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FrontLein: Prodigal Tahl

Following a Tahl-free week and with Joey returned safely to L.A., the Jewcy kids were looking forward to a relaxing day of Backgammon and Parcheesi, our usual occupations when the people of power aren't looking. Michael Morlitz was sitting on … Read More

By / January 29, 2007

Following a Tahl-free week and with Joey returned safely to L.A., the Jewcy kids were looking forward to a relaxing day of Backgammon and Parcheesi, our usual occupations when the people of power aren't looking. Michael Morlitz was sitting on my should and had the double-sided game board halfway down from the high shelf when Tahl strode in. Backgammon checkers went everywhere.

Luckily, Tahl had been prescribed a big, heaping helping of Percocet by his specialist, Doctor Wacky-Pants, and he hardly seemed to care that Izzy was sitting cross-legged on his desk wearing a bald cap and a mailing label that read, "Hi, My name is Tahl!"

In fact, he volunteered to take us all out to lunch. I know it must seem like we go out to lunch as a group an awful lot, but you have to understand that this is purely a car accident-related phenomenon.

We went out to Uncle Vanya, a Russian/American restaurant that seems to be named after an Anton Chekov play and prides itself on keeping the temperature a solid 3 degrees below the current conditions in Siberia. Or it should.

Tahl asked us the usual questions, "How were things while I was out?" "Where's Michael Weiss?" "Why is that pansy always sick?" and we asked him the usual questions ("Where's my money, bitch?"). It was just like old times.

In fact, from what I can tell, our mirth stirred up the interest of two transvestites ("trannies," Amy calls them) who stumbled their way into the otherwise unoccupied restaurant, in search of tea. I guess they decided the place was a little lacking in the "Males dressed as women singing falsetto" department, because they quickly kicked Uncle Vanya's volume level up to somewhere between "caterwauling" and "God, please help me, my ears are actually bleeding."

Things took a more sinister turn when it was discovered that Izzy openly admits to having a specific disaffection toward hugs (both giving and receiving). Of course Tahl, in his doped-up state, could not accept this. The problem was further exacerbated by the medication he was on.

Either way, the afternoon quickly changed from a happy-go-lucky, "Last Supper", Tahl-as-Jesus kind of feel to a disturbing, Hug-Izzy-Inappropriately feel very quickly.

"Come on, everyone!" Tahl yelled, "Let's hug Izzy!" And he and Michael Morlitz descended on Izzy like ravenous vultures, eager to partake of some sweet Izzy cuddling, while Amy and I stepped back. With my creepy quotient already in the double-digits, I was too worried about lawsuits to force myself on yet another coworker, and Amy is well-known as being just plain old unable to feel love.

Izzy was a good sport, however, and responded favorably to her accosting, not one to stir up a women's lib movement. We all trouped out into the freezing streets, relieved at the relative warmth, and walked back toward the office. A block away, Tahl announced he would be leaving for the day.

"Okay," we all said, "See you tomorrow."

He started to go, but stopped after only one step. "I think we should all hug," he said.

Izzy winced, and I opened my arms.

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