Overheard in a deli in Lucca, Italy

MORTADELLA: Sal, look at me, I’m busting out of

the cellophane. I’m fat and ugly. I hate myself.

SALICCIA: I know Mort. We don’t know why you

have to be such a hog. We’re still aging here but

you don’t help, blocking our view for one; and two,

our having to look at those disgusting flecks of

lardo isn’t easy on the eyes, you know. To tell the

truth Mort, I get you confused with head cheese

sometimes, not so much the breadth or width of

you but . . . you know what I mean. Does that


OLIVA: Trying to stay in my own brine here but

what does Mortadella even mean? Dead of her?

The mother killed him, cut him up and stuffed him

into sausage casing? Slice, anyone? No thanks!

PECORINO: Our smelly cheese wedges over here

aren’t much to look at either: one is paler and

runnier than the next. What do you say Focaccia,

you perfectly-toasted-brushed-with-salt-and-olive

oil-prince of breads?

FOCACCIA: Grazie, Pec. Pile in my friends, I’m

your cover.