Stevieslaw: Uncle Arthur goes round the bend.

Stevieslaw: Uncle Arthur goes round the bend.

I remember it very clearly. It was in February of 1958 that the family convened at my grandma Ada’s apartment on Riverdale Avenue in Brooklyn for an emergency Cousin’s Club meeting. The kids were rounded up and unceremoniously sent out into the snow-covered streets to search for consequence-free mischief. In those days, the neighborhood had eyes and ears and transgressions were reported. I remember it so clearly, because three of us came back with near-frostbite, which was treated at the time with very hot water. There was a lot of screaming.

The kids all knew what the meeting was about. Uncle Arthur had gone round the bend again. Arthur owned a small hardware store on the corner of Hopkinson and Lot and periodically would lose his marbles. He would start playing soldier with the nuts and bolts—imagining himself as the general of generals, or when things really got out of hand, he would start accusing each and every customer of robbing him blind. He was deeply offended when Alice, his wife, and his other friends and relatives tried calming him down instead of backing him up. Occasionally, he would call the police to demand an investigation. Once or twice, he tried to burn the place down around him.

The Cousin’s Club met to decide on plan of action. This was well before the age of psychotropic drugs and affordable analysis, so the choice was intervention or the nut ward at Bellevue. The family decided to intervene—to babysit Arthur for a month or so, to see if he might recover. Intensive matzoh ball soup and cinnamon babka therapy was immediately initiated.

It is a good thing that Arthur never had the nuclear codes. Uncle Donny does. His current accusation—that Obama had his phone tapped, confirms what many of us have long suspected—Trump is round the bend. Could it be that Wormtongue (Steve Bannon) is currently running the country?

Bellevue or Babka, It’s past time for an intervention.

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