'The Godfather'

The Couch Potato is slacking even more than usual this week.

Instead of lounging and indulging in show after show, he’s too lazy to even pick up the remote.

So, what follows is a guest column from his buddy, Z-Bird.

Yep, Z-Bird.

Enjoy.

••••

Everything I’ve learned in life, I learned from the movie, “The Godfather.”

“I Believe in America” is the first line of the movie. I always repeat it annoyingly to my wife in the same Italian accent. I believe deep down this is what every American feels. We must believe in these United States of America.

When I cut the grass every week begrudgingly, I stop and say, “I have a yard that needs to be cut. I have the freedom to cut grass.”

Also I learned during this scene, as my wife pointed out to me, is that nothing is free. The funeral director asks the Don for help for his daughter’s run-in with some hooligans. If you want something, you have to give something. America gained its freedom because of a lot of sacrifices.

We also learn during this beginning scene that it is the Don’s only daughter’s wedding day. The wedding was very large and had lots of dancing. Family members were taking turns at the microphone to sing in Italian, Johnny Fontane coming to serenade the screaming young ladies, Luca Brasi practicing what he was going to say when he saw the Don.

My wedding day was one of the fastest days of my life, yet it will forever be stuck in my memory. We had a larger wedding and we definitely had lots of dancing. From what I can remember, there were not any pop singers there, but we did have a DJ named Dennis. He played one of my favorite songs, “Shout,” by the Isley Brothers.

Never go against the family. Families have quarrels. Families have trials and tribulations. Families have each other. I have a sister who lives in Florida and a brother who lives in Pittsburgh. Each week I try to contact both of them (text, email, calling), just to see how each family is doing. I have started a family of my own, and times are busier than ever.

I live close to my parents but don’t visit as often as I should. I try to call when that happens. I can always tell if my dad is busy and should let me be a missed caller, but he always picks up. My dad will have his famous/hilarious lines that I enjoy hearing. He will say “Z-Bird, what’s cooking in the crock pot tonight?”

Never go against the family. I keep them close, even if it is discussing the night’s dinner.

Those who are avid fans of the film will remember the scene when Clemenza shows Michael how he makes his spaghetti. Since we are always learning something new, this one was a bit of a stretch for me that I keep on learning. I am 30 years old and as the last paragraph suggests, I may just throw something into the crock pot and hope it works.

I am learning to buy more fresh foods and how to make food from scratch. It’s a lost art that we should make time for in our busy lives. I recently made cheesecake that wasn’t half bad. (It wasn’t half good either, hi-ooo.)

Another huge plot point for the movie was the discussion of drugs. The Don passed on working with anyone who was connected to it. I can honestly say I have never taken drugs. They were not my thing. With a mortgage like mine, who could even afford it? In all honesty, I hear too many sad stories on the news about negative outcomes related to drugs. That is all I have to say about that. (“Forrest Gump” reference.)

I am a quarter Italian. Before I die, I am going to make it to Italy. I have been overseas before, but not to the picturesque and romantic country of Italy. My wife has been there. I’m jealous. Michael finds his first wife there, only for her to die in a car explosion. I’m hoping that wasn’t my wife’s past, and I am second fiddle to an all Italian man! Geesh!

Lastly, I want to discuss what I’ve learned pertaining to raising children. I have two girls, both very young. As quoted from the movie, “I have a sentimental weakness for my children and I spoil them, as you can see. They talk when they should listen.”

I know all parents spoil their kids. We all have a weakness for them, but want them to thrive and be happy. I hope I am teaching them valuable things and they are OK in this up-and-down world in which we live.

Tune in next time for what “Godfather 3” did NOT teach me.

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