>Family events are always entertaining when your two grandmothers, aged 84 and 83, are wackadoos. Granted, one is an endearing wackadoo and the other is a spiteful one, but something interesting is always bound to happen with the two of them around.

A few years ago, we went out to breakfast to celebrate my birthday. It was bitterly cold outside, as it frequently is in Chicago in December. My bubbe wore her fur coat to the restaurant. (We were at Le Peep in downtown Evanston for those of you who want a clearly set scene and happen to know the Chicago area.) As we were getting ready to leave, the following argument broke out between Bubbe and Grandma:

Bubbe: I love my mink coat. It is beautiful. It is the best fur coat anyone ever had.

Grannie: Oh yeah? Well I love my beaver. My beaver is soft and fuzzy, and everyone loves to rub it because it feels so good.

Bubbe: My mink is the best. It is new and keeps me so warm.

Grannie: My beaver may be old, but it is still cozy and keeps me warm. I love my beaver.

This went on for a few minutes, getting progressively louder as it got more contentious. My mom and I nearly fell over laughing at all this. Other people in the restaurant stared as my grandma walked out, still shouting about her furry beaver. What better present could I ask for?