Of Matzo and Mitzvahs, Part 2

When last we saw me, I was bounding off the bus at Central Park South and Sixth Avenue, the inside of my snappy new sneakers soaked with blood courtesy of the torn and ragged heels of my feet, with only four minutes to make my way through swarms of gawking, gaping tourists to reach the Friars Club in time for the matzo ball eating contest …
CUT TO … or PAN TO … or … oh, I don’t know … consult Martin Scorsese (but please don’t call him “Marty” unless you know him in real life and he has invited you to call him that) or whatever director you feel would be best suited to an epic tale of manic matzo ball pursuit.
Tourists were doing the gawk-thing, where they stand rooted in one place in their Cobby Cuddlers or other similar crepe-soled sensible shoes or way too white sneakers, their mouths agape, revealing why dentistry should be performed by someone with a bona fide degree from a school that does not have “correspondence” in its title, their facial expressions running the gamut from Perplexed to Perplexed II (sort of like Herpes Simplex II, but with even more attendant stigma). Or, if not some form of perplexed, then with the same cloying expression of child-like wonder that rests on their corn-fed faces when they are confronted with “performances” on the subway or hear “Stand clear of the closing doors, please” as the subway doors attempt to close or when they come upon The Naked Cowboy for the first or 100th time.
So on the day of my excursion, these gawkers were no doubt entranced by the sight of dozens of Mitzvah Tanks clogging Central Park South and Fifth Avenue. “Well, how’d’ya like that? Jews! Jews in vans! Oh, and look, a girl Jew running like the wind down Fifth Avenue in sneakers snappier than the standard issue Keds I bought in bulk from Sam’s Club or Costco or wherever the H-E-double-toothpicks a Middle American type like me buys her fancy footwear! Oh: WAL-MART!”
If the tourists had their way, I would be late for my Friars Club fete. Of course, I will never let the tourists win. No thing or no body gets in my way. No white sneakered, high-waisted-light-blue-jeans-wearing, Bedazzled-matching-jean-jacket-flaunting, novelty sweatshirt-sporting, map-wielding, poof-banged, pink-lipsticked, fannypack-flailing dimwit from Des Moines was going to impede my progress.
I darted between two non-moving Mitzvah Tanks, and the driver of the one facing me, on my left, blared his horn.
“Oh, fuck you!” I yelled, and pulled a shofar from my pants, which I blew with defiance back at him. “I’m in a rosh! Hashannah!”
I sprinted down Fifth Avenue, weaving in and out of the polyester fabric of tourists, each step forcing blood from my heels into the backs of my now-ruined new sporty snappy sneakers. One tourist, who had been lumbering in the opposite direction, toward the curb, decided to stop abruptly, almost causing me to collide into her massive midwesternness.
“FUUUUUCK!” I yelled, directly in her face, and sidestepped just in time.
After way too much dodging and darting, I finally reached 55th Street and careened to the left. I had one more crosstown block (those are the long blocks, kids) to go, and fortunately that block wasn’t crammed with tourist detritus. So, at long last I reached the Friars Club, where several people were waiting at the door to enter. I looked down at my feet, still moving in that sort of jog-dance that runners do when they’re stopped at a stoplight, and was delighted to see that the bandages that I’d so lovingly placed on them before boarding the bus 1,000 years earlier, were now flapping flirtatiously from the backs of my heels. No wonder I’d run like the wind — the bandages had acted as wings!
I glanced at my watch, just as the big hand reached the 12. (Note to Marty: In this scene, the watch must be shown in extreme close-up, with some sort of significant sound indicating the sweep of the minute hand. Complete silence, except for a click or a swoosh. And then, a split second later, the clog of city noise returns. Maybe show a drop of hard-won sweat splashing down onto the crystal of the watch? Your call.)
Once inside the lobby, I waited at the reception desk as a man introduced himself to the girl behind it as one of the proud eaters in the competition. I flashed her a winning smile and said, adorably, “I’m here to watch them eat.” I bled silently into my shoes.
And was told, without inflection, “That event is closed.”
“I just ran here!” I said, beginning to bleed loudly, and showed her the number pinned to my tank top and the medal around my neck.
She looked at me benignly, apologized without a shred of sincerity (!), and I hobbled back into the afternoon street heat, called the DOG, and yelled that this was “A bunch of matzo ballshit!” I railed against the Friars Club, the receptionist, matzo balls, tourists, Mitzvah Tanks, expensive deadly sneakers, off-brand adhesive bandages, and, of course, myself, for not demanding to be granted access to the event or even inquiring what the desk-drone meant by “closed”.
And then I was rushed to the hospital (in a Mitzvah Tank!!!), where my feet were amputated. And when at home later, I got most of the blood out of the sneakers using hydrogen peroxide, so even though I won’t be able to wear the shoes anymore due to my footlessness, I can use them for attractive planters in which to place two sprawling Wandering Jews. Hey, if the shoe fits — but for some inexplicable reason rubs against your heels, thus grating them like cheese for a nice taco salad, and causes excessive bleeding which results in amputation — don’t necessarily wear it!