Sunday, August 1, 2010

What Ponzi Meant to Say

I admit right now that I made a fatal mistake.

For some reason, before Ponzi left for her two-week vacation in Italy, I was overly concerned with her personal safety and forgot to discuss one very important element of the trip with her.

Oh, we discussed things, alright. . . I taught her all about how to clutch her purse so that a band of pickpocketing thieves couldn't get their paws on her passport. . . and Veggie gave her lessons on how to deal with the throngs of lecherous men pinching her. . .  and Drip Dry went on boobie patrol, surveying her wardrobe looking for anything too low cut. . .and she had every element of her international phone plan down-pat. . . knowing who she could email. . . who she was allowed to call. . . and who she could BBIM. . . . .

So what was the fatal mistake?

I never gave her currency converting instructions.

Now, with a name like Ponzi, chances are that the child didn't need a tutorial on exchange rates (for rumor has it that she was born with a currency converter in place of her left kidney) but still. . . I neglected to have the very discussion which may have precluded an email (yes, I was on the email-only list) like this:  We're in the leather market right now and I found this amazing school bag for 55 and so I charged it.

The astute reader will notice three interesting things about these 21 words.  And, because I was born with a Ponzi converter in place of my left kidney, I will gladly parse the one-sentence correspondence for you:

  1. School - No doubt about it. . . the addition of the word, school, as an adjective in front of the item, bag, translates to. . . You're paying for it, Mom!  Since we all know that Ponzi is going off to college in just four short weeks, and we also know that mothers traditionally pay for all items associated with school. . .  like crayons. . . pencil cases. . . and notebooks. . .  it therefore follows that this new bag is an all-essential-back-to-school item and now falls into the category of school supplies which will be paid for by the mother.
  2. 55 - Notice, if you will, the intentional vagueness of the number. The currency of the "55" was not specified.  So did the bag cost 55 u.s. dollars? Or did it cost 55 euros, which equates to 72 u.s. dollars???? You're right, my friends, I don't even have to ask. .  .
  3. Charged - Here, the clever detective need only note the past tense. The choice of the past tense means that the great Italian bag has been acquistati on her mother's carta di credito and that, my friends, means it's finito. . .conclusivo. . . decisivo.
So the newly-worked communication - sent through the Ponzi converter - would come out sounding something like this. . .  I'm in the leather market in Florence now while on that awesome vacation that you and Dad scrimped and saved to send me on and I found this wonderful bag that would be great for school and so I splurged and spent an additional $72 of your hard-earned money on it without asking.   And don't even think about suggesting that I return it, 'cause I don't have the slightest idea of how to speak the language here in this foreign country where all of the gross old men are pinching me!!!!


Oh. .  .and she would have added a post-script that went something like this:  And when I get home on Thursday, the rest of the back-to-school shopping will commence in earnest.