It Ain’t Over ‘Till the Fat Lady Sings

25 08 2014

It ain’t over ‘till the fat lady sings. This saying stems from an 18th century Italian tradition. In the days before newspapers, radio, and electricity, communities would appoint a town crier to disseminate information of importance to the local citizenry. When Massimo Mastriano, the famed town crier of Fettuccini, was killed when run over by a manure wagon, the town governing body appointed their first female town crier. A female town crier was unheard of up until that time, but a local mid-wife, Francesca Ore Boccasta, was known throughout the community for her beautiful, yet powerful, voice. Francesca was, to put it politely, quite rotund; or, as they say in Fettuccini, grassa.

 

Marco Carboni, the coach of the Fettuccini Friars soccer team, had grown frustrated because at every home game, win or lose, fans would begin drifting out of the stadium about halfway through the game. By game’s end, there might be a handful of Friar fans in the stands. “Eet ees embarrassing and humeeleeating!”shouted Coach Carboni at a meeting of concerned soccer fans. Something needed to be done. That’s when the mayor’s wife, Annemarie Ragazzi, suggested they have Francesca sing the Italian national anthem at executions, festivals and other public gatherings, including soccer matches. She insisted the anthem be sung at the end of each event. That way, knowing they would have a chance to hear Francesca sing, maybe the fans would be willing to stick around until the end of the hanging, or the game, as the case may be.

 

Luca and Liona Vermicelli and their 5-year-old son, Antonio, went to the citywide soccer championship game shortly after Francesca had agreed to sing at public events. Little Antonio could never remember Francesca’s name, but he loved to hear her sing, so he was very happy and anticipating the chance to hear Francesca’s beautiful voice following the game.

 

The game was never in doubt. The Friars were getting the beating of their lives. The cross-town rival Diavoli Blu (Blue Devils) had a 12 goal lead and complete control of the game. It was clear that all was lost. That’s when Luca, a diehard Friars fan, in a fit of rage, took Liona by the hand to leave. Little Antonio wanted to see the game to the end, but Luca told him it was over. That’s when Antonio uttered… no, shouted, those immortal words, “Aint sopra fino a quando la signora grassa!”

 

And now, as Paul Harvey would say, you know the rest of the story…well, almost.

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