Happy New Year? Non me ne frega niente!!

Without ever having been a good girl scout (Baden Powell’s Scouting for Boys put me off forever), I had been prepared for our return from our Xmas break. The fridge had pancetta, yoghurts, and sausages for the kids. Unfortunately, I had unplugged the fridge…

So there we were on New Year’s Eve, my best laid plans gang aft agley, and almost every shop and restaurant closed by six. We popped round the corner to Di Pietro’s, thinking to eat in there but they were already winding down and only offering what was on display for take-away. Shortly after I’d made my order, the boss came out to greet me. He insisted I wait for the new suppli and fish in batter (I forget their name); that was ever a mistake as it took forty effing minutes! While waiting, I was treated to an early evening display of fireworks, metaphorically speaking, as the boss exploded and shouted down the phone to a customer, “Happy new year? I couldn’t give a fuck!! You ordered two trays of lasagne so you’re bloody well paying for it!”; to a waiter, “Why the hell were you away so long? Clear up that goddamn mess back there!”; to the guy who served me, “What do you think you’re doing, giving her the chicken cacciatore? Don’t you know her kid can’t have that? Mother of God! Get some plain roast chicken out here now!”

This last was for my benefit. When il patrone had stormed off, the poor waiter actually apologized to me for making the mistake. The way the guy treats staff you’d think they’d want to stab him in his bed. Yet they were back at work the next morning, New Year’s Day, business as usual.