Here at Il Sette Bello we get the occasional piece of reader mail that we endeavor to answer as promptly and comprehensively as possible. This means every 18 months or so. You can send your mail to ISB's editorial offices in Rome. With Poste Italiana, it should arrive in by December when we will put off running our next installment.
Eccola, la posta:
In the U.S., the 4th of July is a major holiday when the Americans celebrate Indepedence Day. I'm thinking of taking off both Friday and Monday, but I've already used up my vacation days for the year. Any advice on how I can duck out without the boss knowing?
-- G. W. Bush, Washington D.C.
Dear Mr. Bush,
In Italy, a Friday holiday is an excuse to invoke the "ponte," or "bridge". This means if the holiday falls on a Friday you take off Monday too as there could be traffic on Sunday night. Plus, you need a day of rest after three days away from work. Oh, and no respectable worker shows up at work until 11 a.m. on the following Tuesday. Getting out early on Thursday is also permissable... Confused?
Is Italy ready for some Wham-Bam-Thankyou-Maam!-Change, the kind American voters are going to open up on the Republican Party this November?
- M. Obama, Chicago
Dear Ms. Obama,
Italy is on its 63rd government in as many years. Voters here detest change. That's why they vote in the same band of criminals every 10 months.
I'm in my 70s and am considering a position as the next leader of the free world. The problem is people see me as, you know, old. How does Italy, a G8 nation, manage to keep the same band of crooked old guys in power running the country for so long?
- J. McCain, Phoenix, Az
Dear Mr. McCain,
Only in your 70s!?! Write back in ten years and we'll talk.
My family and I run America's largest beer brewery, one that is particularly beloved by America's future: college kids. The problem is everybody else seems to think our beer is pretty undrinkable, except the Belgians who now want to buy us. Can a Belgian with a thirst for Budweiser be trusted?
- A. Busch IV, St. Louis, Mo.
Dear A. Busch IV,
It's true. Your beer is pretty undrinkable. Our advice: sell it to the Belgians who have a terrible track record doing anything constructive other than making very drinkable beers. Also, if you have any pull, please have the Coors family sell out too.