Our good friends the Bahamians are on an extended holiday in Europe. At one of their stops, at La Tour d’Argent, when they asked for the wine list they were given this Manhattan phone book-sized inventory of the restaurant’s wine cellar.
No wonder Mr. Bahamian, so nattily and continentally attired in basic black, looks a bit perplexed in this picture! If I had to wade through a thousand-page wine list, I’d be ready to order, say, about next weekend.
The Wrestling Fan and his lovely wife recently spent a few weeks hiking around Turkey. He returned from his travels with a gift for us — a blue pendant with an eye-like set of concentric circles on the front.
Called a nazar (in Turkish, the Nazar Boncugu) the little pendant is supposed to serve as a kind of good luck charm that can protect you from the ravages of the “Evil Eye.” The notion that people can give you the “Evil Eye” — whether through witchcraft, or sorcery, or deviltry, or simply through the sheer force of outright, pulsating human envy and hatred, that certain people can hurt you with a glance — is one of the oldest superstitions known to homo sapiens. And that superstition still has legs. According to the WF, this little blue pendant is the most popular souvenir in Turkey, sold and seen everywhere.
It was nice of the Wrestling Fan to get us some protection from the Evil Eye. But now we are faced with a true quandary: where do we most need this important personal shield? It would be great to have it at the office, where I probably could use every bit of help, from any source, in resisting the depredations of opposing parties and counsel. However, I don’t want to hog the protection. You never know when Kish might need the nazar on the homefront, to fend off the evil antics of slow-moving service providers. And for that matter, maybe it’s greedy to keep the nazar to ourselves. Let’s face it — the entire city of Cleveland could use a Nazar Boncugu to help one of its sports teams finally win a championship one of these years.
Now that I think about it, I wish the WF had packed a few more nazars into his suitcase.