Passover is but a distant memory–I’ve returned the matzah beach ball to its storage box, the seder plate to the top of the fridge, the boxes of matzah to the dusty back of the pantry to await their eventual destruction in the food processor, when I need bread crumbs for meatloaf.
And yet there’s another Passover tradition that we’re still playing out. You see, for three years running now, we’ve joined our wonderful friend Judy at her home in the beautiful, tempting ‘burbs for a kid-only seder, held on an afternoon just before or after the real thing. It’s always fun, flooded with light instead of dragging into the wee hours, with a matzah lasagna as the center feature.
Judy also provides “plague goodie bags” for flinging at the appropriate moment, and every year she outdoes herself. The hail, of course, is marshmallows. The blood, of course, is red jellybeans. The boils are red stickers. Wild animals and cattle disease are little plastic animals. And that dreaded tenth plague–oh, we just all yell “CRAAAAZY BABIES!” and move on.
But the lice, frogs, and locusts? Judy’s child is a boy. Judy is an expert on creepy-crawlies. Judy finds the most terrifying, colorful, multi-legged, sometimes hairy, ultra-realistic creatures you have ever seen. And every year, my darling daughters scoop them up by the armful and scatter them around our car, our bathroom, and (shudder) our kitchen.
People, I lived in Brooklyn for more than 20 years. I don’t want to see anything in the kitchen that even resembles a… I can’t even say it. Have you no decency, Judy! Have you no sense of abject terror and the willies!
I can’t be the only one suffering from post-Passover plague fatigue. Which is why I am suggesting a new tradition: the post-Passover search–not for hametz, but for plague-bugs. Everybody’s invited to my place. Bring your candle, bring your feather, and root out all the little black flies, big green grasshoppers, wind-up purple waterbugs, and–oh! My skin is crawling!