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Christmas Gifts for Your Almost-Dead Loved Ones

5 Jan

All wrapped up, under the tree.

This from a dear reader and friend of mine. Love when my readers send me stuff.


It reads:
For Christmas a gift for your loved ones


Then in the fine print, there’s a list that says, “Offer includes” and tells you all the juicy details about marble, bronze, and other exciting what-not.



Just imagine the look on your loved ones’s faces when you give them the gift that lasts a lifetime.

Um, I mean, well, for all eternity, anyways. Or, the gift that lasts longer than a lifetime.

Yes. I like that one better.

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Pushy, Needy Grocery Products

3 Jan

Well folks, Happy New Year! I don’t know about y’all, but I am more than ready for this holiday season to be done and buried. Maybe that has something to do with me being stuck blessed with taking care of my three children ages 5 and 3 and 3, for nearly 15 days straight with no help, while my ex-husband gallavants in Mexico with friends and my mother in law vacations in Ischia? Naw, couldn’t be.

Meanwhile, let’s think of happier things, like one of my favorite go-to topics: grocery items. Lest we forget the fiesta of fun that was found in the discount Booby supermarket in Sardegna this summer, let’s explore a growing trend in supermarket branding: the call to action.

The other day, my son, who is just learning to read, says to me, “Hey mamma! Why does the toilet paper say ‘Comprami’?” That’s “buy me” for anyone who doesn’t speak Italian out there. Naturally, my response was, “Um. I guess because they want you to buy it.”


“But mom,” he persisted, as five-year-olds are wont to do, “You needed to buy ROTOLONI!”

Rotoloni, dear readers, are technically “big rolls” but what my son is really referring to is Regina, the brand I normally buy. But you see, “Buy Me” was on sale and very similar to Regina, so I went for it. Anyways, Regina toilet paper is one you’ll remember fondly because it’s made by the Sofass company, which was no doubt a very strategic move on their part.

Then I realized, not only did we have a bathroom product pleading for us to take him (her?) home with us, we also had bread.

That’s right. From the good folks over at the “Eat Me” company.


Gotta love the wholesome stock photography family. If only they knew that one day they’d be the poster children (and dad) for the EAT ME fine line of grocery products. Mainly bread. But also granola bars and cookies, too.

Anyhoo, that’s about all I’ve got for you. I could think of many more creative imperative verb forms ending in “ME” that could be used for a wide range of items found in your local supermarket. But I’ll spare you of those.

Meanwhile, a book called READ ME? Now there’s an idea.

Beer called DRINK ME? Wasn’t there some sort of magically psychedelic potion in Alice in Wonderland along those lines? (Lewis Carroll was clearly ahead of his time.)

T-shirt for going to Roman public offices that says BE NICE TO ME?

Ok, I lied. I didn’t spare you. Sorry about that.


Why Vanity Fair Chose Peppa Pig as Cover Model

27 Dec

Subtitled: In a country where Berlusconi is defined as a politician, and pharmacies sell syringe-like devices to smooth your skin, it was only a matter of time before a cartoon character was used in an essay about the current state of Italian culture.

Sub-subtitled: Italian parents, but mostly mothers I think, are riddled with irrational anxiety which, personally, drives me batty yet makes me look like the oddball.

You know folks, today when I saw the bright and sparkly gold cover of Italian Vanity Fair, I felt a little bit like Charlie finding the golden ticket in his Wonka Bar.

Ok, not really.

But that’s the first thing that comes to mind, now that I reflect on the somewhat atrocious idea of making an entire magazine cover the paper version of shiny gold lamè. The really jarring aspect, however, comes in the form of a little picture of cartoon character Peppa Pig on the bottom of the cover, with the caption “In a lucky charm issue, good news and beautiful people that make us think positive, starting with the girl of the moment, Peppa Pig.”



No T & A. No Botox lips. No come-hither stare.

I thought I’d get by with just a sarcastic tweet about it, complete with a thinly-veiled reference to flying pigs signifying the sheer ridiculousness and hard-to-believe-ness of seeing even Vanity Fair fall prey to the goddamn cartoon character who is currently ruling my twin 4-year-old daughters’s world, just a smidgen behind the Disney Princesses and Barbie. But then my tweets go to my FB page, and some other FB friends picked up the thread, and I realized, no, the roots of this go deeper than I thought. I must know more.

