Friday, August 22, 2014

Garden Statue

It was a quiet and hot afternoon.  I rounded the corner of the old church to see this beautiful statue in the garden surrounded by a wrought iron fence covered with run away ivy.  I might have just walked passed it and not seen it but a call from an unfamiliar bird made me stop to look into the overgrown garden to see if I could find the mysterious creature and there I saw the beautiful female statue surrounded by wild roses. 

I found a gate, slightly ajar, thankfully as it was now rusted and frozen in position.  I had brought my lunch in my backpack and since it was almost 1’oclock I searched for a bench and found one close to the statue and sat down.  I laid out the large yellow napkin I use for a table cloth beside me and brought out the porchetta sandwich I purchase at the market this morning.  A ripe pear, a split of prosecco, and tiny carrots made up my midday respite and looked very good after my morning hike.  As I opened the prosecco and poured it into my folding glass I swore I saw the statue move.  No, it must be a shadow of a bush moved by the wind.  

The porchetta sandwich was delicious and I stared at the statue wondering whom she represented. She didn’t have wings so she wasn't an angel.  But she might she been an angel in real life, a benefactor to the church or perhaps some scholarly woman of letters admired by those who have read her. Perhaps she was the lead soloist in the church choir and on her demise a statue was dedicated.  I closed my eyes and let the warm sun shine on my face.

After dusting off the crumbs of my sandwich for the birds I walked over to the statue to get a closer look.  In her right hand is a bouquet of flowers.  They look like wild violets.  I can almost smell them.  I look around to see if some are growing in this garden but I don’t see any.  I look at her eyes and they are flat without eyelids and look blind.  

At the base of the statue I see some writing carved into the marble, and I dust off dried moss so that I can read the inscription better.  My pocket Italian phrase book helps but this is what it says “In honor of Signoria Charlotta Pagani, the flower lady of Montefalco, from the grateful people of the village.  Born 1925  Died 1945 In the Battle of Terni ”  She must have gone to the big market in Terni to buy the flowers for her little shop in Monetfalco, when the allies hit the munitions factory.  She is now at peace in this quiet garden and I honor her. As I walk away I can still smell wild violets in the air.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Gourmet Caesar Croutons


Good Afternoon Margie’s Gourmet Caesar Croutons, how may I help you?

I would like to talk to Margie.

Sorry sir, Margie is just the name of the company we don’t have a person named Margie.  I am a Margie customer service associate and I can help you.

Today I purchased a package of your “Margie’s Gourmet Caesar Croutons” made with your calabrese bread, whatever that is. I did a taste test with yours against “Fresh Gourmet Organic Caesar Premium Croutons” and I have to tell you that yours tasted terrible.

So sorry sir that you had that experience. We use the best of ingredients.

You may use the best of ingredients but they tasted like crap.

We have had focus groups tested and they were delighted with the Margies’s Gourmet Caesar Croutons.

Well, you probably paid your focus groups and they were going to rave about your product.  I was not delighted with them as a matter of fact after eating one I threw the rest away in the garbage.  I don’t know what special spices you added to make them gourmet but they tasted like dried horse shit.

If you were disatisfied with Magie’s Gourmet Caesar Croutons we would be glad to send you a free coupon for the purchase of another package.

I don’t want another package as a matter of fact I don’t even want my money returned I just wanted you to know that some of us find your product uneatable.

 We use the best of ingredients, sir.

Your best of ingredients doesn’t do it. What in the world is that very odd taste in your product?

The ingredients are listed on the package, sir.

It just says “and other spices” and I want to know exactly what spices you used.

Our nutritionists and chefs in our award winning test kitchens select the very best of ingredients.  Of course I cannot divulge the secret recipe we have to protect our products to keep them from our competitors.

Believe me that when your other competitors taste your croutons they will not be dying to know what special spices you use.

If you would please send us an address, sir, I will send you a free coupon for the purchase of another Margies’s Gourmet Caesar Croutons.

I don’t want your damn coupon.  I wouldn’t feed your croutons to alley cats.  I don’t want my money returned.  It cost me only $2.49 pus tax to learn never to purchase something I have never tasted before.

Perhaps sir, we can send you a free coupon for any of our other superior Margie’s products.

I wouldn’t buy one of your products again, don’t you understand?

I am so sorry sir for your experience and I have noted your review of our Margie’s Gourmet Caesar Croutons and will send it on to our product quality control.

Just what is that odd spice you have added or is it the calabrese bread?  Is it made from licorice or stable droppings?

Sorry sir, we cannot divulge a company secret.

Believe me, miss, your company secret ain’t worth keeping.