Italian Friday

(note: trying to work through a novel/story/whatever but piecing it together based on vignettes.  haven’t worked out a story arc as yet…comments on each vignette are appreciated and welcome, understanding that you don’t know the characters. Practicing writing, in other words.)


What the heck HAD happened, Bill wondered, as he leaned back in his chair.  Did we finish up the fix and deploy it? Did the customer know of the fix?  He grabbed the phone and dial Gunth.  Gunth was leaning back on his chair, feet on the desk, keyboard in lap, spying his computer monitor, which was filled with programming code”.  He answered in his customary way.

“Buon giorno!”, he laughed as he answer the phone, having seen Bill’s caller id on his phone.  Gunther was not Italian nor did he speak Italian, but for some inexplicit reason had started answering the phone whenever Bill called by using these two words, said in an exaggerrated fashion with a fake and heavy Italian accent.

“Buon giorno!”, Bill returned, laughing as well.  “Hey, what’s the scoop with Amalgamated? Fix in place? Fix forthcoming? Fix?  The key word is ‘fix’.”

Short pause, and then “Yes!  Fix done, coded, tested, deployed.  Waiting on customer agreement that it’s good to go.”

That was good news, but Gunther always seemed to have good news, which contributed to his jovial ways.  Smart and quick, and totally flexible.  He was the definition of agile, and had assembled a team that was the same.  Bill and Gunth worked well together.

“Great news as usual, grazie”, Bill replied, continuing the Italian theme.  A random thought popped into Bill’s head.  “Hey, I’ve got an idea, lemme know what you think.  What if we all just talk pseudo Italian on some day of the week?” Bill imagined the team shouting at each other in Italian and laughed to himself. 

Gunth thought one second and then chuckled again.  “Now THAT’s a great idea.  I like it.  Keep the staff guessing.  How about Italian, what’s today, Friday? Italian Friday!”

“Bene!” was all Bill had to say, and then “Ciao! Today it is!  Let’s start at the managers meeting later today?”

“Bueno bueno”, was the contented reply.

“That’s spanish.”

“Aie Caramba!  Sorry.   I’ll have to brush up on my Italian, which I don’t know at all.  Paparazzi to you sir!”, Gunther said, and “Ciao!”, Gunth continued, in a drawn out fake Italian accent”.

“Paparazzi”, Bill replied, laughed and hung up.


After the managers meeting, the Bill and his team exited the room, speaking loudly to each other.  “Ciao bella” and “Chef Boyardee” and “Ferrari” and “hey hey, whaz amatta, you fired!” was the lionshare of the remarks.  They all scattered, still mumbling in Italian and laughing.  It was a typical and good managers meeting.

Down the hall, Patel hearing the commotion, quietly stood up from this desk and peered out of his office.  Only his eyes showed as he tried to make sure he was not seen. His face crumpled into a perplexed look as he spied Bill and his management team slowly scattering across the department but still speaking loudly in pseudo Italian, mixed with the quiet sounds of the staff chuckling to themselves.  He shook his head, slowly walked back to his desk, and sat back down.  Reaching for a pen, he pulled a notepad out of his desk, and at the end of a lengthy existing list of “oddities”, with that list title word underlined, he wrote “Bill’s team was arguing in Spanish to one other.”   He tapped his pen on the pad as he looked up and stared blankly, as the sound of broken Italian slowly faded, finally punctuated by Gunth yelling “Paparazzi!”


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