March 20, 2023
Kidnapping mobsters, a phone call from beyond the grave, and holy water in a vodka bottle. A Jersey Italian grandmother always has stories. She and Geth bond over Jersey Italian accents, Sunday dinners, and potatoes in a cup. She also describes her unique relationship with her ex-husband and shares her love of the Tour de France.
363 — Jersey Italian Grandma
Chris [00:00:06] Hello to everybody who knows to go down the block for your cup of potatoes. It’s Beautiful Anonymous. One hour. One phone call. No names. No holds barred. Hey, everybody. Chris Gethard here and welcome to another episode of Beautiful Anonymous. Quick reminder for plugs for you guys. If you’re in the New York area March 31st, April 1st, April 2nd, I’m recording a new special in New York City at the Minetta Lane Theater. Go to ChrisGeth.com for the links for those tickets. And I would love to pack that place out. And of course, Beautiful Cononymous, our first ever fan convention, it’s finally happening. We have so many past callers coming where you can do meet and greets with past callers who you’ve always wondered about. I was just doing a show in Detroit and I linked up with one of the Motor City Mayhem Boys. They’re bringing a whole crew of bros. It’s going to be awesome. And of course, on Sunday, if you can only make one show, if you’re like there’s there’s so many live tapings, comedy shows, live music. What’s the one I should make? The caller from Love is Everywhere and her family will be in attendance at the waffle breakfast on Sunday. Proceeds from that will be dedicated to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Oregon, who helped Holly. So BeautifulCononymous.com, you can buy a festival pass right there on the front page if you want to come to all the shows. You click the schedule button and you can cherry pick which shows you might want to come to. So it’s going to be a great time. Now, this week’s episode, we talk about the mob and Catholicism and we talk about the Tour de France. There’s a lot, there’s a lot. But most of all, what you’re going to hear in a way that’s I hope you can feel the comfort and the joy translate for me is very early on, I realized just based on this person’s accent, I can tell you grew up a few miles away from me. I can hear it in her voice. You link up with someone who sounds like your childhood, who could make references that make you feel at home and you feel a little more at home and you feel a little safer. And you’re going to hear me let my guard down and go, this is what it’s like behind closed doors when I’m around people I feel familiar and comfortable with. And I hope the caller felt that as well, because she is not just a Jersey Italian grandma. She’s all of our Jersey Italian grandma. And I felt that warmth and comfort with her and I thank her for calling. Enjoy it.
Voicemail Robot [00:02:48] Thank you for calling Beautiful Anonymous. A beeping noise will indicate when you are on the show with the host.
Caller [00:02:55] Hello?
Chris [00:02:57] Hi.
Caller [00:02:58] I’m not going to do what everyone else does and say, Is this Chris?
Chris [00:03:03] All right. Okay. You stepped outside of it.
Caller [00:03:06] So I’m assuming this is Chris. So I can make a safe assumption.
Chris [00:03:09] Yeah. Yeah, it is. It is. How are you?
Caller [00:03:13] How are you? How are you doing today?
Chris [00:03:15] I’m good. Thanks for calling in early in the morning. This is earlier than we usually put it out there, so I’m still waking up a little bit, but feeling good.
Caller [00:03:23] Oh, maybe that’s why I got through. I think this is probably the… Maybe fifth time, third or fourth time, I would say, that I’ve been on hold, and I finally got through. I’m very happy about this.
Chris [00:03:37] Okay. I’m glad you got through. Yeah, I. My life is basically um I spent the last two nights sleeping on my son’s floor because he has a cough. And my wife caught the cough, and I was traveling doing shows when it was contagious, when he brought it home from school. So I somehow didn’t get it. But my whole job the past two nights as I sleep on the floor next to his bed, and if he wakes up, I try to wake up quick enough to deal with it that she doesn’t wake up. And that’s parenthood right there.
Caller [00:04:09] That’s great.
Chris [00:04:10] That’s parenthood right there.
Caller [00:04:11] Right there. Been there. Been there, done that. I’ve raised my share of kids. And now I’m on the next round of, as my husband calls it, the the replacement people, meaning my grandchildren.
Chris [00:04:24] Oh, wow.
Caller [00:04:25] But yeah, I’ve, I slept on the floor quite a few nights myself.
Chris [00:04:30] How many grandchildren do you have?
Caller [00:04:32] We have seven. We have seven grandchildren. And the youngest is, the youngest is just turned six months.
Chris [00:04:41] Wow. Congrats.
Caller [00:04:43] Thanks. I’m rather excited because it’s it’s quite difficult getting the crew together. But we’ve been traveling a lot. So this Sunday we have the whole clan coming home and getting together. So, uh, I have some time right now before I jump into all my cooking to feed the army.
Chris [00:05:09] So you have seven grandkids. How many kids do you have?
Caller [00:05:13] Four.
Chris [00:05:14] Four kids. Seven grandkids.
Caller [00:05:15] We have four kids. Yeah. Yeah. And we. I have four. I have four and a plus one. Let’s put it that way. I have a very interesting blended family.
Chris [00:05:27] Okay.
Caller [00:05:27] So before I was 22, I became a stepmom. So that was interesting. And I pretty much was in her life from the very beginning. Still am, as a matter of fact. And her mom and I are good friends. Very good friends, which works out perfectly. Funny story. The first time that we had her for a weekend, I stayed in the car because I was so nervous. I didn’t want to go see the mom. I was just like, I was a kid, I was like 20, 22 years old. And she comes marching out and I’m like, Oh God, what do I do? You know, she’s like, stomping her feet, coming over. She taps on the window and she goes, If you’re going to have my daughter for the weekend, I’d appreciate it if you would come in, because I don’t believe a word he says. And I’m like, Okay, so she’s talking about her ex-husband, obviously. So yeah. So we became really good friends throughout, you know, never had any issues at all, which was great. I ended up divorcing him because he was like, not quite for me. I won’t talk. I won’t trash talk him. Let’s put it that way. And his current wife, I didn’t quite care for her too much for quite a few years. But now we’re all on the same page. And it’s it’s rather, after 30 years, took a while to get there, but at my daughter’s wedding, the three of us, the three wives, we call ourselves the sister wives, we posed for a picture and I said, Wait, you got to go get your husband, meaning my ex, so he could stand right in the middle. And she goes, Oh, hell no. She goes, That will not be happening. And he- that particular wedding, he didn’t talk to me the whole night, so.
Chris [00:07:23] So I want to make sure I’m clear. So you helped raise your stepdaughter. You’re friends with her mom. You’ve since also divorced the same guy. Is he the guy you had your four kids with?
Caller [00:07:41] No, I had one with him.
Chris [00:07:43] Okay.
Caller [00:07:43] Okay. And then my current husband has two from his previous marriage. Now, that’s a little rocky. That’s a that’s a that’s a another interesting story.
Chris [00:08:01] Okay, hold on. This is all math. I’m just I’m just- you weren’t lying when you said you have an interesting blended family. So your current husband has two prior. Did you count those amongst your four?
Caller [00:08:12] Yes.
Chris [00:08:13] Okay, so you have two. I’m writing it all down.
Caller [00:08:16] I have two from, right. I have two from his, my current husband’s previous marriage.
Chris [00:08:23] Mhm.
Caller [00:08:23] I have one birth child from my previous marriage. And my husband and I have one together.
Chris [00:08:34] Okay.
Caller [00:08:35] And so that’s four kids. And then my plus one, which I’ll always consider her my child, is my stepdaughter that I had at the very start of all this.
Chris [00:08:48] Wow.