I suppose I’m just another one of the people that Vanity Fair tsk-tsks in their Shiny Happy People Holding Hands issue, when mentioning those who gave a thumbs down to Peppa on Youtube, acknowledging that she’s not “cynical, conspiratorial, and sarcastic.” [read: like the thumbs-downers clearly are] You see, I went online and checked out their lighthearted justification. Allow me to share my hopefully not too cynical, conspiratorial, and sarcastic comments.

Journalist Massimo Gramellini delves into the world of PP to discover why the hell she’s basically ubiquitous in Italy right now. He doesn’t have kids, so he asks some of his journalist colleagues who are fathers. One of them says: “She’s calming.” With this, Gramellini parallels our need for normality and mirth with the ending of every Peppa episode, in which the entire family inevitably falls on their backs laughing uncontrollably. (Frankly, I see this as a warning sign of unmonitored use of controlled substances; but, that would be for the National Enquirer Peppa exposè, after she’s no longer a child star and has had a mug shot or two).

This was my favorite commentary on the current state of affairs here in Italy vis-a-vis Peppa Pig:

Ma negli ultimi anni, complice la classe politica più ferocemente incapace e corrotta dell’emisfero occidentale, ci siamo ubriacati di schifezze e ne portiamo addosso le tracce: sfiducia, rancore, rassegnazione. Ora, la Peppa non sarà la soluzione del problema. Però.

But in recent years, as an accomplice to the most ferociously incompetent and corrupt political class in the Western hemisphere, we’ve gotten drunk on junk, and we’re wearing the traces of it: mistrust, resentment, resignation. Now, Peppa isn’t the solution to the problem. But still…

See, people? This is how desperate we are over here. Things are so in the shitter that we have to turn to a pink, poorly-drawn cartoon pig to soothe our unbridled sense of desperation.

Another of the Gramellini Peppa Philosophy observations, and it’s a beaut:

Rotolare nelle pozzanghere diventa un gesto liberatorio e addirittura rivoluzionario per i bambini che lo guardano in tv, abituati a vivere sotto una campana di vetro da mamme e papà apprensivi che li vaccinano contro ogni bacillo e trasformano la sbucciatura di un ginocchio in un evento ferale.

Rolling around in mud puddles becomes an act of liberation, even a revolutionary act, for children watching it on TV, used to living under a bell jar by worrisome mothers and fathers who vaccinate them against every bacillus and transform a scraped knee into a fatal event.

Yes, if you’ll indulge me in a moment of blatant cultural generalizing, I will say that I have noticed a stark difference between the parenting approaches of my American and British friends who are mothers, as opposed to my Italian friends who have children. Namely: the Italian moms are like live wires, short circuiting with every cough, sneeze, or bite of food that their child takes. I have literally witnessed an Italian mom friend of mine chase her son around the living room cajoling (Yes! There was honest-to-God cajoling going on) and coaxing him to take one more bite of his food. On the flip side, I often get sideways glances when I’m in short sleeves on an unseasonably warm day in March, and my 5-year-old son has been known to ask me to put a long sleeved shirt on him just because “All the other kids are wearing them still.” HAH! Well. Wear one short sleeve and one long one on the same shirt, bucko, because you’re half AMERICAN! We don’t take our temperatures every 5 seconds, goddamit! We suck it up and go to work! (Inserts tongue in cheek. Don’t send me nasty comments. I do this for free for my own personal amusement and that of my loyal readers who are equally amused, and I am not an ethnocentric, bitter-hearted ice queen. Promise. I just like to poke a little fun is all. But, I do staunchly refuse to succumb to the obsession with “the fever” that runs rampant in this country.)

Yes, Italian parenting style is a post for yet another day. Peppa, however, remains the “girl of the moment” on the cover of an Italian weekly with a readership of 1,381,000.

On the one hand, I’m relieved it’s not a naked sexpot. On the other, I’m a bit worried that our existential quest for happiness apparently now rests in the hands of a family of jolly swine, snorting the day away.


Yes, they do an awful lot of that, come to think of it. And all that ROTFL? There might be a connection here that merits further exploration.

And now, for your viewing pleasure: the episode referenced in the VF article, just now rounding the bend on 8 million views.

Have Yourself a Wrinkle-Free Little Christmas

16 Dec

Every day when I walk my son home from elementary school, we pass in front of a fancy-schmancy pharmacy on the corner. I call it fancy because it has prime real estate that occupies half a block, with three huge picture windows for displaying their chemical-enhanced wares.

