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."