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Short & Silly
Yesterday I introduced you to my sister, Gabby (Gabriella). She's a beautiful and remarkable woman, but she was never meant for the workforce--especially to work with the public. When she was 17, she got a job at the mall. Every kid wants to work in the mall, she was no exception. She had already been dating her future husband for over a year, and she insisted he sit on a bench and wait for her as she started her first day at the cookie factory.
Her manager trained her to not break the cookies when weighing a pound for the customer. "The proper thing to do is ask the customer if it is permissible to weigh a little more than a pound. They always say yes, and we make a little extra money."
That sounds reasonable, yet nothing is normal in my family. Gabby's first customer asked for a pound of cookies and when she weighed them and said, "It's a little over a pound, is that okay?" The woman snarled that she wanted a pound. Gabby removed a cookie and stated, "It's a little less than a pound, is that a problem?"
The woman then sunk into a barrage of humiliating statements. "Did I ask for 'about' a pound? I asked for a pound, no more, no less. You do know what a pound is, don't you? Perhaps I should buy cookies from the zoo, the monkeys would understand what a pound means better than you."
Wrong thing to say to Gabriella. "Maybe you'd feel at home at the zoo, perhaps you should go there. Cause even a monkey would know that breaking a cookie just to get a pound makes no sense. Who wants half a cookie? Only someone with half a brain."
Of course the customer demanded the manager, and Gabby was reprimanded. That was another mistake. Gabby started hollering, "You have a problem with me? I have a problem with this place. There's roaches in the kitchen, so many I was afraid to even touch the counter or they might crawl on me. And for what? Frozen cookie dough? You should just put a sign on the entrance that says Pillsbury, cause that store bought dough would make better cookies than these."
When her boyfriend heard her yelling, he ran to the store and pulled her out of there. She had worked only three hours, never received her paycheck, and my mother paid more for the uniform work shirt than she would have made in those three hours anyway.
Gabby and Dominic got married about ten years later, and have since been together almost forty years. A major feat for any relationship, they definitely belong together. A few years ago, they owned a deli that served hoagies (yes, here they are hoagies, not subs or hero sandwiches). Dominic should have known to keep her from the public, but he released her like an irresponsible dog owner allowing an attack dog to roam the streets.
A customer entered the shop and ordered a six inch hoagie. However, she wanted the roll sliced in half. She didn't want the meat on the sandwich, and wanted each ingredient "on the side". Gabby wrapped the lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and meat separately in wax paper. She also put oil, mayo, and peppers in little plastic cups. To make up for the paper, cups, and tape used, she charged the woman an extra dollar. The woman flipped out yelling, "What the hell is this? You charged me a dollar for what?"
Because I have more respect for the public than she does, I can't tell you what Gabby said to this woman, but believe me, it was bad-- something even I would not say, and I wrote Erotica! I will say that the woman then called the shop later that day. She asked for the owner, and Gabby's adult son got on the phone. The woman demanded Gabby be fired, and of course, that was not going to happen. When Gabby realized it was that customer on the phone, she started yelling again. Her poor son was stuck between the caller and his mother, and he tried to be diplomatic as the woman demanded she be fired. "Ma'am, I understand how you feel. But the woman to whom you are referring is my mother. If you want a free sandwich, I can have one waiting for you."
Gabby continued yelling, "She ain't gettin' nothing!"
The public will be pleased to know that Gabby went back to being a stay-at-home Mom.
Stay tuned for tomorrow's story of how I lost my sister's BMW in a strange city :)
I apologize for being away, but due to some personal issues, I needed to take a break from the blog and book promotion for a bit. I have a couple book reviews to post, including one by A. Green entitled Purple Dragon. I apologize to the authors for the extended delay. I also want to thank those of you who wrote me asking for more "Short & Silly" posts, so here's a new one for you.
