Apr 05, 2012
By The Legendary Danny O’Doul
(*Please note that the following “fantasy interview” never took place, but has been
whole-heartedly approved by Joel Baruch!)
“Live shot” from Gotta Get A Bagel in the bustling shopping Mecca that is Downtown Woodmere: (the camera follows a tumbling tumbleweed through desolate Broadway
where it settles on the “so much more than breakfast” eatery, skipping over the five or six cars parked in front of GGAB, and, as 40 yea- old man opens the door leaving with his dozen bagels, the tumbleweed whooshes in and we see Joel Baruch, the animated proprietor, yelling at the tumbleweed to buy a coffee, or a bagel, or just get out.
Wait, a second, why is the proprietor, my dear friend, Joel Baruch, calling this poor
tumbleweed, “O’Doul?” Oh, wait, he’s not yelling at the tumbleweed, which I now realize he hasn’t even noticed, but, is, instead, talking to me!
“What do you mean by that tone of voice, Joel? After all, I am O’DOUL – the one
who has said so many nice things about you and your gourmet chometz (bagels, challahs, and other fine “unleavened” baked goods) over the past year.”
“Yeah, yeah, blah, blah, blah,” Joel fired back at me. “Well, if you are going to sit
here – at least take an onion bagel and grab a cup of my extra-strong jolt coffee on the house!”
Well, if you are going to twist my arm, I will never turn down free bagel and coffee.
But, this was not the reason for my visit this morning to Gotta Get A Bagel.
No, a free bagel and coffee was not the reason that I ventured down to Downtown Woodmere at 8:20 a.m. on a Monday morning, a mere four days before the Passover holiday. You see, the real reason why I drove through the empty streets of the quaint Ghost Town that is Downtown Woodmere was to plug in to the Central Headquarters – yes, the absolute “vena cava” of the Chometz Industry here in the Five Towns.
Sure, I could have gone to Zomick’s Bakery in that super-food court known as
“Gourmet Glatt,” or, the baker counter at Brach’s Glatt Supermarket, or, even one of the many kosher pizza places in town, but to me, my dear friend, Joel Baruch, is the King of Chometz. Yes, the man lives, breathes, walks, talks and even bathes in chometz!
When Joel works out — he sweats chometz! Joel Baurch writes poetry to chometz, odes, sonnets, hymns to chometz. If it is a leavened breadstuff, then Joel has serenaded it. Coffee Crumb Cake, Apple Turnovers, Blueberry Muffins, Chocolate Bobkas, braided challahs – you name it, Joel has saluted them all and sold a ton of each. Cheese Danishes? Of course — sweet as the finest confectioners sugar immersed in a puddle of maple syrup to which a dollop of honey has been added! Carrot Cake — tart as a mildly dirty joke, yet firm as a Five Town yoga queen’s abdominals, and, like a demurely sexy Geisha Girl, spicy with just a hint of ginger. Yes, the King of Chometz, is The Man I wanted to speak during this frenetic week also known as, “The Final Chometz Countdown!”
DO: “So, Joel, tell me just how busy is this week for you?” I asked the King of Chometz.
JB: “Well, O’Doul, I’ll tell you – you know how busy it is for the New York City Police Department in the days before New Year’s Eve, or at Macy’s 34th Street right before
Thanksgiving? Now, double that an add in the hectic day of the Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting Ceremony — that will give you just a taste and sample about how busy on I am right before Passover. And, mind you, I am just baking and baking to feed all those chometz junkies who need that final fix of chometz before eight days of matza.
On Passover, these “bread-heads” will experience the shakes like you’ve never seen – so they mainline the “leavened stuff” until the last possible moment to eat it this Friday morning!”
DO: “Well, Joel it sounds like you’re doing “G-D’s work,” and you have a lot of people
depending on you this week. But, just a question — what do these chometz fiends do
on Passover, when they can’t eat anything “leavened?”
JB: “O’Doul – well, matza is clearly too “thin” for them, so, mainly they suck on knaidels (matza balls) all day and scarf down monumental quantities of potato starch cakes, cookies, and macaroons — I tell you, O’Doul, it’s an ugly scene.”
DO: “Joel, on another subject — has the local press picked up on your new sign yet?
I mean it’s absolutely magical – and that slogan — “So Much Smores for Breakfast” –
that’s total genius!”
JB: “O’Doul, you brainless literary hack – that’s “So Much More Than Breakfast” — for example, you can eat lunch here too — or, even bring home some bagels and lox for dinner.
DO: “Er…yeh…right, “So Much More than Breakfast,” I get it, of course!”
JB: “And, now, O’Doul, I got to go — it’s time to make the bagels, and, besides, talking to you too much, and I start feeling the way I do when I eat too many matzot and drink too much wine at the Passover Seder — I get a bad splitting headache and abdominal cramps!:
DO: “Well, Joel, let me wish you a Happy Passover — and, how will you spend you’re well-deserved week off?”
JB: “Oh, just relaxing, but, I just know I am going to be put into service, again, this year, by the Officers at 4th Precinct who are going to call me many times to rush to a scene to talk down some “leaper” having chometz withdrawals, or ID one of those chometz junkies caught breaking and entering to steal the Afikomen and a can of Streit’s
Coconut Macaroons. Well, have a good one — I gotta go!
And, with that the King of Chometz disappeared into Got To Get A Bagel’s kitchen and
I finished my free coffee and onion bagel. Wow, Passover is coming this Friday.
Boy, am I sure going to miss this stuff!
This is The Legendary Danny O’Doul signing off and wishing my dear friend,
Joel Baruch, and all of my many friends, family, and acquaintances throughout
The Five Towns, a Happy Passover and a Joyous Easter.
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