Rick's Space

Goodbye Columbus

This year, the Southampton School Board voted to do away with Columbus Day and replace it with Indigenous Peoples Day on the school district calendar. Chris Columbus Jr. was given the difficult task of telling his father the bad news.

Christopher Columbus: So whatsa matter?

Christopher Columbus Jr.: They want to take your day away, Pop.

CC: Porca miseria! What? What? They no lika my calzone? What? Ahh . . . my gnocchi was, how you say, mealy, yes? Che cavolo!

Son: Yes, Papa.

CC: What, my lasagna was watery? I’ma kill Bruno Tagilosacchi for that soggy mozzarella!

Son: No, Pop. They say we are Barbarians.

CC: Barbarians? Not Barbarians! Sicilians!

Son: They say we treated the natives on the island badly.

CC: Sicily?

Son: No, Pop.

CC: Shelter Island?

Son: The Caribbean Islands.

CC: Che palle! Deve trattarsi Di un errore! I was ina the Navy! I got a tattoo! It saysa Momma Mia!

Son: When you were on the Santa Maria?

CC: Eh? Sono andato Nina! Ho viaggiato La Pinta!

Son: Don’t blame the sailors on the other boats. You were in charge, Pop.

CC: Vespucci isa the bad a guy. He make everybody eat de calamari!

Son: They said you gave them squid.

CC: Preferirei mangiare tredici calamari, piuttosto!

Son: Everyone’s tongue turned black. No one wanted to kiss them.

CC: So, this is my fault? What’s next?

Son: They are probably going to take your statue away.

CC: I never lika thata thing. It no make big the how you say . . .

Son: I know, Pop. It wasn’t anatomically correct.

CC: Si! No bigga lika me!

Son: Pop, they are also gonna take your holiday away.

CC: What? I only gotsa one a lousy day off from making the linguine, from cooking the marinara, from drying the prosciutto . . . plus itsa my birthday!

Son: It’s not really your birthday.

CC: Mio compleanno è domain! l mio compleanno è domani. La parte più importante di una festa di compleanno è la torta! Porca miseria!

Son: We’ll still get you a cake, Pop.

CC: Mancano solo le candeline di compleanno?

Son: Yes, you can blow out the candles.

CC: Come mamma m’ha fatt?

Son: No, you CANNOT wear your birthday suit.

CC: Whata else bad you gonna tell me?

Son: Well you’ve been removed from the Southampton School District calendar.

CC: So bene che ci sono sempre stati degli atei, ma sono dei pazzi! Did you brother Fredo have anything to do with this. You know . . .

Son: Yes, he’s weak. At least Sonny didn’t find out or there woulda been baboom! Baboom!

CC: Yeah baboom! One a more thing. Is a Mario eh . . . ?

Son: Don’t worry. I’m sure Mario Lanza is still on the calendar.

CC: And Julius La Rosa?

Son: Now you’re pushing it, Pop.

CC: I want nothing to happen to the school board . . . While your mother is alive.

Son: Have some more wine Pop, it’s good for you.

Rick Murphy is a six-time winner of the New York Press Association Best Column award as well as the winner of first place awards from the National Newspaper Association and the Suburban Newspaper Association of America and a two-time Pulitzer Prize nominee.