It wasn’t your everyday invitation to lunch at a second-rate restaurant.

It was an invitation to see a nose.

I had pleaded with Elon not to do it, to save his 30,000 shekels and invite me to a first-rate restaurant to see something else: a new hairstyle, a tattoo, the latest Nike LunarEpic Flyknit shoes. I tried to reason with my friend that by keeping his ancient Jewish-Iraqi nose while living in the modern city of Tel Aviv, he could enjoy the best of both worlds, and without losing a shred of his dignity in the process.

“I’ve lived with this nose for 47 years,” Elon informed me over the phone.

“Exactly,” I replied, happy we were on the same page.

“That’s 47 years too long,” he said.

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