Things NEVER to say to Italian-American co-workers

“Did you see ‘The Sopranos’ last night?”

Italian-Americans NEVER watch movies or television shows about Italian gangsters, no matter how well written or compentently directed. Especially avoid praising “The Godfather” and “The Godfather: Part II”. It is okay to discuss “The Godfather: Part III” as it is generally considered a lame movie.

“Hey, are you EYE-talian?”

Italian-Americans learn from birth to roll up the windows and drive as fast as possible when in parts of the country where people say EYE-talian. Also, be sensitive to Italy’s dialectically and culturally diverse regions. A Sicilian does not want to be confused with a Calabrese or a Neopolitan. Don’t you ignorant crackers know anything?

“I’m behind on my rent. Would you please garrote my landlord?”

No self-respecting Italian-American, even a sociopathic one, would seriously consider such an up-front and direct request. The appropriate etiquette is to arrange a meeting in a dark alley, bring a bag of money, and ask euphemistically “if you could make my little problem disappear.” Also, garrotting is a technique preferred by the Japanese yakuza, a sophistication to which no Italian-American could ever aspire to achieve.

“I love The Olive Garden.”

Italian-Americans have been known to gnaw off their own arms rather than eat at The Olive Garden. In general, Italian-Americans eat only foods that have been cooked by a toothless old matriarch who rarely leaves the kitchen and speaks pidgin English. The large Italian-American families depicted in Olive Garden advertisements are usually played by non-union Albanians.

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