Friday, May 16, 2008

Mauro of Manhattan

New York Observer

April 29, 2008

by Mauro Suttora

“Why do you keep replying, ‘Thank you, but we already have plans for that evening,’ Marsha, when you know we’re free?”
“It’s just an excuse, Mauro. I just want to avoid an invitation by boring people.”
“Yes, but it sounds too … How can I say? Grandiose to me. In Italy we don’t make plans. I mean, not normal people. The government, maybe, sometimes. At least they boast it, to impress voters and pretend they are in charge. But ordinary people …”
“We are not ordinary. We’re supposed to have plans in our life. They can’t invite us like that, on the snatch, impromptu, with only a few days’ notice.”
Marsha, my Upper East Side girlfriend, can’t understand how Italians can survive always improvising—without inviting, nor making theater reservations or booking restaurants one month in advance.
“Come on, Marsha, don’t play it big. Don’t act precious. If one of my Italian friends calls us to go out on that same evening, we don’t have to invent ‘plans’ for fear of showing that our life is empty. You know we love to spend most of our evenings here, sitting in front of the TV. Actually, upgrading our cable TV menu has flooded us with wonderful movies, and improved my English, although it has almost killed our social life…”
“That was your idea.”
“No, no, no, darling, my idea was just to replace a crummy old little TV set with something civilized.”
“Yes, but then you invaded our sitting room with a monster, this humongous 42 inches plasma. Where the hell am I supposed to place food and beverage for our next parties?”
“Actually, I haven’t finished yet.”
“I know. Don’t come up with that again. No way. Don’t get me started on your freaking sound system with wires all over the place. Don’t even raise the subject.”
“But Marsha, that’s the normal consequence of buying a large-screen TV. What do we make of it, if the sound is not comparable to the vision, at the same excellence level?”
“It’s already stereo.”
“We’re talking ‘home cinema’ here, milady. … ‘Dolby Surround system.’ Remember the private screening we were invited to by the Italian distributor of Woody Allen’s Scoop in his luxurious Palazzo Borghese apartment in Rome?”
“Gee, but that was another planet. They are professionals, that’s their field. We are not movie geeks. Come on.”
“I just saw a five channels 400 dollars sound system in the store near my Rizzoli Bookstore office, on 57th Street.”
“I told you: I don’t want any of your ‘surround’ sound around here. Not that I don’t appreciate your will for improvement, but the only thing I’ll be surrounded by will be wires. See this? They’re already mushrooming all over: the TV cable, the connection to the DVD, the wire for the pay-TV box, the high-speed Internet, the telephone ... There’s such an intricated bush under the plasma screen. It was supposed to save room, but now it’s invading us.”
“It’s wireless.”
“Yes, wireless.”
“You mean the five speakers come without wires?”
“Yeah … kind of.”
“Kind of what? The last time we had something wireless around, it was that pirate neighbor of us who stole from our wi-max, getting connected for free and making us pay for his all-night porno browsing and wanderings around the Net.”
“We discovered that almost immediately.”
“Yes, after some wonderful astronomical bills … You don’t like flat rates, do you?”
“The sound system is almost totally wireless, Marsha, I swear.”
“What do you mean ‘almost’? ‘Almost totally’ sounds sooo Italian. Like ‘Almost pregnant’.”
“The rear speakers are wireless.”
“You mean two out of five.”
“Yes ... But that’s the crucial problem we have overcome here, Marsha. Three speakers stay on the wall in front, connected by small threads we can easily disguise along the baseboard. And on this side of the room, behind the sofa, we place the other three pieces.”
“Three? Why one more? For a total of six speakers?”
“One is just a little box getting the radio signal from the other side, and distributing it to the rear speakers.”
“And that horrible big thing you showed me, what’s its name?”
“The bass subwoofer?”
“It’s too big. Where are we going to place it?”
“Did you prefer the old way, when all the speakers where huge?”
“At least they were only two, not six.”
“I love you, Marsha.”
“You stress me, Mauro. Do we have plans for tonight?”
“Don’t …”
“Come on, don’t start and touch me, I have to shower, been working all day.”
“I llloove your sexy smell.”
“I know what your plans are, regarding me. They are always the same, when we sit alone on the sofa. You only have sex in your mind.”
“I do have plans for you. I always have plans. I am a natural-born planner, my love. I wouldn’t have ventured in Iraq without a plan, like your president did, my sweet bushie …”

Mauro Suttora



Miss Welby said...

e' cosi' che si chiama adesso, cespuglietta? e Marsha ce l'ha piu' o meno cespugliettosa di cosi'?

mauro suttora said...

e' anche una fan di bush

Miss Welby said...

sì, avevo apprezzato il gioco di parole.
pensa, ho scoperto che il ranch di Bush è ecologicissimo: solo poche stanze, riciclaggio dell'acqua, salvaguardia dell'ecosistema... insomma può sopravvivere senza petrolio... uno che se ne intende said...

Questa mania che accomuna te e Miss Welby di scrivere in inglese proprio non la capisco.

Miss Welby said...

Barbatin, non è tanto la mania, ma è proprio l'inglese che non capisci.

suppongo che Mauro scriva in inglese perché lo pagano per scrivere in inglese. a me no, non mi pagano, ma vorrei tanto!.. :) said...

A me nemmeno pagano.
Però se mi chiedessero di scrivere in inglese (o in friulano o in triestino), anche se lo conoscessi rifiuterei immantinente.
A certe cose non si può giungere a compormessi.
Non si può, insomma, compromettere la bellissima lingua italiana e metterla in secondo piano rispetto a idiomi d'origine barbarica. ;-)

mauro suttora said...

mania di scrivere in inglese? anche il friulano e' molto bello.
ogni lingua porta in se' codici differenti, impossibili da tradurre.
L'impostazione dell'inglese e' pragmaticissima, Kerouak non avrebbe mai potuto scrivere On the road anche se fosse stato di madrelingua italiana