Alan J. Schwarz
8 min readDec 10, 2020

The room was cavernous but Harry Langer still felt guilty about attending a party during the Covid pandemic. His neighbours Jodi and Jack Winkelman had invited three couples over to their house to celebrate Hanukkah. It had been a tradition for the last ten years, and while he and Carly debated about the safety and wisdom of going to the Winkelman's their friends came up with an idea.

The Winkelmans, the Langers, the Swartzs and the O’Malleys would all go into a fourteen day quarantine before the party. The day before the event they would all go and get the ‘’fast test’’ to check for Covid. If they all were negative the party would happen, if any of the couples tested positive it was all over and the party would be put on hold till the following year.

Harry couldn’t believe the depth of reach that was needed for the test. He thought the probe was going straight to his brain. When it was all done, everyone was in a celebratory mood. They were all Negative and the party was on.

The Winkelman's had a huge Menorah which they lit, and then it was time for passing out gifts and a wonderful dinner that featured Tufurkey, latkes, and for dessert, designer donuts.

Harry didn’t drink very much, but he always participated in the Hanukkah Scotch tasting. All year Jack Winkelman collected different Scotches and during Hanukkah he and his friends did blind testing to see which one they liked the best.

The women didn’t participate in the Scotch testing, instead, they went to the kitchen, sat down at the table and partook in their favourite holiday ritual, telling dirty jokes, sharing gossip and smoking joints. Since Marijuana had been legalized the ladies had their own taste tests and they loved getting high together.

Covid-19 had kept everybody in home isolation and the only place that Jack Winkelman ran to besides getting groceries was the liquor store. ‘’Boys, I have spent more money on booze this year than I have in my entire life. I have been enjoying wine with dinner every night and I have tasted liqueurs that I didn’t know existed. But the piece de resistance has been Scotch. I have bought every kind of Scotch that I could get my hands on. There’s something about the peat smell that does my soul good.’’



Alan J. Schwarz

Alan Schwarz loves life. He is the founder of JAMS Productions, a television production company based in Toronto . His passion is writing.