After moving to a bigger apartment, I had decided to make my dad’s wish come true and finally invite him to come to New York. My siblings and I bought them the round trip tickets as a Christmas present but we decided to have them come to the States during spring since the temperature would have been milder. My parents arrived in New York on a March afternoon along with my uncle and my aunt. Since I could not take time off from work I had asked my sister to come along so they could enjoy the city without getting lost who knows where! We wanted to surprise them. My father didn’t leave the house for three weeks before the departure since he was afraid to catch a cold that would have prevented him from flying (my father was a cautious man!!) I reached JKF half hour before their landing. The limousine driver I had hired met me there and I explained to him that my family didn’t know we had rented the car and I was already enjoying the moment I would see their faces when traveling with such luxury. We waited until everybody came out but I could not see my parents, not even a trace of them. “Are you sure they are on this flight?’.“I’m positive and I think I know what has happened”.“What are you thinking?”.“Somebody found the sausage!!”
The first one to come out was my sister, her eyes looked angry and she was fuming: “I’m never going to travel with THOSE PEOPLE ever again!!” Soon after my parents appeared, giggling like crazy. “What happened? Did they really find the sausage?”
Everything started at the airport in Rome. I had sent the tickets for my parents, including the one for my sister, to Sardinia. Then, they would have met in Rome, since Paola was living in Florence at that time. Once they left the domestic flights area in Fiumicino, they moved to the international flights terminal, thinking they would have waited for my sister there. She obviously could not make it through security without her ticket but luckily she had a friend that used to work at the airport and he was sent to the rescue of the ticket. “How am I supposed to recognize them?” “Don’t you worry! When you will see FOUR LITTLE OLD PEOPLE looking stupid, you can’t go wrong! It’s them for sure!” The mission was successfully accomplished even if my father never got an answer to his question “How did you know it was us?” and my sister was finally able to board the plane at the last minute. Once they arrived in New York, they had to go through the immigration and then pick up their luggage. When they had asked me what I wanted them to bring me from Sardinia, I asked for some homemade sausage.
“Be very careful: cut it in small pieces, wrap it up and hide it between your clothes, inside a container that won’t show the shape and hide the smell”. The sausage was clearly visible on the security monitor. It was there, shaped like a horseshoe, almost screaming “I’M RIGHT HERE!!!” “Do you have some sausage?” the agent asked them in English. My sister had to translate everything for them and the four of the apocalypse pretended to be absolutely clueless. “Who? Us? Sausage? NOOOOOOO!!”. The story went on for few minutes. The agent insisted he knew exactly what was inside the suitcases, my parents kept denying the evidence, at least until they heard the word “FINE” as in “PENALTY”! “Oh well! We will pay the fine then. How much is it?” My father asked confiding in my sister’s translation. “You don’t get it, do you? It’s not like you pay the fine and you can take the sausage. They are going to take it away from you no matter what!” My sister replied. “What about if we give me some Sardinian cookies?” “You are going to end up in jail for bribery with Pirichittus and Pardulas!!” Are you crazy?” The custom agents that night filled up their stomachs. The fine was never issued, thanks to the fact that my father had “a pretty daughter” (yes, and a nice piece of sausage for dinner that my uncle had made for me!).
We reached the parking lot where we kept the stretch limo and where the driver had been waiting for over an hour now (luckily he never charged me for the extra time as he felt bad for me). My sister and I were giggling waiting for their reaction once they saw what kind of car we had got for them, but once they got the vehicle, they put their suitcase in the trunk, my father sat in the car like that was the only one he had traveled on all his life and so did everybody else. Paola and I looked at each other puzzled by the situation, while my father was screaming from the inside of the limo “Are we leaving yet?”