Tuesday, 3 January 2012

The Dude, Sara and the wristwatch

I think cinema can be very bad for your health. Take the Coen brothers for example. The Coens are very bad for my health sometime.
Everytime somebody mentions the world "bowling", my brain immediately relates to the Dude in "The Big Lebowski". Every time, in my mind the images of the movie pop out in my mind... "Oh, the usual. I bowl. Drive around. The occasional acid flashback."
Anybody living in Torino, upon knowing where I'm staying over the holidays, will say that: "Ah, next to tamarrolandia". And that's because, when I have to better explain where my parents live, I normally say: "At the end of Via Monginevro, very close to the bowling alley".
Tamarri are a "human type", for lack of better definition: somehow similar to the Midlands chavs, the boys normally sport orange skin, sharpened eyebrows, jeans way below the knees so to sport their Asterix boxers. Girls are orange too, normally wear clothes one size smaller, so that the love handles can better stand out. They are united by a common hate for Italian grammar that they like to torture with every sentence they utter.
The bowling alley is the haven of the tamarri teenagers, the sanctuary where they gather every week, expecially on Sunday or during their holidays.

This afternoon saw me stepping into the wilderness of "tamarrolandia".
Given my parents moved here when I was 17 and I saw waves over waves of this tamarri coming and going, so it's not that I grew over-interested into anthropological studies.
And I'm not masochist or suicidal. It's only that Sara wanted to spend some time with me and her mum. And to play bowling.
So bowling we played and to the bowling alley we went.
I used to go to the bowling alley once in a while during uni to play pool, and now I go normally twice a year to play bowling with my niece. And everytime I wish that I could see the Dude in the lane next to ours, but no, normally it's a bunch of tamarri.
I don't mind the lack of a Dude.
And, to prove how patient I've become, I normally don't mind the tamarri as well... I  I just wish to reduce them to subatomic particles when they butcher Italian; and when they make fun of Sara: she's six and trying to throw a ball that is half her weight, so obviously her technique is not as refined as Fred Flinstone's one. She holds the bowling ball with both her small hands and kind of throws it on the lane.
Or when they make fun of Sara and butcher Italian at the same time... like they did this afternoon. Pity I couldn't let any bowling ball fall on the kid's feet (not that I ever did before...), but hey, at the end of the game, I had a look at the points and Sara beat them square, she had more points than the one that won their game, ah ah ah!
She collected some more points on her "bowling card" so she could get a  wristwatch: a small children wristwatch, with a small orange strap dotted with small butterflies.
She was very happy about it. She couldn't stop staring at it and beaming: the battery was still not connected and the hands weren't moving; yet I couldn't help asking:
"What time is it, Sara?"
"8.30!!"
"And now?"
"8.15!!!"
"Are you sure?"
"My watch says so."
"But time can't go backwards, sweetie"
"Says who?"
"Mmmmh, the Doctor?"
"The doctor?!?"
"Yeah!"
"Auntie, I love you, but sometimes you're soooo weird..."

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