Godfather tour) Pompei, Malta, and our time on the ship t,o write about. Honestly, that is just way toooooo much, so I asked Tori, Ryan and Vince if they would help me out. Perhaps to give me feed back of their favorite parts of their trip. I have decided to conclude the cruise posts with their writings and add pics to their writings as best as I can. Hee hee, I encourage you to keep reading as you will see we all had a great time, though our experiences were each "unique."
First up. Vincent's musings after catching the "poker game bug", in the casino on the boat..turns out my son is a right, good poker player. He wrote in the "third person" not sure why. Read on.....
Leave the gun take the cannoli by guest blogger Vince Dominic
“Wait…wait..just listen; I’m just sayin! Gimme…(belch) mm pardon me. Spot me like 50 bucks, and I will QUADRUPLE your investment. It’s foolproof, J! Foolproof!”(J is his nickname for John).
For the life of him, Vince just absolutely could not understand why no one would spot him the cash he needed to buy-in to the Texas Hold Em poker game. The day had been very lucrative thus far. In the qualifying rounds of his poker tournament, Vince had won some ridiculously close games. While some would call it blind wild luck, Vince chose to believe that all the wins he obtained off the ‘river’ card were due entirely to his skill and impeccable intellect. ‘James Bond’ he told himself during his games. ‘No one can touch him, no one can read him. Be the Bond.’ More often than not, in times of high-level stress, Vince would put himself in the shoes of the men he aspired to be like. James Bond, Don Draper, Julius Caesar. Michael Jackson would some days make appearances while on the dance floor. Today, James Bond had served him well. So why would no one stake him? His sister had laughed at him. Her boyfriend, Ryan, had reminded him that security was still not happy with the way he tried to take the Captain of the ships hat, and tried to steer the ship himself. And his own mother had chased him all around the halls, trying to get him to change his piss-soaked pants (C’mon, security was pretty scary). Ok, so maybe he had a couple ‘Old Fashion’s after losing the championship round (where he was pretty much cheated), but hey, 4 drinks never hurt anybody! Or was it 14? Whatever. Irrelevant details. And ok, so maybe in his somewhat drunken stuper, he happened to make-out with a couple married 50+ year olds. You can’t put an age on love!
Oh well; he’d show them. All of em. They’d be singing a different tune, once he started winning high-stakes cash games. The only problem was finding the right benefactor. And maybe a new pair of pants. It started to get chilly down there.
The ship pulled into port around 10:30am. The sun was shining, and there was a brisk chill in the air. One may call it perfect weather. A light sweater adorned Vince as he made his way down the ramp and into the bustling city. Sicily. Home of Mt. Etna, and without a doubt, one of the most beautiful places he had ever seen. Hopefully the women would be as beautiful as the landscape. It would be tough to compete with Rome in that aspect, but one could hope. He made his way down some streets and alleys, and to his delight, it was not as crowded as he had initially thought it may be. At a little café on the corner, he stopped and helped himself to an authentic ‘cannoli’, a sweet Italian treat. Maybe if he had some food in him, he’d stop seeing double. It was a little too heavy on the cream, at least for this early in the morning, but still scrumptious none the less. As he enjoyed his tasty pastry (rhymed. Unintentional), he pondered his situation. ‘Come on Vince, you’re the smartest guy you know; surely you can think of something’. “I can think of something” he said out loud to no one. “And don’t call me Shirley”. Whatever he would do though, needed to be done quick. He only had a couple hours on shore before the ship would leave again. It was time to move. Leave a tip, take the cannoli.. Wait a minute, ‘leave a tip, take the cannoli’. Leave a tip, take the cannoli…. Oh my god, it’s perfect! “Leave the gun, take the cannolis”! Probably one of the more famous quotes from his favorite movie, and he had found the answer he had been looking for! “The Godfather”! Brilliant. Everyone knows that Sicily is origin to ‘La Cosa Nostra’ (aka ‘This thing of ours’, aka THE MAFIA). He would just find some less than reputable bookie, or a loan shark, and get him to invest in him. Foolproof.
So how to spot a Mafioso? To be honest, Vince had just assumed that everyone in Sicily had some ties to the Mob, but somehow as he watched the people go about their business, he doubted that theory. Now logic says that he should be looking for guys who are:
· 5’2’’ with slick-backed hair
· Wearing full-body jumpers
· Probably chewing on toothpicks
· Most definitely standing on a corner
There would no doubt be a little guy who’s really angry. The typical Joe Pesci type. An extremely obese one who talks with his hands excessively. And the last guy in the group would no doubt be tall and maybe a tad on the lanky side. It would probably be a safe bet to expect a fedora somewhere as well. So now that Vince had the criteria, he set about on his manhunt.
He passed a number of places on his journey up the road. Genco Olive Oil, Louis Restaurant, Sonny’s Bar, Henry Hill’s Pool Hall, Capone’s Cars, Soprano’s Waste Management; bunch of duds it looked like. Then all of a sudden, like a light shining through the sky, there it was.. ‘Little Ninos Pizzeria’. Vince never saw a more shady place. A small establishment; old brick oven, red and white checkered table mats. No doubt the perfect front for a multi-million dollar underworld HQ. He was sure of it. But he had to blend in. Nobody would lend him any money if he sounded like some lousy tourist.
(Vince walks through the front door, and comes face to face with the scariest looking 5’0’’ man he’s ever seen. No doubt it was Nino. 97 years old, but most likely deadly as ever)
Nino: “Bongiornio, my friend!”
Vince: “Ahem. Uhh Howz youz doin?”
Nino: “..Eh very well, Grazie. I make a pizza for you?”
Vince: ‘Ahh he’s speaking code to me, I see..’ “Eyya yea, a ..‘pizza’.. sounds good. I’ll have mine FULLY loaded please..”
Nino: “You uh want some pepperonis on that?”
Vince: ‘hah I like this guy; real covert’ “Yea, gimmie 50 big ones” (followed by an oh-so-subtle wink)
Vince: “I’m good for it, I swear! I will triple your investment, paisan. 50 big ones. Lay it on meh”
Nino: “....what in the, what are you even talkin about??”
Vince: “I need to borrow some dough, my man, and I know you’re the guy to see! Ok not like REAL dough, though you’d definitely be the guy to go to for that as well. Whaddya say? I’m totally good for it. I’m like James Bond when I’m in the zone. Don’t mind the pants..”
Vince had never had a more melancholy walk back to the ship..
*Special thanks to Mom and J for the wonderful cruise. I had a fantastic time
Next up are pics from our Mesina/Sicily/Godfather tour....twas AMAZING, see if you can recognize a few sights from the Godfather movies.....and by the way "J" did spot V the $50 buy in.