Wife works with a woman of Italian heritage with a rather infamous last name and has the misfortune of sharing certain facial features with the infamous person so Wife is pretty sure the shared name is no coincidence. Anyway, her friend is a complete mooncalf about such things and God bless her for it; her parents have apparently sheltered her from the family business and Dad is probably not in it himself. I’ve known families like that, where Mom makes sure Dad keeps his nose clean and his no-good family isn’t allowed in the house. But this woman is naive to a fault, happy that her aunt and uncle are doing real in retirement though her aunt never worked and her uncle, whom we shall call Vito because it’s such a cliche, had only been a truck driver. Wife smiles and nods and doesn’t roll her eyes until she leaves the room.
Anyway, a while back Uncle Vito and Aunt Maria were driving along, minding their own business, when some young punk takes offence at Vito’s driving and gives him the finger. At the next light Uncle Vito climbs out of his car and goes up to the punk and asks him to do it again, which he does. Aunt Maria could hear the snap of the broken phalange from her seat in the car; it appears Vito has had some practice.
The punk’s mad so when a cop comes along he wants the cop to arrest Uncle Vito. Well, this is all happening in Melrose Park so though the cop is young, too, he’s not stupid and when he hears Uncle Vito’s name he tells the punk he’s lucky to not get arrested for hassling a nice old man.
This is a demonstration of the collapse of the American family. If the punk had a grandfather in his life to say, “Pull my finger,” he’d know better than to fall for any suggestion some old guy makes. If he had a father or a grandfather to teach him how things work he’d know better than to give anybody the finger, especially in Melrose Park, Stone Park, Cicero, or any of the other Chicago suburbs where most folks are smarter than that. And he’d know that there are old men who are tougher than them.