December 16, 2005

Lapsus calamitatum

The Padrino sat alone. He sipped his Amaretto di Saronno. Took a puff at his Cuban cigar. It was midnight, and he was at the Club. Right where he should be.

Vai così, he told himself. Good going.

She’d asked him if she could have their picture taken. Together, like, him and her in the same frame. Yeah. “Pretty please?” she’d said. In that cute voice, with that accent. Straight from the Queen’s mouth. An English rose, this gal. Perfect.

She’d asked him to wait while she went to fix her makeup. He sat right there, unblinking. Nonchalant. Debonair, even. A few minutes passed.

“Shall we?” A female voice piped up. Right in his ear.

She’d made him jump. Composure, he told himself. “Sì, of course,” he said. “Certamente.”

The waiter clicked the pictures. “Cheese!”. Formaggio. He hated formaggio.

They sat down again. She wanted to talk.

“You’ll keep these photos, won’t you?” Damn. Why’d she have to be so sentimental?

But this was important, this question. The sorta thing they warned you about back in Sicily. He needed to say somethin' grand. You know, somethin' profondo. Somethin' she wouldn’t forget in a hurry. Somethin' she’d wanna jot down someplace.

But English wasn’t something he’d ever fancied too much. Not his thing. Not his thing at all. Never could manage pithy. Not in English.

Suddenly he remembered. The skinny Indian kid at the office. Yeah. He’d let the Padrino in on a secret – he’d said that it was possible to take an Italian word and use it in an English sentence to impress the bonnets off those Brit chicks. He’d even said .. let’s see, what had he said .. there are people in the English-speaking world who learn Italian for the express purpose of embellishing their conversations with the odd 'magnifico'. Or somethin’ like that.

The Padrino thought about it. He trusted the kid.

So he turned to the lady. He looked her in the eye. He took a deep breath.

Yes, we will print these pictures and we will keep them forever. As a legacy *he paused for effect* for our posteriors.


Ph said...

Bloody Indians! CANNOT be trusted.

Sheetal said...


Anjali said...

Wrong, totally wrong advice. The way to impress the chicks, brit or otherwise is to mutter incoherently and passionately in Italian. Perhaps throw in a word in English (one that is clearly and unambiguously evocative of extreme and helpless passion), but no more. It is not for nothing that Italian is a Romance language.
The skinny Indian kid obviously had vile ulterior motives.

the Monk said...

I like that skinny Indian kid already...lemme see, Italian...Magnifico!!

One in a Billion said...

Ph : Yes, blaming the gene pool is convenient and cathartic. One does it all the time.

Sheetal : :-) (Intriguing, these smileys .. that wasn't a triple chin, was it?)

Anjali : Ahem ..

*yells out into cyberspace*

Un primo sguardo il concetto di reticulo organizzati sfogo gioconda un ossimoro .. umm .. CHOCOLATE .. in termini tecnici Roma tutti i reticulo sono organizzati.

One shall now await the screaming multitudes. (Motives, you say?)

Monk : Grazie, multo grazie.

Sheetal said...

Drat, I was hoping no One would focus on the incipient third. But what can we expect of skinny lads with devious minds?

One in a Billion said...

Sheetal : Er .. chin-cisive observations perhaps?

P.S. Anjali, you have deceived the One. Since writing the previous comment, one has been waiting with bated breath for the aforementioned multitudes. One is now rather purple and in desperate need of air.

m. said...

ah. so now it is the purple-exed One? :D must say One leads a colourful life...

m. said...

curious. One is now the One and Only what in a billion?

Anjali said...

*Shakes head sorrowfully*
I said MUTTER not yell out. To mutter passionately is to allow words to escape the lips only after being ground, choked on and strangled beyond recognition (never mind that they are already unrecognizable, being Italian). It is the tone that counts. The tone that conveys helpless passion.

Now, with One's full-throated, resonant cry reverberating in cyberspace I am not sure how the situation might be retrieved. I fear irrepairable damage may have been done. Still, chocolate was a good choice for the English bit ... that may save One yet. One can only hope.

One in a Billion said...

M. : Actually, purple-exed is he who is dumped by his vocal girlfriend in a posh restaurant. (Such things do not happen to anyone we know, of course.)

And the name-change is intended to convey that one has been joined on this blog by an alter-ego. One is still the dominant personality, though, so Only is confined to brackets.

Anjali : But .. but .. one thought a mutter couldn't be heard around cyberspace so it should be a bit louder and all .. gosh .. the situation isn't totally irretrievable, is it ..

Anyway, damage control : Truffle! Marzipan! Praline! Nougat! Caramel! Er .. Bournvita!

Anonymous said...

Part 2 is up :).

One in a Billion said...

Dee : Veni, vidi, commenti.