Restaurants in Italian sections of cities across America that have advertised “Low Carb” are getting windows broken out and thugs are beating up “low carb” chefs. Panic is sweeping through the restaurant industry. I called up my friend Luigi. Luigi is in the thick of the underworld. If something is going on Luigi gives me the scope. Luigi and I met at our favorite Italian restaurant. This place served traditional Italian food, so it suffered no vandalism like other places on the street. We sat down at the red checkered table and Luigi’s cell phone rang.
“Oh, sorry! I thought I turned it off, but I think it’s my girl. Hello?… Oh Seymour. I thought you were my girl. Listen. I am hanging up because I am sitting in Mamma Rosita’s Italian restaurant with my good friend…You are right down the street? Then you come and join us! See you!”
A pudgy middle aged man in a suit with a back pack sat down at our table within a minute.
Luigi introduced us and said, “We had to hire a new accountant. We had a little problem with our old one, may he rest in peace, syphoning a few funds.”
This traditional restaurant served everything just like in Italy. The first plate you get pasta or risotto, then for the second plate you ordered meat, perhaps veal or chicken with contorno—i.e. the side dish.
The waitress came and Luigi ordered pasta alla puttanesca, and I ordered pasta con le vongole. The waitress looked at Seymour, and he said, “I am going to skip the first course.”
“What?” said Luigi, “This is the best pasta you will find outside of Italy.”
“I am on the ‘low carb’ diet, and I can’t eat carbohydrates.”
“You mean you won’t eat the fantastic pasta here?”
“Well, ah, no Luigi. It has carbohydrates.”
“Listen. What the fuck is wrong with eating carbohydrates?”
“If you study Adkins you can see how eliminating unhealthy carbs can help you obtain a…”
“What? Mamma Rosita’s pasta is healthy food! They come from the old country and know how to make it. You’re crazy if you don’t eat it! What do you mean you are not gonna eat good pasta?” Luigi turned to the waitress and said, “You bring him a plate of pasta. Same that you bring me. We will show him what good healthy food is.”
The waitress quickly brought us three plates of pasta and Seymour said, “I am sorry, but I can’t eat that. You guys can have it. I must maintain strict adherence to the low carb diet. No pasta or pizza for me.”
Luigi grabbed Seymour’s ear and crammed his face into the plate of pasta and ordered, “Eat it!”
Seymour took his fork in his shaking hand put two noodles in mouth, chewed it and swallowed as Luigi let go of his ear.
“It’s fantastic isn’t it?” said Luigi.
“Of course it’s delicious. I never said it was not tasty,” said Seymour.
“Bullshit! You said it was unhealthy.”
“Well, it can taste good, and because of the excess carbohydrates, be unhealthy.”
“If it is good how in the hell can it be unhealthy?”
“What about chocolate cake? That tastes good, but it’s not healthy.”
“Who eats chocolate cake all the time? Once a week. It’s good, it’s healthy. If you eat it all the time you’ll get sick. Who eats it all the time?”
“A lot of people do.”
“Like you. You eat it all the time. You are crazy! You eat chocolate cake all time, even though it makes you sick, then you don’t eat healthy pastasciutta! I’ll tell you what’s unhealthy: You! You are unhealthy in the head!”
“That is not fair. There are many people who have problems managing their weight, so a low carb diet is….”
“Listen! You shut up! Zitto! Eat it,” yelled Luigi as he pointed at Seymour’s plate.
“I will have one more bite and then that is all.” Seymour chewed the pasta and then put down his fork.”
“You had two fucking bites. That’s all?”
“Yes, that is all for me. Now I’ll order some meat with no sauce.”
Luigi grabbed Seymour by collar and pulled him up. “You want to lose weight? I’ll show you how to lose weight!”
“What are you doing?” yelled Seymour.
Luigi grabbed Seymour’s backpack, dumped out a lap top computer, books and file folders that crashed to floor as he held Seymour’s shirt collar with the other hand. He pulled Seymour outside and loaded up the pack with a couple of 25 pound rocks that were a part of the next door Japanese restaurant’s rock garden. He swung the pack on Seymour’s back as he protested, “What are you doing? Let me go! My things!”
“This is how you lose weight. We are walking up hill. You’re not going home until dark. Be prepared to sweat.”
“Let me go! This is heavy,” whined Seymour as Luigi muttered, “Doesn’t eat pizza and pasta? Mamma mia!”
This reporter sat and ate his pasta as this vigilante action went on against the ‘low carb’ mania. It was my impression that many dinners looked on with admiration. A lasagna eating restaurant patron sitting at the next table remarked, “I used to think the Mafia was a bunch of thugs giving us hard working Italians a bad name. But they’re doing nothing but good now. All these years of fast food crap, and now this low carb shit. We Italian Americans are sick of this insult to our food!” The people in the restaurant applauded.
Many people, like reformed donut eating cops and blubber filled district attorneys, want to nail the restaurant saboteurs. But many lovers of good food like Giusepe Carellinoni, an Italian chef, are saying, “Lay off! Just who are the saboteurs? Aren’t these ‘low carb’ people vandalizing good food?”
FBI mafia expert Enid Garblowski says, “Times have changed. Indian casinos, state and internet gambling have wiped out Mafia gambling and numbers rackets. Much of the drug trade has been taken over by street gangs. The porn industry has gone legit and is even socially acceptable. Even truck hijacking, because of hi-tech anti-crime equipment, has diminished. But the Mafia is still trying to hang on to their way of life. They are going to make sure their neighborhoods have good traditional Italian food.”