"Buon Estate!" And welcome to another perfectly suntanned issue of "Only In Italy!"
We're back...again. Hope everyone is enjoying their summer holidays under the Sicilian sun.
Enjoy the issue, keep writing and Grazie!
Florence - July 29, 2010 - A man was arrested early Thursday for blowing a vuvuzela in the center of a town near Florence in the middle of the night.
The 22-year-old resident of Fiorenzuola was briefly detained after residents phoned police complaining they couldn't get to sleep.
The vuvuzela was confiscated.
Finally, an article that makes light of an issue that spoiled the World Cup and enraged fans of a stupid sport all across the globe. The vuvuzela had turned that World Cup into an embarrassing spectacle which can only be compared to a Napolitano toddlers' birthday party gone haywire. Many people are unaware that, not only does this instrument cause violent urges from usually rational Sicilian farm animals, it can also spread colds and flu.
However, it was sad to see many tip-toe around this because itís supposedly a cultural thing. How sad and stupid! Unfortunately, we're of Sicilian descent but if we were exposed to 90 straight minutes of Sicilian flute music, called "friscaletto"..."Cazzarola", we would be shoving salty ricotta in our ears to escape the trauma.
What also drives us up the Sicilian walls is not only the melodic piece of the instrument called the chanter. Itís the incessant, mind-numbing, buzzing emanating from the suitably named drones. It has no relation to the ebbs and flows of the moronic game. It could be a goal, a penalty, or someone picking their nose...the buzzing never changes pitch or volume.
However, for the Fiorentine who couldn't get a good night's sleep due to the tooting...get over it! There is much worse.
We've been to several games (out of boredom, and above all, for free) and been subject to the "chorus singing" that most people do NOT hear on TV because it's filtered. Why? Because most of the songs have swearing, are derogatory or maliciously antagonize the opposing team (for example: singing about what clueless Fascists did in WW2 or racism in general).
We'll toot our own horns when we say that, like soccer, blowing a vuvuzela is a silly activity that has a reflexive nature with violent, perverted people. Our advice is, stay home, break those horns, eat a lot of pasta and shut up.
Rome - July 29, 2010 - Police said they have ended a convicted mafioso's 11-year flight from justice by literally catching him on the run, apprehending him on his daily jog.
Vito Zappala, 61, had been a fugitive since 1999 following a conviction for drug dealing and trafficking with Mafia methods.
The man, who was captured in a town near the northern city of Treviso, is considered part of a gang handling drugs deals between Belgium and Italy that is linked to the Laudani Mafia clan from the Sicilian city of Catania.
Ah, no more wine-flavored Gatorade, "'fanculo!"
Sharing jogging tips with other organized criminal members can be gratifying after you have experienced it. So, let the spirit of life on the run spread:
1) Before getting started with jogging, consulting your clan boss is important if the massive earnings from your drug trafficking could be compromised...and if you're overweight.
2) Even though the drugs you sell could kill, it's essential to give up smoking which, in any case, is detrimental to cardiovascular fitness.
3) Loosen up first. The perfect method is to swill a full glass of homemade wine. If the urge to jog persists, double the loosening exercise.
4) Choose an unspotted place to jog like the basement or the North Pole.
5) Leave the iPod and carry a police scanner along. The whereabouts of legal forces helps relax the mind.
6) Check your resting pulse. If you can't find your pulse, check the pulse of one you routinely extort from. Do not press too hard on his neck, as it can stimulate a reflex mechanism like peeing in your pants.
7) If you are using jogging equipment like a treadmill, do NOT keep it near an open window where there is a clear shot of your head.
Rome - July 30, 2010 - Civil Service Minister Renato Brunetta announced on Friday he plans to save two billion euros over the next three years by cutting down on the number of chauffeur-driven cars used by politicians and state officials.
Brunetta said a number of local administrations have already made moves to slash the number of such cars and more money could be saved by switching to lower cylinder vehicles or by car-sharing.
The minister said final figures on a survey of how many chauffeur-driven and public cars - known as 'auto blu' ('blue cars') in Italy are available to officials across Italy would be released at the start of September but the ministry estimates they amount to 80,000. These include an estimated 10,000 to 12,000 chauffeur-driven cars for politicians and top-ranking officials, including generals and high-ranking members of the judiciary.
Another 60,000 to 65,000 cars known as 'gray cars' are used by state and local employees on official duty.
The estimated annual cost for the service is four billion euros, including two billion for drivers' salaries, Brunetta said.
Brunetta has taken action on the issue since to stem public anger over a highly-publicized report by a taxpayers' association in May that national and local politicians have more than 624,000 cars at their service. He has dismissed the report as an "urban legend".
According to the opposition there are an estimated 73,000 public-service cars in the United States, 63,000 in France and 56,000 in the UK.
"Porca vacca", I wish I was two people so that I could hate them twice as much.
This tale is dedicated to any of you who work hard for a living...
Italy has the highest number of elected parliamentarians in Europe. Without counting the life senators with three limbs in the grave, there is one parliamentarian for every 60,371 inhabitants, compared with one for 91,824 people in the UK and 560,747 in the United States.
Italian politicians are the best-paid in Europe, and have lavish perks and privileges unheard of elsewhere in the Italian solar system:
- The President of The Republic's headquarters costs four times as much as Buckingham Palace, and that the Italian Parliament building is the costliest in Europe - 10 times more than that of Spain (which means the President can afford to hire Queen Elisabeth as an "escort").
- Members of parliament are paid three times as much as their French counterparts; perks include chauffeured bullet-proof cars, bodyguards, and sharply discounted air travel, as well as individual tennis coaching (and we're a step away from the "Scopa" card game coaching).
- And after only 35 months of service, lawmakers become entitled to receive a comfortable pension when they turn 60 (because 35 full months of Italian politics, espresso coffee, adding more incoherent laws to the current catalog of 350,000, and urinating can be excruciating work).
- Members of parliament also enjoy extra-legal privileges: while de facto couples in Italy have no legal rights, unmarried members of parliament can extend health and other benefits to their partners (for example; parents, cousins, lovers, escorts, whores, the local butcher and the young boy who pumps my gas at a Q8 station in Parma who happens to be my illegitimate child).