A Telling Defense

Author CAMERON GRAHAM posted this writing prompt on Facebook on 1/17/2018:
 Challenge: Make a character portrait of someone with a huge blind spot in his or her self-awareness--something that everybody else sees but to which the character is oblivious. But the portrait should still be three-dimensional and complex, not cartoonish.

Always tells the truth and never
gossips.Yeah, right!
I, Rose Marie Lapazza, freely make this written deposition, witnessed by my nephew Salvatore, who is a notary and who knows that I always tell the truth and I never gossip, in spite of what everyone says, including his mother, my sister Angela, who drives her husband crazy and can be a real pain in the ass.

Last Sunday, January 14, 2018, I was coming out of the 11:30 Mass over at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church.  I stopped to talk to Mary Ryan and Father Rizzo because I always stop to talk to Father Rizzo and Mary was standing there talking to him before I got there.  She has a hard time getting around because of her bad knee, poor thing.  It’s her age.  She’s older than she looks and a lot older than she admits to being.  I had some pain patches that I had been meaning to give to her, so I took them out of my purse and handed them to her.  She said thank you.  She always says please and thank you because she has manners.  Sometimes her manners are too good and you want to clobber her for being annoying, but most of the time she’s nice to be around.

I talked to a bunch of other people after that, because I like people and I like to talk to them and help them out with things.  That’s what friends and neighbors are for, and here we were right in front of our church.  You have to be nice to people when you’re standing in front of a church because you’re standing in front of God, and acting like a jerk when you are standing in front of God is even worse than acting like a jerk when you are just walking around somewhere.  I was being as nice as possible.  I even told Tommy and Kathleen Marco that I thought their ugly kid was cute.  I feel so sorry for that kid.  She’s going to have a hard time when she gets old enough to go to school.  Of course, the kid can’t help it.  She looks like her father.

So there I was, fussing over the little Marco girl (poor kid), when up popped Philomena Grillo.  She came charging at me like a damned torpedo, yelling loud enough to be heard in three counties, accusing me of telling people she has been having an affair with Jim Piscitelli the newsstand guy.  I never said she was having an affair with him.  She couldn’t, anyway.  Jim Piscitelli is as gay as New Orleans on Mardi Gras.  He tries to hide it, but everyone knows, anyway.  He and Philomena are friends and they sometimes go to the movies together, but she could never get anything going with him, if you know what I mean.

So there was Philomena, screaming about how I was ruining her reputation and calling me things that should never be said in front of a church.  I had to calm her down, so I hauled off and slugged her in the shoulder.  I did NOT hit her in the face, no matter what she says.  I might have pulled some of her hair.  I don’t remember.  Anyway, she didn’t calm down.  She got mad as a bull seeing red.  She jumped on me and we ended up in a big fight.  She probably would have won, because she’s a lot bigger than I am and she looks like a man, but Father Rizzo came and broke us up, just in time.  He was mad at both of us and told us to stop acting like a couple of animals and go home.

Philomena brought this lawsuit against me for slandering her, which I never did because I never said she was having an affair with Jim the gay guy.  I don’t gossip.  If I say anything about anyone, it is always the truth and it is always something everyone knows, anyway.  I should sue Philomena for giving me a black eye, and if she keeps this up I might do that.

Attested to this 17th day of January, 2018.

Rose Marie Lapazza

Salvatore Pazienza, Notary Public


agirlcandream said…
LOL Too funny! I love this one. :)
Kathy's World said…
To agirlcandream --

Sometimes I think that old saying, "Write what you know" is true. All I had to do was conjure up all the Brooklyn and Bronx neighborhood and church ladies that I had ever known. This was really easy to write. The big danger: I found myself laughing at my own writing. That's like laughing at your own jokes. LOL! (Oops, I did it again!)
Laura Milcsik said…
You did an excellent job with this prompt. I could picture the character. I thought that was a great ending and also I think it's funny the the little side notes like notary just happens to be related to the character. To me it implied that she could not find another notary because no reputable one would attest to what she was saying. All the examples you came up with were great but the one about the the "Ugly Kid" and the man who is gay and everyone knows it, or so the gossip says were particularly funny to me.I was also amused that your character thinks that you must behave better because you happen to be standing in front of a church. I can really picture this woman and how she did not answer a single question without elaborating on it and it negative and gossipy, self-serving way. Your characterizations were spot-on and in fact they reminded me of one of my elderly great-aunts who is always complimenting herself on how good she is compared to other people and also loves to get involved in everyone else's business... I think she has the same blind spot as your character.���� Well done!!
Kathy's World said…
To Laura Milcsik --

Thanks! I loved writing this. I felt like I knew that woman!

I've been living in the boroughs of New York City too long. ;)
Great Danish said…
Now this was very funny, Kathy. You are right. When you write what you know - it comes to life. We know these women. Especially the ones who do and say things in "front of God and Church". Made me laugh out loud. Well done, my friend.
Kathy's World said…
To Great Danish -

Thanks! I think I'm finally getting the hang of writing funny! Move over, Dave Barry! :D

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