My very last consultation last Friday was with Rabbi Mordechi Dovid Slivovitz of Silver Spring, Maryland, recently elected President of the Modern Orthodox Rabbinical Organization National and International Council. Frankly, I’ve never seen him so upset. “Oy vey ist mir,” he wailed as he plunked his ample, ovoid frame down on the couch with an air of complete anxiety and consternation, “the worst crisis since the Doheny glatt kosher scandal has erupted, right here in Washington DC – and in Georgetown, no less!” “You are referring,” I presumed, “to the arrest of Rabbi Barry Freundel, of Congregation Kesher Israel, the most prestigious upscale Orthodox Jewish synagogue in the entire National Capital area?” “What else?” Slivovitz shrugged. “The entire Jewish community [...]

 

About two o’clock in the afternoon today, I was relaxing at home in Great Falls, Virginia, with my friend Cerise and my cat Twinkle. All three of us were lying naked on satin sheets in my king size extra deep memory foam mattress with the windows open, the bed vibrator set on low, Mozart on the quadrophonic stereo, and an ice bucket containing a bottle of Cristal on the nightstand. And before anybody calls PETA about me, for the record Twinkle did not get any of the Cristal, thank you, or, for that matter has my cat ever worn any clothes, not even on Halloween. She and Cerise were in dreamland, dreaming about whatever it is women and cats dream [...]

 

Starting on Wednesday afternoon and continuing until Gretchen managed to squeeze him in for an initial telephone consultation on Friday morning, Aloysius Mortimer Philpott-Farquhar proved to be both persistent and indefatigable. He demonstrated a great deal of character, also, in my humble opinion, by insisting on paying for it when he could have had it for free. You’ve got to hand it to a guy like that. Tom: Hello, this Tom Collins. Philpott-Farquhar: Good morning Mr. Collins. This is Aloysius Philpott-Farquhar. Tom: It’s a pleasure to speak with you, Mr. Philpott-Farquhar. How may I help you? Philpott-Farquhar: First of all, you can call me Al. Everybody does. Tom: No problem. Okay, Al, what’s up? Al: Well, first of all, I [...]

 

Thursday, I finished late – the last consultation ended at a quarter of nine. My footsteps echoed in the quiet, deserted parking garage under the building. Approaching my imported sports car, just as I was about to take out the electronic key to open the door, I heard an anxious whisper from behind a nearby concrete column. “Hey, Tom!” I immediately recognized the voice. It belonged to my brother-in-law, Hank Palikowski. “Jesus Christ, Hank! What the hell are you doing, lurking around my parking garage? Aren’t you supposed to be up in the wilds of West Virginia with Shannon, preparing for the End Times?” “We had to come back to DC,” he explained in a hushed voice as he and [...]

 

Friday night, Cerise and I had dinner at 1789, took in an Indian dance recital at the Kennedy Center and went clubbing in Georgetown, Adams Morgan and DuPont Circle. Arriving back at my place in Great Falls around dawn, we finally got to sleep about eight thirty. At three fifteen in the afternoon on Saturday, I got up to make us a late brunch. I had barely taken the fresh organic quail eggs, Black Label Papillon Roquefort and Beluga caviar out of the refrigerator, however, when my land line began to ring incessantly. Letting it go four times proved the caller wasn’t about to give up and also allowed me to brew a quad luwak espresso and drop in a [...]

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