The Great Plotnik

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Don't Say I Never Phone Ya, Bologna

Modernity is convenient, but it's not pretty. A medieval European city is grand to walk through but had to be a horror story to live in. When you weren't besieged, at war, starving or dying of plague, everybody in town was up in your business.

In Bologna, if you were an aristocrat, the way you showed off your wealth was to build a tower taller than your neighbor's tower. Bologna was known in its heyday as The City of Towers, back over a thousand years ago. Now, out of 300, only two are left. They are next to each other. One is taller, because the second one was constructed on such a bad foundation that it started to tilt. When it had tilted so much that it was considered a health hazard, the city demanded they stop construction. This was in 1306.

Today it stands as it did then, next to its taller, completed neighbor, waiting for the permit to be issued for continued construction, which is due to occur right after they fix the bolts on the new Bay Bridge.  

Plot and Duck sat down on a bench in front of the towers and were met by Frank. Frank is one of those guys who hang around tourist spots just so he can talk to tourists. Like all Italians speaking English, Frank's every consonant was followed by "-a."

Soon, they were joined by Miglio, who Frank introduced as "the most-a humoristic-a writer-a inna alla Italy." Miglio spoke like Frank. He pulled a thick notebook book of cartoons out of his backpack.

The cartoons featured a character named Mortadella, which is of course one of the signature products of Bologna, a cured pork product we know as baloney. Miglio's Mortadella looked like a fat bratwurst with a smile, tied at the top with a string so his hair stuck straight up, plus Mickey Mouse hands and feet.

There were h u n d r e d s of cartoons featuring Mortadella. The best one shows Mortadella talking to another animal. He says (Frank translated the Italian) "Bologna is-a known-a for-a the three 't's-a. One is-a towers-a. One is-a tortellini. The third is-a...ehhh..."

Here, Frank pauses, looks at the Duck. "The third is-a, you know, Missus, your, ehhh, your-a..."

"Tits," Plotnik finishes for Frank. Miglio seems horrified.

"Yes-a! shouts Frank. "Yes-a! Teets-a! Teets-a!"

"Towers, tortellini and tits," says Plotnik. "Way to go, you guys."

"Teets-a! Teets-a!" Frank says. "Missus. you take-a picture! You two, you remember-a Frank, ehh?"



At 3:09 PM, Blogger notthatlucas said...

Ha ha ha - that's great! You didn't give Frank your Dodgers hat? Those towers do not look stable.

At 10:11 PM, Anonymous Cousin Seattle said...

That's hilarious! Frank the Italian tank!

At 7:08 AM, Blogger mary ann said...

What fun, Frank does not look stable either.


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