"If you're wife can't cook, don't divorce her. Come to Mario's instead, and then you'll both be happy."
You can tell from his face that he's pretty happy with the way he's said it. Stretched mouth and nasal tone; a comically overplayed Italian-American drawl with accents of Scorsese and Cornish Pirate. He does it in one big shrug, palms raised to the sky, irony levels tuned to the max; then does it once more to make sure he's done the restaurant sign justice. It's an escalation of the "hey, I'm walkin' here" game we've been playing all afternoon, and I'm pretty jealous at how good he's gotten at it.
Except this time we didn't see Mario stepping out of the restaurant. Didn't realise we were mocking his accent, his sign, his goddamn heritage, while he was standing right behind us.
"Louie, come ower heeere for a secund."
At the sound of his voice we freeze, too scared to turn around. Running our eyes over the reasonably priced veal dishes, we stand stock still in front of the window. Maybe if we don't speak again he won't realise we were taking the piss. Maybe he'll think that's how we speak. Or maybe we'll look so much like potential customers that he'll let us go without a fight, figuring that he'll get to spit into our veal escalopes at a later date.
Mario and Louie are deep in discussion - something mob related? - so we scuttle away, vowing to be more careful next time.
When we got home there was a horse's head on the pillow. We were not as upset as you'd think. The meat at the co-op isn't up to much.