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Porco Miseria...

Porco Miseria...

Old May 12, 19, 3:07 pm
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Near Boulder, CO
Posts: 3,454
Porco Miseria...

Do you often contemplate life, while sitting on the toilet, asking yourself “Oh My God, how did this happen?”

Or if you are Italian, you might say something like “Porco Miseria!”

Ok, before you all run off and go check my Italian grammar, you can blame the good folks at the Google. There are probably 13 crazy Italians in the Google Milan office, who are in a permanent state of inebriation and are probably just making stuff up, instead of translating properly.

Look, I don’t even know where to start.

I know it’s been a while since we have caught up. And a lot of very bad stuff has happened since then.

I will explain even if you don’t want me to. You may want to grab a rather large cocktail. In fact, grab me one as well.

The first of many very bad things is that our once small, rather cute and relatively meek daughter has now grown up to become a fully-fledged, hormone fueled 16-year old Teenage Mutant (I have omitted the Ninja Turtle bit on the end because it would offend them). The Ninja Turtles that is.

Only those out there who own teenage daughters will understand my plight. Probably more apt to call it a living nightmare. With no end in sight.

Whoever invented teenage daughters was rather clever. You see, when a daughter is 12, or even 12 and a half, their fuse is relatively stable. They only reveal slight glimpses of insanity. You can still beat them gently. They are somewhat intimidated by threats. And a lot of shouting. They even react to a rather generous amount of arm waving. They will, under duress, reluctantly respond to direct commands such as “you’re grounded”.

If however you push them too hard and try and take away their iPhone, they will, in all probability, beat you to a pulp with a snow shovel. While you are sleeping.

According to their inventor, they are actually getting you prepared for full on Armageddon. You might only witness a major meltdown once a month. Maybe twice if you live in Nebraska.

But as the hormonal clock counts down to zero (which is 16 for a female and about 5 for a male) the pace quickens. Buzz Lightyear, when his kids became teenagers changed his catchphrase from “to infinity and beyond” to – “to insanity and beyond”.

And that’s what it is. Insanity. The antics. The behavior. The language. The meltdowns. All of this stuff just brings you to your humble knees. And that’s not from the teenage person who has taken over your house. That’s from your spouse, who has proceeded to go quite mental. Literally.

Fathers are actually of no use at all when there is a mother and teenage daughter in the house.

Even Donald Trump, when his own daughter turned 16, was left speechless by her own antics.

Ok, I made that part up. You know DT wouldn’t have been speechless at all. And you also know that even his own daughter would have wanted to clobber him on the head with a snow shovel, some if not all of the time. But I digress.

I have learnt from painful experience to avoid the house if there is a full on confrontation going on.

My now 18-year old son (more on him later) and I have installed Naval Signal Lamps at each end of the street we live on and we send messages to each other via morse-code, asking if the coast is clear. If it isn’t we pretend to have run out of gas and simply don’t come home.

My own sister is 2 and a half years younger than me. She was completely unhinged as a teenager. I on the other hand, was literally perfect. Ask my mother. She will tell you. I know she will.

I remember full on brawls between my Mom and sister. You know that things have somewhat deteriorated when cookware is being hurled across the kitchen at each other in a complete fit of rage. One time, my sister threw a saucepan at my Mom. At which point my mother returned fire and retaliated by hurling a Chinese Wok at my sister with such force that it took out half the pantry door. My Dad and I had taken cover under the dining room table. At our neighbors place.

The thing that I still cant understand is that mothers and daughters will spew venomous, hate filled threats at each other – literally wishing that the other would be hit in the face by a wayward North Korean ballistic missile and then – not 10 seconds later, they will be in each others arms, hugging and crying and saying “I love you” a thousand times in quick succession.

No wonder there is no instruction manual for the female species.

The only thing worse than your teenage daughter going head to head with the Matriarch of the house is when they both gang up on you and pool their hormones. Which is, I might add, absolutely terrifying. And virtually unstoppable.

Wait until you hear this...

Some might question my intelligence at the next bit – but when my kids turned 15, I made a deal with them that I would buy them their first car. They would only get one. The second car would be on their dime. Or their mothers. At least that was the plan.

The only caveat being was that the car in question had to be a manual. As in a stick. As in you needed your brain to be in gear before you put the car in gear. You know what I mean. I know you do.

Our son went first.

Call me old fashioned but I think car buying is what fathers are supposed to do. It makes you feel like you are appreciated. Even when you are not.

So as is the way in our house, our son made a list of motor vehicles that he would “accept” and after we crossed out the vehicles 1 thru 10, and we got serious, we settled on a shortlist of perfectly acceptable modes of gently used transportation.

