Exiting the maxivan, I see the Conversion Rabbi is standing in
front of a large suburban CostCo with two Ziploc baggies and

a bottle of antacids. Here, he says, today we join the struggle. I take
a deep breath and busy myself in the fields of my coat pockets

as the Rabbi shows the doorman his membership card. Once inside,
we make our way to the restroom, putting on grey wigs and over-

sized reading glasses in front of an aluminum mirror with only vague
reflective properties. From what I can tell, we look like widowed Physical

Education teachers at a graduation party, but the Rabbi assures me
our disguises are more than suitable for the day’s activity. I try to ask a

few questions, but the Rabbi covers my ears and kicks open the door with the
heel of his Rockports. Across all aisles, senior citizens pushing walkers

and Chanel covered oxygen bags are roaming for food samples. Like the
Rabbi, they hold plastic sacks and stomach relaxers and it becomes clear

as we make our way through the building, that many are saving the non-
perishable items in case their grandchildren ever decide to visit. I feel

sick from the smell of Polydent and chicken liver, but the Rabbi gives me a
mint and tells me to stop staring at the floor. If your wife won’t cook

well for you, he says as we enter the frozen meat section, you’ll have to
learn how to feed in the wild. There is a brief paramedic disruption, but eventually

we begin our crusade; we line up, and start by eating an entire Hebrew National
salami with toothpicks and hand scored Triscuts. We taste the Corned Beef, the

mixed veal and turkey Vienna Hot Dogs, and at one point I think I see the Rabbi
push a handful of iced V8 Juice into the zippered section of his wallet. By late

afternoon, the Rabbi feels I’ve learned my lesson and pulls me aside to show me
a cookbook endorsed by a celebrity talk show host. Look, he says with his

hand on my thigh, if you ask one of the workers for salt, we’ll have everything we
need to make this Grits and Cow Tongue Salsa. But I don’t like grits, I say,

picking dark lettuce from the root of my bicuspid. Yes you do, the Rabbi
responds, sometimes these things aren’t all about race.






Comments are closed.