Gabe invited Josh and I over to he and Jason’s place for Christmas eve dinner last night, and it was a whole lotta fun. And because we were with several foodies who were cooking, very tasty as well. We had goose with lovely prune sauce and beef roast and potatoes and a super yummy spicy minced pork and cabbage salad prepared by Gabe’s friend Regina. The desserts were pretty spectacular as well, with a homemade pecan walnut cake and a store bought but delicious almond cake. Add to that the copious amounts of wine and mixed drinks, and we were all pretty happy and done in by the end of the evening. About half the assembled table was Jewish, and at one point Gabe mentioned that we had hit all the New York Jews’ favorite topics. Those topics were wide ranging, from apartment costs in NYC to the environment, Wikileaks and of course, food and health issues. And politics. There was one odd fellow at the table who was quite the tea partier (at least fiscally it seemed), and he went off on how he paid far too much in taxes, how the government “took everything”, etc. Almost the entire table pounced on this silly notion, and I pointed out to him that the tax burdens were at historical lows and in fact we are bankrupting government’s ability to do anything for us at all. He then went off on one of those tirades against being forced to pay for things he wouldn’t ever need like health care, and we all gave horrified glances as his girlfriend (who was very nice) tried to apologize for his views. I’m sure the alcohol made everyone a little more forceful than perhaps we would have been, but it is a little shocking when you come face to face with people like this in a city like this. A little like running into a unicorn, albeit one that is charging. He was like one of those crazy libertarians that truly think everything they ever got they made themselves, completely alone and outside the context of societal or governmental support. We told him he should go live in a cabin far away from the leeches and grow his own food, make his own clothes, raise his own cattle and pave the roads to get there. The conversation settled down a bit after that as we changed the subject to embarrassing things we or members of our families had done. We then took turns reading aloud from a fantastic David Sedaris story (listen here), and soon after that said our goodbyes and went home. All in all, one of the nicest Xmas eve’s I can remember.