The Old Days

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I love to eavesdrop on conversations in public places. I immediately get out my pen and start scribbling. The quartet of old timers contributing to the conversation I heard below in a coffee shop was composed of three guys and a woman. Lifers in the neighborhood.

“…and this is the killer. On each table they have a container of chocolate syrup and a bottle of seltzer!”

“And then you get the chopped liver and the schmaltz.”

“Ya know, I went to the doctor today. I picked up two containers of coffee. One was for the receptionist…”

“Did you use your coupon?”

“Yeah. I had to wait two hours. The doctor overbooked the appointments.”

“I remember this doctor down on Mulberry St. He weighed about 270. At the end of each day, he would go into those restaurants like he was going to the electric chair. And he smoked Camels! He lived to be 90 years old.”

“He was a two dollar-three dollar doctor. If you didn’t have money, he wouldn’t ask for any. But his wife was the receptionist! She wouldn’t let you out of the office unless you paid.”

“I remember this doctor who used rusty needles. He dipped them in alcohol. If the Health Department ever walked in, fuggettaboutit!”

“I remember when ice cream sundaes was 15 cents. With real strawberries in there.”

“In the theater, nickel candy was a dime, so you brought your own.”

“I remember when I saw that movie Avatar.”

“You gotta be sick to see that. Space ships flying all over the place. 3-D glasses!”

” If you take them off, you can’t see the movie. It’s blurry.”

“What a racket!”

“I hear a lot of people are running away from Scientology.”

“John Travolta…I seen that place they have in L.A. Tom Cruise…”

“Did you see a rabbi molested that kid yesterday? He got pinched.”

“Did you hear a rabbi said that lox is not kosher? That was in the Second Avenue Deli. They were slicing it. I was getting hungry just watching it.”

“On Tirdy-Tird Street?”

“I said to him, ‘See that good looking guy walk in? Sheyna boychik.’ ” And he said to me, “Shyena maidela.”

“My blood pressure is 103 over 70.”

“That’s too low.”

“When I exercise, it goes down to 98.”

“Whoa. That’s too low!”

“You seen Gladys lately?”

“She’s a pretty bright woman. You can’t screw around with her. She knows where it’s at.”

“She had her little dog in a carriage with a Santa suit on.”

“What about that guy whose car crashed into a crowd of people at 90 miles an hour? He’s been in jail for two years.”

“Remember in the old days? The handbrake? Now, I wouldn’t be able to find it.”

“Mine’s on the left on the floor.”

“Mine’s in the middle. It’s a foreign car.”

 

 

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