Exciting Dinner with Friends


Exciting Dinner with Friends

Monday, April 20th, 2015

First there is Vittorio. I met him the first time I came to Bologna and this is my 6th visit. I can almost always find him at around 2:00 PM  seated in front of the “Irish” pub not far from the twin towers along via Zamboni. I have joked with him that he must have a bedroom inside since he seems to live there and that they are crafting a statue of him seated outside with a beer in hand and a cigarette in his mouth.

With Vittorio

With Vittorio

But that’s only the start of the story. On almost every Saturday night Vittorio and his crowd of friends, many of whom I know a bit by now, gather in front of the pub at about 8:30 and start thinking of going out to dinner. It takes a while to determine the number – a few telephone calls. “Okay, are you coming? How about Massimo (a name I made up to protect the innocent)? This goes on for maybe half an hour. So then, “Okay there are 14 of us, let’s find a place to reserve a table.”. What! Saturday night, calling at 9:30 to reserve a table for 14?!. Well, it always works out and someplace is found. We troupe over there, some arriving separately and start dinner at, oh maybe 10:30. So typically we are the last to leave at 12:30 or 1:00 in the morning with waitstaff relieved to see us go.

Outside the pub arranging the dinner

Outside the pub arranging the dinner

So that’s the background. It’s not unusual that several of the diners take a cigarette break somewhere through the meal. Since it’s a lot noisier inside and hard for me to hear and talk to people I go outside as well. So I was out there with a group when the excitement began. Ah, but wait, first I have to tell you about Carlo il Texano.

Carlo il Texano and me

Carlo il Texano and me

 

At least that’s what I call him because he has such an appearance of a Texan. He’s kind of a big lanky guy with that kind of texan walk. All he needs is a pair of cowboy boots and a ten gallon hat. It also turns out that he has a hair-trigger temper. So we are hanging around outside and some young guy – maybe 25 at the most is walking along and comes up close to Carlo and says something. Carlo absolutely exploded, pushed the guy HARD and then chased after him yelling “Che cazzo voi!”, “what the fuck do you want”. I was worried that Carlo (who is a lot bigger and fairly robust) was going to beat the kid up. So as Carlo was chasing after that “kid” other guys in our group were chasing after Carlo to restrain him. So finally we persuaded the “kid”, who was either in an altered state of consciousness or stupid, to exit the scene before he got pounded by Carlo. So no damage done other than Carlo getting his shirt ripped a bit.

So that became the great topic of conversation displacing the previous great topic of Davide getting seriously drunk at a birthday party in Parma, having his wallet stolen and calling his girlfriend at 4:00 to come rescue him.

Outside the Indian restaurant at 1:00 AM

Outside the Indian restaurant at 1:00 AM

Usually guys who are smokers might put a cigarette behind their ear. Carlo with abundant chest hair has another solution.

Some people put a spare cigarette behind their ear.

Some people put a spare cigarette behind their ear.

Ah the fun just never stops here in Bologna.

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