Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Coincidence of Tortelli

Tortelli finally got his fingers on an unemployment cheque with his name on it. He wandered into a neighbourhood grocery store looking for some budget rigatoni when he ran into a trouble making acquaintance by the name of Zigman Zibanski. Zigman is the kind of character who's a couple of quarts short of a full can of gas, the kind of explosive personality type who easily ignites into a fiery madness. Or so it seemed.

Tortelli turned into aisle six and saw the odd immigrant toss jars of tomato sauce on the floors and ceilings. First he went through the cheap Ragu stuff, pitching them with caution, making sure they missed fleeing customers. By the time he got to the thicker organic brands it was only Tortelli staring at him. First Zigman looked around and then hit the aisle sign dead-on with a jar. It exploded like a red grenade, some of which fell on his acquaintance's head and shoulders. He then gave a wink like everything was under control.

At that point crazy Zigman starts breaking open waxed cardboard tins of Kraft Parmesan cheese and shakes them all around. He does this until the manager and a pack boy built like a high school fullback meet up with him. On the first rush the kid slips on a puddle of sauce and crashes into the pasta section, bags and boxes of spaghetti, macaroni, and rigatoni fall and break open.

The young dynamo tackles him on the next try and drags him away, and puts him into the arms of the police, who take him to the station and charge him with disturbing the peace and assault with a deadly jar of tomato sauce.

Tortelli didn't get his bag of rigatoni that day, but he was soon to find out that the authorities thought Zigman was in a troubled state of mind that bordered on insanity, and no knowing judge would find him guilty. So the charges were dropped and he was placed into some retraining program where he got himself steady employment with benefits and job security.

This got Tortelli wondering. He knew Zigman Zibanski well enough. He saw his smile that day and believed that he was smarter and saner than he let on. Tortelli wished he had the guts and ingenuity of Zigman, but he didn't. So Tortelli keeps waiting for those cheques to come in until something better comes his way.

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