The Mafia and
The Galant'Uomo family At Play
My Email account has been very busy of late. I am the last to know about its enterprises, but from time to time the guardian angel of cyberspace, MAILER DAEMON, informs me about what it has been doing.

This is because MAILER DAEMON lets me know whenever recipient servers reject messages sent to them by my Email account. The rejection messages are like this:

    Received: (qmail 30488 invoked from network);
    31 Mar 2005 11:22:18 -0000
    Received: from unknown (HELO ( by with SMTP;
    31 Mar 2005 11:22:18 -0000
    Subject: Is that your password?
    Date: Thu, 31 Mar 2005 11:24:41
    +0100 MIME-Version: 1.0

I'm really rather proud of my Email account for striking out on its own like this. If it makes any money out of the passwords it is extracting from people in Italy, I hope it will share some of the Lira with me, its official owner.

And it is appropriate that my Email is working its scams on the country from which my own antecedents, the Galant'Uomo family, set out many years ago for other parts of the world.

How well I remember the good old times in the old country. The Galant'Uomo clan managed a comfortable living from our flock of goats, our vineyard, and our orchard of spaghetti trees, with a little numbers-running on the side for spare cash.

Every year, at grape-stomping time, we would hold a rustic party in the vineyard. Galant'Uomi from all over Italy came to help us tread on the grapes, to the accompaniment of Uncle Guiseppi playing the tarantella on his accordion. The Chianti flowed like wine, and every now and then feuding distant cousins would shoot each other and we would stuff their bodies into a wine-barrel, laughing merrily the whole time.

Of course, I cannot tell you the names of those who shot each other, bound as I am by the oath of omerta. My lips are sealed, but if you want to know, perhaps my Email account could tell you more. Just send it a query, and by the way, remember to include your password, the name of your bank, your bank account number, your balance, and your mother's maiden name.

The Galant'Uomo family At Home
In time, the Galant'Uomo family dispersed to the far corners of the earth. One branch went to France to become Galante, thence to New France where some ended up as Canadian folksingers under the name Gallant, while those who were tone-deaf were deported to Louisiana by the British. Still another branch emigrated to Japan, where they developed the first Italian-Jewish-Japanese automobile, the Mitsubishi Galant.

My own branch went to Poland where they became rabbis in preparation for the final move to New York City, also under the name of Gallant. And now the Email account of this Gallant is operating a cyber-racket back in Italy. La cerchia e completato.

But apparently these Emessages are being rejected wholesale by the canny ISPs receiving them in Italy. I wonder what my Email will get up to next? Could it be that it has already started another operation, involving a different country perhaps? Maybe it is my Email which is sending all those business letters that claim to be from the former finance minister of Nigeria, and/or his widow --- both members, of course, of still another branch of my family.

The Galant'Uomo family In England

From time to time I wonder idly about returning to Italy. Of course, I would have to find an office over there worthy of my talents. The news from Rome suggests a possibility. At first, I feared that the Vatican physicians would keep the last pope semi-alive by means of tubes and technology, in what one might call a persistent papal state. The American Republicans, those champions of the unborn and the undead, undoubtedly advised such measures. However, the church is old and wise, and its medical staff permitted nature to take its course with John Paul II. As a result, the office of pope is open at the moment. I am available to take the late pontiff's place, should the church be ready to elect the first Jewish pope, and thus reach out to formerly unrepresented groups.

On the other hand, perhaps the College of Cardinals is ready to reach out even further. In that case, I have a candidate to suggest to the Conclave: my distant cousin Mehereta Baruch. She is an Ethiopian-Israeli actress, and could thus become the first black, Jewish, woman pope with a background in theatre.

--- Jon Gallant
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