The woman next to me at services yesterday morning got up during the haftarah reading, and about a minute later F. came over and sat in her empty seat. I was surprised; F. spends most of the service circling the sanctuary, scooping up and positioning the honorees, and rarely stops moving. "You know what I like about this place?" he leaned over and whispered. "I get to see people I know outside of shul!" He was out of the seat and running up front before I could think of a response.
A few minutes later, as F. was herding together the people who would carry the Torah up and down the aisles, the rabbi grabbed him by the arm and pulled him over to the bima. This was highly unusual; the rabbi never interrupts the service, which would be a tirha d'tzibura--a "burden on the congregation," an annoyance--a principle my synagogue takes very seriously.
"I want you all to look at this," said the rabbi, with a grin. "F. is wearing a red kipa!" Today was parashat Hukkat, which opens with the story of the Red Heifer. F. pointed to his tie, also bright red. F. was, without a doubt, the most sartorially coordinated gabbai in all of New York, if not the world.
"Let's see if he wears a donkey next week! [parashat Balak, featuring Balaam and the ass]"! added the rabbi, before he let go of F.'s arm.