By Jules Watson
So yesterday, I cavalierly strolled over to Zabar’s, the happiest place on Earth, in the pouring rain, to grab some of their seductive and utterly sensational smoked salmon for Yom Kippur weekend.
It was as packed as the old 1/9 line headed up to the Bronx in the eighties.
I pulled my ticket from the dispenser and curiously the iconic red neon counter said 82 but my number was 45.
I say to the guy next to me, ”That can’t be right.”
He replied “Yeah it can”
I said, “I don’t see 40 people on the line.”
He said, “Oh, they’re in here, they’re just all wandering around waiting.”
I said “Well, I’m not sure I’m gonna see any smoked salmon for this evening”
And he said, “You think this is bad, tomorrow’s gonna be worse.”
I exited the mecca, disappointed and hungry.
With renewed determination the next day I headed back in, again in the rain.
My number was 59, and it was 9:00 a.m.
An hour and forty five minutes later with my soggy ticket in hand, ((I admit I went for a walk to kill time) my glorious number was called, and … VICTORY!
I heard a man call out “Two pounds, THIN”
This reminds me of a woman standing next to me on the Rosh Hashanah line last week who said impatiently, “Let me get a pound of nova and make sure it is VERY THINLY SLICED”.
The entire line
froze in fear.
As the temperature dropped.
A word of warning.
Don’t ask the slicing geniuses at Zabar’s to thinly slice your smoked fish.
They are the actual Gods of fish slicing. They are artists.
With fabulous personalities to match.
Don’t insult these golden surgeons of salmon and sable.
When you get home and open your glistening package the buttery exquisite fish will be so thin it will be translucent, and you will thank the Lord.
Good idea to say please and thank you while you’re at it.
And don’t cut or try to cheat your number on the ticket line at the fish counter either, especially during the holidays.
Bad bagels-and-lox karma!
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