Wednesday, April 25, 2007


When I saw this picture I immediately thought of my friend Nick Marino. I could only begin to imagine what his comments would be.
I first met him in 1961 when we were kids. Every Saturday I would go to his house at noon and we would watch the Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour. This ritual lasted until the late 1960's. We knew all the cartoons by heart and could sing all the songs and knew the dialogue. On occasion we were known to dance and sing a song or two, when this happened usually there was alcohol involved.
The reason I thought of him was because of the way he used to torture his sisters. His oldest sister was a big girl with a very large nose. She would come in to the family room to watch TV with us and he would start in on her.
"Glenn, you think if we got ropes and a grappling hook we could climb that thing?" She'd give him a dirty look.
" You know if we got those helmets with the lights and breathing apparatus we could each go up a nostril." She'd start sucking her teeth.
His middle sister, who considered herself attractive, would walk through and he'd say something like," Those jeans make your butt look real big." This one usually threw something.
The family room was off the kitchen and it seemed like Mrs. Marino was always in it cooking. I could see her over his shoulder and I'd watch her start to chuckle after Nick's comments.
I always felt sorry for his little sister since she took everything personal. She'd sit down on the floor in front of the TV indian fashion and Nick would start on her. "God girl, your ears are so big you look like a taxi cab with the doors open." She'd start to fidget. "Where'd she go? Where'd she go? Oh never mind, she turned sideways and I couldn't see her."
This would go on until one or all of them went after him.
One Saturday Nick's father came in the door when the three of them were attacking Nick. Mr. Marino was an imposing figure. He was an ex-Brooklyn cop and just exuded a forceful, no nonsense demeanor. They all froze in place.He looked over at his wife, who was smiling, and said,"Where's the big wooden spoon?" The Marino kids laughed but my bladder almost emptied when she handed it to him and he said," Alright Nichols, you first."
I loved those afternoons!

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