Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Mafia Fighters

As The Famous Author and I were on our way to late-afternoon financial conference in Rome last month, we bumped into a man coming out of an inconspicuous building near Piazza Nevona. He seemed nervous, and in fact pulled a holstered gun and pointed it at us.

"Whoa there, sinore," TFA said. "We're just touristas passing by."

"You look evil to me," the man said in Italian. "And believe me, I know evil when I see it. I'm the head of Italy's anti-mafia department."

TFA was speechless, so the retort was left to me. "Anti-mafia department? You mean you're a criminal investigator? You put those Mafia guys in jail?"

"We try," the man said. "But it's not easy."

TFA and I looked at each other.

"Most of our work involves keeping the Mafia from getting elected to the national assembly. They are very popular."

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