom’s behalf, when she recently asked him what was his favorite meal growing up a kid, which had nothing to do with his Dad’s  hurried, half ass scramble eggs on some random Saturday morning before basketball practice before more hamstring tightening suicide drills ensued. If Joshua was reared on more than just P and J sandwiches throughout elementary school and got off his ass to jog around the local track instead of trying to win Metroid on Nintendo or beat Mike Tyson in Mike Tyson’s Punchout one more time, than others could, his hamstrings wouldn’t have felt like mint jelly after running suicide drills his 1st day of Basketball practice, seeped in Mineral Ice all over either.  But now that Joshua was a parent of 3, in charge of getting his kid’s breakfasts and lunches ready every day before school and realized there’s only so much time in a day to be a do it all dad mom, especially when he made the extra effort to make all of his dish creations for his Pescatarian raised kids with, love, so he could inspire more yummy dances from kids as they’d all run around the kitchen table through the adjoining living room and back, declaring, with soul glowing glee, “Best daddy ever”, or simply proclaim, “This is so yummy, I don’t want to stop eating to run around, proclaiming best daddy ever.”

Making homemade hummus sandwiches for his kids, with ground up sesame seeds in place of pre-made, always chalky tasting Tahini, fresh lemon squeezes throughout, in addition to generous heaps of salt, and a diced up garlic bulb thrown in between, in addition to a vibrant, pinch of fresh grated carrots on top of good country white bread, was the least Joshua could do for his kids playful radiance and around the clock shrieks of joy, giving him nothing but generous, long lasting tastes of heaven on earth.  Using pre sliced cheddar slices for his kids peach jam sandwiches on good old country white bread wasn’t good enough for Joshua, regardless if those cheese slices were sliced and shipped from the Cabot cheese company in Vermont. No, Joshua insisted on not circumcising his children’s collective, endlessly budding happiness one bit, by forgoing the easy, half ass route in favor of taking only a couple of extra minutes to bust out the good old cheese shredder and grate some Seriously Sharp Vermont Cheddar for his kids Peach and Cheddar sandwiches on Country White Bread that morning, because he knew it imparted a juicer, fresher, more delectable, highly superior bite. Plus, Joshua incorporated feedback from his kids when Mama just plopped the pre-cut cheddar on instead, realizing, the extra effort always paid off. “God is in the details”, is what Joshua would sear into his children’s creatively jacked craniums ad nauseum, which he picked up from a book on songwriting by the legendary scribe Stephen Sondheim before his bundles of happiness spewing joy were born.  “God is in the details”, which explains why Joshua took such tremendous pride in his headline hooker prowess on display when The Good Men Project published a myriad 24 of his blog on parenting this past year, encapsulating the true definition of click bait, including such A plus titles such as, My Clown Origin Story, written after he saw the new Joker film, What Gen X Parents Understand, Wishing My Son’s Birthday Never Blows, Children Are Family Upgrades, Pride On My Side, The Last Self-Loving Jewish New Yorker, Born Again Newborn Dads, alright fine the last title is a tad long winded confusing but you should get the gist by now.  “God is in the details”, furthered evidenced by the tremendous nachas he received from getting his son’s Social Security card in the mail, reading, Arthur Morrison Kornbluth. Understand, the Yiddish word nachas is exclusively used to describe the swelling of sweet, prideful emotion, a Jewish parent derives from their kid’s accomplishments like getting into Cornell, early acceptance or Billy Crystal signing on to do a movie with your infinitely less talented, dweebier seed of a son. But not every Jewish dad, native New Yorker or not has the gaul to name their 1st born Arthur Morrison Kornbluth after the most charismatic, dark prince of poetry rock, who’s easier on the eyes than Patti Smith, that being, Jim, mother fucking, Mojo Rising Morrison.  