For months now, literally since my son started school in September and possibly even before that, the pharmacy people have kept a sign in the window with syringes on display.

Two enormous, gigantic, nightmare-inducing syringes.

After we passed it once or twice, Vincenzo (rightfully) said, “Mamma! What are THOSE for?!”

Well. You try explaining DIY Botox to your son, and let me know how that works out.

I—being I—was like, “UGH. You know those women who look all puffy-faced? With crazy lips like ducks?” (Of course at this point I did a fairly accurate, IMHO, impersonation of Tina Cipollari, God help us all. I think she’s actually a he, under all that makeup. Actually, just turn to any TV show with the Maria De Filippi stamp of approval, for a perfect example of how to explain this topic to your very own inquiring five-year-old.)

Who’s Tina Cipollari, you ask? Well. I didn’t actually know her name until JUST NOW. She’s been on the outer reaches of my Italian pop culture radar for years, because she has some role to play in the show known as Uomini e Donne (Men and Women) where women compete for men or vice versa or something, which merits an entire blog post of its own, except I can’t bear to do any sort of practical research about Italian TV. I have a high pain tolerance, you see, but not that high. Even I have my limits. Anyhoo. This is she of whom I speak, oh great beacon to bleached blonde hair,  doing her part to keep the fledgling market for pink frost lipstick afloat:


Please, I beg of you: pull me back from the edge. Don’t let me digress.

POINT BEING: Fillerina.

Aw, now isn’t that cute? Little tiny filler. Ina, ina, oh so tiny and cute.

And, made by the good folks over at Labo. I like the name Labo for the people behind a chemical facial product you inject. Because Lab makes me feel like it’s made in a lab, as in, laboratory (pronounced like this: “la-BORE-a-tory” because it sounds so much more diabolical). And it also makes me think of a Golden Lab Retriever, which has always seemed like a very companionable and trustworthy dog. And if you add “o” that makes it sound sort of Italian, because you have to end words with vowels. But put the Swiss flag next to it. Because you know all Swiss women have perfect skin–they are born from the glacial runoff of the pristine Alps. Thus, the ad geniuses hit a home run with this one:


So basically what we’re talking about is a sort of Botoxy-looking product that you can shoot into your face from the comfort and privacy of your own home. Oh joy of joys. Let me show you what I’m talking about. The sign is, of late, draped in festive golden garland for that extra special holiday sparkle! Kind of makes the needles look like they want to deck the halls with boughs of silicone. Fa la la la la, la la la la.


Ok. Now is the portion of our show where I go trolling the Interwebs for totally superficial research to quell our now-aroused curiosity. Please stand by.

Oh! Well! Would you look now? Those weren’t SYRINGES! Them there’s called “precision applicators,” and that silver needle-lookin’ thing? Well, come closer you ignorant son of a biscuit …  that thar’s called a “truncated metal cannula.”

Oh, silly me! Well then. Let’s go to the videotape!

Yes, but I know what you’re thinking now. You’re thinking: “Those 25 seconds sure were awfully convincing and all, but I have just one more question: SO HOW DOES IT ACTUALLY WORK?”

I am so very glad you asked that!

The formulation of Fillerina Gel associates 6 different types of conveyed hyaluronic acids with different molecular weights and structures, with a diversified action in the various cutaneous layers, to facilitate the filling in and plumping up of tissues. The active component – Matrifull – acts over time on the skin matrix, promoting the reconstruction of the natural filling substances such as collagen I and III and fibronectin, for a visible plumping effect.

You know what folks? I can’t really go any further on this post. I think this stuff is Matrifull of shit. So. Happy Ho Ho Holidays. And please, by all means, do not teach your children about Botox. They could end up like the woman in this article, which, by the way, tells us that in 2011, Italy was in sixth place worldwide for plastic surgery, with liposuction and botox injections the most popular of the bunch.

So, maybe that explains why my damn pantiliner box was having a plastic surgery sweepstakes? I didn’t win myself a new set of knockers, just in case you were wondering.

(By jove,  I’ve never had occasion to say knockers. Come to think of it, I could have said jugs. Or just boobies. But knockers seemed like the right blend of decorum and satire, don’t you think?)

Personally, all I want for Christmas is a big ol’ box of coveyed hyaluronic acids under the tree. But only if they have different molecular weights and structures, and then only if they can provide me with diversified action in the various cutaneous layers, mind you.

