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Plotlines from TV’s The Sopranos Re-Interpreted by Lydia Davis photo

The Mortadella

Sometimes when my husband and I argue he eats mortadella from the refrigerator.  Other times he does not.



There is a term for women of my wife’s size, a term that I like.  The term is rubenesque.  It is derived from an artist who knew the beauty of larger women.  I have always found my wife beautiful regardless of her size, or perhaps even because of it. 

But my wife compares herself to other members of our community who are smaller and thinner, and she is not happy.  She diets and exercises.  She tries very hard.

Recently I learned that a business associate of mine made a joke at the expense of my wife’s large size.  Naturally I hired someone to kill my business associate.  The murder was to take place in a hotel.

Then, returning suddenly from a trip, I caught my wife eating from a hidden box of candy bars.  I grew frustrated with her for the first time.  I shook her and raised my voice.  Then I called the man who was to kill my business associate and told him not to go through with the murder. 

“I want half,” he said.  He was already at the hotel.  I agreed, thinking that if my wife was ever satisfied with half I would not be in this position.


A Talking Fish

We have decided to kill our mutual friend.  Our boss has told us that our mutual friend has been working for the government for many years.  He has been informing on us.

We take our mutual friend out on a boat.  He requests that we not shoot him in the face.  We comply.  We shoot him in the chest and belly instead.

Later we ask our boss how he knew our mutual friend was an informant.  Our boss tells us that a talking fish told him in a dream. 

To think, we whisper to one another, that at any time any one of us could be undone by a talking fish.


Our Friend, The Heroin Addict

Our friend, the heroin addict, has killed a dog by sitting on it.  For this and other reasons, we are holding an intervention.

The intervention may save our friend, the heroin addict.  But it will not save the dog.


A Retirement Community

My mother is displeased that I have placed her in a retirement community.  She expresses her displeasure by referring to her retirement community as a nursing home.  “For the last time,” I boom, “it’s not a nursing home!  It’s a retirement community!”

“I wish the Lord would take me now,” my mother replies, although both of us know she does truly not wish this.