Ok. So I'm sitting here with the girlfriend and we're talking about camping with her parents in Montana. And I'm like, fine, I can't wait. That's good. Haven't been camping since last summer, and I can't wait, and we're all equipment-ed up, because we're both camping-equipment whores. So. we're all set. And I've cleared it with my Chair: he says it's ok to quit my job after I get back instead of before. He's a good boss. (Actually, there's no way I can clear out my office before then anyway. Just want you to know I'm not a shirker or anything).
So. Everybody's schedule finally fits. Except the girlfriend's kitties need a good sitter. But surely that'll work out. Right?
So. We're going. Or rather, we're talking about going. And I've never been to Montana. But I hear it's beautiful and somewhat wild.
And she says that when camping with her folks each person makes a meal. And she tells me what I should make. And I think, you're joking, right? Sephardi food isn't for camping. But whatever, it's my default setting, and if they like my yaprakas maybe they'll like me too. Okay. I can do that. And we'll haul the ingredients all the way from California. And she says I should make my grandpa's— well, it's a secret. But I'm not sure you can get Bulgarian feta while camping in Montana, so that's gotta be packed up too.
I wanted them to come to us. Big Sur. Pfieffer Beach. You know the drill. One of the most beautiful places in the world that's close by and drop dead gorgeous.
But there's nothing to kill around there.
There's nothing to kill, and the timing I suggested was just right for killing pheasants and maybe grouse or some kinda upland bird season, something like that.
And I thought, well shit. Every lunar cycle of the year has something to kill if you're an outdoorsman.
And the girlfriend says, I can't wait until you have this conversation with my dad when we're camping.
And I say, well no the fuck way.
Because there's an argument to be made for being able to hunt and fish your food all year round. And I admire it. It's one of those post-apocalyptic skills that I wish I had, but don't.
Right this minute, the girlfriend is firing up the smoker and filleting this enormous (wild) salmon. Great for the Atkins diet. That's what Californians say.
But here's the sad part. We bought this beautiful salmon at the fish market in well-appointed yuppy Montclair 'Village.' (I'm not sure when Montclair became a quaint village. When I was a kid, it was just rich, not adorable).
And now I'm feeling guilty about purchased meat, when there's a killer in the family who can supply the needs of a rather large extended family all year round, right?
This is not how I grew up.
You want meat?
You call the kosher butcher.
And he sends the butcher's son around to deliver the lox or brisket to your house so that the son can catch your daughter's eye, and maybe there's a shittach down the road.
That's kosher meat for you.
My father, the tzaddik, never killed anything in his life. And while Mrs Tzaddik was good at throwing things, she never killer anything either. Or certainly not something you could eat.
I think this is all the reason I tried to be a vegetarian. But then there's Atkins. And you'd end up living on eggs and cheese pretty much.
I've decided I'm ok with all the killing, when accompanied by eating. And I'm in awe of the skills required.
But once, just once, I'm hoping there's an off season for everything on earth that can be shot or fished or snared or whatever. And that I can get the girlfriend's parents camping California style. In my beautiful Big Sur, with a stride down Pfieffer Beach, with nothing, nothing for miles around to kill but time.