Plus, similar to the self-proclaimed Lizard King, Joshua wasn’t one to follow the rules of so called, normal, Waspy, lobotomized, monotone you to fucking death, bourgeois behavior either, knowing he wouldn’t hesitate to break conversation with his old school recruiter bud, Gary mid stride while passing the corporate office of JP Morgan, only to hail down the great comedy writer actor and operator of Triumph The Insult Dog, Robert Smigel and proclaim, “Hey, Smigel, next time you see Sandler, tell him to put you in more of his films already. Joshua always loved Smigel’s brief cameos in Adam Sandler films like him playing he borophyil science teacher in Billy Madison, or the once aspirational hand model turned cell phone salesman in Don’t Mess With the Zohan. But Joshua didn’t stop there, feeling the compulsory need to impress Smigel with new schtick, fresh off the press, so Smigel would feel extra blessed. Joshua noticed Smigel wearing a Brooklyn Nets hat and says, “I thought you were  aKnicks fan, Smigel. I used to lived with my girlfriend now wife in Park Slope, Brooklyn ages ago, back when Lena Dunham had much skinnier arms and wasn’t so full of herself. I’m a father of 2 now. Just named my son Arthur Morrison Kornbluth. For a moment, I considered giving him the middle name Brooks in honor of the great Albert Brooks but then I changed my mind because I didn’t want to give my son the permission to be a Jewish pussy.” Smigel laughs out loud long time. In the end, Joshua pitched his impossible to remember website of old, DearDada.com without a business card to share at the moment.  Being an oasis of organization was never Joshua’s forte but fearlessly bombarding famous actors, stand up comedians and WGA represented writers was.  Sometimes, his cold calling conjuring, celebrity reach outs didn’t always materialize so smoothly.  Once, Joshua was with some old high school buds after having a couple of J&B scotches on the rocks in his system, Rodney Dangerfield’s preferred, reasonably priced, scotch of choice and bum rushes the comic’s comic Dave Attell outside the Comedy Cellar smoking a cigarette with another of his black comic buds, Joshua didn’t recognize and still doesn’t considering he never thought enough of him to remember his name afterwards despite him delivering the far superior laugh line to anything Joshua uttered during this punch drunk love, wannabe make out session with the personification of zero bullshit cool Dave Attell. Joshua goes into this lengthy, roundabout summation of Dave Attel’s career going, “I knew you were doing late night sets at the Cellar for 10 years at 2 in the morning in front of 2 sailors in town for Fleet Week, if Allen Ginsburg, hadn’t tied them up captive in his rent controlled apartment in East Village just yet”, blah, blah, blah. Then, finally without flinching, Attell says in a ball busting yet strangely uncomfortable manner, “Thanks a lot Ryan Seacrest.” Which, still makes Joshua laugh till this day, making him realizing the highly under-appreciated, under-celebrated talent of distilling the bare bones, funny essence of a moment in real life, with such razor sharp, crystal clarity, only a battle hardened, 300 a shows a year comic, can fart out at will, when the moment calls for it like the great Dave Attel.  But again, the best line of this evening, was uttered by Dave Attell’s black comic friend sitting next to him, outside the Cellar, who after taking in Joshua’s long winded, career retrospective of Dave Attel’s career, where he just finished sucking of the totality of his career peaking arc for all it was worth says, “What am I chopped liver?”

It was impossible for Joshua not  to reflect on these random encounters with the upper crest of Jewish entertainers on the Island of Manhattan, as he stared down the menu at the Polo Lounge.  Sitting across from Silicon Alley, Executive Search owner star Ester as Spike Lee enters the bar, Joshua got visibly annoyed scrolling through the menu, not seeing much to order outside of buckets of caviar, knowing a corned beer on marble rye with melted Swiss wasn’t going to cut it either, since Joshua decided to be more a stylish, proper Mensch and fear God’s wrath for not sticking with his God commanded Kosher diet, despite it meaning bullshit to fake news good guy guardians of morality like Bill Maher, who never would’ve been accused of pussy grabbing in the age of meto because he’s only 4 foot 2.