Sunday, January 14, 2007

Scary Toast

The Baby has the flu and was up crying all night, so now I have to worry about getting our throats slit and being set on fire. Sounds like a stretch, but not if you’ve heard about what happened in the Como district of Italy this week. A couple of neighbors decided that they could no longer take the screaming family next door, so they went over and, yes, slit their throats and set them on fire. The victims: a grandmother, a mother and a 2-year old boy. If I understood the Italian news correctly, the neighbors’ were arrested after the bug the police planted in their house was reported to have recorded the wife saying, “Aaahhh, isn’t it so much quieter now?”

One day, when I was in San Antonio, Texas in 1991, a diner (or taco joint or doughnut shop – memory fails) that we passed several times a day going to and from our hotel to the wedding events of my then boyfriend’s cousin, had written in those big plastic marquis letters on its signboard, something to the effect of, IF YOU DINE IN MILWAUKEE, DON’T EAT THE BONES. This was the diner’s way of being funny about the Dahmer murders of that same year. Either the day before or the day after (memory, again…I should get that checked), the sign said, NOW FLORIDA COPS KNOW WHY THEY CALL HIM PEEWEE, this in the aftermath of Pee Wee Herman’s movie theater disgrace. If those San Antonio diner owners up and move to Como this year, their sign might read, HEY, MR. CLOONEY, MAKE SURE YOU BRING THE PACIFIER.

The Grand Lake movie theater in Oakland, CA, uses its marquis to print political statements such as IMPEACH BUSH, NO WAR, and other left leaning pleas. I like that about the Grand Lake even though there is some conflict between their message and the Hollywood blockbusters they like to show. I have a greeting card that features the Grand Lake marquis with IMAGINE written in red letters on it. I like that card and have yet to send it to someone. I suppose I am waiting to come up with the right person and what I would like them to imagine.

These are the thoughts that came to me while rocking my hysterical, feverish Baby to sleep for the zillionth time in the last 24 hours. I think she’s feeling better, knock wood (or touch iron as they do in Naples).

The Husband’s sister called and I could tell from her tone of voice that she doesn’t believe I’m taking the baby’s temperature often enough. In Naples, everyone is a pediatrician except the pediatricans. Today is the Husband’s 40th birthday and I did nothing to help him celebrate because of Little Sickie. He even cooked and went out and bought a cake. Now he wants to smoke a joint and though I would like him to be stone sober in case I need help helping Baby, he would just like to be stoned, which is his right because he is now an old man. A few friends are coming over to share the cake and coffee. All of them are gay men except one who is a woman and who is Spanish.

Today, the Baby and I watched a game show in which people dressed in giant pink hand outfits (imagine a football team mascot costume and imagine a hand instead of a gopher or a bear and you’ve got the picture) would hear a song and then had to launch themselves on top of a photo of the correct singer that lay on the floor like stars on the Walk of Fame. This strange, Sumo sort of Name That Tune would result in a pile-up of Hamburger Helper hands. The last one on top was eliminated until there was just one hand standing. This from the land of Michelangelo, Da Vinci and Umberto Eco.

Oh, there’s loads to say about Italian pop culture, particularly television culture. But it will have to wait. It’s time for cake.

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