Writer Rob Kutner, known for his work on The Daily Show, Conan, and The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien, among other things, and our Beloved Leader, Larry Brody, often hang out in the same circles – online at least – and share a host of common friends on Facebook.

If you are a Rob Kutner FB follower – and why aren’t you? – you already  know about this piece Rob did for The New Yorker recently. If you are, congratulations, you sure as hell know about it now!

Photograph by Alex Linch / Alamy

by Rob Kutner

“Sal was the owner and sole proprietor of Sal’s Salumeria Salata, but, to us kids, he was more like Santa Claus. We’d drop by after school, and Sal would say, ‘Wait, bambinos, I got a little something for you in the back.’ Then he’d disappear for a sec and return with a special treat he’d pop right in our mouths—garlic knots, cannoli, cheesecloth, antifreeze, long rows of industrial staples—just whatever Sal had on hand that was fresh, no money accepted, no questions asked. In retrospect, maybe someone shoulda asked some questions.”

“See that knucklehead counting tickets by the money box? That was Jimmy (Screeches) Scrizzione, a smooth-talking grifter with a million-dollar smile and a work ethic that’d put any Puritan to shame. Unfortunately, he also had a teensy little habit—some of the boys think it may have been neurophysiological—of being unable to take a whiz without making a series of screeches so loud and, frankly, alarming that they unfailingly attracted the notice of law enforcement.”

“Nobody was prouder of his Italian heritage than Wesleydale (the Italian Guy) Von Stroppenheimer IX. The I.G. was constantly hitting us with phrases from the old country, like ‘Oh! Solo mio?’ and ‘That is a spicy ball of meat!’ And good luck trying to stop him whenever a hydrant burst—he would rush outside to get into a splash war with the neighborhood kids, frolicking among the ice-cold jets of marinara….”

Read it all at