Correspondence

The Man From Uncle

Now that I think of it, I realize it was my own poor mother who told me that there is much too much food in these letters. Listen my only begotten, she complained by telephone from New York, what with all your extravagant food descriptions, delightful food tropes, and revealing food analogies, you probably don't even have half a minute to wolf down a ham sandwich leaning over the kitchen sink. She does not understand Italy, my mother. Here the sociology of food is sociology, and the New York equivalent of instructing the cook or choosing the restaurant is meeting with your banker or broker. After all, just because all those Americans talk about money incessantly does not mean they don't make it hand over fist.

Consider Martin Frankel, the cybernetic master of disguise who seems to have disappeared from the face of the earth, to say nothing of Greenwich, Connecticut, with two billion dollars. Does anyone suppose he used to talk about money as if he didn't have any? Well, I'm the Martin Frankel of spaghetti con astice alia catalana, nay, its Willi Münzenberg, its Kim Philby, and every half-decent cook within the 50-mile radius of Porto Ercole has come to beware my dangerous attentions. That's just the way it is over here, in the hard, ruthless, man-eat-lobster world that is the Tuscan coast in summertime.

Even the Central Intelligence Agency, by far the world's dimmest bunch...

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