“Is that a salami in your pocket, or are you just glad to see me?”
Just in time for the launch of The Bootlegger's Goddaughter on Feb. 14, the original Bad Girl has this to say:
HOW TO TELL IF YOU’RE ITALIAN
I write mob comedies. Yes, I’m Italian. Yes, I’ve been a Goddaughter, like the heroine of THE GODDAUGHTER. Okay, maybe not exactly like. But close enough that I can easily imagine what it would like to be a mob goddaughter. The Christmas presents would be pretty decent, for one thing.
Besides, I can get my salami and mortadella wholesale in any Hamilton deli. Did someone say working class?
Melodie’s rules: How to tell if you’re really Italian:
1. If you absolutely cannot talk with your hands held down. Okay, not true. You can scream if they try to hold down your hands. And kick.
2. If you have at least 2 cousins named Tony. And one uncle.
3. If you consider Pasta a vegetable. (It’s good for you! Really. Ask any Italian grandmother.)
4. If you can listen to five conversations at once, in at least two languages, and answer back.
5. If you have four first names (Melodie Lynn Theresa Anne…)
Okay, it gets a little tougher now….
6. If you regularly faked a long penance after confession just so the boys would think you were HOT. (Hence the 'Bad Girl' moniker)
7. If your family does not consider a ‘heater’ something you turn on in winter.
And how to fake it…
8. Cry when Pavorotti sings the FIFA soccer anthem.
9. Ask for Brio and Orangina in restaurants. Gasp loudly if they don’t have it.
10. Kiss everybody. All the time. Left cheek, Right cheek. (THEIR left cheek, right cheek.)
11. ALWAYS wear designer shoes. Especially when shopping for shoes. If you don’t have a special wardrobe just for shopping, you are not Italian.
12. Long hair, ladies. At least until sixty.
13. Wine is a vegetable. It’s good for you.
I hate to end a list at 13. We Sicilians are superstitious. So here’s one last way you can tell you’re Italian:
Jewelry. Lots of it. The plane nearly came down with the weight of newly purchased gold worn on that last trip back from Rome. Heard in all lines at Customs: “What, this old thing?”
Melodie Campbell got her start writing stand-up. You can follow her on this blog or better still, buy her wacky mob comedies at Chapters and Amazon.