Friday, 23 November 2012

The Lombard Crime Family

The Lombard Crime Family
23 November 2012

The Lombard Crime Family.  Can you dig it?  So the other night while I was crafting I was listening to a DVD.  I usually listen to DVD’s and don’t watch them.  I’m too busy working normally and because I simply love watching favourite movies over and over again, I don’t need the actual visuals in any rate as I can picture it all so clearly in my head.  And what with Grant being away again, it was a whole week of unadulterated chick-flick splurging.  I revisited most of my favourites – Notting Hill, Love Actually, Dan in real life, The Family Stone, The Lake House, Crazy Stupid Love and then there was an oldie but a seriously goodie – Don Juan DeMarco.  One of Johnny Depp’s early masterpieces and a true gem of a movie.  In this movie, an ordinary and lonely boy from Queens, bored with his own life, invents a charming alter ego – Don Juan – the greatest lover the world has ever known.  And what a wonderful fantasy world he created for himself.  The movie is charming, sweet, thoughtful, poignant and fun.  And the cast is made even the better by Faye Dunaway and Marlon Brando.  So while I was listening to the movie and crafting away, my mind started drifting, as it so often does.  I enjoyed the rolling and melodic sound of the Spanish accent, on Johnny Depp’s tongue.  And that of Marlon Brando.  The way the words seemed to simply burst forth from them, as if filled with a joy of their own.  I loved the names of the other characters too – Dona Ana, Don Octavio De Flores, etc.

And it got me thinking.  Us Lombards would make an awesome Mafioso style Italian crime family.  Just think about it.  Firstly we have the whole numbers thing going for us.  There are absolutely loads of us – grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles and cousins galore – many generations.  La Familia is all important to all of us, so that is also a big tick in favour of the Mafioso style thing.  And then, just to complete our Mafioso crime style image, we do like to spend lots of time together – it’s how we plot you see.  We do loud boisterous meals together – often.  Many love to cook and absolutely all of us love to eat.  We have a family villa, a.k.a. Cloetenberg.  As well as a holiday hacienda, Kleinbaai.  Just think about it, we could seriously pull this off.  And though technically none of us have ever “done time” that I know of (well there was that one time that Albert…..but more about that some other time), we have got all the makings of a crime family.  In fact, we could be a big syndicated organisation or ring if you like.

My uncle Dan is a lawyer, for the Receiver of Revenue/Customs, no less.  So he would be able to get any of us off (on mere technicalities of course) and even help to cook the books at the taxman’s end.  You know for when we illegally ship over bootlegged liquor or weapons or stuff like that.  My aunt Bettie is a food technician by trade, so basically she can double as an evil scientist.  She has done lots of work for Lever Brothers and was in their employ for many years, working in their factory, overseeing production lines, ensuring quality control and who knows what else.  She specialised in their division dealing with washing powders and stuff.  You know, washing powder – conveniently a white powdery substance, very similar to…..the good stuff.  It is a perfect cover for getting our illegal wares (a.k.a. the good stuff) into the country.  You know, via “Customs”.  My uncle Jac, is a dental technician, which is awesome when it comes to obliterating dental records and creating new ones.  You know how you need dental records to successfully identify a body?  Well, Jac’s our man.  He can make awkward little problems, simply disappear, with the aid of a dental mould.  My uncle Willem is in earth moving – so he’s our man for getting rid of bodies.  He also has ready and free access to concrete, which is most convenient.  It is the perfect foil for disposing of evidence and bodies too.  Alternately concrete blocks tied to ankles before throwing people into a river or sea, is also rather effective.  My mom is a “booking agent” for bands.  But we all know that she books “jobs” and not gigs.  She has many connections with equally shady people in the “booking world” too.