I grew up as a "Jerseydelphian", meaning that my family came from South Philadelphia, but I was born and raised in New Jersey. We went "down the shore" during the summer, and supported the Philly sports teams, not the New York teams. Trenton is considered "North Jersey", and Rocky Balboa is a real person. And like all South Philadelphia Italian families, we either had "Connected Guys" in the family, or we knew some. Most people in South Philly know someone in the Mob, or someone who pretends to be a big shot, wanting to be "connected" and to feel special. And almost everyone's grandparents at least ran numbers decades ago.
I thought it was normal to know every word of The Godfather Saga, to not trust the police (especially the FBI), and to grow up around guys with jewelry, imported shoes, and wads of cash. One memory stands out though. When I was about ten-years-old, one of my cousins had died, and my mother drove someone else's car in the funeral procession. Much of the family who still lived in Philly did not drive, so those who did divided the cars up. After the Mass, we followed the cars through the neighborhood and someone in the back seat shouted, "Hey, you know Vinnie shot someone last week at the next corner, right? Why are we driving his car here?"
My mother responded, "Oh, yeah, that's right! Kids, if you see bullets start flying, duck!"
To this day, I still don't know how we wound up with Vinnie's car, or whose bright idea it was to drive through that section of the city in the funeral. I just remember lying on the floor of the car, wondering if the window would shatter. My sister Lee was so scared by the time we reached the restaurant, she started screaming bloody murder when the valets tried to open the doors of the car to let us out. Of course, as you know if you have read my blog in the past, Lee was not the world's most refined individual, so she might not have allowed the valet to open the door even if there was no threat of violence.
Rather than bore you with details of arrests, indictments, and trials ... I'll tell you about my sister Gabby, this is one I'll never forget.
Gabby is the perfect stay-at-home-Mom. She's Betty Crocker, Donna Reed, and Martha Stewart rolled into one. But she still has that South Philly Italian Pit Bull attitude, especially when it comes to her family. She often answered her front door to the Mormon Missionaries, offering them coffee and conversation--probably cause the Mormon "elders" who come to the door are usually younger men who then go off to BYU after their missionary work. It's her maternal instinct to care for them, I think.. Although we were raised Catholic, she loves the Mormon's philosophies on family life after death.
So one day when two men knocked on the front door in white dress shirts and black suits, she exchanged pleasantries with them. They discussed her children, as the men saw the kids' bikes in the driveway. They asked about the area and neighbors, and then about her husband. After sitting them at her kitchen table for coffee, one asked where her husband was. When she told them at his place of business, (a name that phonetically sounded like the name of a NJ town), they began questioning her on other issues--which made her suspicious.
Finally she asked them, "Who are you?"
The one man identified himself, "Ma'am, we're with the FBI, and we need to speak with your husband."
Wrong answer. "The FBI? Get the hell outta my house! I thought you were my Mormon friends that stop by from time to time! You freakin' lied to me!"
The agent protested, "No, ma'am. We never lied, you never asked. Why did you think we were Mormons?"
She literally pushed the men out of the house. The FBI then put out an APB for her husband in NJ, not realizing her husband worked in Philly. Eventually the FBI caught up with my bro-in-law and interviewed him about a customer of his. It turned out that there was a guy who was involved with the IRA in Ireland, and he was running bomb materials and money back and forth to/from Ireland. It had nothing to do with the family or business, just a bad customer who had a business card on him when arrested.
After about ten minutes of discussing this with my bro-in-law, the FBI continued to question him as to why my sister thought they were Mormons. "She didn't really mean that did she?"
Her hubby responded, "Yeah, if she said it, that is what she thought."
"Why did she become so outraged when we identified ourselves?"
"Probably because she felt tricked into letting you into our house. She thought you were religious people, but you turned out to be Feds."
For another 30 minutes, they questioned him on the how the FBI could be mistaken for Mormons--apparently that was much more important than catching a terrorist and arms dealer.
