I’m madder than a big fat bull in the “You Break It You Bought It China Shop” after he received a big bill for his little jaunt over the fact that my bladder isn’t as strong as it used to be, and I can no longer make it down to Atlantic City by car without stopping four or a dozen times to use the head.
Look, you all know that ol’Carmine likes to travel in style, and by style I mean with one of those big giant buckets of Seven-Up along with some pickles and cucumbers to fight off travel fatigue.
So you won’t be surprised to learn that my precisionly timed trip down to the Taj was interrupted more than a few times so I could use the john.
And, yes! Before we left, my lovely wife Sharon made sure I took care of business.
So as we were whizzing through the Garden State, all I could think about was how I had to take a whizz!
And things got worse when we finally reached the Atlantic City Expressway, where the traffic was the worst I had ever seen it. So instead of it taking just two hours to get there, it took what felt like two days!
I was so uncomfortable because my digestive system was working at about 80 miles-per-hour while my car was going about five!
Well, when we finally arrived at the Taj, I finally caught a break. Our favorite bellhop Craig (of course I know the bellhops by name! I’m Carmine!) was able to unload Tornado and our luggage in record time, Sharon checked us in at the front desk, and I cracked the whip on my trusty steed and headed straight for our room. Remember the torch relay at the London Olympics? That’s basically how I grabbed the room keys from Sharon, then whizzed (figuratively) through the long, long lobby on the way to the elevators to Valhalla on the 48th floor. In case you’re not familiar with the Norse term for heaven, Valhalla is where a fallen Viking was sent if he died with a weapon in his hand. But I digress.
And with good reason, because what happened next isn’t publishable in a family newspaper or interwebsite.
Despite the troublesome beginning, it turned out to be a great weekend of eating rice, rice, and more rice in order to, well, you know.
Speaking of cucumbers, a paisano from Porto Empedocles, Sicily came over to me at my job inside Assemblyman Bill Colton’s community office. He introduced himself to me as a fellow Gergentani, a term used for those Sicilians from the region of Agrigento, to tell me how much he loved my cucumber column (believe it or not, I gotta lotta compliments on it!).
I told him I was just sharing my love of the cetriolo, which is ancient Sicilian for cucumber.
He laughed when I asked how he says “cucumber” in Sicilian, and he told me cucoombare, which actually is proper Italian. And he was really surprised that I knew the old-fashion word cetriolo.
Incidentally, pickles are cucumbers soaked in brine, which I grew to love as a child, when I would go to Orchard Street in Manhattan to buy them from the barrel for (you guessed it!) a nickel a pickle!
Let’s see how old are you, do you remember this ditty?
My father gave me a nickel to buy a pickle; I didn’t buy a pickle, I bought some chewing gum; chew, chew, chew, chew, chew, chewing gum!
OK, looks like I reached my word count! Now I can count down until my birthday on V-J Day!
Screech at you next week and happy birthday to me!