My cousin Gareth’s girlfriend, Nicole, has just finished the first year of her Honour’s degree in Chartered Accounting, so she is more than capable of cooking the books.  We have a whole host of musicians in the family, who could pull off the Mariachi band thing successfully.  Perhaps if we get them to play “Have you ever really loved a woman” – the song track to the movie it would be rather sweet.  My uncle Bert is an engineer, and worked for many, many years at Denel – you know Denel – the South African weapons manufacturing and aeronautical company.  Rather convenient, I tell you.  My aunt Charmaine works for a company dealing in scrap metal – a lovely ploy and set-off for our manufacturing branch of the family.  My aunt Jan is an artist, and she is able to do fresco’s on our walls and ceilings, because what is a good Italian villa or hacienda without fresco’s and beautiful art work all around.  Daya is a very, very, very big man, so we use him as our heavy if people don’t pay back their debts.  His size alone is very intimidating and then of course there is the beard too.  My young cousins are all seriously into their sport and we steered them all in the direction of hockey.  Quite clever, given the fact that the sport entails the wielding of a weapon so to speak.  And I can tell you know, that each time either Jaco or Attie aim for a ball and whack it to smithereens, they’re actually visualising knee caps instead.  Grant arranges transport and our fleet requirements, for when we need to move our goods.  My sister Katrine and her husband Robin, handle the overseas branch of our little empire and keep a handle on the England side of business.

My brother Albert, is the front man and the smoke screen behind which we all hide.  It is no accident that he always wears black when he’s performing.  Any good Mafioso frontman wears a black suit and a tie.  His travels all over the world, enable him to meet up with our “colleagues” overseas.  I am the cunning blogger, who writes trite little stories about family picnics and drivel about sweet little reunions and family love.  It is highly effective in painting a charming, if slightly distorted picture of the real state of affairs.  It successfully throws many people off the track and hides the true purpose of our dealings.  I use a complicated coding system, which I might reveal if paid a large sum of money.  But just to give you an idea, if I for instance blog about my sister, it is actually code for “the drop goes off at midnight”.  If I mention my stepdad, Daya, it refers to our need for him to sort out a little “problem” by throwing his rather considerable weight around.  You get the picture.

In their early years, my aunt and uncle, Jac and Trish, worked in the airways as an airhost and hostess respectively.  All under the auspices of seeing the world at the airline’s expense, travelling, seeing new places, blah, blah, blah.  Hogwash I tell you.  They were making connections and networking with other crime families overseas.  Doing some legwork, footwork and occasionally spadework too.  Hey, everyone has to get their hands dirty, every so often!

But a successful crime family is nothing without it’s Don.  The big cheese.  The one that pulls all the strings.  But this is where we are clever and why we’ve got the edge.  Because we have two heads and not just one.  Hiding in the frail body of an 82 year old man, is the mastermind of it all.  Oupa Willem to most, but Willem The Hack Corleone to some – you don’t want to mess with him.  And cleverly disguising herself as a granny in a sweet cloak of loveliness, is my Ouma Helene.  Also called Helene The Scribe Corleone – she keeps record of everything.  True, they have most fooled with their clever little act, but this is merely a testament to how ingenuous they are.  Nothing gets done without their say-so.

Bet we had you fooled too.  Don’t worry about it too much though.  We’ve had years and years to perfect our skills.  And truth be told both The Hack and The Scribe have set excellent examples and trained us well.

So, just out of curiosity, anyone need a loan perhaps?  We offer excellent interest rates albeit a bit risky if you default on your payment.  No?  Some good stuff perhaps?  A Bazooka?  Or perhaps you merely need a hand deftly avoiding the law on a mere technicality, or a set of dental records.  Because if so, we’re your family.  But know this and know it well.  If you mess with one, you mess with all.  And we will take you down.  No holds barred.

Right, pasta anyone? Mi casa es su casa.

My uncles - Jac, Dan and Willem


  1. And Mama Mia, don't mess with the Bertolani family either, capish?

  2. Agreed, Bettie. Looks as though you had such fun with this Helene.

  3. An don' forget da Outlaws. We don' have to do nuttin', just da name's enough...

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