For Episode 40 of the Real Life Survival Guide, the stage was set for the discussion to enter rare and undiscovered places. Would the exotic spices permeating the air at Sitar in New Haven lead our intrepid conversationalists into exploring the themes of truth and virtue found in the epic tale, “The Ramayana”? Would the alluring eastern cuisine help unleash ancient wisdom long thought lost? In a word; yes, and they also talked a lot about meatballs.
First up was a brief discussion on the merits of America’s most barbaric and hysterical holiday, April Fool’s Day. Joanne Kahan told her slightly censored tale of pubescent cruelty and Erica Horne revealed that she once tormented her amnesiac Mother-in-law and now fears the flames of perdition. Duo wanted to ensure years of therapy by “gas lighting” Kim Garely-Erb’s toddlers with snake inspired potty training pranks and David Bailin believed April Fools’ should be cancelled. Or, was he only fooling?
Leaving the world of sadism, the group touched upon college admissions. Wait! Sadism, they still need you at table two. Duo lamented the extreme focus some parents place on their kids getting into the “right” school, while Bruce wondered why the parents of many baby boomers seemed disinterested in their children’s education.
When I asked my WWII veteran Dad about my college choice he said– “Choice?” “My only choice was to kill or have my head become the centerpiece on Tojo’s dinner table!”
“OK Dad, maybe I’ll just mow lawns.”
“Lawns?” “During the depression we ate lawns!”
Moving on to politics, Joanne explained how she once posted pictures of rare and beautiful taxidermies on Facebook to the dismay of some of her friends. She soon found out that PETA does not endorse eating a stuffed pita off of a stuffed leopard.
From stuffed animals the discussion moved to cooked animals. Bruce wanted to know what you can cook a lot of and then freeze for future use. Erica innocently said, “I cook a ton of meatballs.” At that point, the conversation degenerated, and is now enshrined in the Chef Boyardee hall of fame.
Batting cleanup was the big question, “How do you make an honest assessment of the kind of person you want to be?” Kim said, “Don’t join Facebook.” Erica said, “Don’t irritate people. David said, “Just do it.” Joanne said, “To thine own self be true.” Duo supported the intrinsic goodness within us all and Star Fleet offered the Prime Directive. All sage advice for sure, but I believe the answer to all of life’s queries lies within the oft spoke mantra of my adrenalin addled, skydiving friend, Scott Martin, who as he flings himself into oblivion simply says, “Drive fast, take chances.” Now that’s what I call Self- actualization. TO THE EXTREME!
Joanne Kahan describes herself as a “sometimes bored suburban housewife, volunteer, and soon-to-be-retired mother”.