Posts Tagged With: Petrillo

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. 1 Pookie 0003 (November 13, 2014)

“By now it is clear to most thinking people that every decision we make on major public problems simply makes matters worse.”
Carroll Quigley in his review of Ferkiss’ “In Search for a Solution to the World Crisis.” 1974.

TODAY FROM ITALY:

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN SICILY:

Canicatti

1. A brief tour into the Borgalino

Canicatti, except for the fact that my mother was born here, is a rather uninteresting city at least in so far as art, architecture and history are concerned. Essentially established by the Saracens for commercial purposes along side a small stream (Canicatti means clay ditch in arabic), it has remained more focused on commerce than art ever since.

Nonetheless, they really do it up for Carnevale.

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I have no idea what this float is all about.

Canicatti was the site, however, of the massacre of unarmed civilians by US troops during WWII.

The “old town,” across the river from the fortress, where originally most of the people lived is called Borgalino. It is there that in 1917 my mother was born. Since then the city has metastasized and covers much of the valley and surrounding hills.

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Canicatti 100 years ago
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Today

We visited the Borgalino one day in pursuit of intergenerational connections or what is now generally called roots.
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Santa Spirito today

Convento S. Spirito - senza data

100 years ago

Maryanne and I pose in front of the church and convent where my mother was baptized. The adjacent picture shows the church as it looked at about the time my mother was born.

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The much altered home of my mothers birth.

My mother was only seven years old when my grandfather died of his war wounds. As my mother tells it, as he lay dying, she prayed that he would live so that she would not have to wear black for the rest of her life. She was saved that fate by being shipped off to America not too long after the funeral.

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Borgalino today
Borgalino
100 years ago
2. The Cimitero and a surprising story.

Following our visit to the Borgalino and my mother’s birthplace, in pursuit of symmetry we naturally then visited the cemetery where my grandfather and many of the relatives, including Vincenzo, are buried
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The Cemetery

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The Crypt

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The Grave

It was here we learned one of the family legends we had never heard before. It seems that during WWI at the battle of Caporetto or perhaps it was the Veneto, I was unclear on which, my grandfather Giacinto Corsello and his brother Salvatore were serving as officers in the front lines when the Austrians attacked their machine gun position. The brothers held them off for a day until Giacinto was wounded in a poison gas attack. He was removed from the front for treatment (he would die from the effects of the gas about seven years later) leaving Salvatore alone at the machine gun to face the Austrian hordes. Which he did heroically for another 24 hours before he was killed in a second poison gas attack. This much was probably true since the brave and heroic brothers had the medals, if not their lives, to show for it.

The legend or myth however is the family’s belief Hemingway wrote about their heroism in either The Sun also Rises or For whom the Bells Toll and Salvatore was played by Gary Cooper in the movie. I doubt this because, in For Whom the Bells Toll, although Cooper dies valiantly holding off the Fascists, the event takes place in Spain about 20 years after the brother’s actions. In The Sun also Rises, Cooper, plays an American ambulance driver. Nevertheless, I am greatly pleased that my grandfather has a legend associated with him no matter how false it may be.

3. Giovanni’s country place

We later visited Giovanni’s country home where we watched a storm come in over the mountains. The house is quite rustic. He invited me to stay there whenever I return to Sicily. Giovanni likes to slip off to the place as often as he can to sit and sip wine.

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In the garden
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Here comes the storm

4. A last supper

On our last evening in Canicatti we visited with Guillermo’s family for dinner (of course) in a restaurant that served Sicilian food ”hunter’s style” (a La Cacciatore).

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The Antipasti

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I have no idea what this was

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My main course was wild boar
TODAY’S QUOTE:

“Those who use the past to oppose the present must be ex-terminated.”
Li Shu

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:
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My sister fooling around

Categories: October through December 2014 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. 25 Pepe 0003 (November 11, 2014)

TODAY FROM ITALY:

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN SICILY:

1. Antonio’s House

In the morning after I woke up, I walked down the stairs and was greeted by a six-foot three-inch tall skinny Nigerian named Friday.

Friday comes by in the mornings to assist Antonio servicing his guests. Friday’s goal in life is to become a blues singer and while he putters about, he sings snatches of songs, sotto voce.
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George, Friday (actually Venerdi) and Maryanne

Antonio’s home, surrounded by his garden, nestles, oasis like, in an uninspiring neighborhood on the outskirts of Canicatti.
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The entrance to Antonio’s home.

It has been his home and that of his father before him and has the well settled feel of at least two generations arranging things for their long-term comfort.  Bookcases lined the walls alon with cabinets filled with various personal acquisitions. There is even a stand containing a walking stick collection.
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Clockwise from the top left: The patio; Maryanne and George in the garden; Antonio preparing dinner; The main room with fireplace and table set for breakfast.
Antonio is a pediatrician and a beguiling host. He fancies himself a gourmet chef of Sicilian cuisine and for good reason — he is one.
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Antonio at his favorite place in the house

I could not possibly describe all the various dishes he made for us but a few stand out — a dessert made with fresh (one day old) flaky ricotta covered with home-made fig jam — fried meatballs of finely ground pork and veal incased in breadcrumbs from fresh Sicilian bread soaked in water — an infinite variety of preparations featuring eggplant including a compote with olives and other things to die for — calamari stuffed with almonds — freshly made tagliatelle in a pesto sauce made with basil picked from his garden that day — An ice cream dessert (cassata) he called the history of Sicily containing Arab, Norman and Angevin originated ice creams — and on and on.
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The Sicilian History ice cream

Most of his spices, vegetables, fruits and nuts come directly from his small garden each day. FullSizeRender
Pookie, glass of wine in hand, prepares to eat home-made Rigatoni with crayfish.

