Tilly was telling me a long and complicated tale about a friend of hers today as we drove to yet another rendezvous with the dentist.
I am thinking of having a memorial bench made at our dentist’s. I know that waiting room better than I know my own lounge at the moment.
Anyway, this story was about the mafia. Apparently it also involved hiding in a cupboard and having to run away. Two things I think would be almost mandatory were I to be involved with the mafia.
After telling it to me, and swearing it was all true (improbable though it seemed), she said:
‘I don’t really know very much about the mafia.’
To which I replied:
‘I don’t think that Knighton is a particular stronghold of the mafia to be honest.’
‘I know they have to eat meatballs.’
I did not comment here. If this were compulsory for joining the mafia, every English person who has visited an Ikea cafeteria in the last ten years would be a member by now.
To be fair, perhaps that’s how they recruit new members, I don’t know.
‘I know the bit about putting horse’s heads in people’s beds.’
I once had a cat that put a severed squirrel head in my bed. I suspect he may have been in the mafia. I think if you’re a smaller creature you get smaller creatures to decapitate. After all, nobody’s going to expect a cat to saw a horse’s head off are they? Unless it was a huge cat and one of those miniature ponies…
She then said:
‘And then there’s the thing about oranges…’
I did a double take.
‘What thing about oranges?’
Is this some new Mafia thing I’d not heard of? I watched The Sopranos. I’d never seen Tony Soprano menacing anyone with a satsuma.
‘I’m not really sure. They do do something with oranges though.’
‘Like what? Put them in people’s stockings at Christmas as a warning that Santa is actually in the Mafia, and if they’re not good next year it will be the horse’s head for them?’
‘No. I don’t know. Don’t they pelt people with oranges?’
‘O.K. Well, do they write rude messages on them and put them in people’s houses?’
We both looked elsewhere.
Then we changed the subject.
So, what do the mafia do with oranges?