We live in Colorado in case you hadn’t figured that part out already. While we are blessed to live in a state that basks in 300 days of sunshine a year, we can and do receive quite a lot of snow. And the roads are maintained by government workers with cataracts the size of baseballs – so much of the time we are avoiding potholes that would disable a Unimog.

Given that 1 in 5 cars in Colorado are Subaru's, I convinced Number One Son to go look at Subaru's. Sadly the girls decided to come with us so we all turned up on the doorstep of the local Subaru dealer and some pimply faced kid offered to help us.

The funny thing in America is that car dealers let you test drive anything. In Australia if you walk into a dealership – virtually any dealership and you say…

“Hi I want to buy that Mercedes”
“Are you serious?”
“Then go away”
“Can I drive it then?”
“Why not?”
“Because it's broken”
“What do you mean it's broken?”
“It just is. Now nick off”


We tell this young, slightly dimwitted Subaru sales person that we want to buy a Subaru and he should go off and procure a set of keys. We insist that it must have a manual gearbox. There was a nervous laugh. And then a more nervous tick. And his bottom lip started to quiver.

Moments later, the eager to please rep came back and opened the car door, jumped in and sat there for a few minutes. Maybe he was praying. I have no idea.

We were all standing to the side, waiting with baited breath, as obviously it was difficult task moving a motor car a whopping five feet.

Seconds later, the car lurched onto the forecourt with such force that all 4 of us yelled out the F word in unison. He missed us all by a bee's testicle.

As you would expect, after we had composed ourselves and regained consciousness, the young man jumped from the car in a cold sweat, apologized profusely and admitted that this was in fact, his first time driving something with a gear stick.

Really, it was hardly noticeable.

We took the little Subaru out for a test drive, my son cursed the size of the engine, and proceeded to drive it like a rental car. With no mechanical sympathy whatsoever. We left the whimpering young man back at the dealership (thank goodness) while we tore around the suburbs in a very overworked and tired little car. To be honest, it wasn’t very good. I’m glad I didn’t get conned into buying it.

So along came the next car. Much better. It was made by some rather quirky Germans who hailed from a quaint town called Ingolstadt, had all wheel drive, had low miles and was rock solid. He approved. His Mom approved. And Dad was left holding the bill. As is always the way.

Which brings me neatly to the next part. When our daughter turned 15, she gently reminded us via one of her hysterical tirades that she wanted a car because her ugly brother got one when he was 15.

It was difficult to argue. Besides, you know that ancient pearl of wisdom I told you all a while back about the $50 rule and kids. Throw that rubbish out. Its nonsense. I must have been drunk at the time. It doesn’t work at all.

So off we go looking at motor cars for our daughter. She was determined to show me a VW Beetle. Nothing good happens when teenage daughters and cars shaped like an ovary get together. Definitely not. No Beetle then.

A few weeks go by and the whole car buying exercise cools to a quiet simmer. I heave a heavy sigh of relief. In my ignorance – I assumed the Young One had become bored with automobiles and moved on to something else.

But it was quite the opposite. My wife and daughter had been secretly plotting against me and one Saturday, while I was working, I got a text which went something like this…

“Hey Dad, were going to look at cars”
“With who?”
“Me and Mom”
“What are you looking at precisely?”
“Oh nothing”
“Do you want me to come with you?”
“No Boi!”
“Ok just look then…”

And that was it.

I have to tell you the next bit – because without it the story doesn’t flow. It just makes no sense.

Those of you who have been married the equivalent of 2 Australian consecutive life sentences (eg 22 years) like I have will have come to quickly realize that whenever women tell you that they are “just looking” at something means that they have in fact, bought whatever it is they were “just looking” at.

Crikey, that’s a clumsy sentence. But I know you all understand.

So when I get home later that day, there is a rather shiny, wee Mini Cooper in our driveway.

I gingerly walk inside and ask the evil twins…

“How did we go from “look” to “bring home”?”
“But Dad isn’t it cute?”
“No it isn’t!”
“Wait until we put the checkerboard stuff on the roof and mirrors”
“The checkerboard what”
“The checkerboard stuff”
“How much does that cost?”
“Oh don’t worry, Cassie threw it in”
“Who the hell is Cassie?”
“She sold Mom and me the Mini, she was fantastic”
“Me and Cassie are gonna have words”
“No you’re not. This is my car and you’re not going to embarrass me…”

Those of you who have never set foot in a Mini showroom, go see for yourself. These showrooms are feats of marketing the likes of which you have never ever seen or experienced in your life. Firstly they are staffed by people who are all about 11 years old. They can barely dress themselves. There is dreadful hippy-loolah music thumping away in the background, there are bright colored Mini’s of every shape and size scattered all over what they would like to call a showroom, but in reality it looks more like a teenagers bedroom. Dark and dingy. And crap everywhere.