I sleep in his daughter’s room complete with pictures and favorite things seemingly just the way she left it before departing to study medicine at the university in Milan. Rather than an interloper, I felt like I was in a place built over the years to provide security, comfort and joy to whoever occupies it. I sleep well there.

In fact I would prefer spending my days there rather than touring or visiting relatives I had not seen for 40 years.

2. Meet the Relatives: Part I

I first arrived in Canicatti in 1968 with my son in tow having driven from London in a three wheel vehicle. The American side of the family had not laid eyes on the Sicilian since 1928 when the patriarch of the family unceremoniously, but for the good of the family, married his newly orphaned 16-year-old niece and sent off her younger siblings, my mother included, into indentured servitude in America thereby securing for himself his brother’s inheritance — for the good of the family.

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Here I am in 1968 standing in front of a part of that inheritance with the patriarch himself, Vincenzo with one of his sons Giovanni who we will meet later. As I learned at the time from other townspeople feared Vincenzo  and reviled, all four-foot ten inches of him. The beanpole on the right is me in 1968. I can truly say that I am twice the man now than I was then.

Since then, Vincenzo has died and as is typical among Sicilian families they have broken into two warring groups who do not speak to or about each other. The reason for their enmity is unknown and probably forgotten by now.

The first group we visited with were the sons and daughters of the banking side of the family. Giuseppe the oldest son of Vincenzo was director of the local bank. now retired. Guillermo, the son of Giuseppina one of Vincenzo’s daughters, is a rising presence in the bank. We spent a delightful evening with them all, large and small.
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Sitting on the sofa

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At Dinner, of course

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Playing with the children

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Maryanne George, Guillermo and his wife.

Guillermo is an enthusiastic marathon runner as well as a banker. I promised him that should he visit us in California I would speak to Bill Yeates about the possibility of him running in one or two while he is there.

3. A visit to Enna and Piazza Armerina

The next morning we departed to visit a few of the sites in the area. Our first stop was Enna.

Enna was the last stronghold of the Saracens before the Normans conquered them under the Great Count Roger. Unlike the Reconquista in Spain three hundred years later, the Normans did not expel the Muslims and the Jews, nor did they forcibly convert them. Instead, they welcomed them into their administration and military and adopted many of their cultural practices, (Most of Italy’s great pastries and desserts come from this period).

Enna, like Erice in the West, sits on a mountain about three thousand feet above sea level and commands the view of much of southern Sicily.

Unfortunately, the stormy that day limited touring.

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A statue in Enna that reminded me of me: walking stick, fedora and protruding belly.

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A portion of the castle at ENNA

We then left for a site that a visitor to Sicily should not miss: The Roman mosaics at Piazza Armerina, perhaps the finest collection of classical mosaics in existence.
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The so-called Bikini girls – (actually depicts Roman female athletes in competition.)
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A fanciful scene of Putti living it up on a boat.

4. Meet the Relatives: Part two, a night at Giovanni’s

That evening we spent with the other side of the family at Giovanni’s house. Giovanni, brother to Giuseppe and Giuseppina, as far as I know, did not pursue higher education and perhaps as a result was not as formal as his siblings.

We were met at the door by:
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The following photo is of me and my cousin Giovanni. As you can see, I appear considerably heavier and shorter than I was forty years ago.
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Pookie and Giovanni

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Maryanne and two cousins, Teresa and Maria

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All the relatives gathered that night at Giovanni’s

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“The state is a good state if it is sovereign and if it is responsible. It is more or less incidental whether a state is, for example, democratic. If democracy reflects the structure of power in the society, then the state should be democratic. But if the pattern of power in a society is not democratic, then you cannot have a democratic state. This is what happens in Latin America, Africa and places like that, when you have an election and the army doesn’t like the man who is elected, so they move in and throw him out. The outcome of the election does not reflect the power situation, in which the dominant thing is organized force. When I say governments have to be responsible, I’m saying the same thing as when I said they have to be legitimate: they have to reflect the power structure of the society. Politics is the area for establishing responsibility by legitimizing power, that is, somehow demonstrating the power structure to people, and it may take a revolution, such as the French Revolution, or it may take a war, like the American Civil War. In the American Civil War, for example, the structure of power in the United States was such — perhaps unfortunately, I don’t know — that the South could not leave unless the North was willing. It was that simple. But it took a war to prove it.”
Carroll Quigley

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

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Only in San Francisco…

(For those still confused, they jacked up one side of the building after taking the first photograph.)

Categories: October through December 2014 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

This ant that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. November 4. 2011

TODAY’S FACTOID:

A blast from the past: The following is a Daily Factoid I posted way back in September 2010 that I thought might amuse some:

Myrceugenia correifolia is a species of evergreen woody flowering shrub native to South America belonging to the Myrtle family, Myrtaceae. The common name of this plant is Petrillo.

Why any plant should have a so-called common name “Petrillo” I have no f***ing idea. Why not Schatzman for example? Besides, I resent the appellation “common.” There is nothing common about a Petrillo; weird or strange perhaps, but common, never.

Nevertheless, you may be interested to know that one notable characteristic of the noble Myrtle family is that the phloem is located on both sides of the xylem, not just outside as in most other plants.

Chew on that for a while.

