An aardvark appeared in the Israeli Kitchen last night. Robin (Around the Island) summoned him, at the Israeli Blogger’s Evening. These things happen when people of a certain ilk get together. People with wild imaginations, who like to write, that is. Like me, and Robin, and Hannah (A Mother in Israel) and Baroness Tapuzina and, actually, the eleven or so other bloggers who came to meet, network, nosh, and exchange URLs. (See Hannah’s post on everyone who came, which contains links to everyone’s blogs, which describe the evening.)
But how did this aardvark show up in my living room, speaking good English and swinging his long, hairless snout?
The bloggers were sitting around discussing how if one’s blog starts with the letter A, it’s going to be among the first on any blogroll. And more likely to get hits from the reading public. What could be better than naming a blog Aardvark something, then? We all laughed merrily.
I had just put my drink down and was heading towards the potato chips when we all heard a clacking sound, like nails tapping the tiled floor. Strange. And then, a moist, sniffing, snuffling sound, like a vacuum cleaner with a head cold. The hair on our arms stood up as a round, pinkish, piglike apparition lumbered in and said,
“Got any termites?”
We stared, speechless. Risa, who’s a warm, motherly person, was the first to say, “Oh! An aardvark! How cute!”
Actually he was kind of cute. In a strange, alien-like way. I was so sorry to disappoint him – I don’t keep termites. Nor ants.
The aardvark sighed. “Well. If you’ll just put together a couple of crackers with egg-and-olive dip, I guess I could make do with that. “
No problem! About five ladies jumped up and started pasting crackers together. We kept warming up to the little guy; he looked kind of lost and hungry. Sarah Peguin of OhSoArty already had her sketch pad out and was rapidly pencilling a drawing in.
David and Jonathan, being guys and a little more cynical, stood a bit aloof. “Is this some new and obscure terror technique?” mused David.
“Don’t know about that, but an aardvark would sure make an expensive pet,” replied Jonathan.
“Oh, please,” said Chasida, “obviously the poor little guy just made aliyah and needs friends.”
“Yeah, have a heart, ” chimed in Kate. “He needs a friend. Just like every new immigrant.”
“You like choumous, er, Aardvark?” Abbi asked, dipping the spoon into the chickpea spread.
“I have a name,” came the dignified answer, “and actually, I’d like to snuff some of that coffee liqueur up my snout if you’d pour it into a bowl.”
I smiled. No one else had touched the coffee liqueur. Now there was an animal with taste.
“Your name…?” I asked delicately. “Arthur? Stuart? Bruce? Wellington?”
The answer took us by surprise .
“I am a lady,” sniffed our new pink friend. “An aardvarkess. My name is Alice.”
Baila, who had almost jumped out of her skin when she first perceived the creature, said, “Awesome! My kids will never believe this!”
DevoK, who doesn’t mince words, said, “Are you kidding, I don’t believe this!”
Alice looked around. “I didn’t come here to be a pet,” she said with a certain trembly defiance. “You bloggers called me forth. It was a long, strange trip, materializing out of the ether to join you here in the Israeli Kitchen – but here I am. So let’s network.”
I recovered myself. “Welcome to the Israeli Kitchen, Alice.”
Sarah Melamed leaned over and scratched her behind the ears. “C’mon,” she said, “tell us what they’re cooking back where you come from. I’ll bet it’s exotic and fun.”
Alice smiled around her snout. “Thanks,” she said, “but I really like to talk about politics and the economy.”
Oy, I thought to myself. A know-it-all. Do I really need this aardvark in my Israeli Kitchen?
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