Thursday, November 23, 2006

Jack Marx, Ian Thorpe & the proud donkeys of Italy

Yesterday in Jack Marx's SMH blog he said that Ian Thorpe should be stripped of his Australian citizenship for quitting swimming.

While I had no problem with that, in fact any punishment on Australian sporting ‘heroes’ be more than overdue as far as I’m concerned, it was something later in the article which earned my ire, hence the response to Mr Marx below.

Dear Sir,
with reference to your comment that Thorpe is like –

“…a cowardly donkey… A Spanish or, perhaps, Italian donkey.”

While it is true that the donkeys of Madrid, Barcelona and other regions of Spain are spineless cowards who run at the first sign of a pub brawl (well, not exactly spineless, as they wouldn’t be able to carry anything on their back, or walk for that matter if they literally did not possess spines, but you get my drift) as an Irish/Italian/Australian journalist, playwright, poet and amateur historian I take great offence on the behalf of the donkeys, mules and jack-asses of Italy.

Your assertion, Sir, is an untruth. Surely you know of Garibaldi’s brave donkey “Spinicco,” who could defeat several men with one hoof tied behind his back and played a pivotal role in the unification of Italy. As for Mussolini’s bold (and bald) mule “Gucciano,” he was so loved amongst the people for his generosity, bravery and intelligence that when Il Duce and his mistress where hung like cheap salamis in the town square “Gucciano” was spared, and in fact offered a role in the post war government, alongside Lucky Luciano’s recently repatriated ass “Cunni” who had almost single-handedly chased the Germans from Sicily.

While it is an untruth that Julius Caesar appointed his horse a senator, it is true that he did appoint his donkey Praetor. Tiberius, likewise, rewarded “Assino,” a bold donkey that played a pivotal role in the defeat of the Gauls, several consulships. Gaius Caligula, likewise, was the proud owner of “Scatoulo,” the son of Mark Antony’s donkey and Cleopatra’s fine ass. This animals prowess and bravery in the battlefield and the bedroom were the envy of the Empire, and his debauched tales of bibulous bravery stunned even Caligula.

I will not even touch upon Sofia Loren’s “Stuccio,” Federico Fellini’s “Maestro” or Roberto Begnini’s “Ricco” as they are, I’m sure you’re aware, at present in the same court room in Florence awaiting trial. However, if I were even able to list the crimes these animals are accused of, most of which were committed undoubtedly in self defence, you would never dare call an Italian donkey cowardly.

Sir, on behalf of all right thinking people I assure you, therefore, you are incorrect, and will no doubt be penning your apology now.

Thank you.

Benito Di Fonzo

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