While on the subject of things Petrillo, as you may recall in a previous email I introduced most of you to the notorious murdering Petrillo brothers. Recently, I also learned that someone named Dominick “The Gap” Petrillo introduced Joe Valacci to the Cosa Nostra.

As coincidence will have it, Dominic Petrillo is also the name of a character in one of Sheldon Seigal’s books. Sheldon tells me that he modeled the character in part on me. Dominic is a fairly despicable individual. I seem to remember he ends up killing himself.

Sheldon is not the only well-known author to include an unflattering description of me in his novel.

In “Roses are Red,” James Patterson‘s protagonists attempting to solve a series of baffling bank robberies go through files of hate mail from the banks that were robbed. One letter in particular draws their attention. The man who wrote it lived nearby. The man’s name is Joseph Petrillo. Petrillo wrote a hate letter every week for the last two years. Petrillo also was a former security guard who was laid off by Citibank. The letters were intelligent and well written. They go to see Petrillo who shoots at them. Once back up arrives they burst in, but find Petrillo had blown his head off. ( “sic transit gloria”).

For those with some interest in the matter or in strained coincidences, my daughter briefly dated James Patterson’s son. I understand it was a relationship that she would just as soon forget.

Oh well, as long as I am on a roll with Petrillo and mayhem, I may as well add one particularly gruesome and tragic story.

On September 25, 2009, Annie Morrell Petrillo, daughter of slain newspaper heiress Anne Scripps Douglas leaped to her death from the same bridge her stepfather Scott Douglas jumped to his death from on January 1, 1994, after murdering his wife. According to a witness, she stopped her car on the Tappan Zee Bridge and got out and jumped. A suicide note was found and its contents released on the ABC show 20/20 in 2010. Family friends stated that Annie never got over the senseless tragedy of her mother’s murder and she had been hospitalized several times for depression. At the time of Annie’s death, she was finalizing a divorce from Petrillo and that also may have contributed to her despair. (Knowing the Petrillo clan as well as I do, her marriage into our esteemed family I am sure was more than a contributing factor in Annie’s death. Just ask my mother.)

Just in case you have gotten the impression that the Petrillo clan is only associated with death, dying and violence, I will have you know that apparently we also like music (and of course sex).

It seems that the Grand Prince of Tuscany Ferdinando de Medici (1663-1713), also known as the “Orpheus Prince,” principal delight, aside from music, was in intimate liaisons and affairs, often with men. These included someone named (you guessed it) Petrillo. Petrillo was a musician (male), famous for his beauty. The oversexed prince also had an affair with a Venetian castrato by the name of Cecchino (I could be wrong, but I think Cecchino means either “little garbonzo bean” or “Frankie”).

Now there may be a gay Petrillo or two, but a castrato, never.

TODAY’S NEWS FROM AMERICA AND THAILAND:

Thailand: The Thai protective amulet industry is worth about 300 million USD per year. There are thousands of articles in popular amulet collector’s magazines about the value and beauty of these small objects. There is a regular section in the popular Thai language newspaper, Thai Rath, called “Sanam Phra” which features new amulets on the market, stories of their production and occasionally a miracle story about how an amulet saved a person from drowning or helped her business. Some amulets have sold for as much as 1.75 million USD. However, there are many amulets that cost as little as 10 cents. These amulets, albeit rarely, can be made more powerful with the addition of “corpse fluid” (nam man phrai) from aborted fetuses or freshly deceased adults.

America: Researchers returning from an expedition to the Mariana Trench in the western Pacific, the deepest part of the ocean, report they found the largest single cell organism ever discovered. The organism four inches long, lives under the crushing pressure of the water in the deepest and darkest part of the ocean, and it does not live there alone.

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN LOS ANGELES:

See Today’s Photograph for a view of LA from space. The Verdugo hills where I am staying now are those hills in the upper center left of the photograph below the large mountain range at the top. Torrance, where Monty lives, is located just behind the low range of hills by the water on the Pales Verde peninsula in the bottom center of the photograph.

So, here I am in La Canada eating breakfast at a café called “Hill Street,” Monty having dropped me off here after we got lost on our drive this morning to Glendale where I was going to spend the next few days. Fortunately, I found a bus that stopped directly across the street from the café and deposited me a block away from my destination. The bus had some sort of senior discount that allowed me to ride for free. Instead of the usual denizens of public transit I find in SF, the bus rapidly filled up with relatively well dressed seniors. Glendale, is America’s own little Armenia. There are perhaps more Armenians here than in the capital of Armenia itself, another example of the melting pot producing stew and not sauce.

After I arrived, I was immediately put to work shelling Tamarind, followed by squeezing limes for the Margaritas to be served at the Day of the Dead party this evening. Then I took a nap.

After my nap we travelled around downtown Glendale looking for Marigolds.

That evening the guests arrived all were Armenian except a distinguished physician of mexican descent and me, the Sicilian rhapsody. Mostly the guests conversed in a mix of Arminian and English. We drank Tamarind Margaritas, the first taste of which was like some horrid medicine, but immediately thereafter grew on you until it became delightful and habit-forming.

Against one wall in the living room a Day of the Dead altar was erected, containing skulls, the marigolds, candles and photographs or mementos of the departed.

Among the guests was an artist and the owner of the gallery in which his works are exhibited. There was also an author on Armenian matters and local talk show host on the Armenian television station. He was bald, rotund and sported a beard that would make Trotsky proud.

I had an interesting discussion with a child psychiatrist and his wife a medical anthropologist who had set up a foundation to oppose infant scarification (circumcision), cesarean births and support breast-feeding and the removal of infants from cribs and into their parents beds.

