I’m pretty sure the apocalypse is near. How do I know? Because yesterday my in-laws moved into their new home, down the street from ours. They relocated from New Jersey, where there had been a comfortable 800 mile cushion between us. As I see it, my already tenuous relationship with the Gambino clan can only worsen in close proximity.
Nonetheless, being a guy who likes to put his best foot forward whenever possible (even while tripping over it), I’ve decided to try my darnedest to make the situation work. That’s why I walked to the new abode this morning with our puppy Prometheus in tow. The little bugger may be nothing more than a jumped-up rodent, but he’s a mighty cute rodent. Logically, I figured the in-laws would find the dog so adorable that their good cheer might spill over to me. It sounded like a fine plan, in theory.
Much to my chagrin, the Virgin Mary was the first to greet us on our arrival. Dashing my fervent hope she’d remained in New Jersey, the three-foot statue of the Savior’s mother (ensconced in her own stone apse) stood in the middle of the front porch. I should’ve known Sophia’s mom wouldn’t leave Mary behind. Maria Gambino had to be the most zealous Catholic I’d ever met, and the Virgin’s statue as well as several other reliquaries comprised her most treasured possessions. Holy Mary had occupied a similar place at the Gambinos’ prior abode where – I’d been convinced – she’d always greeted me with deep suspicion. As I glanced at her while waiting for someone to answer the bell, I didn’t think she looked any happier to see me in Georgia than she did in Jersey.
Just my luck, Sophia’s mom opened the door. I immediately pasted on my warmest smile. I also launched into the brief yet over-the-top “Welcome to Georgia” speech I’d prepared for the occasion, concluding it with: “Prometheus and I both hope you’ll be very happy here!”
Seeming puzzled, Maria in her thick Sicilian accent asked: “Who’s Prometheus?” I guessed she hadn’t bothered to gaze down while I’d spoken (although she would’ve had to target my ankles to spot the tiny fur-ball), so she hadn’t yet noticed him.
Like a hack magician, I flourished my hand in the dog’s general direction while proudly exclaiming: “Maria, meet your new grandson, Prometheus!”
Maria and I both peered downward at the same time … only to observe Prometheus, hind leg lifted skyward, pissing all over the Virgin Mary. So much for fresh starts.
The anointed Virgin