The Witness edition

‘Can I get a Witness,’ 1964, Marvin Gaye

The G-man was out and sporting his new denim cock bonnet

Made in Italy, guaranteed to keep the rain off your bonce

As he strolled around Bassangelese he was greeted by a

huge smile from a Bassanese of the female variety

Now she could simply have been expressing pleasure at seeing

said cock bonnet…..


The following possibilities existed…..

1.She was a friend or acquiantance of the G-man

2.She had a history with the G

3.She was a chugger for a charity

4.She was campaigning against drugs

5.She was JW.ORG

6.She was insane


At lightning speed !

Reference: ‘Blink,’ 2005, Malcom Gladwell

The G-man sorted, sifted and analyzed the possibilities

It took approximately 3.5 nano seconds

The answers came out as follows in the same order as


1.Never seen her before in his life

2.Wishing he had as opposed to not having one does not

a history make

3.Not a chugger: no table with brochures in sight

4.Not a drugs campaigner: no clipboard to get your signature

5.This was a real possibility

6.She was far too Italian and gorgeous to be a fruitcake

Before the G-ster had a chance to decide she spoke !…….

‘Sa chi governa il mondo?’ (‘Do you know who rules the world?’)

This one was bizarre pick-up line ! ! ! ! !

‘Huh ?’ The G-ster was a little thrown but not shaken or stirred

The Italian signorina repeated the question


It had to be answer 5.

‘Si, lo so,’ he replied (Yes, I know)

Now it was the turn of the sexy ‘brunetta’ to be a little thrown

‘Testimoni di Geova !’ he announced. (Jehovah’s Witnesses)


Her look said it all


‘No, non e quello che volgio,’ she mumbled. (No, that’s not

what I meant’)

‘Si, ma e vero,’ he answered. (No, but it’s true)


Sensing that she had been G-rumbled she reached in her bag and

pulled out a slim leaflet

‘Ecco, prendere questo,’ (Here, take this)

This particular intercourse was apparently over

With a smile and a flourish and a cock bonnet nod the G-man

continued on his way

A minute later he filed the offending leaflet (titled ‘A Devil

in the Family’) in the next available public litter bin

The moral of this tale is if you want a witness go and rent /

buy the following

‘Witness’, 1985, double Oscar winner starring Harrison Ford

Agnostically yours,



The Jolly Locals edition

You know when you are on to a winner when the sign

on the wall in the bar reads:

Men: no shoes, no shirt, no service

Women: no shoes, no shirt, free drinks

Actually, I just made that up but it is funny if you

are under twenty five, male and slighlty intellectually


…..or just so awash with testosterone you can’t

think straight !

To everyone else I make no apologies since the G-man

does what he wants

Anyway, he recently pitched up in a real locals hang out…..

…..Italian style

‘Osteria Ca’ Cornaro’

This is where old men are dispatched by their long-

suffering wives to spare them from being driven crazy

by the silly old sods !

So they end up playing cards…..

…..drinking very cheap but decent wine

…..and talking the language they are all completely

fluent in…..

…..Bollocks ! ! ! ! !

These are the men that in their minds can still sock to

any lady that is still breathing…..

…..but in reality can’t even spell viagra let alone

remember but to do with an erection should it arrive !

Bless them !

I love the fact that most of them get dressed up and properly

primped to go to the bar to hang about with a bunch of old…

…..well, farts to out it bluntly

Actually, it doesn’t matter

They are all lovely and they binge in talking the talk and

revel in telling the lies they tell

And there is laughter, lots of laugh out loud laughter

On the day ‘Ca’ Cornaro’ was buzzing…..

A huge party had formed outside in the courtyard seating area

These were not the old men but a much younger crowd

They kept coming in and ordering beers and litres of wine

And plates and plates of tagliere (salami, cheese and bread)

It was a Friday so I assumed it had been payday and they were

celebrating another month in fruitful employ

There were tattoos a plenty…..

…..and black was back…..

…..Either they were a biker gang or they were dressed alla

Tom Ford…..’you can have any colour you like as long as it’s


…..Hmmmm…..that might have been Henry Ford

As the afternoon wore on the drinking and eating progressed to

dancing and singing

This was one hell of a pay day !

Perhaps it was bonus day ?

The G-meister looked on fascinated, entertained and amused

until it was time to get the bill (il conto) and make tracks

While waiting for the reckoning G decided to engage the old

biffer in a bit of banter…..