In the discussion with the psychiatrist, I learned that the Armenian nation that existed in eastern Anatolia for several thousand years until it was destroyed in the Armenian genocide during the early part of the 20th Century, being surrounded by muslim and other societies that practiced ritual circumcision and sought to impose them on the Armenians, steadfastly resisted, having the tips of their wieners chopped off.

Think about it, for thousands of years people have fought and killed one another over whether the bit if skin covering the end of the penis should remain intact, and the battle still is not over.

Another guest was introduced to me as an anarchist. With his flowing white beard and his ponytailed white hair he reminded me more of a rabbi than an anarchist.

Toward the end of the evening the psychiatrist and his wife and the physician got into a heated discussion regarding circumcision and childhood development. The physician said something that interested me, that since Roe v Wade, the number of abortions and the number of immigrants into the US have balanced each other and this was because it was recognized that labor was necessary for a healthy economy and a political decision was made to balance the loss of future laborers from abortion through immigration. While I felt the latter part of his assertion was bullshit, I wanted to find out if indeed abortions matched immigration.

So the next day, I researched the issue and found that, in fact, abortions almost tripled the number of immigrants. In addition, a fact that should surely fuel the paranoiac inclinations of my old classmate Pat Buchanan, the number of abortions by white women were in itself larger that the number of immigrants and except for abortions among black women which almost matched immigration, the abortion numbers among what ever the political classifications we score things by today was miniscule.

PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:

See: http://papajoesfables.wordpress.com/

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

Cancelled today because Vince is befuddled, Isabella pissed off, Meg obsessed, Ike depressed and the author reduced to suffering alternating fits of annoyance and anxiety.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

a. Cracked News from “Not the Nation”:

b. Real Headlines and Ads:

AD FOR BOTTLE CHILLER: “Chill wines. Good for cars!” (PICTURE OF CHILLER NEXT TO DRIVER)

HEALTH FOOD STORE BROCHURE: “Herb Of The Month: Treats loss of memory and male importance”

NEWSPAPER LOST AND FOUND: “PLEASE HELP. FOUND. WHITE CAT STUCK IN TREE. CAN’T GET DOWN. NEED HELP URGENTLY”

FOR SALE: “MANNEQUIN. LOWER HALF LIKE NEW, USED ONCE OR TWICE. $55 OR BEST OFFER”

c. What Occupy really wants:

Weaponized Keynesians: Those who believe, “the government does not create jobs when it funds the building of bridges or important research or retrains workers, but when it builds airplanes that are never going to be used in combat, that is of course economic salvation.” (Barney Frank)

John Maynard Keynes noted the curious “preference for wholly ‘wasteful’ forms of loan expenditure rather than for partly wasteful forms, which, because they are not wholly wasteful, tend to be judged on strict ‘business’ principles.” Spend money on some useful goal, like the promotion of new energy sources, and people start screaming, “Solyndra! Waste!” Spend money on a weapons system we don’t need, and those voices are silent, because nobody expects F-22s to be a good business proposition.

d. How To Talk Like A Republican (the New American Lexicon):

Frank Luntz, Republican Party consultant in a strategy memorandum sent out to Party insiders said:

“Sometimes it is not what you say that matters but what you don’t say. Other times a single word or phrase can undermine or destroy the credibility of a paragraph or entire presentation. This memo was originally prepared exclusively for Congressional spouses because they are your eyes and ears, a one-person reality check and truth squad combined. However, by popular demand, I have included and expanded that document because effectively communicating the New American Lexicon requires you to STOP saying words and phrases that undermine your ability to educate the American people.”

This new section of Pepe’s Potpourri will contain some of Luntz recommendations.

If you ever thought that you were able to reason your way to your own political convictions, this series will disabuse you of that conceit. What you thought you knew and believed is little more than clever cynical conditioning.

e. Department of abasement, apology and correction:

Recently I wrote that Monty fought in the Middleweight division during Sugar Ray Robinson’s reign. In fact his career began as Robinson’s was ending. I apologize for the error.

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“If you don’t start thinking about finance in this way–don’t start by classifying those who trade into savers, borrowers, risk-bearers, risk-shedders, principals, agents, gamblers, and marks–you do not, I think, have any chance of conducting a serious analyses of modern finance.”
Brad DeLong

Perhaps, my favorite description of what the world of finance is all about.

TODAY’S CHART:

In other words, only about 17% of the federal Budget is discretionary spending. A little over 20% is spent on defense. The remainder is spent on mandatory payments; entitlements, interest and safety net programs. Allowing the Bush Tax cuts for the wealthy to expire and cut defend spending by 20% would over the next 10 years save more that 2.2 trillion dollars and amount greater than that the so-called super Congress is required to make. So why, if it is so simple is it not done? That’s easy, the Republicans in Congress, with the assistance of some Democrats, refuse to either raise taxes or make significant cuts in weapons procurement [see Weaponized Keynesians above.]

TODAY’S CARTOON:

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

Categories: October 2011 through December 2011 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment, by3Th. November 3,2010

Today’s factoid:

1945 – Upon liberation of Nazi concentration camps by Allied forces, those interned for homosexuality are not freed, but required to serve out the full term of their sentences.

Today’s News from Thailand:

The newly appointed Chief of Police in Thailand recently announced that the main problem facing the country is disrespect of the Monarchy and promised to do something about it.

Pookie’s further adventures in Thailand:

ANOTHER WALK ON THE BEACH AND A SHORT TRIP TO THE PHARMACY

I could not sleep last night. I had headaches and was feeling feverish. I also experienced some of the same terrors of the night that I did as a kid after listening to Suspense Theater on the radio and hearing my parents argue in the next room. Recently it has been an absence of sound that seem to cause me to wake in fright.