Caller [00:08:50] So, yeah. So keeping track of birthdays is difficult. And yeah, we need a spreadsheet, but they’re all great.
Chris [00:09:03] Yeah, really, this is this is a lot to map in my head. And I just want to be clear one last time. So it sounds like, did you give- you gave birth to two kids. Raised…
Caller [00:09:12] Oh, you’re right on it. Right on it.
Chris [00:09:15] You gave birth to two. Raised four, and a fifth from pretty much the start?
Caller [00:09:24] Correct.
Chris [00:09:25] Wow.
Caller [00:09:27] Absolutely. Yeah.
Chris [00:09:28] Family gatherings are not simple in your house.
Caller [00:09:31] My kids, when they’re like, Oh, you know, those early days in school when they’re like, Oh, so tell me about your family. How many brothers and sisters do you have? My one daughter is like, Wait, let me take my shoes off. I got to count my hands and toes and figure all this out, like, who’s a half, who’s a step? Because her father, my first husband, had three more kids. So when my daughter says, like, I can’t even keep track of how many siblings I have, it’s real. She’s got a lot.
Chris [00:10:05] It’s like a shell game. It’s like trying to figure out, right, that old game where they put the ball into the cup so you got to do it and see which one is which. And then just keeping track of this is harder than that. Anyway, we’ve paused. We’ve got ads. We’ll be right back with more phone call. It’s all about the phone calls, baby. So let’s get back into it. Here we go.
Caller [00:10:31] So when my daughter says, like, I can’t even keep track of how many siblings I have, it’s real. She’s got a lot.
Chris [00:10:39] So that’s your stepdaughter?
Caller [00:10:41] No. That’s my birth daughter.
Chris [00:10:42] That’s your birth daughter. Okay, so she’s got a bunch of half siblings.
Caller [00:10:47] Yeah, well, technically, it’s my step daughter is my first stepdaughter as well, because it’s their father.
Chris [00:10:53] Oh, Jeez. Oh, wow. This is…
Caller [00:10:55] Hmm. Yeah, it does. It does get it get it gets very interesting around holiday time. So what we do is we don’t celebrate- most of the time we don’t celebrate holidays on the actual holiday because my kids, now that they’re all adults and have in-laws and multiple families and, you know, we always have the holiday the week before or two weeks before. So we could celebrate Christmas on December 9th or, you know, yeah, early November is always- that’s my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving. But um, yeah, so we always do things a little differently. We do things early. Uh. And it’s really as a matter of fact, I’m getting ready for Sunday. Sunday is going to be a big day here. We’re all we haven’t seen each other in quite some time.
Chris [00:11:48] What is this Sunday? What holiday am I blanking? St Patrick’s Day? Is that Sunday?
Caller [00:11:53] Well, actually, since we, again, since the family’s so large, what we do is we try to have like monthly dinners where we just it’s solid on the calendar. But it’s just not happening that way. And plus, my husband and I are now traveling a lot and we’ve been away for a month and the kids have just been so busy. We can’t figure out the last time that the whole group was together. Usually someone’s sick or one of the kids are sick or whatever. And yeah, so Sunday is going to be real fun. I’m cooking up a storm and getting ready for for the fun chaos, crazy chaos. But it’s fun. I wouldn’t change it. So, yeah, it’s going to be a good day.
Chris [00:12:41] It’s pretty. It’s pretty head spinning, but it must be fun to have all those grandkids in one place.
Caller [00:12:48] It is because they’re very close in age, with the oldest being ten and the youngest six months. They just really get along together. They really do. And it is fun to watch, though. It’s like I have a grandson who will sit, he’s four- or three. Going to be four. And he’ll sit and do a puzzle, like a 70 piece puzzle with with ease. And I love that cause I love puzzles. My other granddaughter, she’s just like, give her a hammer. Give her give her- her dad’s in construction. So she’s like, really into building, breaking, running, fixing. So she’s she’s a little crazy, but it’s fun to watch the two of them interact because he’s like a little bit, you know, laid back, get a book, hang out. She’s like, oh, I can’t do this. So, yeah, so it’s a it’s a it’s a really fun time. I’m looking forward to it.
Chris [00:13:50] I want to tell you something very complimentary. I don’t know if you’re from New Jersey, but you have an accent that reminds me of a lot of my friends’ mom’s growing up.
Caller [00:14:02] I get that a lot. I get that a lot.
Chris [00:14:06] It’s a very it’s a very comforting thing to me.
Caller [00:14:08] I’d say, are you pork roll or tayloror a girl or Taylor ham? Let’s see. I can’t remember.
Chris [00:14:14] I’m a Taylor Ham guy. I’m from Essex County. So that’s solid. That’s solid Taylor ham territory.
Caller [00:14:22] My, my- I remember my mother and my grandmother always called the Taylor ham that once, well, obviously, once we moved a little bit further south, everything’s PEC sandwich. Pork roll egg and cheese.
Chris [00:14:35] They call them PECs down there. Now, so I was right. You have- you have Jersey roots.
Caller [00:14:41] Yes, I do.
Chris [00:14:42] Now, I’m going to make another guess because…
Caller [00:14:45] Okay.
Chris [00:14:46] There’s, right, like growing up in Jersey, there’s all these different groups that mix together and it’s the most densely populated state. And there’s a thing that I’ve often joked about which is like, I’m Irish Catholic. And you grow up in Jersey, you know, a bunch of Irish Catholics. Everybody’s a little bit Irish Catholic.
Caller [00:15:04] Oh, absolutely.
Chris [00:15:04] You grew up where I grew up. It’s like there’s you meet a lot of Jewish kids growing up. You start to you know, it’s it’s funny from anti-Semitism is starting to rage again. And I go, oh, right. Not everybody grew up going to school with Jewish kids. So it’s like, so I have to remind myself there’s there’s people out there who are very, very ignorant and have have not met Jewish people. And it wasn’t part of the growing up. Jersey, certainly do. Now I’m hearing your accent and I’m going, you remind me not just of moms like my friend’s moms growing up, but specifically Italian moms. You have a Jersey Italian thing. Am I right?
Caller [00:15:42] You’re right. You’re absolutely correct.
Chris [00:15:44] I knew it. I knew it!
Caller [00:15:47] But I do have I do have some Irish in me and a little bit of everything, but mostly Italian. I have a little Irish, little German. And where I grew up, everybody, I went to 13 years of Catholic school, so I, I wasn’t quite understanding the, you know, why aren’t they putting up a Christmas tree kind of thing when I was little. But, but yeah, where we grew up, there was just it was really a melting pot. I loved it. I loved growing up on my block. I still go back there, you know? And there’s one family that still lives on our street. I can’t believe it. But they still live there. And I go back and visit them and do some charity work in my old town. So I stay connected.
Chris [00:16:35] That’s nice. I go and drive down my old block sometimes, and I think- I actually had- it’s the type of thing you will hear and understand but everybody else will be like, Wait, what are you talking about? So my dad’s brother married the girl across the street. That’s my aunt Karen. Her dad still lived on the block until he passed away a couple of years ago. And I would go drive down the block and I- even if I didn’t stop and say hi, I would go like, Oh, there’s still one person from when I grew up on this block. Because I grew up where my aunt lived two houses away in one direction, my grandfather right across the street in the other, my other grandparents two or three blocks away, my aunt on my mom’s side, a couple of blocks away. So it was I think I think we probably grew up similar as far as our- how Jersey worked for us.
