The Anchovies Aren’t Filtered And Neither Is Auntie

, , , | Right | June 2, 2021

After the lockdown restrictions are loosened, my parents, two of my many aunts, and I have decided to go to a pizzeria to celebrate my dad’s Name Day. We get seated, get our menus, and pick our dishes: I choose a seafood carbonara, my parents and [Aunt #1] go for pizzas, and [Aunt #2] says she wants to ask the waiter something first.

Aunt #2: “Hello, I’d like some pasta with tomato sauce, but can you make it with raw tomatoes?”

Waiter: “I am sorry, madam, but we can’t do that.”

Aunt #2: “Why not? Just stick some salad tomatoes in a blender and pour it on the pasta or something.”

Waiter: “That would be a health code violation, I’m afraid.”

Aunt #2: *Irritated* “What do you mean, ‘it’s a health code violation’? How’s that possible? Do you pick them up covered in cow dung or something?”

Waiter: “No, we aren’t allowed to serve uncooked tomatoes here.”

Aunt #2: “What do you think dried tomatoes for [pizza] are, then? Those are raw; you must have raw, undried tomatoes, too!”

Waiter: “No, madam, we buy those dried tomatoes; we don’t make them here. We wouldn’t have the space to, anyway.”

Aunt #2: “Fine! Bring me pasta with anchovy filtering.”

Waiter: “We don’t have anchovy filtering, sorry. Would using full anchovies be fine?”

Aunt #2: “Absolutely not! I’d rather have white pasta, thank you very much!”

Waiter: “All right, one white pasta, coming up.”

And off he goes. As soon as he’s back into the kitchen, she speaks up again.

Aunt #2: *Pouting* “Stupid health code. Why does everything good have to be forbidden? What kind of pizzeria doesn’t stock fresh tomatoes, aside from those crappy Moroccan places?”

Aunt #1 & Mom: “[Aunt #2]!”

Aunt #2: “Look, I don’t know what’s the latest weird fashion to make pizza. No place in my youth would’ve refused to serve you pasta with raw tomatoes, that’s for sure.”

Aunt #1: “In our youth, we also didn’t shout at waiters, and we didn’t expect places to have luxuries like anchovy filtering.”

Aunt #2: “Any respectable place should!”

Dad: “Have you ever seen any restaurant serving anchovy filtering? Because I never have.”

Aunt #2: “My friend’s place back in Salerno did, so there!”

[Aunt #2] glares and keeps pouting as I awkwardly sit there waiting for things to arrive. Meanwhile, my parents facepalm and my other aunt sighs. When our dishes arrive, we eat it up with gusto, while [Aunt #1] eats her dish of cheese-and-oil pasta very slowly, grunting every time she sees the waiter pass by. The day after this dinner, [Aunt #2] is conversing with one of my cousins.

Aunt #2: “[Pizzeria] is horrible and doesn’t have anything; it’s just a fancy place so that youngsters can drink swill and look cool.”

I resisted the urge to shake her until some sense entered into her.

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