Byte Me! – You are Italian!

A short time ago I received an e-mail joke message. The title was “Are you Italian?” I am as fanatical about my heritage as I am about the computer I use. Usually, these joke items are rife with misinformation. Since I believe I have the appropriate knowledge and background on the subject, I have taken it upon myself to correct errors, clear up misconceptions and add commentary as I see fit. Please feel free to substitute American for Canadian where appropriate – except, of course, in cultural / sovereignty matters.

Subject: You are Italian!

If your brother can have 3 girlfriends all sleep over at the same time, but your sister, who is 19, has to be in bed by 7pm – You are Italian!

As a first generation Italo-Canadian male, I find no fault in this particular statement. Besides, it is only right that a sister should be a virgin even after marriage – just like mama.

If you are currently in therapy over recurring nightmares about disciplinary items such as leather belts and wooden spoons – You are Italian!

This is grossly false. No true Italian would ever be in therapy let alone pay for it. Why should we? We got confession and it’s free. It’s amazing what you can get away with for a couple of Hail Mary’s.

If redecorating your living room means changing the plastic sofa covers. – You are Italian!

We may change the sofa but we always reuse the plastic covers. Why do you think we paid extra for the elastic around the cover openings?

If you attend more than nine weddings a year- You are Italian!

I must agree with this one. It’s not that I mind the number of weddings, it is primarily the cost and the cash flow difficulties of working in a seasonal industry such as Construction. (See next statement.)

If your parents earn very little money (construction + cleaners) but you still find yourself traveling back and forth to Italy several times a year . . . then your parents must be drug dealers . . . just joking. – You are Italian!

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Italians = drugs. I’m sick and tired of this clichŽ and so is Mario – my son the pusher/dealer.

If your friends come over for dinner and they leave 10 lbs heavier. – You are Italian!

OK. So we like pasta. Lots and lots of pasta. In fact, pasta with mama’s sauce is better than a saucy Anglo girl.

If you ask for one piece of chicken that your mother’s serving and she forks four big slabs on your plate instead – You are Italian!

Absolutely correct. Mama is always right. ALWAYS!

If your grandparents don’t speak a word of English, but can’t seem to say “garage” or “driveway” in Italian – You are Italian!

Wrong. My Nono and Nona would say garageo and drivaway. Which is perfect English just like “backahousa”.

If you talk a lot, but become instantly mute when your hands are tied down – You are Italian!

Sorry, I’m not able to verify that one because I can’t speak and type at the same time.

If your backyard consists of 1/8 grass and 7/8 tomatoes and radicchio.- You are Italian!

Wrong Again! See what I mean. You don’t know from Italian. You got to have beans, rapini, plus tomatoes and radicchio. Grass is not necessary at all as it inhibits vegetable growth.

If you have more pictures of Jesus and Mother Mary on your walls than family members. – You are Italian!

To prove how incorrect this statement is, here is a list of pictures on the walls at home. Pictures of: Mama = 15, Virgin Mary = 14, Jesus (Sacred Heart) = 10, Last Supper = 4 + 1 in vivid colour and three dimensional plaster, Gina Lollobrigida = 7 (my room)

If baptisms and engagement parties are twice or three times as big as Canadian weddings. – You are Italian!

Basta! Canadian weddings? Give me a break. Canadians figure going to Burger King in wind breakers and peddle pushers with the bride pregnant and in white is classy. Italians could have baptisms and engagement parties there too if they could seat 500+ and serve a decent pasta dish.

If you can’t remember all the words to your national anthem, but know every word of “Padre Nostro” in Italian. – You are Italian!

Thank God in heaven – that’s true!

If your dad still has his suit from his communion in his closet and decides to wear it to a formal function. – You are Italian!

Look. Tight striped suits with ultra short jackets and trousers are in – ok maybe the white socks are not. Besides who notices clothes at funerals?

If everyone over the age of 55 in your family is short, fat, and wears nothing but black. – You are Italian!

This is truly an insult. Just because Zia Nunziata falls into that category plus has a wart on the side of her nose is no reason to pigeon hole her.

If the words “cinta (belt) ” and “scopa (broom)” cause you to pee your pants in fear. – You are Italian!

Where did you dig up this pseudo Italian stuff? Real fear was to get slapped on the side of the head with the palm of the hand. What’s that? Sorry. I don’t hear so good with my left ear.

If you have 4 Antonietta’s, 5 Giuseppe’s, and 8 Antonio’s in your family. – You are Italian!

That’s really pushing the envelope. In my family my oldest brother’s name is Primo followed by Secondo then my sister Virginia and my other sister Virginia (sure, sometimes we get them mixed up)

If all of your ancestors are referred to by nicknames – You are Italian!

Silvestro, the gimp or Felice, the rabble rouser are perfectly easy ways to differentiate people. For instance, in the item above, with the two Virginias, the older Virginia had the suffix “the whore” added to her name and there was never a mixup thereafter.

If you’re willing to miss the birth of your child due to a soccer game during the World Cup. – You are Italian!

Hey, a kid can be born every nine months. The World Cup tournament only happens every four years. Italia rules.

If you are a girl of 16 and you’re seen with a guy by anyone in your family, and they ask you if you’re going to get married anytime soon. – You are Italian!

Let’s be logical. If you don’t want rumours to start why the hell are you out in public with that joker instead of at mass alone or with a girlfriend?

If you don’t know the names of any of your EIGHTEEN bridesmaids. – You are Italian!

Come on. How could you not know the names of your cousins?

If you’re 35 years old, still live at home, still have your mom cook, clean for you, and you still have the balls to bitch about having to eat “pasta fazool” for dinner again. – You are Italian!

Well, I’m over 35 and I live at home. Mama still cooks and does my laundry. So what? That’s what mothers do! As far as the pasta fazool, I’ll take that anytime to a TV dinner or Lean Cuisine.

Ciao for now.

Arrivederci and I hope you have learned something about political correctness. – Rafaele

Ralph J. Luciani

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