Caller [00:17:18] Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I, I mean, we would walk to church and then after Easter church, after Easter services, we would walk to my aunt’s house. And that was the street that my mother grew up on. And then we would come home and my grandparents would walk to my house. And yep, we did. Everybody lived- that was my- it’s funny, my grandfather’s dream was there was this apartment building that was on his block, and he said, One day I’m going to buy that apartment building so I could have all my kids live under one roof.
Chris [00:17:49] Just what all the kids want, right?
Caller [00:17:50] Well, yeah, exactly. And then I thought about that. Now I’m like, when we go on vacation with our whole family, which we just did a major trip, I’m like, okay, everybody’s getting their own space, their own room, their own, you know, we were at a resort, so it was easy. When we go like down to the Outer Banks or something like that, you know, we’re all really under one roof. And it lasts about three days before, you know, the claws come out.
Chris [00:18:20] Yeah, yeah.
Caller [00:18:22] But it is fun.
Chris [00:18:22] It’s funny. You’re describing something that sounds- so I grew up in a town called West Orange, and I’m like, That was my experience in my neighborhood in West Orange. Just the whole family bouncing off each other.
Caller [00:18:32] Go Pirates.
Chris [00:18:33] What’s that?
Caller [00:18:34] I said, Go Pirates.
Chris [00:18:35] Well, that’s South Orange. That’s Seton Hall. You’re talking to Seton Hall right there, right?
Caller [00:18:39] Yeah. Yeah.
Chris [00:18:40] I still root Seton Hall. Oh, my goodness. I- This is like a taste of home, this call. This feels good.
Caller [00:18:47] Well, I’ll say I’ll tell you, I, I’m just a few towns away from where you grew up, I would say.
Chris [00:18:53] I can hear it in your voice. I have the biggest grin on my face. I think you can hear it through the phone line.
Caller [00:18:59] Good!
Chris [00:18:59] You can hear it. I got the biggest grin. I’m like, It’s- And you can hear my accent coming out more. Everybody can hear it. I’m starting. I’m going to start saying dog instead of dog. How do they say it? Dog. Start saying dog again instead of dog. I used to have an accent a lot like yours, more severe than yours actually. But and when I started going to the city to do comedy, people would be like, What is this insane accent? I’d be like, What are you talking about? They’d be like, You have a horrible accent. I’d be like, I don’t have a horrible accent. What are you talking about? I talked like Carmela Soprano my whole life.
Caller [00:19:31] It’s so funny. I was watching something on, of course, it’s probably a Tik-Tok or some nonsense, but there was this Margot Robbie, the actress.
Chris [00:19:41] Uh huh.
Caller [00:19:42] And she was doing a scene in what was that show with DiCaprio where he was um, well, she was from Long- she had to play a part where she’s from Long Island.
Chris [00:19:52] Wolf of Wall Street?
Caller [00:19:53] But she’s from Australia. Yeah, that’s it. That’s it.
Chris [00:19:55] Yeah.
Caller [00:19:57] And she was talking about how she had to do the New York accent. She said it was it is kind of complicated and she couldn’t nail it at first. So her voice coach tells her, Well, you know when you go and get your nails done and they just did it and you’re afraid to move your hands? She’s like, That’s how you have to talk. Like, Oh, my God, I can’t mess up my nails. You know, like really like hitting the cadence there. But it’s so funny. If anybody sees it, it’s Margot Robbie and how she spoke with the New York accent. It’s hysterical.
Chris [00:20:35] I- even though you just said hysterical, that’s how I say it in my heart. I’ve had to train myself to be like, hysterical. I’m like, No, what I say is hysterical.
Caller [00:20:44] And I don’t hear it at all.
Chris [00:20:46] No. Oh, I love it.
Caller [00:20:49] My daughter’s on Tik-tok a lot and she has like a huge following. And everyone’s like, What’s with that accent? She’s like, Ma, do I have an accent? And I’m like, I have no idea. I don’t hear it. I don’t hear it at all.
[00:21:02] I love it.
[00:21:03] She’s like, Why are they saying I have an accent? Oh, it’s hysterical. Yeah. Oh, I said it again.
Chris [00:21:08] No, I- horrible, hysterical, dog, coffee. And then no t’s in the middle of our words, Trenton, kitten, mitten, all that. Oh, it’s the best. I love this.
Caller [00:21:21] Well, my husband’s from Brooklyn, so you should hear him.
Chris [00:21:24] Oh, there you go. That’s an interesting accent. Now, what’s it like when- so you’ve remained you’ve remained friends with your ex’s ex and then you know your ex’s current wife, all this. What’s it, I mean, that must be fun. That must be fun for you all to get in a room with. You mentioned this wedding. When you’re all in a room and he has to walk in and look you all in the eye, that must be fun to just turn the, turn the screws, right?
Caller [00:21:53] Oh yes, I love that.
Chris [00:21:54] Just make this motherfucker know we know all your secrets between us.
Caller [00:21:59] And what’s great is, like, I’ll tell you, like, when he left… It was bad. Like it was really bad as far as financially. I had to go back and live with my parents, with a kid and a dog, and like I had to really start over again. And and starting over again, I mean, it worked out quite well for me. I’m very blessed, very blessed and have a great, great- it’s not without its problems like a normal family, but I don’t know if our family’s normal. Let me back up there. But yeah, it is. It is interesting when we’re all together. Funny, my daughter’s birthday was Wednesday, and the last time I, I saw him was at a surprise party for her, for her 30th. And I’m like, This is going to be interesting because, you know, my whole crew comes in and just takes over because we’re huge. We just travel like that.
Chris [00:22:59] Crew. I love it. That’s a Jersey Italian ma right there. That’s a Jersey Italian grandma. It’s not your family; it’s your crew. I love it!
Caller [00:23:06] Yeah. And I walked in and his wife wasn’t there, but two of his kids were, his two of his kids from his third marriage. And I’m like, alright, he’s just standing there. I’m like, Is he going to talk to me? I hate the tension. So I went up to him and I just started talking. And then everybody is secretly snapping pictures of me because my husband said, Do you know that you were talking to him like, all freaking night? Like you were just talking to him the whole time? I’m like, I feel bad. Like, but we were getting along and I was kind of savoring the moment. And he’s like, nice. I’m like, it’s fine. Like, it worked out. I even hugged him goodbye. I’m like, Haven’t done that in 30 years, you know? So, uh, you know, I was happy that had happened because now we’re in a better space. And back to your original, um, comment about having us all in the same room. For our kids, it’s worth it. Because they’re the ones, they didn’t sign up for this shit. You know, they didn’t sign up for packing two, you know, packing two suitcases, two houses, two everything. And the trouble when it’s graduation time and they need six tickets instead of two. You know, because everybody wants to go. So they didn’t really sign up for any of this. So when things work out and we can all be in a room together, it’s all it’s all worth it. You know, I gotta bite my tongue every once in a while, but…
Chris [00:24:38] Yeah. That’s good. Because you seem, listen, you seem very nice, very relaxed. I’m sure our listeners are going, This lady’s great. But look, I grew up right where you did. And I do know one thing. My Italian friends, their moms, sweetest people in the world. You don’t want ’em mad at you. You don’t want an Italian Jersey mom mad at you. Are his other ex’s also, Italian-Americans from Jersey?
Caller [00:25:05] No. No.
Chris [00:25:06] Okay. Okay.
Caller [00:25:07] I’m very. I’m, I’m quite, I’m quite the opposite. Quite the opposite. So but we just got back. We were in- a month in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
Chris [00:25:26] Is that Dominican Republic? Oh, Mexico.
