You have to figure that a man of Pete size, would have been a large growing boy with an appetite. I'm sure all you mothers know what a feeding frenzy it can be having sons at the table and how much teenagers can pack away.
There used to be a steak place on Avenue M and East 16th Street (Brooklyn) called Cookies. It was a favorite of Pete's because in addition to the main courses there was an all-you-can-eat salad bar, and at lunchtime, they put out shrimps, pasta, dessert in addition to regular salad. By the time I was 10 years old, I believe it had closed down, but Pete loved that place. (Think Beefsteak Charlies type of restuarant).
When Pete was a teen, he and some friends decided to go there for lunch one Saturday afternoon. It was 4 guys (I believe Josh was one of the guys). So they all decide to get the Buffet lunch. And they kept getting up for seconds, thirds, fifths. The manager came over and told them they had been there 4 hours and they had to leave because the restaurant was getting ready for the dinner crowd and there wasn't going to be anything left for anyone else.
I remember sitting on his stoop with my cousin Nan, and Pete was walking home with the guys. He complained to us that they got kicked out of Cookies before they got a chance to have the all-you-can-eat jello and pudding. He said that they "went for lunch, but ate into dinner time, before the owner told them to leave." I remember him calling up to his brother in law Robert asking if he could sue Cookies for restricting his lunchtime meal. It was about a week later, that Cookies put up a sign at the buffet with a 2 hour time limit.
Any time we went out to eat, Peter liked to tell this story and I hope you don't mind that I share it with you.
There was a game that our family likes to play at the table. I don't know whose bright idea it was, but my sinking suspicion was either Pete's sister Nancy or himself. We would all take turns trying to do this stupid thing where you put your hand on the table with the fingers spread out. Then you take a knife with the other hand and stab between each finger with the point building up speed each time trying to not stab yourself in the process. Then, when you are really good at it, you close your eyes while doing it.
WELL, for some reason Pete's cousin Nancy was doing this at the table at Cookies one evening. She had her eyes closed and very carefully she stabbed the table between each of her fingers, one after the other. In fact, she had a good momentum going. And Pete, being the jokester, took his knife and stabbed Nancy lightly in the middle of her hand while she was doing this trick.
Well, her reaction was crazy, she threw her body against the chair, it flipped back onto the floor and all you heard was her blood curdling scream because she thought she had stabbed herself. And then you heard Pete, cackling on the top of his lungs with laughter because not only had she made a scene, but he was the cause of it.
Pete retold this story so many times and everytime he told it, it got better and better. We all laughed at Nan over that, and she was a good sport. BUT, no one was every allowed to do the "Knife Game" at the table in Cookies ever again.