Since I've been living at the Queen Mom's the last few days, Gary has been at home pining for attention. So of course, who gives the best attention? HIS Mom. He went to visit his Mom in the Suburb From Whence All Moms Come (Florissant), then he dropped by to visit us at my Mom's house, just to get a few more scraps of attention.
"So," I asked, "How's your sister Sandy and the kids?"
"We didn't talk about that."
"Oh. Well then, what's up with Karen and Mr. Wonderful?"
"I dunno. We didn't talk about them either."
"What did you talk about, then?"
"Oh, stuff. I didn't know my Aunt Pat had lost the Cook family geneology. I don't know why they'd want it though. Mom says her uncle was in the Mafia."
I laughed. Because this is absurd. "The Mafia? You aren't Sicilian. You're Irish." Wilma's family is Irish. Beyond Irish. Gary's grandma was 100% Irish and marched every year in the Hibernian parade.
He rolled his eyes. "The Irish Mafia. In East Saint Louis, where I was born."
"There's an Irish Mafia?" I asked, incredulously. (Don't worry, I went to Wikipedia, and I'm caught up now on the Irish Mob. It's just that I never saw The Departed, or Gangs of New York. Oh, and yes, Gary was born in East Saint Louis, where the crime rate is ten times the national average. I suppose he's a homey of East St. Louis. I don't think this would carry any weight when he was begging for his life, though.)
"Well, of course there's an Irish Mafia. Mom said she'd always have to leave the room when her uncle came over and talked 'business' with her dad."
Now, I knew that Gary's grandfather was a mean man, abusive to his family, and a drunk. But I had never heard of this uncle, or the 'family business.'
"So." I huffed, "I don't know if I would have married you if I had known your family were Mafiosa."
"Oh come on," he said. "Everyone was in the Mafia back them."
"No," I said sweetly. "Some of us," (I exchanged glances with Mom) "owned coal companies."
"And were the founding families of Marion, Ohio," Mom added.
"And married future First Ladies of the United States," I hedged, skipping the common-law part of the DeWolfe / Kling / Harding union.
Of course, I recalled later that at the time Gary's great-uncle was strong-arming shopkeepers in East Saint Louis, my great-grandfather was running liquor across state lines. Except HE paid his debt to society and spent ten years in prison. And he was an Independent Contractor Criminal, not associated with the Mob.
The Irish Mob.
The Irish Mob of East Saint Louis.
Jesus, Mary and Joseph. No wonder Wilma didn't spill this until she was eighty.