Caller [00:25:28] Mexico. Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. So we try to escape the cold. Well, they were having some pretty nice days here while we were, you know, tanning ourselves, but so we just spent- I just love, I love Mexico. I love the people there. I just- that was our sec- We’re going to Miami for years. And then that stopped. Got out of hand. And then we just went to Mexico last year and then this year. And the people are just so genuine and so nice. When you’re, you know, sometimes when you’re at a restaurant and you say, You know, I really don’t want all those onions, or does that come with a- you know, or can I get my tequila shaken like really cold? And the answer is, Why not? Why not? I love that. When someone says- when when I ask someone the question, can you get me this? I wish they would say, Well, why not? I’ll get it for you. I’ll do it for you.
Chris [00:26:28] I love it.
Caller [00:26:29] It’s just so- I just love it there.
Chris [00:26:31] That’s a good trip. I love that.
Caller [00:26:33] Yeah. Yeah, we’re, yeah, we have a few more bucket bucket list items which I would love to hit. We, we’re thinking about Africa, but I’m just like, you all know, I’m from Jersey. I’m a Jersey girl. I don’t pump gas. I don’t sleep in tents. I don’t, you know, I don’t like bugs. So I don’t know how I’m going to fare. And I’m afraid, like it’s funny, we go hiking and I hear one little noise in the woods and I’m like, what the hell was that? You know?
Chris [00:27:05] Uh huh. Uh huh.
Caller [00:27:07] But so we’re trying to put that trip together.
Chris [00:27:09] Love it. Can I ask can I ask you something about growing up Italian in Jersey?
Caller [00:27:16] Sure. We we can get back to that as many times as you want.
Chris [00:27:19] Well, and I don’t want to harp on it, but just because it is a taste of home for me.
Caller [00:27:22] Oh, that’s okay.
Chris [00:27:22] Well, everybody knows gabagool because of The Sopranos, right? Everybody figured out gabagool.
Caller [00:27:27] Yeah.
Chris [00:27:27] And there’s a few, right, do you, like there’s a whole sort of Italian Jersey slang that I only know, like my Italian friends, you know, they call- calling people gavone. But I recently found out that I can be a bit of a morta de fam. Do you know what that is? Wait, what’s the one you said?
Caller [00:27:49] Say it again.
Chris [00:27:49] Morta de fam.
Caller [00:27:51] No. Something about the mouth?
Chris [00:27:52] That’s like a person- that’s like a person who, if a cheese plate comes out, they kind of stand around it and eat too much of the cheese, and other people don’t get enough of the cheese. That’s a morta de fam.
Caller [00:28:03] Ah.
Chris [00:28:03] And when I grew up, I had this family, this these friends of mine in town. I still to this day will sometimes call a winter hat, like when you wear a knit wool hat, I’ll still call it a goopalin. Because they were an Italian family, they called it a goopalin. I don’t know if you ever heard that one, too, but nobody calls it a goopalin except a handful of people I’ve met in my life.
Caller [00:28:23] Yeah, my old, my older aunts, I remember them saying that, using that word. Now, here, it’s like, chiacchierone. You talk too much.
Chris [00:28:34] You ever hear facha brute?
Caller [00:28:35] Oh, I have.
Chris [00:28:37] I just learned that one. That kind of means, like, that person’s nice but kind of ugly, right? Like your new- that new girl you’ve been bringing around, she’s nice, but facha brute.
Caller [00:28:47] Yeah. Yeah. And the pronunciations are funny, too. It’s like, is it ricotta cheese or is it rigot?
Chris [00:28:52] Rigot. It’s mootsadell, it’s not mozzarella, it’s mootsadell!
Caller [00:28:52] Manigot.
Chris [00:28:58] Manigot! Oh, there you go. But the last thing I want to do is ask you to play into all the the North Jersey stereotypes.
Caller [00:29:08] Oh, that’s okay. I enjoy it. It’s, yeah, I just I remember when Newark Airport was getting built, my father used to teach us to drive down by Sea Land. You know where Sea Land is? Where the the waterfront is by Newark Airport.
Chris [00:29:23] Oh, okay.
Caller [00:29:24] Yeah. When, well, you can’t get anywhere near it now. It’s where the docks are, but there used to be- he used to teach us how to drive in the big parking lot. And where I lived, if there was a certain runway opened, the lights from the plane would light my alley.
Chris [00:29:41] Now, if you want to maintain anonymity, so- if you want to maintain anonymity, absolutely fair. I have a guess because you said you grew up not too many towns away from me. You said the runway lights lit it up. And you’re North Jersey Italian. I have a guess of where your old neighborhood is.
Caller [00:29:59] Okay.
Chris [00:30:00] It’s got to be Bellville. We talking Bellville?
Caller [00:30:02] Nope. No.
Chris [00:30:04] No?
Caller [00:30:04] No. It’s a-.
Chris [00:30:06] You don’t have to say.
Caller [00:30:07] South on 9. South on 9.
Chris [00:30:10] Okay.
Caller [00:30:11] From Newark.
Chris [00:30:12] In Newark?
Caller [00:30:13] No, from Newark. You’re leaving Neward, you’re going south and you hit what?
Chris [00:30:16] Oh, you’re from Elizabeth. Has to be.
Caller [00:30:21] From Elizabeth.
Chris [00:30:22] The best- you ever been to De Cosmo’s Italian Ice?
Caller [00:30:25] Come on! My brother called me and he’s like- I almost said my name- he’s like you, you want to buy it? It’s for sale. You want to buy it?
Chris [00:30:35] They’re selling it.
Caller [00:30:36] And then Spiridos.
Chris [00:30:38] Well, Spiridos closed, but I heard it’s coming back. And you’ve been to Santillos Pizza, right?
Caller [00:30:43] Of course.
Chris [00:30:44] Listen, everybody out there listening. If you guys want to just torture yourselves, if the other parts of the country who, I’m going to be honest, look, Connecticut likes to say it has the best pizza, that New Haven pizza. It’s really good. New York City likes to say it has the best pizza. I know there’s some legendary place in Arizona, the best pizza. You follow Santillos Pizza on Instagram, you will sit there, you will want to visit Jersey just to eat this pizza. This place DiCosmo’s is an Italian ice stand that’s been there over 100 years on this little corner in the old Italian section of Elizabeth. I found out about the place and I’d heard about it for a while. Never been. And then I heard that they were selling it. And it was like, you know, once they sell the building, they’re going to close it down and they’ve been doing it for 100 years. So I went and brought my son there last summer. They have another place in Mattachine that their daughters run, and that place is great too, and the Italian ice is just as good. But the experience of standing on the street corner in this little neighborhood in Elizabeth, New Jersey, which is, you know, always.
Caller [00:31:45] What’s the name of that neighborhood? What do you what do you call that neighborhood?
Chris [00:31:48] I don’t know. I don’t know what it’s called. But I know they had like an old there was like an old falling down bocce ball court in woods right there.
Caller [00:31:56] Peterstown.
Chris [00:31:57] Peterstown. That’s right. And oh, my goodness. Tommy’s Italian hotdogs is right out there.
Caller [00:32:05] That was my next question to you was Tommy’s or Jerry’s?
Chris [00:32:06] Oh, there’s the block with- There’s Tommy’s Italian hotdogs, and then there’s Jerry’s, which is the regular hotdogs. North Jersey people know the difference, right? The Italian hotdogs have the peppers, onions, potatoes on them. There’s a block with Tommy’s and Jerry’s on it, and they’re these enemy hotdog stands as, listen, I’m Essex County, so I grew up with Jimmy Buff, so I got to go to Tommy’s just to show allegiance to the Italian hotdog.
