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Rome. City of ruins and la dolce vita. Not to mention guys who won't stop howling and jackin' up their knickers as long as there's breath in your female body. If only they didn't insist on living at home with Mama, maybe we'd get to second base-o.
But I digress. Someone I trust with my life told me the Material Girl was in town, and I had to see her for myself. Let's just say that the Mad One and I go back aways, although she'd swear we don't. Always remember: the bigger they are, the more they do that, and the less it's true, the more you think about it.
So I'm in Roma, and my doctor has this tops idea for me about using ear plugs to keep out traffic noise, something this city is lousy with. Sure enough, I can hear everything perfectly but those damnable horns and squealing breaks. Fabuloso!
By the way, Roman drivers are the pits, if you're ever in the neighborhood. Everywhere I go there are little pile ups and natives screaming at pedestrians like me, as if it's our fault they're not keeping the peepers on the the via de whatever. Italian's not my strong suit, so I just wave at them backwards the way they like and flash 'em my gleamers. Then they give me the a-ok sign and we're practically familia. Funny how they stick a digit right through the ok sign, but that's Italians for you, always doing things their way.
When Fredo and I meet up, he tells me I look "Delic-ulous" in my nifty ear plugs, and I chuckle because his English has always been a little south of parfetto. But I do look, what do you say, insoucient, or something frilly like that. I get right to the point.
"So, Fredo my friend, what's with our Madonna? Where the hell is she leaning these days?"
Fredo babbles on about how great I am, I'm always so great, greater even than any Italian he's ever known. Holy cats, you'd think I'd won the Nobel Prize. So I'm yessing him and patting him on the back to calm him down, and finally he's tells me that if I want to find Madonna I need to take a tray to some chick named Rosemary. Who the hell is Rosemary, Madonna's maid or something? And Fredo says, no no, tray to Rosemary. So fine, where can I find her?
Fredo walks me right over to St. Peter's Basilica. Now if that don't beat all. Some chick named Rosemary is hiding out in the biggest damn church this side of the Pond, and I'm supposed to find her and give her a tray. Is this some sort of signal or something?
Fredo says, no signal, just tray. And what's on the tray, Fredo, my man, are you going to give me the damn tray? And what do I put on it, buddy, her Manhattan on ice? her Singapore Sling?
The thing of it is, he pushes me through the door without the damn tray! Instead, he sticks a necklace with a bunch of beads in my paw and runs away. The damn thing looks like a Mardi Gras necklace, and I'm starting to think I'm in about THE most exclusive club going. And I got a feeling Madonna's in there, I can just smell it. I may have been raised Baptist, but I'm no chump.
So this "nun" gives me a shifty look. She eyes my beads and before you know it she leads me to a little cubby with a door. I give her the universal nod, like "I know where this is going sister," and I politely follow her, just goin' along with her little secret club routine.
I get in there, and there's a candle and a screen and I can see someone movin' around behind the screen. I think, ok, it's Italian Mardi Gras, and it's time to get down. I hear a guy saying something in Italian, and I figure that's my cue to put my necklace on and show him my "tray." So I toss on the beads, pull up my shirt and say, "Here it is, big fella, now where's Rosemary? She's my ticket to Madonna, like you don't know it!" I was really starting to enjoy myself.
Big mistake. Before I could yell, "What the ---," I've got six padres pulling me out of the closet and a bunch of penguins squawkin' at me like I'm the Boston Strangler.
I figure it's now or never, so I call out "Tell Madonna Rosemary sent me! She'll know what I mean!"
Then all the nuns start saying, "Madonna, me and Madonna," and "Having Maria, having Maria," over and over again. They don't look too happy about it, but maybe that's cause they just gave up the scoop of the year! Madonna's preggo, AND it's a girl AND she's naming it Maria.
I am great. Fredo was right, I am greater even than those crazy Italians. But greatness doesn't keep me from doing my job, dammit, and it never will.
© 2008 Kate Heidel
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kate Heidel is a freelance writer living in Minneapolis. Her work includes humor essays and poetry, genres so incompatible that Kate's resulting inner turmoil can only be soothed by frequent shopping trips to Designer Shoe Warehouse.
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