Up next: Crescina. “Little growth.” Cute, no? Results with proven photographic proof:

hamilton man

But if the Hamilton/Norwood scale of male pattern baldness isn’t sexy enough for you, how about:


Well hell, folks! If it’s good enough for a retired Brazilian footballer “considered by experts and fans to be one of the greatest football players of all time” then I’m banking that it damn sure must be good enough for any balding Joe Schmoe (ahem, that would be Giovanni Sciomani, I think) walking past the pharmacy.

Thank you, Labo! I bet you guys wear white coats in your commercials, don’t you?

It’s the Most Jesusful Time of the Year

3 Dec

Honestly, people. Maybe it has something to do with living next door to the pope, but I tell you what: ol’ man Gesù is all over the place lately. Or maybe it’s a sign from the heavens, just for me. Either way, I’m here to wish you a very Jesus Christmas.

In my neighborhood we have the Jesus Smart car.

Or rather, I should say, THE GOOD NEWS:


What is the good news, you ask? WITH JESUS YOU’RE … UNSTOPPABLE.


(or any of the other synonyms that you prefer for insuperable, which as far as I recall, not many people actually say in English. Personally I’m a bit partial to bulletproof, a sort of Kevlar-lined … wait, pun alert. That would be unholy. Get it? Un? Holy? Bulletproof?

But I digress.

Religious comic books are all the rage lately.

Witness: The Life of Jesus comic book for just €2.99.


Sixteen laminated tear-proof sheets, plus a bonus Pope Francis medallion! At your local newsstand you’ll find a handy three-ring binder to collect every sheet in the series.

Collect them all!


Not a big fan of Jesus? Well, how about the Bishop of Rome and leader of the worldwide Catholic church?

Yep, there’s a comic for that, too!


Includes stickers!

Pope Francis himself gives it a “like”!


Now, if I could only “friend” Papa Francesco and post things to his wall. Now that would be truly spiritual.

Italian Counting Rhymes and Promiscuous Owls

12 Nov


Dear readers, imagine the following scene. I actually posted this as a quick status update on my Facebook page, and then when I got deeper into it I realized it was fodder for another totally trivial and nonsensical blog post.

You’re welcome! Happy to oblige, as always, in keeping you up to date on the lesser-known and totally irrelevant aspects of life in Rome.

Ok, so, yes. The scene. Me and my son in his bedroom as he attempts to select his bedtime story from the masses of English books my mom has thankfully supplied us with from the States. It’s not easy, folks. Phineas and Ferb? Sponge Bob? Iron Man? What would you do to choose?

Well. My son, like any other astute almost-six-year-old, went for the tried and true method of the “counting rhyme.”

You know the counting rhyme, right? When you have to pick something as a kid, so you do that thing where you start to recite a totally incomprehensible little ditty that, once you get to the last word in the sequence, has you pointing at your choice?

When I was a kid in the States it was “eenie meenie miney mo.” Because Wikipedia is the font of all knowledge (despite the fact that the people who monitor and police it are anal-retentive robots who should be destined to an eternity in a boiling kettle of hot oil watched over by Lucifer himself, and no I haven’t had articles thrown out by them for lack of third-party sources, why do you ask?), you can find the entire text of that one here. It’s a harmless little chant about performing the super-human feat of catching a tiger by its toe, but humanitarily letting it free if it protests. Honestly, to me that works just fine.

So, imagine my surprise when, as I let the contents of my son’s Italian counting rhyme waft into my over-tired ears, I seemed to hear the following phrase: “facevano l’amore con la figlia del dottore.”


Me: “Hey Vince! Did you just say ‘they were making love with the doctor’s daughter’!?”

V, laughing: “Yeah!”

Now. My son is nearly six, so he wouldn’t know the physiological implications of the phrase “making love” any more than he’d understand the mechanical implications of a double-clutch transmission. I, however, was intrigued and amused. A childhood counting rhyme involving illicit sex with the doctor’s daughter? Oh, come now. That’s just too fun to pass up.

Because of the fact that I couldn’t for the life of me figure out the damn name of the song, and because of the fact that at age six, my son is already inexpressibly mortified by any and all of my behaviors (I don’t blame him), when I tried to sing it so that he’d correct me and tell me the right name, he just kept yelling at me: “Stop it mom! That’s not how it goes!!!”