In the morning, feeling exhausted, I went to breakfast and then for my walk along the beach. This morning, as I walked, I decided to smoke one of those Italian cigars that Nikki gave me .

In the latter part of the 19th century, Italy was a leading producer of tobacco products. One day, rain dripping through the roof of the shed in which a tobacco wholesaler stored his tobacco, saturated the leaves ruining them with dampness and mold. The wholesaler not wanting to lose his entire stock, added brandy to the mess, dried it out and rolled it into cigars that he then sold. Since they were much less expensive they became the cigar of choice the poorer classes and the Industry was born.

Now the purpose of smoking a cigar is to court cancer of the mouth and avoid lung cancer while promoting the lung cancer in those subject to your second-hand smoke. Also men think they look cool smoking a cigar.

I thought I could look cool and avoid the second had smoke problem because the shore breezes would dissipate the smoke over the water. Unfortunately, smoking a cigar while walking for exercise destroys the purpose of both in that in the case of avoiding lung cancer, one cannot avoid inhaling the smoke as one trudges along. So, I gave up the experiment.

After my walk, I went to the pharmacy to replenish some of my medicines. After giving my order, I felt faint, dizzy and nauseous. I ran out of the shop. and being unable to stand, sat on the curb and began to vomit uncontrollably. I do not recall ever having felt so ill. It got so unstoppable and violent that I was sure that I was going to die and afraid that it would not come soon enough.

Is this the end for Pookie? Stay tuned.

Pookie’s Dream:

Attached is a draft of a planned part of an introduction to my humorous revision of the various bibles relied upon by the People of the Book. If you are easily offended, please skip this.

One night I had a dream and it went something like this:

English: Abraham embraces his son Isaac after ...

English: Abraham embraces his son Isaac after receiving him back from God (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I dreamt I saw old Abraham in his tent drunk on fermented camel’s milk surrounded by his sons. Outside the tent his wives, concubines and slaves tended the cook fire and drew lots to see who would sleep with the smelly old bastard that night.

Old Abe was raving about the recent rejection of his application to join the Babylon Men’s Camel Dung Rolling Club. That’s when he realized the truth. “O my Unmentionable Deity, I must be Jewish”.

“Why would I want to join their dammed club anyway” he shouted “They could not be very exclusive if they would allow someone like me, living in a tent, join”. And with that jewish humor entered the world.

“I will form my own club and will not let anyone join. I will show them real exclusivity”.

Isaac, a pimply faced overweight adolescent, fearing this could lead to the end of his sneaking out of the tent at night for some action with the sweet smelling babylonian girls after the old man passed out, leaving him only with the dung smelling camel herding women his dad preferred, protested, “We can’t do that. We don’t have a membership card or anything.”

Abe stared at Isaac whom he disliked and surmised was probably gay. He thought, “Maybe I should kill him now before he gets a chance to breed”.

“We will make our own membership cards. Clay tablets!” Abe announced.

Everyone groaned.

“No you’re right, too heavy. It will break the line of our tunics. Tattoos!” he suggested.

“No, everyone’s got tattoos nowadays”. “I’ve got it” he exclaimed “We’ll cut off the ends of our dicks. Nobody will have membership card like that”.

“You got to be kidding”, cried Isaac.

With that Abe grabbed his knife jumped over the fire grabbed Isaac by the shirt and said, “I’ve had enough of you, you little shit, prepare to die.”

In good biblical tradition Isaac thought quickly and lied. ” Wait” he said “I see the hand of God what’s his name staying your hand from killing your son because he and all your sons submit to the will of what’s his name”.

With that Abe relented killing Isaac. Instead he cut off the end of the dick of every male present’s. At the moment of initiation each one screamed, “Yowee that hurts!”.

When it was all over Abe rested. He looked at all his sons writhing in agony on the floor of the tent and said, “You know, I like that. Up to now whenever the guys hung out talking about their gods it was always Ishtar this and Baal that. They would all laugh when I mentioned the God Whose Name could not be Uttered. From now on in recognition of this event whenever we utter we shall utter the the name of our all powerful creator, ‘Yowee’. What do you think?”

In my dream I wondered how they were going to be able to identify one another as member of the men’s club. Groping under each others tunic was a little more obvious than a Masonic handshake. Maybe they originally held their meetings in the health club shower.

Anyway my dream fast forwarded to 33 AD (although they did not know at the time it was 33 AD, everyone at the time thinking it was 3000 years or something since god rested) and the throng (We no longer throng today, we crowd, what a loss) was pressing forward to enter the temple on the sabbath, the day people thronged to the temple, a building that replaced the old health club showers .

The guard at the gate of the temple in Jerusalem stopped one of the throng who happened to be Jesus of Nazareth

Robert Powell as Jesus of Nazareth

Robert Powell as Jesus of Nazareth (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

.

“Hey you. Only Jews allowed to enter the temple. You Jewish. You don’t look Jewish with that fruity double pointed red beard”.

“My good man”, said Jesus (he was a Rhodes Scholar and had studied in England) “of course I’m Jewish, I speak Hebrew as though I never learned Aramaic”.

“Anyone can learn Hebrew” responded the guard. “Whip it out and put in on the table.”

Now Jesus had no problem with whipping it out given all the time he spent with the ladies and all that lying of the head on the breast and that sort of thing and he was quite proud of his membership card. So he whipped it out and everyone getting a look at it exclaimed “Oh my God!!”.