The people who work there are either covered in tattoos or had a mishap at the ear piercing place because none of the earrings are in their ears where they are supposed to be – but rather hanging from a part of their nose or stapled to their eyebrow. Or both. It is a sad sight to behold.

Apparently the 20-year old Managing Director of Mini Cars USA has worked out that if you can get a teenage daughter and her mother to walk in, it is about as close to sales nirvana as possible. Which is what happened with the 2 females who share my last name.

I can see it unfolding as if I was right there.

My wife and daughter would have walked in, a silent alarm would have been tripped alerting the pandering sales team that they had a surefire sale in front of them. Which, lets be honest, they did.

Some 13-year old sales person called Cassie would have walked up to my daughter and said…

“You would look so chill in this ride here…”
Much gushing from my daughter
And then
“Mom can I have this one?”
“Ok we’ll take it”

And that’s about how it goes. Or went. There’s no games, no bantering with the sales person, no insulting his intelligence, no being hurried off to a room with a sales manager and the high pressure pitch routine. I mean what a complete waste of time.

Car buying is theater. There’s tradition to uphold. Boundaries to keep. Rules that each side know never to breach. It’s basically a game. Its not, walk right in, pander to the sales person and then all sit around and complain about men for the next 3 hours, sipping soy milk mocha chinos and eating a lot of organic kale.

What pish.

If you asked me, my daughter robbed me of a parental moment.

Which brings me gingerly to the whole point of this rather useless banter. The very reason I’m dropping you all a note is that what follows is the Eight Black family holiday to Florence. As in Tuscany. As in Italy with a capital C for crazy.

To be honest, the travel planning has been a bit of a palaver. We are 4 + 1 (as in my sons best mate is tagging along) Not quite sure how that happened, but it did.

He’s a good kid. Never been overseas before and never owned a passport. Mercifully, neither of my daughters closest friends could make it. And remarkably I didn’t hear too much about it from the Young One. Which makes me worry more than just a bit. Something is brewing. I just know it.

As is always the way, I was responsible for the flying there and back. And my current wife was responsible for booking the Airbnb, which in my humble view, is the only sensible way to stay anywhere for a week or more with 3 teenagers. I mean as if I any self respecting hotel is going to let you check in with 3 petulant adolescents.

So what could possibly go wrong… Apparently quite a lot.

My aperitif needs refreshing. We have much to discuss. Uno momento…
SanDiego1K, azj, Prospero and 37 others like this.

Last edited by DanielW; May 15, 19 at 4:01 am Reason: Expletive removed.
eightblack is offline  
Old May 12, 19, 3:24 pm
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This is going to be good...
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The_Bouncer is offline  
Old May 12, 19, 3:37 pm
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Classic! Waiting not-so-patiently.....
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Old May 12, 19, 4:08 pm
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Very much looking forward to the next instalment, as always.
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Old May 12, 19, 5:36 pm
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He's baaaaaack!
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Old May 12, 19, 8:18 pm
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Very bad title for a new thread, in Italian is a strong vulgar blaspheme oath, definitely against the forum rules. I do not know how you get the impression that this sentence can be used colloquially in a daily life, it is not. Could be maximum tolerated during a verbal altercation went emotional, not in any other context, even more in a script.
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Last edited by BobFF68; May 27, 19 at 4:33 am Reason: Title has been revised already
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Old May 12, 19, 8:56 pm
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Return of Eightblack

Life is good
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Old May 13, 19, 2:02 am
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Well a lovely end to the day reading this.
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Old May 13, 19, 6:03 am
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Welcome back eightblack!

You've been missed.
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Old May 13, 19, 8:02 am
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This is going to be awesome, I gotta make sure that I don't read the rest when I am at work.
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Old May 13, 19, 8:44 am
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Before I read this, is this story going to finish?
DetailsIM is offline  
Old May 13, 19, 12:32 pm
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My Italian father always said "Porca Miseria!" and "Dio Cane!"
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Old May 13, 19, 2:08 pm
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Great to see you back!!!

Looking forward to this escapade - thank you - you have been missed by many of us.
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Old May 13, 19, 5:52 pm
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Old May 14, 19, 5:44 pm
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It's been too long.
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