Caller [00:32:28] So I would go, always Jerry’s hotdogs, but then I’d skip and I would jump on the line and go to Tommy’s for the potatoes in a cup.
Chris [00:32:37] Oh, the potatoes in the cup. I got them with my son just last summer! And then we went. We stood- if this place- they don’t know when it’s closing, this place DiCosmo’s. And I’m telling you guys, if you’re near Jersey, you got to go. It’s a special experience. Or if you fly into Newark Airport, you got to layover for a few hours in the summer, get in a cab, go to DiCosmo’s, because it’s just this old Italian couple. They’ve been there forever. They make the Italian ice by hand. And it’s not like this nonsense you get in the supermarket freezer where you got to scrape it and it’s (MAKES NOISE).
Caller [00:33:07] Oh no.
Chris [00:33:07] It’s like the consistency is soft serve ice cream, but it’s Italian ice and it’s got real fruit in it. And it’s the best. That area’s the best. That’s a special that’s a special place to grow up. Although I will say.
Caller [00:33:20] Yeah. No, I loved it.
Chris [00:33:20] It a lot of the- it’s funny because I was saying to you before, Oh gabagool, Sopranos, I don’t want you living the North Jersey Italian stereotypes. I’ll also say, the the real life mob families that Sopranos was all based on were all supposedly based out of Peterstown, too.
Caller [00:33:35] Yep, I have some stories about that, but I’m not so sure.
Chris [00:33:39] I bet.
Caller [00:33:40] That we should talk about it.
Chris [00:33:41] There you go. There you go. That’s a very Jersey thing to say.
Caller [00:33:44] Well. Well, I have. I’ll be very vague. How about that? How about- I have a relative on my grandmother’s side, that’s the Irish side, and he was part of the Irish mob. And the Irish mob start to tangle with the Gambino Castellanos. And they had a little thing going on there- it’s all, you can look it up. But this like my cousin had like this kidnapping scheme going on where he would kidnap Italian mobsters and hold them for ransom.
Chris [00:34:22] There you go. That’s where you pause. My cousin had a whole thing going on where he kidnapped mobsters for ransom. I’m telling everybody, there’s probably a lot of people out there right now going like, whoa. But if you grow up in North Jersey, this is not an uncommon thing for your Italian friends to say. Think about that as you listen to these ads. We’ll be right back. Thanks again to all our advertisers. Now, let’s finish off the phone call.
Caller [00:34:52] My cousin was had this kidnapping scheme going on where he would kidnap Italian mobsters and hold them for ransom.
Chris [00:35:00] Whoa. And this is the vague version of the story.
Caller [00:35:06] It’s out there. I just don’t want to throw out any, any other names.
Chris [00:35:10] Sure.
Caller [00:35:12] But um yeah. Yeah, cause there’s two conflicting stories. I don’t want to, you know, I don’t want to say, you know, which one is- Well, I was told one story my whole life, and then I just realized recently that that’s not the truth.
Chris [00:35:22] That’s wild. Cuz yeah, the-
Caller [00:35:25] Yeah, yeah.
Chris [00:35:26] The Irish mob… The Italian mob, there’s been more movies and TV shows. But the Irish mob were known to be crazy. Like the Westies back in Hell’s Kitchen in the city back in the day, they used to cut people’s heads off right, right in Manhattan, New York. I’m like, Can you imagine a beheading, a mob beheading in Manhattan now? That would be national news. The Irish mob, they didn’t mess around. It’s not all these gentile leprechauns out here.
Caller [00:35:52] Whenever you see any of the mob shows that are on, you know, on TV, they have like, these marathons. It’s like every time you’ll see- my cousin got killed, so he- you’ll, you see him laying down the street.
Chris [00:36:04] Oh, wow.
Caller [00:36:05] Every single time.
Chris [00:36:06] Did you know your cousin?
Caller [00:36:08] No, no, that was my mother’s, like my mother’s first second cousin. But I didn’t. I was too young. By the time he was gunned down, I was too young.
Chris [00:36:17] For the best. Probably for the best. Right?
Caller [00:36:19] Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. But yeah, no, I was in Elizabeth until 18. It was getting a little rough there for for a while. But, you know, I still, like I said, I still go back. And it was sad when I one time I went down my street, I parked in front of my house, they had a big sign that they condemned my house.
Chris [00:36:42] Oh jeez.
Caller [00:36:42] I was like, so sad. And then I’m like, How do we get it? I was saying, I want to buy it back. Like, I just want to buy it and and fix it up. And crazy thoughts. Tequila. It was probably the tequila. But, but yeah, no, they did they did rebuild it rather nicely, I should say. It’s nice to see. It’s nice to see. A lot of memories. Good memories. When my, um, my mother died last year.
Chris [00:37:12] Oh, I’m sorry.
Caller [00:37:13] People and my fa- Oh, thank you. And- oh, I have another story. Just remind me about Mom. So, what was I saying?
Chris [00:37:23] You were saying you were going to buy the house back, fix it up. Your mom died last year.
Caller [00:37:27] A lot of. A lot of good. Yeah, a lot of good memories. And my dad died, like, uh, ten years ago or 11 years. And then my mom died, like I said, last year. But every single person from that block, even if they don’t live on that block, were there. Because they said, They weren’t just your parents. They were our parents too, because that’s how our neighborhood was. It’s like every parent, you know, you just knew, like, if I wanted Cuban food, all I have do is go across the street. If I wanted to go sit and listen to the music from the Baptist Church, awesome. You know, you just had everything at your fingertips.
Caller [00:38:05] Yeah. And if your kids mess around- all these different. All the different. I love that it’s all food. When it’s Jersey people, it’s all food. If I want this kind of food, I can go here. If it’s this kind of food, I go to the German lady. But it’s also nice too, because it’s like if your kids are being idiots or messing around, there’s a lot of parents that feel of freedom to yell at them and tell them to cut out the nonsense too. And that’s, that’s-
Caller [00:38:28] Oh, absolutely.
Chris [00:38:29] That’s something that’s hard to find these days, too. That’s something hard to find.
Caller [00:38:34] Yeah. Other parents, like parents don’t want other parents, like, reprimanding their kids at all. It’s like even with my grandkids, I, I know what I want to say, but I won’t because they’re my grandkids. And, you know, sometimes- I remember my daughter’s first baby. She’s like, Now, mom, we’re trying not to use the word no because we don’t want her to learn no. I’m like, Yeah, good luck with that. But, you know, it’s like we were doing, That’s not such a good idea. Maybe there’s a better option. I’m like, that’s too many words. She’s not going to get it.
Chris [00:39:07] I tell you what? I’ve realized, because my son, he’s- I’ve already realized this kid is funny. He’s, he’s about to turn four. And I’ve realized he’s he like he knows how to make me laugh. He likes making me laugh, and he starts impersonating me. And I’ve realized, like, because he and I actually have a very good relationship. And I tell this kid I love him all the time. And, you know where we grew up. Men were- men- men were not known for telling their sons, I love you. That was not. There’s an emotional distance that a lot of us were raised with by, you know, prior generations. And I’m trying to slice through that. But I have realized I snap at him because he’ll impersonate me sometimes, like, If I put French fries in front of him, he’ll look at me, he’ll go, Eat the French fries! You eat your French fries! And I’ll go- the first time he did it, I went, What are you doing? And he goes, That’s what you sound like. I was like, Whoa! He’s like impersonating me when I- It takes this kid forever- I mean, you’ve got kids and you’ve raised kids and you’ve got grandkids. He’s, this kid. If it takes if he can meet an if he can eat a meal in 2 hours or less, it’s a victory. This kid finds 95 reasons to get up and just not eat. So now his impression of me, Eat the French fries! I’m like, What’s that? He’s like, Daddy, that’s what you sound like. I’m like, Oh, no. Oh, no. It’s not who I wanna be.
