“I’ve asked Tamar and Zev to come home for the week-end,” Mrs. Pertwee said as she polished a gold-plated dish with the hem of her dress.
Mr. Pertwee sighed. “They don’t like it here,” he said. “Sometimes I don’t think they even like me.”
“That’s not true,” Mrs. Pertwee replied. “It’s just that they’ve always been city children, even when they were little.”
“The last time they were here, they complained about the lack of running water and cooking implements, even the lack of a television,” Mr Pertwee sputtered.
“Tamar is a journalist,” Mrs. Pertwee said. “She cannot fathom how anyone can be so removed from the daily news.”
“I have my Old Country Gazette,” Mr. Pertwee said, shaking the newsprint in front of him.
“How old is that particular periodical?” Mrs. Pertwee asked.
Mr. Pertwee looked at the date and laughed. “I get your point. But still, Tamar criticizes everything, and Zev inevitably follows her lead.”
“Zev just wants to cook for us, and gets frustrated that there is no gas range.”
“The last time he was here, he complained about the toaster! We don’t even have a toaster,” Mr. Pertwee pointed out.
“Precisely,” Mrs. Pertwee said. "We’ve gotten used to the lack of electrical outlets, but Zev doesn’t understand how we can eat on a daily basis what he calls ‘raw toast.'"
Mr. Pertwee sniffed. “When they come to visit, your children must learn to forage as we country people do,” he said. “Really, who needs fresh toast when there are scads of Weetabix boxes and Marmite jars for the finding?”
“Don’t forget zwieback,” Mrs. Pertwee said, proffering a newly opened box. Mr. Pertwee took a piece of zwieback out of the box and nibbled on it. He made a face.
“I do miss the scent of buttered toast in our home,” Mr. Pertwee finally admitted. “Whenever I smell buttered toast, I think of a warm, safe place.”
“In the country, buttered toast is hard to come by,” Mrs. Pertwee said.