“That’s right”, said Jesus, “Now all of you get out of my fucking temple”.

Now where Jesus was quite proud in his membership in Judaism, Paul was less so. Where they all marveled at Jesus Membership , they all laughed when Paul whipped his out. So Paul went to the Apostles (the “Come to Jesus’ Marching and Motorcycle Club”) gathered at their clubhouse in Jerusalem (Apostles “gather” they do not “throng or “crowd” like the rest of us) and said to them, “This membership card thing isn’t working. Its too hard to get anyone to join and tithe. Since we’re the new guys (and guys we are) we need a new card. Besides aren’t you all a little tired of having to show your card every time before you give a sermon.”

“Good thought Paul” said Peter who, although not afflicted by the results of being kicked by a horse on the way to Damascus as was Paul, was a shy man. “What should the new membership card be?”

“Faith shining through their eyes” said Paul.

“How would anyone know?” questioned Peter.

“We will know. Besides if the light shines through everyones eyes what difference would it make”.

Then I woke up and felt inspired to begin writing a new Bible integrating all the People of the Book, the Jews with their Old Testament, the Christians with their New Testament and Muslims with their Koran.

Some Rules for Bible Writing:

1. Theology:

Now in writing a bible on of the things one has to wrestle with is theology, because no one knows what it is but everyone thinks it is very important so they end up fighting about it all the time.

For example, in each of the Books relied upon by the People of the Book, God appears somewhat different.

a. God’s Personality:

In the Hebrew Bible, Abraham had a lot of different gods to choose from because there were a lot around at that time. He could have chosen a Sun God, all shiny and gold riding across the sky every day looking like his shit don’t stink. Or he could have chosen one of the goddess babes that always were sneaking around from tent to tent shagging one god or another or if no god would have them then some mortal that out of embarrassment they then turn into stone or something

But no, Abe was the worlds first stand up comic. He thought it would improve his act to choose the one God no one else wanted. He chose the as God for his people the God of insanity.

All the other gods and goddesses spent their time shagging one another and just about anything else that walked, flew, swam or slithered in, on or under the earth, or they would sometimes play an ancient form of video game, choosing up sides among themselves and having teams of mortals slaughter each other, cheering on their team until one side wins. Oh it must have been great fun.

But not Abe’s choice, He did not join in the fun, instead He really liked killing. Compared to Him Loki the German god who brought on Ragnarok, the Twilight of the Gods, was a choir boy.

In fact He was a homicidal maniac. He wanted his people to kill everyone else and take their land on top of it, If His people lost He did not just shrug His shoulders and walk away like the other gods, promising to get even later. No, instead He would blame his people. Told them they deserved to lose because they ate pork or something He did not like to eat ( I also hear that He was lactose intolerant)

God liked to eat steak, fish and okra. In fact one of the original books of the Bible was a list of God’s favorite recipes. But it has been lost.

After they began to lose, God even stopped talking to them, instead communicating to them only through His mouth pieces he called “Prophets”.

The God of the Christian Bible on the other hand seemed to be a bit of a wuss. Sort of all diffident and misty. He did not seem to say much, leaving all the heavy lifting to His son, who for all His trouble ended up nailed to a dead tree while the Old Man dithered and ominously threatened to deal with them later.

The God of Mohammed seems to be an OK guy. He spends most of his time creating virgins for his elect when they die after killing people He did not like. He left operations to his CEO, Mohammed.

b. Membership:

On the issue of joining the club, each book had a slightly different approach.

The Hebrews were not particularly interested in new members preferring to kill them and take their land. The Christians and their God liked to beg them to join first and then if they didn’t, kill them and take their land. And Mohammed seeing the difficulties experienced by his predecessors decided on the up front approach, “Either join us or we will kill you and take your land.

c. The problem of women:

Some may ask what about the women?

Well first of all Abraham, Jesus and Mohammed all were men and the first thing on any man’s mind besides killing other men is getting it off with a woman. ( There is some question about which side of the plate Jesus batted from, but I think the weight of opinion was that He may have been a switch hitter (He grew up in a Greek neighborhood after all)).

Second the thing that men hate worst of all is women telling them what to do or having to ask if he could go off with the boys and kill a few enemies and rape their women.

No, the whole People of the Book is a guy thing.

Think about it, would a women dream of having 72 virgins after they die in battle? They are smarter than that. First who needs virgins, they wont be virgins for long and then what? Also no women would be taken in by some guy promising her nights of pleasure after she’s dead. Besides who cleans up the place after the party? She would figure it would probably be her, as usual.

2. Sources:

Another problem in writing a bible is ones choice of sources.

In addition to the old and new Testament and the Koran, it is appropriate to use for material, writings of old Jewish comedians, mostly insane Christian hermits and Muslim jihadists.

For example in the Old Testament, at the end of Genesis I, God creates women out of the same muck from which He created man. In Geneses II however we see God creating Eve out of Adam’s rib.

Noticing that discrepancy, some of the old jews suggested that there were two woman created. The first one Lilith was clearly a shicksa so the marriage of course did not work out and after the divorce she slept around a lot. Eve on the other hand coming from Adam’s own rib was a match made in heaven so to speak.

Also the triune God of the clearly insane John the Evangelist should be moved up into Genesis because not even a comedic genius like Abraham could conceive of anything as ridiculous as a God with a split personality.

3. Cites and Footnotes:

One should not cite or footnote what one steals from others. The authors of the original Bible did not, claiming that it all came from the hand of God, so why should you.

