Seven in one blow; a new personal best

     As long as I can remember there’d been a Mom and Pop Notions store, down near the corner with Tremont, where the El casts its mechanical shadow. Two brothers, Italian, first generation and as unlike as imaginable ran the place, selling patterns, yarn, yard goods, scissors, stuff like that. They also took in alterations and repairs, and, near the end of this story, opened night classes.
Facto, the older one, thin and gaunt to where a string of spit looked downright pudgy hanging next to him, was probably the boss, de facto at least. Ipso, jovial and of ‘generous‘ dimensions, spent the longer shifts of the two, and for those reasons most of us kids called the place ‘Ipso Fatso’s. I recall my Mama several times a week screeching out my name, then handing me through the tear in the screen door a piece of yarn. “Run down to Fatso’s and get me a hank of this. Oh and some of that brown I used last week. Here’s a quarter now. Bring back the change.”
Down I ran, dodging delivery trucks on and off the sidewalk, then waited in line, timidly like a pet spaniel. Always the standard mix of mousy locals, raven-haired Northeastern students, flaxen-locked Beacon Hill beauties, and plain old Boston blue-hairs. They were the worst, time-wise; nothing to look at, plus they often gave the impression that instead of scheduling psychiatric counseling, they’d decided to save money and spill their hearts out to Fats. I’ve never learned to interrupt heart-spilling-ness episodes, and so, till I got home with the goods, the season for warm scarves had often passed us on by. Just kidding, but so it seemed.
Enter Facto. The fellow had surprisingly ‘modest’ public relations skills, especially in a business where relating to the public is a large part of the equation. Always openly criticizing his brother’s sewing skills, he seemingly cared not a whit about tact. He was, in his words, “tired of watching Ipso sew so…’so-so.'” So ‘Sew up a Storm’, the  night school he’d just established, was a logical vent for his frustrations I suppose.
    I could go on, about the fire, about Ipso’s surprise appearance at my son’s bar mitzvah, oh, and the time he did kinda hurt my feelings. For my final project in the sewing classes, I’d lovingly  but at the last minute of course put together not one but two ballet outfits, in separate styles. Hoping for praise (or at least a C-), I was hurt, not deeply but still moderately pissed, when Fatso eyed them up and down, then opined”
“I’d call ‘Impromptu Tu-tu 2’ too Teutonic, Solberg.”
Probably the sequin Maltese cross is what done it for him, but we got over it.
Anyway, I’ve already made my point here, so ta ta for now, I’m off to atone for my errors, grammatical or financial. Kinda tough to do in a manifestly atonal country like ours. Yom Kippur is the only day of the year when nobody pulls out in front of me in traffic without signaling.   /JS

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7 thoughts on “Seven in one blow; a new personal best

  1. Roadkill_Spatula

    This puts me in mind of my children’s yarn-producing pet (named after a famous painter) which entertains the other livestock by dancing in a lewd manner. We call it Van Gogh the go-go angora goat.

    Reply
  2. jsolberg

    @Roadkill_Spatula –  A special place in the hereafter, either here..or after, for chums what similarly enjoy, nay worship, the felicitous conjugations achievable in English, with sufficient explanatory build-up of course. Thanks for the company, bro. I may spend the day quietly, reverently working on an 8-in-line. Walenda fell attempting this feat, but hope springs eternal.

    Reply
  3. Lovegrove

    Yom Kippur is a great way to pull oneself together. Have a reflecting day tomorrow which starts tonight but at midnight for the Goyim, but what’s in a calendar but dates and I hate dates. Prunes too but I digress as is my wont.

    Reply
  4. Lovegrove

    I used to attend a liberal rabbi’s services in Sydney, Australia. Very forceful in making one reflect. I almost began the long process to become a “Jewboy” as my Cockney ol’ man called ’em (with great affection I wish to add. He spoke with great admiration of those Jews he knew in the old East End). I couldn’t pass the reluctance to remove the hat off my Wife’s Best Friend. The MacObees (what were the Jocks doing in the Wholly Land anyway?) would have slaughter me as a Hellenist and that’s true, as most things are Greek to me.

    Reply
  5. jsolberg

    @Lovegrove – well actually the post isn’t much about YK. Not having that much to be modest about, as Churchill put it, I spend the day otherwise employed. So I need to remember not to add asides to the bottom, ha. The post itself is wordplay and Boston faux memories.

    Reply
  6. Lovegrove

    You said bottom! You said bottom! Thank you for not saying “ass”. I never could get how Septic Tanks could associate donkeys with their rectal passages.

    Reply

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