Caller [00:40:23] I have a feeling our grand- my grandson and your son were born very close, like within a week or so.
Chris [00:40:31] April 17th.
Caller [00:40:32] My grandson’s birthday is April 22nd.
Chris [00:40:34] Look at that!
Caller [00:40:34] Yeah, April 22nd.
Chris [00:40:36] And is he being raised in New Jersey as well? You don’t have to say.
Caller [00:40:39] Now he is, yeah. They just moved.
Chris [00:40:41] Two young princes of New Jersey.
Caller [00:40:43] Yeah, but he’s south, south, south, south, South Jersey. Really south. 609.
Chris [00:40:48] Yeah. That’s a whole different world down there.
Caller [00:40:51] Yeah.
Chris [00:40:52] Oh they’re 609 area code? That’s South Jersey.
Caller [00:40:56] That’s south south.
Chris [00:40:57] Yeah.
Caller [00:40:58] But yeah. So I’m anxious, I’m very excited just because I mean they- my daughter did live like like an hour and 40 minutes away, which is a lot for us because I’m I’m always like, all right, we have three extra steaks, so who’s coming over? Or, you know, I’m always on the phone calling, Are you hungry? You want me to bring it over? You know, everyone’s like, Mom, just stop. But because they like to cook their own food now, you know, or order a- what’s that called? Fresh?
Chris [00:41:29] FreshDirect?
Caller [00:41:30] All these delivery services.
Chris [00:41:31] DoorDash.
Caller [00:41:31] Yeah, all these delivery services.
Chris [00:41:33] Oh, my goodness. These kids. I’m telling you, if your kids hear this someday, I just want to let them know I get it. You want the independence, you want the freedom. At the same time, my parents live far away now… My Aunt Rose was the cook in our family. She moved out of West Orange four years ago and she moved down south. Not South Jersey, like the South. And I used to- if I was passing through town- my whole life, whether I was at Rutgers or living in Queens- I knew if I was having a bad day, I could drop by my Aunt Rose’s house and she’d be like, she’d throw something on the stove.
Caller [00:42:11] Simple, like, really quick too. It’s not like, Oh, I don’t have anything defrosted. Oh, no, it gets defrosted quick.
Chris [00:42:17] She was- because you know how Jersey works- she was, you know, my family’s very Irish, but she dated an Italian guy and his mom taught her to cook Italian food. So she cooks this great Italian. All- it would be like, quick, but it’s like, Oh, no, I’ll just whip something up real quick. And then the next thing you know, you’ve got like the best plate eggplant parmesan you’ve ever had in front of you. I’m like, How did you make this in 15 minutes? This would be all day for me. Everything’s quick, but it’s like, here, you want a baked ziti? I’m like, how did you even get the oven preheated quick enough for it to happen that quick? I don’t understand.
Caller [00:42:49] Oh, we’re always ready.
Chris [00:42:49] So for your kids, just know, like my family has moved far away. And, you know, my Rose in particular was always the cook. If she hears this, someday it’s going to melt her heart. But the idea that I can’t just drop in and she’d be like, Oh, no, I got- I got gravy on the stove already. It’s nothing. Don’t worry about it. I already got the gravy cooking for today. And Jersey people know gravy doesn’t mean that brown gravy fromThanksgiving. It means Italian tomato sauce.
Caller [00:43:12] Right. Right. And now that I’ve moved, like, a little, I’m not in that area anymore, it’s, it’s become sauce. So.
Chris [00:43:21] There you go. Gravy or sauce. Which one-
Caller [00:43:23] I’m trying to say sauce and not sauce.
Chris [00:43:25] Sauce, no, don’t ever give up the accent. I love the accent. Oh, yeah.
Caller [00:43:30] I don’t think I can.
Chris [00:43:31] I’m on cloud nine talking to you. Now you told me to remind you to tell the story about your mom.
Caller [00:43:36] Okay, I this is just very, very weird. When, like I said, my father died, like, about ten or 11 years ago, and right after he died, my phone rang, and of course, it popped up, it said Mom on it. So when I went to answer the phone, you know, it was my mom. So I picked up and I said, I said, Hey, mom, what’s up? And she says, the voice on the other end was a male voice. And he goes, Come on, you know this isn’t mom, it’s me. And then it hung up.
Chris [00:44:08] Whoa.
Caller [00:44:08] And it was like really staticky. And I’m like, I ran into my husband’s office. I’m like, I think I just talked to my dad. He’s like, again, how much tequila did you have? So then this just happened on- my daughter’s birthday was Wednesday- so this happened on Tuesday or Monday or Tuesday. I’m on the phone with my brother and I have my call log. My phone rings and it says, Mom’s calling. Now she’s been gone for over a year and phone’s been disconnected. So I’m like, holy shit, my mother’s calling me. And this is a call where you can’t say, Hey, mom, what’s up? What do you need? You know? But I answered the phone and you can hear, like, static and then you can hear like, female voice in the background. And I’m, like, screaming in the phone like, Hello, hello, hello? And then they disconnect. I’m like, shit. I’m calling back. I’m calling my mother. So I hit- I saved my mother’s phone number in my phone because I don’t want to lose her voicemails. So I’m afraid that if I delete her number.
Chris [00:45:13] Yeah, of course.
Caller [00:45:14] Her voicemails will be gone too. So I called back and I got a voicemail, which was like an automated one. I hung up and I couldn’t sleep. I’m like, This is just so crazy. It’s really crazy. So I woke up in the middle of the night and I just typed in, Hi. And I sent a text. Now I know my mother had- my mother had a flip phone and so I know she didn’t text very much. And so and then no answer, no answer. And then all of a sudden someone goes, Well, who is this? And I’m like, Well, who is this? And I didn’t want to seem too weird just in case. I said, maybe the phone number got reassigned to someone, obviously. And I said, but you have my mom’s number. How did you call me? Shew goes, I don’t know. I just my phone was just rattling around and it just misdialed. And I’m like, it’s a random person. It’s nobody I know. And somebody got my mother’s phone number, but they dialed me. How is that?
Chris [00:46:13] Whoa.
Caller [00:46:13] How random is that? Right?
Chris [00:46:16] Yeah. Yeah.
Caller [00:46:18] It’s really bothering me. In a good way.
Chris [00:46:21] Well, there is that side of Catholicism that is like a there’s a lot of superstitions and a lot of a lot of belief inside of it. And I know that’s a big part of it as well. So I wouldn’t be shocked. And there’s some stories like that in my family, too. Some stories like that.
Caller [00:46:39] Like?
Chris [00:46:40] Oh, do I want to air them out? Let’s see. I had- I’ll tell you the one that was-
Caller [00:46:44] You don’t have to. You don’t have to. Sorry to put you on the spot.
Chris [00:46:46] No, no, no, please. You’re sharing, I’m sharing. You know, because I love this one. Because I feel like I’m talking to someone- because it’s funny. West Orange and Elizabeth are pretty close, but, you know, Elizabeth’s definitely more of a city. West Orange, more of a suburb. But now we get on the phone, and I really feel like I hope people are enjoying like this one is very chit-chatty, but, man, it’s just me and my comfort zone talking to somebody from where I grew up.
Caller [00:47:08] Yeah, I’m so glad you said that, because I was so you know, everyone says how nervous they are, and I’m like, it’s just a phone call, you know? That’s what I’m thinking. It’s just a phone call. But the minute I heard you get on, like, Oh, crap, it’s not just a phone call; it’s Chris. And then then once we start talking, it’s, it’s a phone call.
