Wednesday, July 16, 2008
As a pubescent, I disliked Italians. Perhaps my antipathy came from watching Tony Danza. Or from my soporific Chemistry teacher who had as many vowels in his name as consonants. Or maybe it sprung from that one particular Italian classmate of mine? Who knows?
But then I moved to Philadelphia and spent a good part of my nine years there hanging out and working in South Philly. As such, I became immersed and nominally accepted into the South Philly Italian culture. The inhabitants south of Washington Ave don't consider their hood part of America, part of Pennsylvania, or even part of Philadelphia for that matter. They passionately believe that South Philly is its very own country. It suffices to say, that despite my prejudice, I currently have my share of greaseball friends.
Furthermore, my wife is 100% Italian!!! Though she's from the Brooklyn tribe and it needs to be mentioned that she is *once removed* from the borough.
Devil's Advocate - Once removed?
That means she didn't grow up in Brooklyn. Her Dad did but he graduated to Long Island where he raised his famiglia. It's just like all those social climbing 8th Streeters in SoPhilly who aspire to move to "Jerzee"!
So now my friends are Italian, my wife is Italian, of course my in-laws, and my kids are half-Italian to boot. They've bloody well got me surrounded!
Aside from access to *better food*, one side benefit, I guess, is that I can now utter "dago" with impunity - "guido" and "wop" too. (Though, empirically, I've discovered that wop is the most derogatory. Who knew?)
Enjoy the video.