Not everything I write here is true. Did you know that? Sometimes I make things up to keep you amused, but occasionally life smiles on me and something just happens.
I was locking the Bockmobile yesterday at the supermarket when a small car pulled up beside me. The driver was a stocky, vaguely Mediterranean-looking man with a jaunty little moustache and beard.
Scusi, gentlemens, he said. Maybe you speak Italiano?
I knew immediately what I was dealing with, and you probably do too. This comes up every year on radio shows: a friendly Italian man approaches you, says he’s a fashion designer, he was at a trade show and now he has this big stock of leather jackets he doesn’t want to take back to Italy with him.
I have a short fuse. I admit it. Sometimes I can tend to shoot first.
Fuck off! I told him.
You call me fuck off? he shouted back. Fuck you!!
And that seemed to be that. I regretted being so quick to say what I said, but not because I felt sorry for the thieving scumbag con-man. I just thought, Shit, that would have made a good Bockpost, if only I’d let him make his pitch. Fuck it!
And then I forgot about him.
Today, I was walking down the street when a small car pulled up beside me. The driver was stocky, vaguely Mediterranean and had a snappy little moustache with a beard but, to my surprise, he was a different swarthy mustachioed stocky foreigner.
He leaned over to the passenger window.
Excuse, please. You are speak Italian? English? You Irish, yes?
I felt myself bristling, but remembering yesterday, I restrained my tongue.
Yeah. What’s the problem?
Is no problem for me. No problem. I cannot find road to airport. Is late. I miss aeroplane. Please, where is road to airport?
No bother, I said. Turn around here, take a left, keep going, follow the signs.
Ah, grazie, he smiled. Ciao.
Ciao! I replied, and waved him off.
Christ Almighty. Imagine if I’d allowed my suspicious nature to take control and told him to fuck off. He’s back home, munching his antipasti and waving his glass of Chianti at his grandmother. Those Limericks? They are crazy. I lose my way, I ask one of him for directions and he tell me Va Fanculo!!
Lost in my remorseful little thoughts, I failed to notice the small car pulling up beside me.
There he is again. Scusi please?
Jesus, I said. Did you miss the turn?
You know Brown Thomas? Is big departmen’ store here in Limerick?
Brown Thomas. I am fashion designer and I have here many clothes in car. You are business, perhaps?
Ah for fucksake, I said. Wait there a second.
And to my great surprise, he did. He waited long enough for me to take this: