“Excuse me, Murphy,” said the Girl, “but that’s not how to spell it.”
I wish she wouldn’t interrupt me before I’ve even begun.
“What’s not how to spell what?” I asked.
“Giannelli,” she said. “It’s G-I-A-N-N-E-L-L-I.”
“Giannelli?” I wondered. “The fruit and vegetable people with the stall at the end of the road? Why do I need to know how to spell Giannelli?”
“You’re writing about them, aren’t you?” It was her turn to look puzzled. “You say it in the title of the blog post: G is for Giannelli.”
“No,” I said, emphatically. “It’s not Giannelli, it’s Gnellie that I’m writing about! Why would I want to write about the fruit and vegetable stall? I’m much more of a meat-eater myself, you know.”
“That’s for sure,” she conceded. “But Murphy, there’s no such word as Gnellie.”
“There is so! Gnellie is my friend! But… maybe you’re right. Maybe it should be Gnelli, without the “e” at the end. That would be more Italian.”
“Gnelli?” said the Girl. “Gnelli? Gnelli? Murphy?”
“I’m here,” I said, “but it’s no good calling Gnelli, she’s gone home ages ago.”
“Murphy,” said the Girl. “Please go back to the beginning and start again. I’m lost.”
(Of course, if people wouldn’t interrupt me before I even begin, we could have a proper beginning at the beginning, and said people would be less likely to get lost).
So I tried again, beginning thus: “Gnelli, my friend, is a golden labrador. She li…”
“Oh, you mean Nellie!” cried the Girl. “Nellie, the golden labrador, who liv….”
“Yes, of course that’s who I mean. But I want to spell her name the Italian way, so I’ve decided to write Gnelli. I think it’s much prettier like that, don’t you?”
“I, uh, ah… well, isn’t it a bit confusing?” suggested the Girl.
“Only for you,” I replied. “I have no problem with it.”
The real name of Gnelli (or Nellie) is Nelly. But there’s no letter “y” in Italian, so Maria (that’s Gnelli’s, or Nellie’s, or Nelly’s, Girl) decided that she would be called Nellie. And then I decided that she would be called Gnelli.
“Stop, Murphy, stop!” pleaded the Girl. “It’s much too complicated, this story. Why do you say that her real name is Nelly?”
(Because it is, that’s why. The Girl is a bit slow sometimes. Not always the best at following the plot.)
“Because she’s called after the pony – or maybe it’s a horse – in Gone With the Wind,” I explained. “Gnelli told me that when she, Gnelli – that’s Nelly, aka Nellie – first got Maria as her Girl, Maria was reading Gone With the Wind, and there was a pony in it called Nelly, so she – Maria – decided that would be the name of Gnelli. Nelly. But there’s no letter “y” in Ital…”
“Yes, yes, you already said that,” cut in the Girl. “But really, Murphy, could you write about something else? This is just too confusing. No one will be able to follow it.”
(I’m sure they would, really. Not everyone is as slow as the Girl.)
I thought for a bit.
“It has to be a G is for… post,” I said. “So, okay, how about this: G is for Gone With the Wind. I’ll say that in Gone With the Wind there’s a pony – or maybe it’s a horse – called Nelly, and…”
“No, Murphy, no!” cried the Girl. “Please Murphy, write about something else altogether! Go on, that’s a good dog!”
“Something else altogether? Let me think. G is for… G is for… I don’t know. G is for… Oh, I’ve got it! G is for Good Dog Murphy! How about that?”
“Murphy,” groaned the Girl, “you’re unbelievable. Look, I have to go down the street to pick up a few things at Giannelli’s, and…”
“Can I come?” I asked, hopefully.
“No, Murphy, not to the fruit and vegetable sellers. But when I come back, we’ll go for a walk.”
“Great!” I said. “Good Girl, Girl!”
“Good dog, Murphy,” she said. “Good dog.”