"Mah..." Welcome to the only newsletter that asks the question, "Is it part of our DNA to wear sunglasses inside and after dark?" "Only In Italy!"
Without any further headaches, we bring you our latest articles.
Enjoy the issue, keep writing and Grazie!
Rome - December 23, 2008 - Couples who regularly tell each other to 'drop dead' during arguments cannot then be prosecuted for making threats, Italy's supreme court ruled on Tuesday.
Judges at the Cassation Court said that 28-year-old Roberto R. was not guilty of threatening behavior after his former girlfriend, Marcella S., reported him for repeatedly telling her to drop dead during fiery bust-ups.
The court ruled that such phrases "belonged to the habitual language of both the ex-lovers in the course of their frequent arguments" and had lost their ability to arouse fear.Oh good. What a relief. Now we can get back to waking up early and going to our lovely jobs without having our "coglioni" broken even further.
It's safe to say the lyrics to "Volare" can also be added to the so-called "habitual language of lovers in the course of frequent arguments":
Volare oh, oh!
Nel blu, dipinto di blu, felice di stare lassł.
E volavo, volavo felice piu in alto del sole ed ancora piu su,
Volare oh, oh!
Ma tutti i sogni nell'alba svaniscon perchč,
Ma io continuo a sognare negli occhi tuoi belli,
Volare oh, oh!
Novara - December 24, 2008 - A Roman Catholic priest in northern Italy has been criticized by parents for telling children that Father Christmas does not really exist.
The parents say he has ruined the children's Christmas.
But Father Dino Bottino, a parish priest in Novara, says he had not intend to hurt anyone.
He says it is his duty to make clear the reality of Jesus, and distinguish it from the story of Father Christmas which is a fable just like Cinderella or Snow White.
In addition to denying the existence of Santa, Father Bottino also told children at his mass that the kindly witch called Befana, who provides Italian children with presents on 6 January, is not real either.
A local paper published complaints from dozens of parents. "You've ruined my children's Christmas," said one mother.
But an unrepentant Father Bottino called it his duty to set the record straight.
"I told the children that Father Christmas was an invention that had nothing to do with the Christian Christmas story," he said.
"And I would repeat it again, if I had the chance," he added.
"Porca vacca", the Italian Grinch that stole Christmas!
Grazie, Father Dino. Way to go!
You have a lot of free time. Why not unmask all the other prevalent Italian knucklehead superstitions and myths:
The Evil Eye: caused by jealousy and envy. By coveting somebody's possessions or more importantly admiring another family's newborn baby can cause a curse, even if the envious person did not intend it. Can bring about a variety of sicknesses.
The Corno: a classic offshoot of the Evil Eye curse. These twisted red coral, gold or silver amulets are often worn as necklaces by men to ward off curses on their "manliness" (very similar to a Mojo). Related to the Corno is the hand gesture known as the "mano cornuta", which also wards off the Evil Eye by extending only the pinkie and index finger like a pair of horns and pointing it down. When this gesture is made pointing upward it is as an insult to somebody, meaning their husband or wife is unfaithful.
No Birds in the House: a belief that having a bird in the house brings bad luck. Some versions of the superstition include even bird feathers, especially peacock feathers with their potentially "Evil Eye". Reason for birds being bad luck stems from the Bible, when St. Peter denied that he knew Jesus three times before the rooster crowed.
Upside-Down Bread: a loaf of bread must always be placed face up, or else bad luck will come. Upside down bread is taken quite seriously at times, especially on board fishing boats, where bad luck could mean no fish or worse.
Milan - December 29, 2008 - When the 35-year-old man was taken to the Desio Carabinieri barracks on charges of burglary, after breaking into yet another flat, he thought he would end up in the cells. Instead, he found himself out in the cold when a Milan magistrate sentenced him to house arrest on a park bench. The decision came after the 35-year-old's father and brother, irritated at his minor but constantly recurring brushes with the law, put their foot down and refused to have him in the house. The magistrate was left with no choice: "I'm sorry but you will be subject to compulsory residence on a bench in the public park in Via Trieste, Limbiate".
A few hours later, the man was ensconced on a wooden park bench in the hinterland of Milan. All he had to protect himself from the coldest nights of the year was a blanket and a few cardboard boxes. His only other options were a wooden park playhouse with no doors or windows, or the concrete pipe used by children for their games. Inside, he had some shelter from the rain and freezing temperatures that could easily have proved fatal.
The man spent the past few days there, including Christmas Day. Meanwhile his family refused to budge. Nothing doing. "We're not monsters. We're very sorry, sincerely sorry", father and son told police, "but we simply can't have him in the house. We've been at each other's throats for ages. There's no point in beating around the bush. We begged him time and again to stop thieving and look for an honest job. He swore he would change his ways but what did he do every time? The same again and he'd be back in jail".
But this time, he's in the park, not a prison cell. "Of course I remember him. How could I not? I used to see him each evening when I took my dog for a walk", says one pensioner, "I felt more sorry for him than scared. He might have been my grandson and I'll admit that more than once I brought him something to eat, or a jumper, or a blanket".
On several occasions, police officers from Desio came to check that the 35-year-old had not strayed from his place of compulsory residence, only to find him huddled in a blanket and shivering with cold in his makeshift home. The man braved the elements like this for seven long days until yesterday, when a woman friend took pity on him. She agreed to take him in, run him a hot bath and give him a plate of soup. All things considered, he was quite lucky.
In October last year, another man was given house arrest on a park bench. He didn't stay there and officers arrested him. For escaping from prison.
"The decision came after the 35-year-old's father and brother...put their foot down and refused to have him in the house."
"We begged him time and again to stop thieving and look for an honest job. He swore he would change his ways but what did he do every time? The same again and he'd be back in jail". Hmmm...how ironic. Are these the same typical Italian parents who, not only are aware, but actually condone cheating in Italian schools?
FACT: Routine exam cheating is a small illustration of a selfish attitude which have caused much larger problems in Italy. It's part of our "cazzo culture" that anything you do to get ahead is okay. Italian laws were made to be broken, and one should feel only contempt for the poor jackass who actually obeys the law and pays all his taxes!
House arrest on a park bench; and he knows he'll find the most compassionate Italian children there ready to welcome him.
"Buon giorno, loser."
"Let me understand this correctly, signore...you constantly get caught?"
"Here's a hint. Make sure no one is home the next time you're ransacking a house."
"Pay close attention...that's our park playhouse over there."
"Food?! This is not a bed and breakfast."