‘The Italians really know how to party,’ he ventured


‘The party in the courtyard. They know how to have fun’

‘You mean the group in the garden?’

‘Yes. Is it someone’s birthday or has someone won the lottery?’

The woman suddenly looked very serious and leant her head

towards the G-man

In a whisper she said, ‘It’s a wake. You know, the party after

a funeral.’

Ughhhhhhhhhh !

Taxi ! Scotty ! Beam me up !

So the moral to this story is if you are going to pop your clogs

then best to do it where they throw you a good party afterwards

Better still….

…..don’t pop your clogs !



The Old Gits edition

First, a lesson

Why ?

Because some of you are too young or too foreign to know

what a git is

The Gits were actually a US punk band active in the late

1980s and early 1990s whose lead singer was raped and


R.I.P. Mia Zapata

Interestingly, their original name was actually…..

‘Snivelling Little Rat Faced Gits’

This proved to be a little bit of a mouthful for radio

DJs and music fans in general…..

… they dropped the preamble…..

…..and became the GITS !

Anyway, rare as it is the G-man has digressed

A git is an English term of insult…..

…..on a level with a prat…..

…..and less pejorative than a berk

…..and is often prefixed by the adjective ‘old’

It means senile, incompetent or even plain elderly

So an ‘old git’ is really just a repetition of the

word old !

The G-ster was in need of a parking space in an

Italian town last week

Space selected, Giulietta parked but ticket needed

So straight to the ticket dispenser

Here his troubles began…..

There were complicated instructions on how to pay by

bank card…..

BUT no mention of paying with good old readies or


Clutching a handful of Euro coins and happy to part

with said ‘beer money’ the G-man tried to insert the

coins in the money-eater

It appeared to be jammed !

Then along came the first old git (Italian Branch)

I explained the problem so the I.O.G. (Italian Old

Git) leapt into the breach only to be defeated

Then along came a second I.O.G.

Same story !

So there we were: the three of us

Like something out of ‘Last of the Summer Wine’, BBC,

1973-2010 (the series ended because all the actors

actually died in real life of old age ! ! !)

Scratching our bonces and all soundly beaten

All of us with a sweaty palm of 1 and 2 Euro coins

Nobody could work out how to pay by cash and…..

…..there were only instructions on how to pay with


Finally, in desperation one of the I.O.G. pressed


Bingo ! ! ! ! !

Everything reset

The coin slot opened up

An I.O.G. pushed in a 2 Euro coin that was accepted

The green (GO) button was pressed and…..

…..a ticket was printed for a 2 hour stay

BINGO ! ! ! ! !

So if you want to pay by cash you just stuff your money

in and press ‘GO’

But why in the name of God didn’t it say that

PORCO DIO ! (rough translation would be bollocks)

I suppose the answer is WE are being trained to be a

cash-less society and then the local council won’t have

to pay some monkey to empty the cash from the meters

Cash is King !

But its days are numbered



The Sexual Dilemma edition

With love, honour and respect to…..

‘Lola’, 1970, The Kinks

The G-ster was getting his groove on amongst some

mighty fine and mostly religious art

He had worked his way up through the galleries in

the Palazzo Chiericati in Vicenza, Italy and appeared

to have come to the end

Standing on the loggia one staircase ran downstairs to

the entrance and a smaller one ran upstairs to the attic

floor where the old staff quarters used to be

Unsure which way to go the little grey cells started

to whirl

But no need !

The member of the security staff that had been keeping

a casually beady eye on the G-man stepped forward to offer


She was a big girl

Long brown hair with a side parting…..all a bit 60s

Heavy eye makeup…..very 60s

Black jacket and black tights, more 21st century


But here’s the thing…..

She had a Kim Kardashian ass ! ! ! ! !

Now I’m no fan of KK and I’m not big on oversized asses

But here’s the other thing….

I believe in the inviolability of your personal space and

this gal had just invaded mine

Toe to toe

Practically nose to nose

Then ‘in a dark brown voice’ she said the exhibition

continued up the small staircase…..LOLA !

Holy Mother of God !

Dazzled by the blue eye shadow the G-man looked down…..

…..and then it just got a whole lot worse

This security guard had a bulge that would have put

Rudolf Nureyev to shame

This gigantic protuberance looked like a medieval codpiece…..

…..without the armour and other supporting kit

I am talking packing here !

Of course she could have just been pleased to see me…..

It’s possible that this woman had the world’s largest

example of female genitalia…..