Me: “Biki chiki coco??” “Barba cooko cacki?” You get the idea.

Even Google wouldn’t help me, not even that super handy-dandy autocorrect that usually is underlined and hyperlinked right up top for you when you type “How do you spell mispell?” and it says “Did you mean ‘how do you spell misspell?’” and you’re like “That’s what I’m asking YOU, Google!”

Yeah, so barba cheeky cooky cokey didn’t produce anything. But I had an ace up my sleeve. I had THE DOCTOR’S DAUGHTER BEING NAUGHTY. So I typed in “facevano l’amore con la figlia dell’dottore” and you better believe how much I, in the illustrious words of the Google search button, “felt lucky.”

So, the song is called AMBARABA’ CICCI’ COCCO’.


But the best part of the song? The best part of the song, folks, is WHO exactly is MAKING LOVE with the doctor’s daughter. Have a look-see for yourself:

“Ambarabà ciccì coccò
tre civette sul comò
che facevano l’amore
con la figlia del dottore
il dottore si ammalò
ambarabà ciccì coccò!”

Ambarabà ciccì coccò
Three owls on the nightstand
Making love
with the doctor’s daughter
the doctor got sick
ambarabà ciccì coccò!

The doctor got sick? Yeah, I’ll sure bet he did!

Oh, love. And when I tried to tell my son: “Hey there son, when I was a kid (I walked uphill both ways to school, etc.) we used to sing “Eenie meenie miney mo, catch a tiger by the toe,” he’s like “Moooommmmm….”

It’s hopeless. My kids are destined to a life of utter and eternal embarrassment. I feel for them. I really do. But not as much as I feel for the poor doctor. What kind of upbringing is that, anyways? Mah!

Oh my God. No. There is a very detailed and involved etymological analysis of said counting rhyme. If you’re brave, and you speak Italian, go forth and learn about it. That one there is a blog post. But, you can really thank linguist Vermondo Brugnatelli for revealing the mystery.

You know, now that I think of it, I really should have named my first-born Vermondo. That is just spectacular.

Last trivial piece of trivia, if you’re still holding on reading here: Umberto Eco wrote an entire semiotic essay on this and other tantalizing topics, which in Italian is part of a collection of essays titled Il Secondo Diario Minimo, but which has been partially translated into English in the form of How to Travel With Salmon and Other Essays. Because I do not have aforementioned book, I cannot confirm for you whether or not the collection contains the story. But, traveling with salmon sounds fun too.

OH MY GOD, do you see how exciting it is to question things in life? You can start with bestiality and end with Umberto Eco. Life is beautiful, folks, is it not?

Slow News Month: Sex Sells, Part 2

8 Nov

Oh, for the love. Here we go again. I mean, come on people! Have we not yet learned that SEX SELLS?

Did you see my exposé (very risqué) on how cheap ploys of boobies on magazine covers might help boost slow August beach sales?

No, you didn’t? Oh. Well then. Go here. I’ll wait.

Did you click?

You didn’t?

Ok. Let me try a different tactic. Hang on.

Sex in Ancient Rome

Ah! Gotcha, didn’t I?

So, this is my point. We are about as evolved as cave people.

Anyhoo, all that to say how pleased I am that I get to walk my almost-six-year-old son past this poster at the newsstand every day this month. That there is just your run-of-the-mill vintage booby-stroking, on the cover of an erudite BBC-mastheaded publication about history. I’ve learned that if I act nonchalant, it seems normal. So far, so good. I don’t think he gives it a second glance. I, however, beg to differ.


Here the big cover story is a cute little play on words. The term “brothels” in Italian literally translates to “closed houses.” So here, the genius copywriter went for the easy hook: “When the Closed Houses Were Open.” (Get it? Get it?! Open? Closed? So clever, right? I know. The mind boggles.) Subtitled: And if we were to reopen them?

Yeah, question mark. Don’t make that any sort of question. Please, I’m begging you: reopen them. As soon as possible.

Oh. I take it you didn’t read my other post. That one with the map?

See! You did it again. Trying to get away without clicking. Geez. You guys are a tough crowd. Here you go: Prostitution in Rome.

But, truly, folks? The best part of that cover story (besides the fact that it’s the second magazine about history that uses sex to sell, which is just brilliant), is the Sora Gemma poster.

Oh my gosh, are you serious? You’ve never heard of the legendary Sora Gemma? For shame!