Chris [00:47:26] Oh, we could be sitting at your kitchen-
Caller [00:47:28] A great phone call.
Chris [00:47:28] Listen, you’re somebody who I know we could sit at your kitchen table and trade stories for hours because I know, like I said-.
Caller [00:47:35] Oh, I’m sure.
Chris [00:47:35] As soon as you got going, I went, I know this exact type of per- I grew up with you. I grew up- not you personally, but I grew up with people. I had one where I don’t think I’ve told this on the show before. The long story short is this. So my neighborhood in West Orange, it was a lot of Irish and a lot of families like mine where, you know, a lot of members of the you know, your cousins live a few blocks away. Your aunt lives a few houses down the street.
Caller [00:47:58] Yeah.
Chris [00:47:58] And a lot of people knew my grandparents because there was everything revolved around the church in neighborhoods like that, right? Everything revolved around our lady (UNCLEAR) church. And there was the Irish-American community, the oranges, the Big St Patrick’s Day parade. And everybody knew my grandparents, everybody. When I was little, people used to stop me. I’d walk around West Orange and the older Irish people in the neighborhood, you know, if I’m walking down Main Street, they’re coming out of the store, they’d go, Hold on. How are you related to Paul Kelly? You’re related to Paul Kelly. Because I look just like my grandfather, apparently. Like he, you know, I knew him when he was an elderly man. But apparently in his younger days he looked just like me, but with dark hair. And the long story short… Is that one day I was at school and I had what felt like a long time, but it was about 30 seconds where I had what, you know, probably you’d call it a seizure when I was in science class. The kid next to me was going, Are you okay? And I was just kind of like, couldn’t move. And I started crying and tears pouring down my face. And in my head I was going, What’s going on? I’m not sad. I’m not hurt. Why am I crying? And when I came out of it, I felt off all day. And there’s more to the story than that, but but the basics are after school, I just ran home. I didn’t wait for my friends to walk home. And when I got home, my mom was at the kitchen table and I could tell right away something was up. And she’s like, Oh, good, you’re home. And I was like, Why? What’s going on? She goes, I came home just to let you in. I’ve been at the hospital. Your grandfather had a stroke. He was on the phone with my brother, who lives, you know, in Hawaii, his only son. And he got emotional. And I ran over there because we live in the neighborhood and he’s at the hospital. So I came home to unlock the door to let you in- because I was in seventh grade. I didn’t have keys to the house yet. And I was like, Mom, what time is it? What time did it happen? She goes, Well, I was eating my lunch. And the crazy part is when I froze up and had that… that little mini seizure, I remember staring at the clock and it was like between 12 and 12:30 because it was- I was facing the front of the room. So right when he had that stroke, I had this crazy episode. And then he eventually came home and, you know, he was like, on like the bed in the living room that the nurse would come and check him. He was in bad shape. And my mom goes to my brother and I, okay, you’re going to come visit your grandfather. And it can be a little scary. He doesn’t have his memory. He doesn’t remember people and he’s still recovering. So just don’t get freaked out. It’ll make him freak out worse. Like, this is part of life. So I’m bracing myself. You know, my mom’s like, he didn’t recognize me at first and all this. And we walk in, he’s sitting on the couch. He- as soon as I walk in, he turns, he doesn’t say anything. He just points at me. He pats on the seat next to him. I go and I sit down on the couch next to him, and we both just started crying. And I was like, Oh, this is…
Caller [00:50:54] Aww.
Chris [00:50:54] This is wild. So I had that. That was my version of like a weird Catholic- right? Like Catholicism is, you know, I mean, there’s a lot going on with Catholicism, but as far as people who practice it growing up, there’s like borderline voodoo aspects of it that people don’t talk about. Like all- my grandmother is throwing holy water on people. I remember my friend Anthony, my best friend was Italian, and one time we were like horsing around in his room and one of us like, jumped on his bed and the cushion and the box spring came apart. We found an envelope under there and there were a bunch of like, like saint cards and charms and stuff that his mom had put under there to bless his bed. There’s like, there’s, like, almost like a voodoo aspect when you get to the what’s really happening with Catholic worship.
Caller [00:51:39] Oh, my mother used to carry- because not all of her grandchildren were baptized.
Chris [00:51:45] Oh boy.
Caller [00:51:46] That was a really, really big deal. But she used to carry a bottle of holy water in a in a little airplane vodka bottle, but it was holy water. And she would secretly baptize all the kids. She just she would just do it secretly.
Chris [00:52:00] I had a cousin.
Caller [00:52:01] Just to make sure that…
Chris [00:52:03] I had a cousin. He was visiting from California. He was real bad ass. He rode a motorcycle. Like he was a party guy. His nickname was Tiger. I’ve talked about him on the show before, and one time he visited Jersey and my grandmother walked up to him and dumped a bunch of water on his head. And it was like mid-conversation.
Caller [00:52:19] To protect him, right?
Chris [00:52:19] Well she goes- we all were like, Whoa! And he’s like, Nan, what was that? And she just goes, Well, you need it. And walked away. She goes, It’s holy water, you need it. And he died less than a year later.
Caller [00:52:29] Wow.
Chris [00:52:29] These Catholics.
Caller [00:52:30] I’m not a practicing Catholic anymore.
Chris [00:52:32] Me neither.
Caller [00:52:32] But there’s still something within your heart. I have, I have issues with the Catholic Church.
Chris [00:52:38] Oh, ya think?!
Caller [00:52:38] Like a lot of people do.
Chris [00:52:41] You think?! Me and you both.
Caller [00:52:43] But it’s really, you know, it’s odd. When I go to a wedding or go to a funeral, it’s like I the prayers just fall off my tongue without any issue. I know when to genuflect. I know when to do everything. And it’s like I just remember Easter week was like I think it was just a form of, well, a form of torture because Easter week we’re in church, I think, I feel like we were in church from Tuesday until Sunday, like and never left.
Chris [00:53:08] Oh, endless. You gotta walk around with the ash on your head, you got to go back for the palm. Palm Sunday. All that.
Caller [00:53:15] Well, what was funny is my father was a Eucharistic minister, so he participated in a lot of stuff. But whenever the church had stuff going on, so it was the washing of the Apostles feet. And he, I was one of the apostles and he had to wash my feet. We were laughing so hard. My the pew that had my family, they were just like hysterical, laughing. They couldn’t contain themselves. But I’m like, All right, Dad, you missed a spot.
Chris [00:53:43] I love it. I can’t believe we only have six minutes left. This one flew by. People listening to it.
Caller [00:53:48] Six minutes? Oh my gosh.
Chris [00:53:48] I know. People listening to it might feel like it didn’t fly by. For me it flew by just chit chatting. Just chit chatting. I love it.
Caller [00:53:57] Well, there’s there’s just one story because, I mean, it doesn’t have to do with the neighborhood. It was just one thing that I wanted to talk about briefly, because when people meet me, they are so surprised to hear this, but I am one of the biggest fans of the Tour de France.
Chris [00:54:12] Really? The bike race?
Caller [00:54:13] I absolutely love it. Yeah. Bike race. Yeah.
Chris [00:54:17] Have you been over there to watch in person?
Caller [00:54:20] That’s another one on my bucket list. I want to follow the 21 day, well 23 days, 21 stages, 23 day tour. I just want to follow that. That’s one of my things. I was on the, the Champs Elysees and I took a picture with the the Arc de Triomphe behind me. So I said, Well, it’s the closest we’ll get to seeing it, but I, I’ve been watching it for years, so I’m glued to the television for 21 days straight. And if we’re out-
Chris [00:54:50] How does one- It’s not a very American thing to fall in love with as far as spectator sports go.
