How Do You Know What Italians Think? (Flash Fiction)

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

Flash Fiction #118

Pammy and her husband Pan have been talking about inflation regularly. They have two mortgages to pay, one for the house and one for Pan’s new car. Their son Sam is growing and the expense is increasing. A school trip to Manhattan, a new swimsuit for his ever growing body, a drone device for his weekend hobby–they all cost money.

Both Pammy and Pan agree that they have to cut down, but they disagree on what to cut. So Pammy draws a list of possible items to be cut, which includes: ESPN sports channel, HBO, dry shampoo, fruit juice, beer, fresh flower, rice cakes.

Pan complains that all the cut is on the items he likes and uses, except dry shampoo. Pammy responds that it is just an indication that he should be more vigilant in saving money.

“I feel that my items are often considered dispensable and wasteful, while your items are often labeled as necessity.” Pan complains.

They are talking in the kitchen where Pammy has placed a small table for convenience. Whenever they have a simple meal, they only use the kitchen table and there’s no need to go to the dining room.

Pan is cooking noodles by the stove. He never wants Pammy to touch his noodles, claiming that Pammy doesn’t know how to cook noodles. “You don’t boil enough water and noodles always taste better if you boil them in a big pot of water.” Those are Pan’s words and he has repeated them many time before.

“Well, wasteful indeed.” Pammy says, staring at the big pot of water Pan is boiling.

Pan smiles awkwardly and says, “you know noodles taste so much better when they swim in a big pot of boiling water. I don’t think we need to cut down on that.”

“Hmm…” Pammy says.

“Well you know Italians have such big big pot for pasta for the same reason. Pasta tastes so much better when cooked in a big pot with a lot of water.” Pan says.

“How do you know what Italians think? They may want a big pot for other reasons, like having a big party or something…” Pammy says.

“OK, let me see. I think our neighbor, the Jovianis, is an old Italian couple who’s been living here for decades. Let’s go to knock on their door and ask this question. If they agree with me, I will continue; if they don’t agree with me, I will stop doing it.” Pan says and swiftly runs to the door.

“What are you doing? Stop. You can’t do this. People don’t knock on other people’s doors here. You can’t do that. Also your water is boiling. Pan, where are you? Pan, come back…” Pammy says but she’s not quick enough to catch up with Pan, who’s already stepped out and disappeared.

17 thoughts on “How Do You Know What Italians Think? (Flash Fiction)

  1. The Adventures of Pan & Pammy at times reads like a soap opera (I don’t mean that in a bad way) but I’d love to have read the reaction of the neighbor, unless you to revisit in a future post ?


    1. Haha, thank you for pointing that out. You know for our regular meals, we eat a lot of rice and never think about the amount of it. I think it’s when I was working in a restaurant as a waitress for two months–I really disliked the job and was glad it didn’t last very long. When I was scooping up rice to put in a rice bowl for a family of diners, my boss came over to tell me that “Americans don’t eat so much rice.” It is true according to my later observation.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Rice is one of those staples that one must grow up on. I would say the same with bread, noodles, or pasta. I know of people who don’t care for noodles but love rice. There are those who love rice but don’t like pasta. When I was in China I tried some steamed bread (aka mantou) and I still can’t stand it. That’s the only Chinese food item I don’t like.


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