________________

Petrillo’s dyspeptic guide for the unwary traveler in Thailand:

You know you soon will be asked for money when she says:

“Where you from?” * or,

“My mother (or another close relative) is very sick.”

*Note: The correct answer is “Bangladesh” or another impoverished country.

Pepe’s potpourri:

1. Today’s album cover:


2. Today’s jewel from The Princess Bride:

“Ha ha! You fool! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders – The most famous of which is ‘never get involved in a land war in Asia’ – but only slightly less well-known is this: ‘Never go against a Sicilian when death is on the line’ Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha..”
Spoken by Vizzini, after drinking from the poison cup that he mistakenly chose during “The Battle of Wits.

Today’s Quote:

It’s 106 miles to Chicago.
We’ve got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes,
it’s dark and we’re wearing sunglasses.
Hit it.
Blues Brothers

Ciao…

Categories: October through December 2010 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. September 23, 2010

Today’s factoid:

1501 The German botanist Leonhard Fuchs was born. He compiled the first modern glossary of botanical terms. The color fuchsia is named in honor of him.

(Lenny died of embarrassment.)

Today’s Quote:

“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much it is whether we provide enough for those who have little.”
Franklin D. Roosevelt

News from Thailand:

The Bangkok Post recently pointed out that the growth rate of Thailand’s tourist industry has fallen behind that of its competitors in the area. Their tourism growth rates often more than doubled that of Thailand.

These countries were also more aggressively pursuing and more successful in attracting retirees and those foreigners wishing to own real property or to open a small business. On the other hand, Thailand’s visa and property ownership rules have become ever more cumbersome and restrictive.

Malaysia offers simple long-term visas (as much as 10 years and property ownership to foreigners, Cambodia welcomes small foreign owner businesses and Borneo, has begun to surpass Thailand as a location for foreigners wishing to retire as well as for those interested in setting up small businesses.

Petrillo’s response:

Some of you after reading my last email have asked whether there was anyone notable bearing the Petrillo name who was not a criminal or suffered a tragic death,

Actually, I had been looking through the internet to find a positive model to use in a semi-autobiographical fable I was planning to write for a blog.

I could only turn up three.

One was Sophia Petrillo who was played by Estelle Getty in “The Golden Girls” television series. Sophia was the Bea Arthur character’s mother. Unfortunately, she was a fictional character and anyway she was reputed to have burned down the retirement home before moving to Miami to live with her daughter and friends. (There was an August Petrillo who at the time the show was popular was the racist mayor of Mount Vernon N.Y., a city I lived in briefly, but he was not the role model I had in mind.)

There was also James Caesar Petrillo, the head of the musicians union from the 1930’s until the 60’s. There was a band shell in Chicago named for him. That had some promise.

And then there was some guy named Petrillo from Pennsylvania who wrote a book called “The Ghost Towns of North Mountain.”

I could perhaps use as a model the pretty musician named Petrillo that was the plaything of the Prince of Tuscany, but I don’t do costume dramas.

On the other hand I could possibly revise his story to make it more contemporary.

In that case the story might go something like this:

Ferdinando, “Freddy Megs” Medici, the dissolute son of Vincent, “Vinnie the Hump” Medici a well-known Mafiosi, one day decided that he wanted to be a producer and manager of rock bands and using his father’s money started doing so.

Francis “Franny” Petrillo was the back-up Bass guitarist of the band “Pepperoni Suicide” that was managed by Freddy Megs. Franny was the product of a series of abusive foster parent situations. He was also an exceptionally pretty boy and Freddy Megs fell for him, hard.They began an affair.

Since the homophobic mafioso leadership frowned on such things, Freddy Megs kept his dalliance with Franny very secret. He also had very public affairs with women that convinced most of those that knew him that Megs was no finocchio. Anyway he was not yet a made man so something like this if it did get out could always be considered just a youthful indiscretion.

Freddy Megs promised Franny that one day he would have his own band.

Unbeknownst to Franny, Freddy Megs was also having an affair with a transsexual drummer in a punk grunge Dyke band called The Bloody Rags, also managed by Megs. The drummer’s name was Melanie.

When Franny found out about Melanie he became very jealous and decided to do away with her. He rigged up her drums to burst into flames when Melanie struck them in a certain way.

And so, at the concert where the Bloody Rags were performing, Melanie’s drums burst into flames on cue. Unfortunately for Franny, Melanie escaped without a scratch and the pyrotechnics were so well received by the audience that the Bloody Rags incorporated it into their act and as a result became famous. Melanie and the band, now insanely popular, promptly hired a more successful manager then Megs and took off for a tour of Europe, leaving Megs pissed off and Franny temporarily happy.

Freddy Megs soon grew tired of the music business, sold off his bands, told Franny it was over between them and joined an artist community in Taos.

Franny distraught and hoping to punish Megs with guilt, then hung himself from a telephone pole by the E-string of his favorite guitar, right outside the door of Freddy Megs house .

Unbeknownst to Franny, Freddy Megs had already moved to New Mexico and had sold the house to Franny’s long-lost father, a mega-millionaire who had made his money as Bernie Madoff’s silent partner.

His father coming out of his house in the morning to meet with his lawyers because he was under indictment for his association with Madoff, seeing Franny hanging there promptly dies of a heart attack leaving all his money to Franny. Since Franny is already dead the money goes to the alternative beneficiary in the will, a non-profit dedicated to reprogramming gay artists.

Eat your heart out Charlie Dickens wherever you are.

Ciao.

