So, how do these three things go together you ask?
Easy. They're all things I'm bringing to our friends' annual storytelling evening tonight. Every year two very creative friends of ours - she's a singer/songwriter and he's a tour guide - host a storytelling evening at their home in Jerusalem. This is a small, grownups-only event and is taken quite seriously by the participants - everyone prepares either a short story or tale to tell, with contributions ranging from the ridiculous (Jay and I did the "I'm a Baby" scene from Free to Be You and Me one year) to the sublime (O. Henry and other such serious folks). Being a gathering of Jews it of course also involves plenty of good food, hence the tapenade and the chili butter, which I made to complement the bread Jay baked, which the hostess asked for to go with her lentil soup. (That chili butter is FIERY by the way, and was oh so easy to make. I can't wait to eat it!)
Anyway, back to the "story" part of the storytelling evening. The story I'll be reading this year is Death by Scrabble by Charlie Fish (subtitle "Tile M for Murder" - how can you not love that!) and it's hysterical. Great plot twist too. Check it out if you like short stories. It sort of reminds me of an Alice Munro story, though I can't place exactly why. (BTW, the site uses frames, so the link may only get you to the homepage. As of yesterday, it was posted right there in the front, but if not you should be able to find it with a quick search under Fiction.) At last check Jay was still poring over back issues of Harper's looking for his choice for the evening.
A terrible winter storm is due to start tonight, which means Jerusalem will be COLD and rainy and downright miserable. (No snow forecast for there though, I don't think.) The bad news is that it will be cold and miserable, and that the weather caused us to postpone (again. sigh.) our weekend up north. The good news is that we're able to attend after all, since we're not going away until next weekend now.
We've been going to this event for at least 7 years now. It's become quite the January tradition. Last year was certainly the funniest one though. I somehow screwed up, and Jay and I arrived early -- 3 DAYS early! How embarrassing! J* was actually home alone that night, and gracefully invited us to stay for dinner (which we handily had with us in the form of a carrot pie LOL). We ended up having a terrific evening just the three of us. When we came back 3 days later (the right night this time, I quadruple-checked!) Jay told a story about a prince and princess who arrive at a castle for a fete only to find it locked and barred. It wasn't until the very end that it became clear that it was about us. The hostess hadn't told anyone, including her husband, about our little mishap so as not to give away the ending. She and I were sitting in a corner trying desperately not to lose it while Jay read. By the time Jay finally got to the punchline I thought the two of us would explode from keeping all that laughter contained!
Hopefully tonight's grand entrance won't be quite as dramatic, but it should be a great evening all the same.