First, I want to thank those of you who are still sitting here. It’s easy to point fingers and none of you have done that, which I really appreciate; of course, most of you are using those fingers to grip your sides in sheer agony but we can circle back on that later.

A brief mea culpa from me: as the lone cook of this dinner, I cannot help but feel that I have to bear at least some responsibility for this.

Okay, perfect, done.

That said, methinks I detect a twinge of collective resentment aimed at yours truly. Friends, casting blame will not allay the steady burbling we are all hearing around this increasingly cozy Hanukkah table. And seeing as we can’t wait for Cousin Aaron to get through to poison control, it’s time for one of us to take the reins on our flummoxed stomachs. And who better than the person who served his guests a tub of expired sour cream?

By the way, how are we spelling Hanukkah these days? I know some prefer the “Ch” but honestly, I go back and forth.

You’re right, we need to focus: “How did salmonella get into a dish that is 97% fried potato?” is a question I think we can all agree does not matter.

A quick suggestion: power through the remainder of the meal with the infinitesimal hope that one of these barely lukewarm casseroles will act as a kind of antidote to the debilitating poison. Show of hands?

Seeing some fingers getting awfully line-shaped. Fairly certain that’s not going to help things along here, at least not as much as the frostbitten apple sauce I found in the garage fridge this AM.

Whoever just moaned, “Dear G-d, how did we let him cook for us again this year, holy fuck!” seems to be on the right track. And as to food safety precautions, Zeyde, wouldn’t the ultimate precaution have been declining my invitation?

You’re keeling over. That means you’re not listening.

Our people have a beautiful tradition. And also a proclivity to GERD. We’re not exactly exemplars of gut health. But do you know what we are? History’s primary scapegoat, which some of you seem to have internalized and projected onto this delicious, contaminated meal. What I’m saying is that even if I did serve you poisoned latkes, the notion that this is exclusively my fault seems a bit overdetermined, no?

Stop your belly-aching. Oh right, you can’t.

Look, I know a lot of us are feeling pretty down at the moment, particularly Aunt Doris who’s down the hall, first door on the left.

Hey, what if there’s a fuckin’ lesson in this? Yeah, that’s it! After all, it’s our faith and culture that’s sustained the Jewish people for thousands of years. And brisket, which I also half-assedly “prepared.”

Things like, “we should probably wait for poison control to call us back” isn’t solutions-oriented, Cousin Aaron.

As our family’s official food poisoning czar, I’m going to amend my original proposal. We need a real-world answer and let’s face it, a green Maccabeean casserole is not it. Which is why I hope you will join me in solemnly folding our napkins, picking up our forks, and powering through that brisket, which I am praying contains some kind of Hanukkah-esque miracle tucked away in the roast.

Okay, so the people asking why I put “prepared” in quotes when I discussed the so-called “brisket” are really starting to muck my menorah. Let’s try to relax and enjoy the holiday festivities. How about a nice game of dreidel? I made it out of… I can’t remember.

A toast, which obviously I will lead: Next year, at the gastroenterologist!