Gracie Under Pressure
"Ah! Christopher ma frien'! Its-a been-a long time without the speaking!"
Whenever Irish Chris and I speak on the telephone we both adopt bad Italian accents. Why do we do this? I honestly don't think either of us remember the genesis of this peculiar phone habit. Do we think it's funny, to speak in a cringe-worthy caricature Italian way?
"You-a horrible fat slob of a man! You no call me anymore. Why is-a this? Is your fingers broken in 18 different-a places? Have I done sumethin' to offend you in-a some-a way?"
"It is-a disgraceful on-a my part-a Christopher. I apologise for my insolence, my-a bad, my-a bad."
It doesn't even sound vaguely Italian. Not really. But we have been talking like this for such a long time neither of us can stop doing so. It is our ritual. Cliche-ridden mock Italian conversations that inevitably contain phrases like "'atsa nice meat-a ball!" will forever be part of our rapport.
Our accents were as convincing as Stefano's...who is an...Italian man
My friendship with Irish Chris basically revolves around drinking beer, playing pool and insulting each others' mothers...like all good friendships I guess. But lately he's been trying to get me involved in his latest hobby: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
'Look. Look at my 'guns' baby,' he'll say when we eventually catch up, casting away his Luigi persona, 'Feel my arms. They are like steel. Like weapons to be unleashed upon an unsuspecting world. This is what perfection looks like.'
Although Chris is prone to exaggeration he is noticeably more muscular. Prior to his martial arts training he has stick-thin chicken arms that looked like they would snap in an arm wrestle.
Arm inspection done, he will then ask me to attack him so he can show me a submission hold he learnt that week. Two seconds after I lunge at his neck I'll be on the floor of a pub while onlookers glance our way wearily.
'Now this chokehold...'
'...is pretty hard to break. It IS possible. For maybe a blue belt. But for the run of the mill mugger, played in this instance by you...'
'..Ugh...grugh...disrupting the...guh...blood supply to my...ugh...brain...'
'Huh? Oh, sorry Fatman.'
As I lay wheezing and plotting revenge I get the uneasy feeling that I may need to take up Jiu-Jitsu soon in order to be able to counter his chokeholds and joint-locks. I still feel that, push come to shove, I could take Irish Chris in a fight. Not a fair fight. I'd hit him over the head with a crowbar when he wasn't looking. But who knows how strong he'd be in a years' time? Could I take him then?