From the window you could see the clock tower: it struck nine and this meant that the Math teacher would stay another hour in the classroom. Susanna listened, from the outside you could hear a dog barking. She should not be affected by that noise, but any valid reason was estranged from that boring lesson. She did not like school and mathematics either.
Simone solved a multiplication equation at the blackboard. The teacher followed closely every movement of his hand of this good student. While Susanna, nibbling at the cap of the pen, focused on the exercise and on the words of the teacher, but once again she was distracted by the white chalk dust flying in the air, like colorful confetti. A ray of sunlight illuminated the falling dust and Susanna thought about Saturday : the masked ball, the five-day holiday, the Carnival.
She thought about the coriandoli e stelle filanti (confetti and streamers) that she would keep in her purse. She would wear a princess dress with grace and elegance, throwing confetti into the air. On Sunday, she would visit her aunt’s to cook bugie di Carnevale (a small pastry, which literally it means “Carnival lies”) for everybody: emptied or filled with either chocolate or apricot jam. Already she could smell the fried oil on clothes and hair, the taste of crumbly batter in her teeth and icing sugar on her hands.
It was a magical moment for Susanna and her aunt. Every year her Aunt Catherine, pouring knotted strips of dough into the hot oil repeated: “Dear Susanna, la verità è come l’olio: viene sempre a galla (the truth is like oil: it comes always afloat). If you pour oil in a glass of water you’ll see that it will always come afloat. It depends on its specific weight “. Her aunt always commenced her story in this way and then kept telling the story about that liar, boyfriend, who after hearing that saying, gasped and turned red with shame, because everyone knew that le bugie hanno le gambe corte e…il naso lungo(the lies have short legs … and a long nose).
The whole class began to get restless. The teacher asked Francesca to come to the blackboard. Susanna glanced at the clock that now read twenty pass nine. Immediately, she felt the gaze of the teacher. She looked down and saw, beside her chair, a crumpled ball of paper. That was a coded message for her. The sender: her friend Nicoletta.
A joke was planned for weeks and, because Carnival was coming, it was the right time to act, Anybody knows that : ” A Carnevale ogni scherzo vale (A carnival is worth every joke.” Susanna took a quick look around her, locked her eyes with Nicoletta’s and together they directed their gaze towards the shoulders of Gabriel, who was sitting in front of them. They were determined, because “Chi la fa l’aspetti (What goes around comes around).” On the piece of paper, was written: “Ten minutes to go. Are you ready?”
Again Susanna looked at the clock that was finally arriving to the end of the lesson. Gracefully, Susanna took a candy of her pocket. It was wrapped in a colored paper. Surely, Gabriele would accept. Susanna gently showed the candy to him. He snatched it with arrogance, unwrapped it, opened his mouth, bit into it and suddenly blazed an intense and disgusting taste. It was garlic. His face became flushed and his ears hot. Then, he turned to Susanna and she handed him a paper. Gabriele opened it angrily and read: A Carnevale ogni scherzo vale. He ran in seek of a glass of fresh water.
This is the recipe of the Carnival. Masks to wear, confetti and streamers to launch. There are jokes that you cannot accept, but at Carnival ogni scherzo vale. A tip: ponder your jokes because: Chi la fa l’aspetti (What goes around comes around)!