SIXTEENTH ANNIVERSARY ISSUE
Knowing trees, I understand the meaning of patience. Knowing grass, I can appreciate persistence. –Hal Borland
WHEN THIS WORLD CATCHES FIRE
BOOK THREE: SAVAGE NOXTOWN
CHAPTER TEN: PART EIGHTEEN: KINGDOM COME
Just as Count Victor Justin was midway through his peroration about the Big Man, in comes Irish “Alienist” Francis Costello, supposedly to drink himself blind but really just to rail about the Italian Immigrant Menace.
He didn’t waste any time.”These Dagoes…come to this country, expect to be paid fifteen cents an hour–and they can’t even speak English! Just some foreign jibber-jabber that nobody understands! Their filthy clothing reeks of garlic and fish, they have hairy legs and smelly feet, and they spit on the sidewalk and spread all sorts of diseases! I know whereof I speak, boyo. I had one as a client. A real bruiser he was, too. A real Jacketeer. Seems as though he hated his old man for being a Greenhorn, and was all torn up over how he was ever going to become a great man in his own right with a background such as his. You see—even the Italians hate the Italians!
“And don’t get me started about their women. The old ones go about
dressed from head to foot in black. As for the young ones, you’re
better to have never loved at all than to have loved one of them.
First and foremost, they act as though they are doing you a great
favor by even noticing your existence. Secondly, you can’t ever get
close to one, because there’s always a father or a brother or a
jealous boyfriend lurking around somewhere who thinks he’s the gilded rooster on the top of the steeple and will give you good reason to hold your maw and slope off like a slink.
“And then, even if you can manage to get close to one of their women, I’ll advise you here and now—don’t. Fact, if one of them happens to set her sights on you—run. First of all, they’re very particular about how they want their boyfriends to look. She’ll have you looking like a pimp or fancy-man in nothing flat. Even if she’s a lowly scrubwoman, it’s pearls she’ll be wanting, and those white fur wraps that grand ladies favor, and other whim-whams and gew-gaws. It’s a life of crime you’ll have to adopt if you ever hope to keep up with what every Italian woman wants. Which is to live by the seashore and lay there soaking up sunbeams for seven hours a day while the cook and the maid and the butler and the chauffeur and the nanny do all the real work.
It’s the life of Reilly she’s a wanting. She’ll expect you to pay her
every attention during the day, and if you do one thing she doesn’t
like—make a slip in just one of the duties you must pay to a lady—she’ll have a headache when the nighttime comes. Plus, there’s the lapdog. She treats it like a baby and caters to its every whim. If you see an Italian woman with one of those in tow, then run. Just run. It won’t be long before she has you wipin’ its ass and rendering all sorts of other repulsive services to the little beastie.
“Plus, they have a temper, these women. Far worse than that of any
honest Irish Lassie, I can assure you. I say this not out of a
misplaced sense of pride, but as a cold, hard, and brutal fact. I may
be an alienist, but I don’t go in for those fancy notions put about by
Freud and company. Just the cold hard brutal facts—that’s what I
wants. Ohh, they have a temper, all right, and it’s a devious one, and
they like to practice how best to lose it, the better to tighten the
noose around your neck and drive you half-way crazy. Don’t doubt me, me fine boyos; I know whereof I speak. They will seek to ruin you for any other woman. This is the voice of experience you’re listening to, and not just another drunken Irish storyteller. Not only do they have a temper, but they are as jealous as the day is long and will scratch their diggers in your dial face if you so much as look as another woman.
“And, even if you manage to live in peace with such a woman, you’ll
find that your troubles have only begun. Ye say the Irish have the
gift of gab? That they’ve kissed the blarney stone? That’s not the
half of it. Italian women will talk about anything and everything, and
will go on talking long after they have run out of anything worthwhile
to say. Oh, sure, first it’s a summation of all the qualities in which
you fall short of her expectations, and then it’s a summation of all
the fine young men she could have had if she hadn’t been saddled with the likes of you, and then off she goes into the realm of what her
girlfriends are up to—she has no male friends, that’s a given—but
plenty of lovers–that she thinks you don’t know about. And you can
never win an argument with an Italian woman. They may be as dumb as a stone, but they all have the brains of a trial lawyer when it comes to making a case. Don’t argue with her at all, or you’ll live to regret
it. Mark my words.
“Now, let’s say you manage to fall in with one of them anyway. First
thing they’ll do, they’ll try to fatten you up, sure as anything.
That’s to keep you from straying too far from their hearth. But
they’ve never heard of a potato, the silly little hussies. Tomatoes,
onions, green peppers and garlic on everything, drenched in greasy
olive oil, and putrid vinegar that smells like an empty wine cask and
tastes even worse. And if you don’t like having to eat pasta with
every meal, they’ll cry and scream and throw up their arms and send
dishes sailing past your head. Oh, I’ve seen it with me own two little
peepers, I have. And at the light imputation that they might be
growing a bit fat or they’re not as fresh as they was on the day you
met them or they’re somehow lacking in some certain indefinable
essence rare, why, home to their mothers they’ll go, and tell her the
whole sordid story of your wrongdoings from top to bottom. And then, you’re the monster, and the Mother will never forgive you. The father hates you already, and the brothers are just awaiting the word to knife you in your sleep. No honest Irishman can have a day’s peace with an Italian women—they’re best left strictly alone.
“What’s wrong?” said Count Victor Justin. “have you just been jilted?”
“No,” said Francis Costello, “that’s the hell of it, That’s what my
client the jacketeer told me. Me–personally? I wouldn’t go near one
of them women for a cool million!”
BLIND JOE REYNOLDS
OUTSIDE WOMAN BLUES
SPORTS DRINKS ARE VIRTUALLY WORTHLESS
NEW SLOGANS FOR BUD LIGHT
“It tastes like Robert Durst’s aquarium.”
“You know the disappointment your parents feel for you still working in this job? That’s what Bud Light tastes like.”
SEVEN INVENTORS KILLED BY THEIR INVENTIONS
SEGWAY TYCOON PLUNGES TO DEATH
FACEBOOK HUSBAND DIES IN TREADMILL ACCIDENT
5*AVATAR OF THE ZEITGEIST
PUTIN: STALIN HAD ‘GOOD INTENTIONS
6* DAILY UTILITY
THE MILITARY MINDSET
MOST RACIST PLACES IN AMERICA
Old Crow is the coolest bottom shelf liquor you don’t know about. When you pull out a bottle of this, people look inquiringly at the
unfamiliar label, and you tell them you’re drinking the favorite
whiskey of the most badass drinkers in American history. Then you ride a bald eagle into a red-white-and-blue sunset while firing six-guns into the sky.
HEARST A LIAR
In the 1890s, William Randoph Hearst’s New York Journal was in a
circulation war with Joseph Pulitzer’s New York World. When the World published an obituary of “Reflipe W. Thanuz,” Hearst revealed a trap —there was no such person, so Pulitzer must have stolen the item from his paper. (“Reflipe W” is “we pilfer” spelled backward, and “Thanuz” is “the news”.)
Pulitzer got his revenge, though. He planted the name “Lister A. Raah” in a World story, and when the Journal ran a similar item, he revealed that the name was an anagram of “Hearst a liar.”
THE PSYCHOLOGY OF COLOR IN MARKETING
11* DEVIATIONS FROM THE PREPARED TEXT: A REVIEW OF OTHER MEDIA
CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE.
795. BAN MEN FROM LITERARY READINGS