Fabrizio Sciola is 27, he's single and
he lives with his parents in Montreal North.
"I'm moving out soon", he said
yesterday. Yeah. Sure.
While he's waiting to become an adult. Sciola, a multimedia producer at I.C.Axon, a
high-tech healthcare firm, is turning his ethnic background into a comedy
routine. You won't see him on a night-club stage but my man Fabrizio is a
very funny guy.
lived in St-Leonard for 15 years. He has parlayed familiarity with the
hood into an internet site with two components: The Official St-Léonard
Italian Dictionary (the Web address is http://fabrizio.italy.com)
and You Know You're Italian from St-Léonard When... (Web address is http://fabrizio.italy.com/dictionary2.htm)
around in his spare time, Sciola has had the sites up for about a year.
He's had about 33,500 hits.
"I have to update the sites all the time," Sciola said.
"there's been a flood of E-mails suggesting new entries."
For the benefit of those who don't have Internet access or couldn't be
bothered logging on in the middle of breakfast, I've picked some
highlights of Sciola's material.
A disclaimer to soothe the ethnic sensitivities of anyone reading these
witticisms: The person (or persons, using a nom de Net) who wrote the
jokes is italian. The guy who has scalped them, i.e. me, is not Italian;
but I love everything Italian. I have happily consumed the homemade
gnocchi of my pal Dominic Varvaro (his father owns the main restaurant and
his brother is the legendary Smoked Meat Pete). My favourite Montreal cops
are constable Amerigo Destro and detective Pietro Poletti. If I could be
reborn I would want my name to end in a vowel (and I don't mean Shapiro.)
So here goes. According to Fabrizio Sciola, you know you're Italian from
"close" the light and "open" the TV.
can rebuild a motor and frame a house, but couldn't help your wife with
the laundry because you cannot operate a washing machine if your life
depended on it.
father owns 5 houses, has $350,000 in the bank, but still drives a big '76
Monte Carlo with a picture of Sant`Antonio hanging from the mirror.
have at least one relative named either Dino, Gino, Lino, Pino, or Rino;
and another relative named Dina, Gina, Lina,
Pina, Rina or Tina.
were more than 28 people in your bridal party.
netted more than $50,000 on your first communion and more
than $200,000 in the envelopes at your wedding.
-After years of being
yelled at by your mother, you know more saint names than the Pope.
smoke "DuMaurier regular."
impossible for you to talk with your hands in your pockets.
share a bathroom with your 5 brothers, have no money, but drive a brand
new $25,000 red Honda Civic or Black Volkswagen GTI.
least 5 of your cousins live on your street.
think "downtown" is Jean-Talon St.
still in tears because they closed L`Arnaque and L`Horizon clubs.
said "don't worry, I know the bouncer."
still go to the same Barber shop your grandfather brought you to when you
were 4 years old.
Sciola writes that "the official language of St-Léonard is a
bastardized combination of Italian, English and French." The dialect
can also be heard, with minor regional variations, in Montreal North,
Rivières des Prairies, LaSalle, Ville Émard and Laval.
The first entry in the dictionary is "Aieee." This is St-Léonardian
for "That's impossible," as in:
Mike: "I took 10 minutes to get downtown last night."
Joe: "Aieee! Stop zaggerating!"
"Zaggerate," which is self-explanatory, is the last of the St-Léonard
dictionary's 140-plus entries. It's right after "yesterday
Common words have unique applications in Sciola's world. "But,"
appended to the end of a sentence, means "however," as in
"The udder night I rented Goodfellas, meee! That's a good movie
Ans so on. Sciola"s Web sites are a hoot.
Plumbing the depths of creativity-stifling February funk, I eagerly await
reader's versions of the Park Extension Dictionary and You Know You're
From T.M.R. When...
Mike Boone can be reached by phone at (514) 987-2569 or by
E-mail at mboonethegazette.southam.ca