Ok. So, there’s this poster that gets reproduced on magnets you can buy at the newsstand downtown. The poster is a sign that showed the price list for “Gemma’s Pleasure House” and it makes us modern-day folks have a good ha-ha because–well, come on! It’s a price list! For sexual stuff! That’s always comic gold, right?


In all the reproductions, the man’s family jewels have been discreetly scratched out. I know. Total rip-off for us ladies. But, you know. Modesty and all.

People get a big kick out of this and related signage from the fascist period, when bordellos (in Italian that would be bordelli, and BTW, the word bordello in Rome is also slang for something akin to “a big mess”) were still open and running. We like to laugh at things printed in big block letters that say “Discounts for young men if it’s their first time!” etc. The etc. being other guffaw-worthy gems like “towel and water included in the price” and the extra 5 cent charge for soap and 25 cent charge for cologne, and the pricing based on half-hour, full hour, or a “doppietta.”

Ok, wait. In the interest of accurate reporting, I must now go and research what a doppietta was. Clearly the easy answer would be a threesome, right? Because “doppio” means double, and so one would logically assume that would mean two women, no? Hmm. Yahoo answers always comes to my rescue for these embarrassing questions I never want to admit I need answers to. That way I can point my digital finger and make fun of the person who was actually brave enough to post.

Yep! Thank you! Mr. Mendez even verbalizes what I missed, in his own question about what the heck a doppietta was: “The doppietta can’t possibly be two women, because it costs less than a half hour!” Mendez, rock on. That is a very astute observation you’ve made there.

Let’s phone a friend for the answer:

il singolo rapporto sessuale doveva durare sui 10 minuti

la doppia erano 20 minuti, intendendo che uno poteva avere 2 rapporti, cosa piuttosto difficile in 20 minuti…

con la mezz’ora potevi sbizzarrirti 0_0

Nicely done, by a user named “web ser,” who informs us that the sexual act was to be completed in a span of 10 minutes. Therefore, the “doppietta” means you could have sex twice, because simple math will tell us that 10 minutes + 10 minutes = 20 minutes, therefore still coming in well under (or at least theoretically one sexual act of intercourse under) the 30 minute price uptick. He also comments that of course depends on whether one was able to actually have two acts of sexual intercourse in 20 minutes, helpfully adding “rather difficult.” Hey, web ser! Speak for yourself! You have no idea who Gemma’s clientele was, now do you? These were virile men of the fascist era! Please, do not underestimate their testosterone-laden capabilities.

Our informed respondent then goes on to state at the end of his response that therefore: “in a half hour you could really go crazy.”

Nice. Thank you for that.

Oh, folks. Good times were had by all, I can assure you. Especially by Gemma who was laughing all the way to the bank, no doubt about it.

Personally though, in my tantalizing research for this post, I also enjoyed the following:


Franca’s casino (another word for bordello, as a reader helpfully pointed out that gambling halls are called casinò with the accent on the O) has warm bidets and military discounts. It’s a win-win. Yes!

Or, how about a tip on decorum and just plain old good business sense:


Kind clients, please don’t bother the women unless you’ve already paid. (Molestare in today’s parlance is akin to bother or annoy; however, I wouldn’t doubt if this was a bit more literal back in the 40s when this was still operative!)

Hey! You want an entire revealing slide show on the topic? Honestly. This fascinates me to no end. Go.

Still resisting, eh? What if I told you you could see this picture:


And the caption says: Rome, 16 November 1949. Pieraccini responds to Merlin: “Honorable, you’ve said each woman had 100 appointments per day: that’s not possible [...] Even if you considered 15 minutes per appointment, 100 appointments would take 25 hours!”

Ha, ha. I told you you’d want to go look. God, you guys are so predictable, but I love you for it.

And, in closing, let me pass the mic to Indro Montanelli, Italian journalist and historian whose Wiki profile states “generally considered one of the greatest Italian journalists of the 20th century,” who had this to say on the matter:

Il bordello è l’unica istituzione italiana dove la competenza è premiata e il merito riconosciuto.
– Indro Montanelli

In other words: “The brothel is the only Italian institution where competence is prized and merit is recognized.”

Amen! No wonder he was so great. That there is what we in the business call “telling it like it is.”

Ok. Now back to your regularly scheduled programming. That is all. Until the next history magazine puts lewd photographs on its cover, that is. Just give it a month or two.