Categories: July 2010 through September 2010 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

This and that from re Thai r ment by 3Th. September 21 2010

Today’s news from Thailand:

Explanation given to Saudi’s for The promotion of Somkid Boonthanom, who has been indicted for alleged involvement in the 1990 disappearance of a Saudi businessman, to assistant national police chief: Under Thai law, the senior policeman’s promotion was appropriate due to a blanket amnesty given to all state employees facing disciplinary charges on the occasion of the King’s birthday in 2007.

Unfortunately,the amnesty does not apply to criminal matters. Somkid is a strong opponent of the Red Shirts so, although the Saudi government requested a meeting to discuss the matter, the Thai government appointed him anyway. The Saudi’s are pissed. Stay tuned.

Today’s factoid:

Myrceugenia correifolia is a species of evergreen woody flowering shrub native to South America belonging to the Myrtle family, Myrtaceae. The common name of this plant is petrillo.

Why any plant should have a so-called common name “Petrillo” I have no f***ing idea. Why not Schatzman for example?

Nevertheless, you may be pleased to know that one notable character of the noble Myrtle family is that the phloem is located on both sides of the xylem, not just outside as in most other plants. Chew on that for a while.

While on the subject of things Petrillo, as you may recall in a previous email I introduced most of you to the notorious murdering Petrillo brothers. Recently, I also learned that Dominick “The Gap” Petrillo introduced Joe Valacci to the Cosa Nostra.

As coincidence will have it, Dominic Petrillo is also the name of a character in one of Sheldon’s books. And to continue on, Sheldon is not the only well-known author to include an unflattering description of me in his novel.

In “Roses are Red,” James Patterson’s protagonists attempting to solve a series of baffling bank robberies go through files of hate mail from the banks that were robbed. One letter in particular draws their attention. The man who wrote it lived nearby. The man’s name is Joseph Petrillo. Petrillo wrote a hate letter every week for the last two years. Petrillo also was a former security guard who was laid off by Citibank. The letters were intelligent and well written. They go to see Petrillo, who shoots at them. Once back up arrives they burst in, but find Petrillo had blown his head off. (Again, and hopefully for the last time, “sic transit gloria.”)

For those with some interest in the matter, I seem to recall that my daughter briefly dated James Patterson’s son. As I understood it, it was a relationship that she would just as well forget.

Oh well, as long as I am one a roll with Petrillo and mayhem, I may as well add one particularly gruesome and tragic story.

On September 25, 2009, Annie Morrell Petrillo, daughter of slain newspaper heiress Anne Scripps Douglas with first ex-husband Anthony Morrell, jumped to her death from the same bridge her stepfather Scott Douglas jumped to his death from on January 1, 1994 after murdering his wife. According to a witness, she stopped her car on the Tappan Zee Bridge and got out and jumped. A suicide note was found and its contents released on the ABC show 20/20 in 2010. Family friends stated that Annie never got over the senseless tragedy of her mother’s murder and she had been hospitalized several times for depression. At the time of Annie’s death, she was finalizing a divorce from Petrillo and that also may have contributed to her despair.

Just in case you have the impression that the Petrillo clan is only associated with death, dying and violence, I will have you know that apparently we also like music (and of course sex).

It seems that the Grand Prince of Tuscany Ferdinando de’ Medici (1663-1713), also known as the “Orpheus Prince,” principal delight, aside from music, was in intimate liaisons and affairs, often with men. These included someone named (you guessed it) Petrillo. Petrillo was a musician, famous for his beauty. The over sexed prince also had an affair with a Venetian castrato by the name of Cecchino (I could be wrong, but I think Cecchino means either “little garbonzo bean” or “Frankie”).

(Now there may be a gay Petrillo or two, but a castrato, never.)

Petrillo’s cracked historical analyses:

Analysis of Executions in Connecticut From 1600 to 2000, with Conclusions.

From 1600 to 1699 12 people were executed in the then colony of Connecticut of which 4 were for sodomy, 7 (Women) for witchcraft and one Native American for Murder.

Conclusions: Only Native Americans committed murders, white males were too busy buggering each other and woman too occupied casting spells (maybe just to get some of the men to show an interest in them. Then again probably not.)

From 1700 to 1799 there were 16 executions of which 7 were of Native Americans (including two women) for murder . Two white women along with two white men were also executed for murder. Two men both black, were put to death for rape. One man was executed for robbery and two for treason.

Conclusions: After being prevented from casting spells, women went on a killing spree; Native Americans continued to exhibit a greater tendency to violence then white men and; it suddenly became obvious to white males that black men were obsessed with white women and would soon be sleeping with their wives or daughters if not stopped. Males learned to hide in the closet.

From 1800 to 1880 there were an additional 19 executions of which three were for rape all by black men. Two Native Americans were executed for murder. No women were executed during this period.

Conclusions: White men do not rape, women learned their lesson and for some reason there appeared to be fewer Native Americans around to kill.

From 1881 until 1999 there were 78 executions in the State of Connecticut of which 25 were of Italian men ( someone named (surprise!) August Petrillo was one of them), 3 were black men and two were Asian. There were no executions for rape. No women were executed during this time.

Conclusions: Since there were no Native Americans left, Italians stepped up to fill the “violent savages” role; women continued on good behavior, and; blacks prevented from sleeping with white women went on a killing spree. And as for the two Asians, it is uncertain if this is the beginning of a trend or just an anomaly.

Finally, the Petrillo clan clearly are violent, anti-social and a danger to society. They must be suppressed.

Categories: July 2010 through September 2010 | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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