A LONG WAY FROM MANY PLACES
Saturday in Little Italy
Sandwiches wrapped in butcher’s paper, Italian cold cuts and provolone cheese packed into freshly baked torpedo buns slathered with a spicy red vegetable condiment are available for $5, a bottle of water included. I’m relieved that I don’t operate a Quizno’s franchise; there ain’t nothin’ like the real thing, baby. In the parking lot elderly men are making pizzas, hot wedges free to all, baking them in a portable oven. One just like it is on display and on sale for some $3000.00 and change. I’m tempted; it would look all right in the living room. But we learn something. The chefs roll the balls of risen dough in yellow corn meal before they stretch and toss them. When we make our own at home we merely sprinkle some token meal on the pan before the pie crust hits it. This will change.
Uncle Sid takes a seat at the head of the spaghetti eating contest table. His receding hair and sculpted beard are closely cropped. His black t-shirt is skintight. His white shoes have Velcro fasteners. His jeans are that modern type of fashion denim I dislike. His nephews and nieces crawl all over him. When a heaping silver tray of pasta from a nearby vat is placed before of him sans utensils, he asks, ‘Is that all there is?’ He tells the kids he’s going to win. A popular trash talker from the neighbourhood. He does win, his smug face glistening with sauce. One of the young ones wants to know what he’s just won. He says, ‘The respect of my family.’ For some reason a Journey song plays in my head.