Each time we travel, to whichever country we travel, we try to be courteous enough to learn a few basic words and phrases that we can use with the people we interact with during each day. Important things like:
Where is the bathroom?
I’ll have the wine.
More wine, please.
Keep the wine coming, don’t be so stingy.
Of course, my husband isn’t so good with accents, so no matter how many times we have him repeat certain phrases, they still are delivered with the Texas accent of Sandy the Squirrel from SpongeBob. And he has never even been to Texas.
The fun part of trying to speak Italian is that the Italian language is spoken with such gusto – some much inflection and enthusiasm – that it just makes you happy. It takes a boring, “prego” to an enthusiastically delivered, “prE-go!!” (be sure you roll that ‘r’ when you say it in your head).
We soon found ourselves saying “grazie” quite frequently. It’s fun! Say it now: grazie! Be sure to roll the ‘r’, and say it loud. Of course, every time you say “grazie!” you are met with an equally exuberant, “prEgo!”.
One night at dinner, after the waiter had poured his water, my husband responded, “Grazie!”… or did he? The kids giggled. I started to listen more closely. Soon the waiter brought us bread, and this time I heard it clearly. My husband responded, “Yahtzee!”, to which the waiter replied, “prEgo!”. More snickering from the peanut gallery.
The next time the waiter came back, it happened again. “Yahtzee!”…”PrEgo!” My squishy son slithered under the table in laughter.
Now we were all just waiting for the waiter to return. Every time he did, someone else gave an enthusiastic, “Yahtzee!”, to be met with, “PrEgo!”.
Later, my teen son got a refill on his Coke Zero. When the waiter brought it, my son enthusiastically thanked him with, “Nazi!”. …. and “PrEgo!” from the waiter. We were momentarily silent. Nazi?? Is that even allowed to be funny? Is it too soon?
My teen daughter spewed her water all over the table, and we all erupted in laughter.
Is there EVER a too soon?