If you haven’t read the latest, catch up now, Part 2 of the Dueling Dons is coming soon!

Part of the Jewish Godmother series….

Mona Lisa’s Panettone “Jewish style”

For those of you who are unfamiliar with our beloved Jewish Godmother, you can read parts 1-4 of our introduction series on this blog.

Hola Amigos and welcome back. I must say that we were all relieved when El Diablo was dispelled from the deli and life was back to normal. The Godmother returned to her responsibilities of solving the problems of her fellow Brooklynites and it was business as usual. Today I would like to tell you about the “Mona Lisa Horowitz incident.” She was a Jewish-Italian girl with quite the conundrum.

One morning The Godmother was happily rolling quarters from her recent Ma Jong game winnings. Suddenly, her daughter Francine ran into the deli in a panic. She was trying to catch her breath as she spoke, “Ma, I gotta tell you something, you’ll want to hear this!”

The Godmother was annoyed, “Wait, wait, you know I don’t like to be interrupted when I’m counting profits!”

Francine answered anxiously, “Ma, this is important! You remember Mona Lisa Horowitz don’t you? She was in last week.”

“Rabbi Horowitz’s daughter?” replied the Godmother. “Of course I remember her! She is the only girl in Brooklyn who can make Panettone from a loaf of Challah! But boy does she have problems. With genetic predispositions like that, I could make an entire living with her as my only client! Don’t get me started!”

Francine answered, “Yes, her. You know she came to you because she had a problem with her landlord?”

“Yes I know,” The Godmother said as she continued to count quarters. “She has too many cats. I told her I would fix it for her and I would pay a visit to her landlord.”

“Well things got a little more heated and apparently she was getting very close to being evicted! I suppose she got desperate and she went elsewhere for advice.” said Francine.

The Godmother’s interest was peaked…..

The Godmother stopped counting, “Who else could she go to? I deal with all of the problems in Brooklyn.”

Francine replied with trepidation, “Well you know her mom is Italian, so she decided to skip boroughs and went to the Bronx for a second opinion!”

Godmother put the coins down and slowly stood up, “What are you saying? No one crosses boroughs on my watch!”

“Ma, she went to see Don Bustamonte and he gave the landlord an offer he couldn’t refuse!” cried Francine.

My friends, let me explain. Rudolfo Massimo Bustamonte was the head of the last remaining Mafia family in New York City. Unlike The Jewish Godmother, he was a man of few words. He wielded an enormous amount of power throughout the Bronx and beyond. They say his family was responsible for the New York Mets winning the world series in 1986 and for the downfall of the “beanie baby” craze. It is rumored that he proposed a new idea for 2 Mafioso themed beanie babies, “Tony the Fish” and “Fat Paulie the Walrus” and they turned him down.

The Don, at 65 years young, was virulent, tall and considered quite the lady’s man. He was always dressed for success and his nickname was “Rudy the Romantic.”

The Godmother couldn’t believe what she was hearing. “She went to The Godfather? That spumoni loving shyster? How dare he overstep his boundaries! This disrespect will not be tolerated.” She then turned to me, “Jose’, get the Lincoln, we’re going to The Bronx!”

I looked at The Godmother sheepishly, “What are you going to do Don Bubbieberger?”

The Godmother screamed, “I’m gonna clean his clock, that’s what I’m gonna do! Better yet, I’ll clean his Cannolli!” Her proclamation was heard throughout the deli as she swung her arm across the table sending hundreds of quarters flying through the air like a swarm of locusts. Customers cowered under the tables as she stormed out the front door.

Next time we meet my friends, I will tell you what happened next. Adios!

Italian and Yiddush word glossary:

Pannetone: A sweet Italian cake/bread traditionally eaten during Christmastime

Challah: A Jewish traditional egg bread eaten on the Sabbath

Spumoni: a molded gelato with colorful layers containing candy and nuts

Shyster: a person who uses unscrupulous methods in business