WORKING THE ROOM
My friend Brad eats out a lot and knows many maîtres d’ and chefs.
Brad is finicky around food. If his fries aren’t crispy enough, he sends them back. If there is the wrong kind of cheese on the tagliatelle (ribbon pasta), Brad sends the dish back. Brad doesn’t do sharp cheese. If there’s a “short pour” on the glass of wine, watch out.
Brad works the room whenever we go out. We mostly go to places where his buddies are. When we were at Club Isabella, Brad pointed out the doctors and dentists in the room. “That’s the guy who does the dental implants. He runs the full-page ad in the Plain Dealer,” Brad said.
I said, “You’ve got to do better than that when I visit you in California [where Brad spends part of the year]. You’ve got to do better than docs who do dental implants.”
Brad said he would take me to L.A. restaurants where I would have a greater than 50-50 chance of spotting celebrities. I said, “I want to see Dean Martin and Don Rickles.”
“Dean Martin is dead, and we’ll have to wheel out Don Rickles,” Brad said.
Brad likes loud rooms. That’s best for schmoozing. He likes to nearly scream “goyim,” just to see if he’ll get a rise out of nearby diners. (Nobody hears him. Nobody cares. He gets away with it.)
I wanted to eat on the patio at Club Isabella. It was quiet out there, but Brad said it was too hot for dining al fresco, so we ate in the echo-chamber dining room. Nearly every Jew in Cleveland was there. Brad worked the room . . . “How was Aspen, Sandy? . . . “How’s your tennis elbow, Jeff?” That kind of thing.
I need a quieter restaurant next time. Indian and Chinese restaurants are the best — the quietest. I don’t want to suck cough drops and sip tea for weeks after my night out with Brad.
“Brad” is a pseudonym.
MADE IN HOLLAND
My old Norelco razor tore my face off. But I kept using the razor just to see if it would stop tearing my face off.
Finally, I bought a new Norelco. The new razor said “Made in Holland,” just like my 1984 model.
The day I bought my new Norelco, I met a boy named Anno. Anno is a Dutch name. I had a Dutch day — which isn’t easy in Cleveland.
I wonder what Norelco means. Northern Electric Company?
Google it . . . North American Philips Electric Company. In the 1940s, Philco stopped Philips from using the name “Philips” in the U.S.; Philco and Philips sounded too similar. Philips chose the name Norelco for America.
The recharger on my new Norelco doesn’t work. The package is marked down and stamped “Discontinued.” Maybe that’s why.
“Made in Holland,” you don’t see that every day.
I’ll keep it.
I wonder if my electric toothbrush — a Philips Sonicare — is made in Holland.
. . . No, it isn’t.
In Cleveland, it is customary to have at least one Dutch-made product in your house. I follow that custom.
What’s your Dutch product?