In It Won’t Always Be This Great: a novel by Peter Mehlman (September 2014) we find a podiatrist walking home in suburban Long Island, NY on a frigid Friday night. He is forced to walk due to other residents’ religious strictures in this Five Towns-like village. And what does he see? To add insult to injury it is a bottle of Mossad brand kosher prepared horseradish. Fyvush Finkel would be sad that it is not Gold’s. He stumbles. Who wouldn’t? Without thought, and out of character for a man who clips people’s toe nails, he throws the bottle and it crashes through the window of a popular retail store that sells sexy fashions for Tweens.
What ensues is a tragic comedy in a fearful, frenzied suburb.
Was this bottle incident an anti-Semitic attack? What may have been a Grey mundane suburb is about to become a loud, colorful, Great one.
If this plot sounds like something George would do on an episode of Seinfeld, please note that the author is an Emmy nominated executive producer and writer of Seinfeld. Peter Mehlman led the writing team that gave us words like on “Yada Yada,” “shrinkage,” and “sponge-worthy.” (I said he led the team, not that he came up with the words)
Did I mention that the owner of the store is Nat Uziel? Nat is always on the lookout for anti-Semitic incidents, just as an Uzi is always on the lookout for a target. Doesn’t his name mean strength? He is the father of Audra Uziel. Audra, 19, suffers from plantar warts, as well as a hungry desire for happily married podiatrists. (Our narrator has been happily and gratefully married for 24 years)
The narrator, who remains unnamed, tells his story to a comatose friend. And from these interactions we learn much about podiatrists, the women they love, life in a grey suburb, and the fact that horseradish can stain an area colorful.