And it’s equally possible this was a well hung dude that

wants to be a doll and was still saving up for the chop !

LOLA ! ! ! ! !

‘Perfetto. Grazie. Molto gentile’ (perfect. Thanks. Very kind)

At which point G side-stepped the security and beat a path

up to the next floor

‘Boys will be girls and girls will be boys’

LOLA ! ! ! ! !

‘It’s a mixed up, muddled up, shook up world’

LOLA ! ! ! ! !

Sadly the top floor served more art and art books when

what really needed serving was a beer

That problem was resolved a matter of only a few minutes



PS It’s a good job G doesn’t dream much !


The Dilemma edition

Whilst it’s not possible to be in two places at

the same time…..

…..It is possible to be in two minds

So let us consider the following situation the

the G-man found himself in and the possible


The G-ster was waiting for an old(ish) lady to

do her business at an ATM in Vicenza in Italy

Now it is a well known fact that Italians break

world records for the time spent at ATMS…..

… would appear that just because you have

all these options like

‘Check your balance’

‘Check your last transactions’

etc etc

…..that Italians think you have to carry out all

these actions before you do the thing you visited

the ATM for in the first place…..

Withdraw some bloody cash !

The time had just passed 5 O’clock and aperitivo hour

had arrived and the G-man was without the necessary

accoutrement (in this case, in this country, an Aperol


Tiny beads of perspiration began to form on his brow

Finally the woman had exhausted all the machine’s

possiblities and shuffled away looking puzzled

The G-man stepped forward with his trusty bank card


Before he could stick it in the slot out slid a brand

new 50 Euro note

Christmas come early !

Out shot his hand and grabbed the Euro dosh

(With respect and gratitude to ‘Animal House’, 1978)

Simultaneously, on his left shoulder the devil angel


‘Trouser it’ the little red fella growled

Immediately on his right shoulder a little white angel

sprang up

‘Don’t you dare, it belongs to the old lady’ the white

angel piped

The little devil angel fought straight back with

‘Keep it ! Don’t listen to that mincer’

Back to the white angel

‘You won’t be able to look at yourself in the mirror

if you do’

So here was the G-man staring a good old-fashioned

dilemma straight in the face

‘To trouser or not to trouser’

‘To take the right path or the wrong road’

G had a spilt second to make a decision

The old woman was moving off with her back to him

50 Euros would buy 12 and a half beers in the Groover’s

favourite drinkeria…..

…..NOT something to take lightly !


G made his mind up

If the G-man was going to become a theif it would have

to be for a lot more than 50 Euros

Now if 500 Euros had popped out of the machine as he

stepped up to it………………………

‘Signora !, per favore. La tua soldi !’

The old bat took the note and grumbled an Italian

thanks and the G-man turned his attention back to

the ATM that really did fulfill the promise of all

ATMs back in Old Blighty…..


Well, sort of

Mind, that first spritz didn’t half taste good after

that little brush with the wild side

‘Walk On The Wild Side, 1972, Lou Reed’



The Schwarzenegger edition

‘I’ll be back’ he famously said (The Terminator, 1984)

Which has lead to one of the most quoted lines in cinematic history

Along with, ‘Frankly my dear I don’t give a damn’ (Gone With The

Wind, 1939)

And ‘Play it again Sam’ (Casablanca, 1942)

And ‘Oops Linda, wrong hole’ (Deep Throat, 1972)



Rustier…..this is what happens when you are left out in the rain





Giulietta is still with him (Bless)

The G-man is now a Grandfather (known as G predictably)

So get on board the ‘Love Train’ (The O’Jays, 1972) and…..

‘Party On’ (Wayne’s World’, 1992)

Watch this space

Peace & love & Groovy times

Excelsior !



The Good, The Bad and The Badante

groovers offside

You should be wondering what a badante is…..

Would you let your daughter sit on a badante’s knee ?

Would you leave one alone with your elderly parents ? ?

The answer is yes, yes and yes

In La Dolce Vita the Italians aren’t embarrassed by the old folk

They don’t believe in abandoning them in soulless ‘old people’s


…..essentially death’s waiting rooms

And where these homes exist they are typically situated in the

centre of towns

And not in some out-of-town, out-of-the way corner where we

can’t see them

Old folk (and we all get old eventually) are always a part of

the family in Italy…..

…..and families prefer to remain together

This is where the badante comes in…..

The badante is the person (male or female) that you see all over

Italy walking arm in arm with an old person or pushing them along

in a wheelchair

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