Make a Little Birdhouse in Your Soul


Stamping along in our sneakers during the twelve lit hours of the fall equinox, we came upon this toothpick of the giants.

Toothpicks are filling my brain. They seem to have appeared serendipitiously in many guises and sizes. The thought of quills got the birds careening around in there. A bird house is being built, pick by pick, in my subconscious.

Le Negri, a sterilized peacock quill is the toothpick of choice for two giants in my world, James Farber and Eric “Roscoe” Ambel. Late last winter we squeezed sideways into Katz’s in the great empire state for pastrami.

The boys worked the sterilized peacock quill toothpicks while we waited for the check. On the other side of the table the fairer sex checked lipstick and smoothed skirts.

Research the picks of choice at Le Negri. A packet in your wallet will have you ducking under velvet ropes in no time.

A fascinating little object, n’est ce pas?

Should you be at lunch overseas with a tumbling Le Sandwich Club or in need of a little post-lunch dental hygiene the following translations from James will aid you:

Italian: Stuzzicadenti (my favorite) (stoot-see-ka-DEN-tee)
Spanish: Palillo (pah-LEE-oh)
French: Cure-Dent (CURE-a-dont)
Dutch: Tandenstoker
Japanese: Yogi (YO-gee)
Hebrew: Kassem (kas-SEM)

Not sure of the exact spelling of any of the above (pronunciation in parentheses).
Signed,
MSM in NYC
(You are on your own with Dutch.)

My main sandwich man in NYC is working overtime this week. I’ll be peeling the cabbage to make it up to him next time we convene.


Jeffrey Steingarten wrote this book and I can’t praise it enough.


Washington Toothpick
See this in your rearview mirror while biking along the edge of west coast Route 1? Head for the ditch or you will be looking for toothpick-size pieces of yourself on the blacktop.

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One response to “Make a Little Birdhouse in Your Soul

  1. Pingback: City Slickers | LUNCH ENCOUNTER

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