Sometimes Gabby takes things to the extreme though. She gets very serious while on airplanes--she hates flying. We were once on a long flight to Vegas, and we were both sitting on the escape hatch aisle. She was dedicated in her responsibility for that hatch, read all the manuals about emergency evacuations, and watched the door closely. Halfway through the flight, a man began pacing back and forth.
Sweat built up along his brows, he fidgeted repeatedly, and he kept looking out the window. After a couple minutes, Gabby hollered, "Don't Jew be openin' dat door, man." Real classy, as her South Philly attitude came out. He explained he was jones-ing for a smoke, but that didn't matter to her. "You better go Jones somewhere else, cause you go near that door, I'm takin' you down."
All 5ft 3 and 110 pounds of her was going to tackle a six foot tall, 200 pound guy. She'd do it, too.
Hope you got a laugh from today's Short & Silly. :)
Coming Aug. 25th, 2015
No One Is Safe While...
A Novel by Rhoda D'Ettore
After surviving a car accident that killed her father, three-year-old Jennifer begins having nightmares. It's soon obvious she suffers from something more dreadful than the accident when she provides clues to a murder committed 3,000 miles away—and two decades before she was born.
Jennifer's nightmares set off a chain reaction that prompts the infamous Zodiac Killer to emerge from dormancy and terrorize San Francisco for a second time.
Goin’ Postal & The Creek
Rhoda D'Ettore began her writing career by publishing humorous tales about working at the United States Postal Service. Fifteen years of dealing with bombs, anthrax, and human body parts in the mail made for an interesting read. Her co-workers laughed so hard at the nostalgia, they encouraged her to publish the writings. Since then, D'Ettore has fascinated readers with plot twists mixed with sarcastic humor.
D’Ettore knew postal workers would buy her story, yet she also wanted to show them she could write interesting, serious work with shocking twists. In Goin’ Postal & The Creek, the reader gets two very different stories in one book. The first containing the hysterical tales of postal worker life. The second story is a historical fiction that spans 200 years with a slightly supernatural twist. Topics include war, love, romance, death, Prohibition, the Great Depression, and how families survive such events.
Newborn Nazi tackles the issues of right and wrong as well as self sacrifice when fourteen-year-old Edmund is forced into the Hitler Youth in 1935. His older siblings vow to destroy Nazi Germany, and the family gets swept up in espionage and the Underground Movement. When Edmund becomes an adult and joins the feared SS, his sister's secret endeavors to save Jews in her home endangers lives---including her own. This suspense thriller is sure to keep you guessing.
Newborn Nazi is based on Rhoda D’Ettore true family history. There was an Edmund who was forced into the Hitler Youth, and his sister did help Jews escape. D’Ettore found the story so riveting, she took the plot of the story and added murder and espionage to create this intense thriller.
Tower of Tears: The McClusky Series 1
In Tower of Tears: The McClusky Series, we find Jane traveling to America from Ireland with her three-year-old son. Expecting to find a better way of life, Jane finds nothing but intimidation, betrayal, violence, and heartache. This family saga includes blackmail, murder, mystery, and a touch of romance.
While writing Tower of Tears, D’Ettore gave her mother one chapter at a time for feedback. D’Ettore was undecided who the murderer in the book would eventually be, so she wrote the story with five characters hating and threatening the murder victim. Halfway through the book, D’Ettore’s mother shouted, “I know who killed him…. it was ####”. D’Ettore then finished the book with a different character as the murderer. When her mother read the final draft of the book, she replied, “That’s not who the murder is. I told you who is was.” D’Ettore then said, “I wrote the book, so I know who the murderer should be. Thanks.”
10 Shades of Blush: The Softer Side of Kink
10 Shades of Blush: The Softer Side of Kink is a collection of naughty fantasies of ordinary women. Teachers, mothers, and professionals submitted their wants and desires for kinky fun. All the tales are told as if the women are speaking directly to their partners. The audiobook of this has been called "Two hours of phone sex for $7".
Rhoda D'Ettore works are available as ebook, paperback, and audiobooks
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