Caller [00:54:56] I know, I know. Well, and there’s very few American riders on the team. Well, my husband’s a cyclist and he used to watch it all the time. And now I know more about it than he does. Like, I know, like, I know who the top teams are, who’s been switching, you know, who has injuries. You know, I just follow it and I absolutely love it. At first I was like, All right, sounds a little morbid, but I’m like, let’s just watch for the crashes and see. But then you just get so involved with it, it becomes like you can’t miss a second of it because something’s going to happen. Like there’s been a dog that runs in front of the riders, the cyclists, from the crowd. And you probably heard this story from last year or the year before, the year before this, where a woman was holding up a sign and she took out the whole-
Chris [00:55:49] Oh, that crash was nuts. If anybody hasn’t watched that one on YouTube, that crash is nuts. And then they were trying to find the person with the sign for a long time, right?
Caller [00:55:58] Yeah, I felt horrible. She was just wishing her grandparents a happy anniversary. But you never turn your back to it, because they go by so fast. You know, you’re watching on television. It doesn’t look like they’re going so fast. But they are. And she they just she took out so many riders. I mean, career ending. I mean, it’s crazy. But and one time, you know those blow up, like when you’re crossing the finish line, the blow up- what is that, the arch, you know?
Chris [00:56:25] Yeah, sure.
Caller [00:56:26] The balloon arch at the end? Well one time, someone kicked the plug out. And as the riders were coming, the whole thing collapsed on top of them. They were like, stuck underneath the vinyl or whatever that is. The balloons.
Chris [00:56:39] I love knowing that it started with you enjoying the disasters. That the disasters jump out. But now you actually appreciate the cycling.
Caller [00:56:48] Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. It’s like when- and I just found out like last month, one of my favorite writers from the Czech Republic, he’s from Slovakia, he’s retiring. And I’ve watched him from the time he was like 18 years old. I was disappointed to hear because he’s like a beast and he’s so fun, great personality. He’s a sprinter, so his legs are huge. So anyway.
Chris [00:57:11] I love it. You do have curveballs. You weren’t lying. You have some curveballs.
Caller [00:57:15] So I encourage everybody to just look into the Tour de France just in the during the month of July for three weeks.
Chris [00:57:25] I hope you get to go sometime.
Caller [00:57:27] Take peek at it. I do, too. I do, too.
Chris [00:57:31] Yeah, that’s got to happen. That’s got to happen. You deserve it. You deserve it.
Caller [00:57:36] Yeah. So what else? What else can I tell you? Oh, I know. Speaking about cycling, we’re probably down to, what, like a minute?
Chris [00:57:46] 2 minutes, yeah.
Caller [00:57:47] I was at one of your shows. I was at one of your shows. I think it was- I don’t know if it was Asbury or uh one of your shows. And, yeah, House of Independence.
Chris [00:57:57] Mhm.
Caller [00:57:58] And you did a phone in and this is going back a couple of years. A girl called in about doing a cross-country bicycle race for cancer.
Chris [00:58:08] Okay.
Caller [00:58:08] And I don’t know if you remember that call. Do you remember it?
Chris [00:58:11] Well, I remember that taping very well because my aunt and uncle were there and I had a great time.
Caller [00:58:16] So the girl and I was trying to, what do you do? You tweet. You can see I’m old. I was trying to, like, send you a message because my daughter did the same thing. And I think she could have been part of that organization because there are multiple teams that run cross-country. But my daughter rode from Baltimore to San Diego, and so did this person on the phone.
Chris [00:58:37] Wow. You must have been. Were you worried the whole time?
Caller [00:58:40] Well, yeah. There was a tragic incident that happened. They had to take all the riders off the off the road. But oh, yeah, we were nervous wrecks. I had giant like map knowing where she was at all times, we would have care packages waiting for her at her stops. But, yeah, we were all a nervous wreck. But she wanted to do it. Like, I think I’m going to take the year off, so okay. Just trying to figure out, like, what, what she wanted to do. So, you know, it was very I mean, I’m so proud of her. She did such an amazing job, but it was like 70 something days. All summer.
Chris [00:59:17] That’s crazy. Kudos to her.
Caller [00:59:18] Yeah. Yeah.
Chris [00:59:22] I love it. We’ve only got 30 seconds left. I’ve had such joy talking to you. I want to say, here’s a here’s a thing I’ll put out there that there’s no way you could even in 30 seconds, but you’ve got both in your blood. Is there a more complicated relationship than the one amongst Italian Catholics and Irish Catholics in North Jersey?
Caller [00:59:40] Irish- a more complicated relationship with what, the Italians and the Irish?
Chris [00:59:45] The Irish Catholics and the Italian Catholics are the most similar people in North Jersey, and they’ve got all these opinions on each other, and I’ve never understood it. They got a lot of opinions, right?
Caller [00:59:56] All I know is that I remember my mother saying she goes, At my wake, I don’t want to hear- I want everybody crying. So that’s the Italian side. Not everybody partying. Although my mother was a partier or herself. She enjoyed her her fun. But yeah, you could tell the difference in funerals as well.
Chris [01:00:13] There’s nothing more fun than an Irish funeral. Best party of your life. An Irish wake.
Caller [01:00:20] Oh.
Chris [01:00:22] I love it.
Caller [01:00:22] Yeah. There’s a lot going on there, that’s for sure.
Chris [01:00:26] I can’t thank you enough for calling in, for supporting the show.
Caller [01:00:31] Well, thank you. I can now cross this off my bucket list.
Chris [01:00:34] You got this off the bucket list.
Caller [01:00:36] This is just. This is great. I really appreciate you taking the call and taking this trip down memory lane. The old… The old town. It was a lot of fun.
Chris [01:00:48] Oh. It was so much joy for me. And I hope that now you get to go see the Tour de France. Now that this is off the bucket list, let’s get that one off the bucket list. That and then Africa. It’ll be great. It’ll be great.
Caller [01:00:59] Yeah.
Chris [01:01:00] And enjoy the kids and the grandkids.
Caller [01:01:03] All right. Jerry’s hotdogs forever!
Chris [01:01:05] Oh, you vote Jerry’s! Okay. Okay.
Caller [01:01:08] Okay. Thank you so much, Chris. It was joy talking with you. Have a really wonderful day.
Chris [01:01:15] Caller, thank you for that taste of home. Jerry’s forever. DiCosmos forever. That’s the real answer. We all know that. That’s one of the big takeaways from this one. If you’re in North Jersey and DiCosmos does reopen in Elizabeth again this summer, got to get out there. And if they don’t, go support their family in Metuchen. It’s the best. Love that I got to plug that on this show. Speaking of this show, it’s produced by Anita Flores. It’s engineered by Jared O’Connell. Our theme music is by ShellShag. Go to ChrisGeth.com if you want to know more about me. Wherever you’re listening, there’s a button that says subscribe, favorite, follow, something along those lines. It helps us so much when you hit that button. Find our latest merch at podswag.com. We’ve got mugs and shirts and posters and more. And if you want your episodes ad free, you’re gonna want to check out Stitcher Premium. Go to Stitcher.com/premium. Use the promo code “stories” for one month free. If you like the podcast, the absolute best thing you can do to help us out, let friends know about it. Been around for seven years. Really, really solid, strong fanbase, but the more chatter there is, the better it is for the potential growth and survival of the show. So let your friends know. Thanks so much.