Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Peppi Marchello Sits Shiva

Peppi Marchello looking sheepish. At sheep.
“I need a Jew,” Peppi said to me. “I had a weird dream.”

“So now I’m Joseph?” I asked.

“Listen,” said Pep. “I dreamed I was engaged to an infant and—”

“An infant?” I repeated. My lower back’s been hurting, there’s a touch of arthritis in my knees, occasional indigestion, flatulence after Chinese food. What do I know? Maybe the hearing’s going, too.

“Yes,” said Peppi. “An infant.

“Continue,” said Meth looking around for witnesses.

“So I’m talking to her, to the infant, my fiancĂ©, and she says to me, ‘My parents want us to live here.' You know, here in her parents’ house. So I said okay, sure, that's fine with me. And then her mother walks into the room and I’m looking at her and I see she’s a famous actress. But I can’t recall anything she was in.”

“Probably nothing worth seeing,” I deduced.

Peppi coughed lightly, one of his two gestures. “She looks at me, the mother, and she says, ‘My husband and I insist—we want you both to live here with us. Right away.’ Right away? But we’re not married yet, I tell her.”

“Geez, you’re old fashioned,” I said.

“In my dreams I’m old fashioned. In real life I’m a prude.” Peppi wiped his nose, his other gesture. “So where was I?”

“About to commit a felony with an infant,” I said. Gilgamesh dreamed of axes falling from the sky. Peppi Marchello dreams of carnal knowledge with a weanling. So this is what it’s like to be a rock star. Or maybe just a rock star from Long Island. I mean, even Caligula had boundaries. I’m wondering what laws I’m breaking just by listening to this.

“Anyway, all of the sudden she’s not an infant anymore,” says the maestro. “She’s a beautiful young woman. You know how dreams are.”

“Ain’t it just like the night to play tricks when you’re trying to be so quiet,” I wax.

“So I turn to Gene, my son,” says Peppi, as if I didn’t know who Gene was, “and I say to him, ‘Hey Gene—am I nuts or is this a beautiful woman?’ And he says, ‘You’re not nuts, Pop.’”

“Charles Manson walks into a room and says, ‘Is hot in here or am I crazy?’”

“Do you want to hear this or not?” Peppi asks, interrupting my interruption.

“Continue,” I said.

“So the next thing I know her old man walks in and he says, ‘Look—I want to show you something. And he leads me down a flight of stairs to this new bathroom with six toilets lined up next to each other. No stalls or dividers—just six toilets. I look at him and said, ‘What is this?’ and he says, ‘We’re expecting a lot of people.’ And I said, ‘Wait a minute—I can’t live like this.’ And he said, ‘We’re Jewish. This is our tradition.’ And I said, ‘Hold on buddy—you’re not the only Jewish guy I know. I’ve never seen this before.' But he insisted. So I was in the middle of this dilemma. That’s when I woke up.”

“And for this you need a Jew,” I lamented.

“I can’t figure out what it means,” said Peppi. “I mean first the infant, and then the six toilets.”

“Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar,” I suggested.

“Who said that?”

“Didn’t you just hear me say it?”

“Okay, so why six toilets?”

“Perhaps you should prepare for six years of irritable bowel syndrome,” I suggested. “Did the toilets eat six skinnier toilets?”

“I’m really bothered by the toilets,” said Peppi.

“But you’re okay with the infant?”

“Maybe it has something to do with sitting shiva?”

Shiva means seven,” I explained. “You’re missing a toilet.”

“That’s weird,” said Peppi.

“Go back to sleep,” I suggested. “Maybe you miscounted.”


The newest Good Rats / Peppi Marchello song "Boom Boom" is available now through iTunes.