Sunday, April 10, 2016


You know you’re Italian when you use the standard word for all occasions. Before I use this space to tell you that word, there is one person I would like to thank for that word. Dad. Dad used the word for all occasions when things went bad, Dad used that word. If he needed to be on the mark and missed, he used that word.

If he was watching the Mets and they lost the game on an error, he used that word (a lot). If he was painting the house and dripped some paint, out came the word. If God forbid you did not agree with him, a wave of the arm and hand, and the word. Boom, all was understood using the word.

If he wished to tell someone to go to Hell, go fly a kite, kiss his pastina or to visit their ancestors, he used this word.

Over the years, a certain someone, who will go un-named sat at his father’s knee and learned to use the word. The word was versatile, convenient and hard to decipher if you were not Italian. A handy word. When HE used it, his little playmates would look at him and wonder what he said. Using it a few times in his mother’s presence familiarized him with the taste of Ivory and other brand names resting on the kitchen sink.

His mamma would respond to that indiscretion with: “Wait, just wait ‘til your father gets home! Both his father and the un-named would get an earful. This, of course, would all come back to haunt the un-named as it did his father.

As I get older, more and more I use the word, and being married to an Irishman, she hears it and is afraid to know what it is, and doesn’t want to know what it means.

I do not aspire to hand this word down to any of my sons, however, if they do use it, I might be proud!

The word?

Fongoola! Yes, old fashion fongoola, the word for all occasions, big and small.

Pardon, my language Contessa!


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