Thursday, 30 August 2012

That Should Save Them Some Cash

When I grew up in Toronto during the fifties, sixties and seventies it was then like it is today, something of a melting pot. The pot was a lot smaller than it is now, but it seemed that Canada was a very desirable country to immigrate to. Well, if you couldn’t get into the US for some reason. The US was the country to going to back then, certainly for those peoples of the world that could no longer make a good life for themselves in their home country.

It was said that there were more Italians in Toronto that any other city of the world except for Rome. I have never quite believed that, but it hasn’t stopped me from telling people that for most of my life. How would anyone know if I were telling the truth or lying? Let’s just say that there were a lot of Italians in Toronto and leave it at that. I can’t say that I had a lot of friends that were Italian, but then again heritage was never a criterion for my friendship. Pretty much anyone that was willing to like me, made it on to the friend list. Kids were kids and who cares where their grandfathers came from. It didn’t start to matter till grade 10 or 11 and it became important because Italians made wine and made a lot so a few stolen bottles wouldn’t be noticed.

The people that I went to school with would have been second and third generation which means that they were at least as Canadian as I was and perhaps more so because someone in their family knew the names of all the Prime Ministers. I did work with real Italians for a couple of summers which gave me a chance to know them a little better.

I didn’t take the opportunity to learn much Italian, but my co-workers were more than happy to teach me enough to get by. Most of the things they taught me they wanted me to tell the boss. I was young, I wasn’t stupid or as the Italians would say stupido. I learned  words like vaffanculo ­(fuck you), un bastardo(bastard), merda(shit), testa di merda (shithead), che cazzo staidicendo (what the hell are you talking about) and more of the same. Surprisingly, knowing how to swear in another language isn’t very effective if no one else knows you are swearing at them. I would have had to find a real Italian and swear at them which would more than likely end with me in the hospital.

Anyways, my son and his wife are going to Italy on Friday for two weeks and I get to look after their mail and water the lawn if it needs it. Why do people ask me to look after their lawns? One look at the piece of shit I have in front of my house should make them want to take a chance on Mother Nature. My buddy has gone to Saskatchewan (yeah, I know, but he is a little simple minded) and actually asked if I would fill his bird feeders while he was gone. Sure…I’ll make sure the tiny, feathered dinosaurs have enough to eat, if I run out of seeds I’ll just lay on my back and let them peck my eyes out.

Neither Brendan nor Tara speaks Italian other than linguini, fettuccini, Mafiosi and I think Tara knows the names of some Italian cheeses. I taught them all that I know, but somehow I don’t know if any of that will come in handy. I did find a phrase that might just be useful for them and they can feel free to use it. They are after all going to a three star Michelin rated restaurant.

Vaffanculo a Lei, la sua moglie, e' la sua madre. Lei e' un cafone stronzo. Io non mangio in questo merdaio! Vada via in culo!

It means “You, sir, go fuck yourself--and your wife and your mother. You are a common turd! I'm not going to eat in this shithouse. Fuck you!

That should save them some cash.

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