When Almost Perfect isn’t Good Enough

Sassy, Pancake and I went to Hackensack today to see Bob and Jeanne. Bob actually came out to the table and ate with us. He spoke, too, and spent a lot of time daring us to translate things like, “hngnwopprharvardiwlejnrwlkenr. hnajehawhe?” which meant roughly, “I read in the ‘In Memoriam’ section of the Harvard alumni magazine that Sammy Cohenstein died. Did you see that?”

We went several rounds of saying,”What?” “Can you repeat that?” and “Don’t you want some butter on that bagel”? (That last one came from Jeanne.)

Things took a turn when Sassafrass said that she had received her final grades. “They were great,” I said, “especially considering how slammed Sassy was at the end of semester.”

Jeanne and Bob continued to munch and crunch.

“I’m still waiting for one more grade,” Sassy said, “But so far I’ve gotten 3 A’s and an A-.”

Suddenly Boberroo perked up and in perfectly understandable English said, “What was the A- in?”

I tried to frantically signal Sassy to change the subject, as there was no way she could know that Bob and Jeanne were the quintessential laid-back 70s parents EXCEPT when it came to grades, in that nothing less than a straight-A report card was acceptable.

“Introduction to Screen Acting,” she said.

Jeanne thoughtfully dipped her sesame bagel directly into the container of whitefish salad. It was a tense moment.

Suddenly there was  scuffle and snuffle out on the terrace. It was Pancake, doing war with the vacuum cleaner Jeanne stores there.

I jumped up, as did Sassy, to make sure Pancake hadn’t done any lasting damage. She hadn’t. When we returned to the table, I said to Jeanne, “Where’s the butter? I want some on my bagel.”

Sassy has NO idea the bullet she dodged. But what’s an Aunt for?


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