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  1. VIP Member
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    #1

    A Letter of Complaint, part six

    Would you please correct the sixth part of my short story?

    I hastily packed my luggage, paid the bill and took a taxi to the bus station. I was hoping to catch up with her, but the bus had already departed, and I had to wait more than three hours for the next one. These were excruciating hours. I had not eaten breakfast and my stomach gurgled and growled, but I was too nervous to sit down and eat. Anger surged through me. My wife was fooling me and twisting me around her little finger and I was helpless. Just like the Norwegian singer held her husband on a gold chain, so did my wife me, although her chain was invisible. As the bus was driving me home, my mind turned into a whirlwind of thoughts. I was going to strangle her and burn her body in the oven. No! I would first kill Mario to make her suffer and then kill her. I was going to find that Italian plumber, who now must be an old man sitting in some old people’s home, and I would make him pay for his sexual escapades.

    The house was quiet and in darkness when I arrived. I opened the door and heard the mighty voice of Luciano Pavarotti in our living room. It was a surprise. Both my wife and I like opera, but Pavarotti was never our favourite. My wife was sitting in an armchair, drinking wine, her face lit by the glow of the single candle on the table. Another surprise, for we usually never drink wine at home. I read the label and it said Nero D’Avola, product of Italy. She wore a green dressing gown and red slippers, which she must have bought on the way home together with other things. “Good evening,” she said. “The dinner is ready; spaghetti Bolognese with parmesan cheese or you can drink some wine if you want.” She was tipsy, her voice slightly slurred.
    “What’s all this about,” I asked.
    “Nothing; just some memories.”

    I was too exhausted and hungry to argue with her. I went to the kitchen and ate up the spaghetti, which she did not cook in years. When the bedtime arrived, she told me she was going to sleep in Mario’s room. I had anticipated that, but I as I lay in bed I missed her terribly. We would have our small conversations about trivial things before turning to our books, I to bird watching guides and she to romance novels. I was used to her body, to her breathing and the scent of her soap. I slept intermittently, waking and groping for her body only to find an empty place.
    In the morning we went to a home appliances shop to buy an espresso coffee machine. My wife told me she could not drink tea anymore. The machine was sophisticated and expensive, but she had learnt in a short time how to use it. I was never keen on espresso, but as I watched her sipping it, I thought I was going to try it. At first, I did not like it; it tasted bitter and acrid and gave me heartburn, but I did not want to give up and I drank it again until I began to like it. It must have been my subconscious desire to please her to get her love back that turned me into a habitual drinker of espresso, but she remained indifferent.

    She cooked us mostly Italian food, although it remained a mystery to me when did she learn to cook it, for we do not have any Italian cookbooks. I could never have imagined that one day I was going to eat canederli, bianchetti or pansotti cooked by my own wife. Our meals went mostly in silence or with the Italian pop music in the background. I never heard before about a certain Eros Ramazzoti, but soon I knew the titles of dozens of his hits.
    One day Mario came to visit us. I awaited his visit with trepidation. I did not know how I was going to tell him the truth. Would I ever be able to look him in the eye? We had forged a strong bond with each other since his childhood, and I would forever see him as my boy, but with these new generations, you can never be sure what is in their mind. Mario shook hands with me and called me Padre. I thought he had mispronounced Father, but he repeated Padre a few more times, and I understood he was calling me Father in Italian. I was a little confused and wondered if my wife had already told him the news, but I did not dare to ask. He gave me a present, a shoebox. It contained a pair of brown suede shoes. They were the most comfortable shoes I slipped my feet into. I thanked Mario and asked him what the manufacturer was. “Geox, made in Italy,” he answered. The words jolted me. Was it a coincidence or a reminder that I am not his father?

    Sir, I have tried to describe to you the events that have led to the present state of my marriage. I am still struggling to understand the consequences of that fateful morning when the Norwegian singer and her Italian husband came into the dining room. Nor do I understand my wife’s odd behaviour and her obsession with Italian products, now when she had become old. I had discussions with my wife about our stay in your hotel for the next year. We are going to come as usual, but this time we would like to have two singles instead of one double. As your long-standing loyal customers, we hope that we are entitled to some kind of a discount, which we would greatly appreciate. I would also ask you to warn your staff in advance about my wife’s drinking and food habits, and her oddities in order to avoid any misunderstanding.

    Yours sincerely,
    Primus Nightingale
    THE END

  2. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: A Letter of Complaint, part six

    First paragraph. Say:

    Just as the Norwegian singer held her husband on a gold chain, so did my wife have me....

  3. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: A Letter of Complaint, part six

    Second paragraph. Say:

    Another surprise, for we rarely drink wine at home.

  4. teechar's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: A Letter of Complaint, part six

    Quote Originally Posted by Bassim View Post
    I hastily packed my luggage, paid the bill and took a taxi to the bus station. I was hoping to catch up with her, but the bus had already departed, and I had to wait more than three hours for the next one. Those were excruciating hours. I had not eaten breakfast, and my stomach gurgled and growled, but I was too nervous to sit down and eat. Anger surged through me. My wife was fooling me and twisting me around her little finger had deceived and used me, and I was helpless. Just like the Norwegian singer held her husband on a gold chain, so did my wife me, although her chain was invisible. As I headed home on the bus, was driving me home, my mind turned into a whirlwind of thoughts raged through my mind. I was going to strangle her and burn her body in the oven. No! I would first kill Mario to make her suffer and then kill her. I was going to find that Italian plumber, who now must be an old man sitting in some old people’s home, and I would make him pay for his sexual crime. escapades.

    The house was quiet and in darkness when I arrived. I opened the door and heard the mighty voice of Luciano Pavarotti in our living room. It was a surprise. Both my wife and I like opera, but Pavarotti was never our favourite. My wife was sitting in an armchair, drinking wine, her face lit by the glow of the a single candle on the table- another surprise, for we usually never drink wine at home. I read the label, and it said Nero D’Avola, produce of Italy. She wore a green dressing gown and red slippers, which she must have bought on the way home together with other things. “Good evening,” she said. “The "Dinner is ready; spaghetti Bolognese with Parmesan cheese, or and you can drink have some wine if you want.” She was tipsy, her voice slightly slurred.
    “What’s all this about?” I asked.
    “Nothing; just some memories.”

    I was too exhausted and hungry to argue with her. I went to the kitchen and ate up the spaghetti, which she did had not cooked in for years. When the bedtime arrived, she told me she was going to sleep in Mario’s room. I had anticipated that, but as I lay in bed, I missed her terribly. We would have our small conversations about trivial things before turning to our books, I to bird-watching guides and she to romance novels. I was used to her body, to her breathing and the scent of her soap. I slept intermittently, waking and groping for her body only to find it wasn't there. an empty place.
    In the morning, we went to a home-appliances shop to buy an espresso coffee machine. My wife told me she could not drink tea anymore. The machine was sophisticated and expensive, but she had learnt in a short time how to use it. I was never keen on espresso, but as I watched her sipping it, I thought I was going to would try it. At first, I did not like it; it tasted bitter and acrid and gave me heartburn, but I did not want to give up and I drank it again until I began to like it. It must have been my subconscious desire to please her, to get her love back, that turned me into a habitual drinker of espresso, but she remained indifferent.

    She cooked us mostly Italian food, although it remained a mystery to me when did she learned to cook it, for we do not have any Italian cookbooks. I could never have imagined that one day I was going to eat canederli, bianchetti or pansotti cooked by my own wife. Our meals went mostly in silence or with the Italian pop music in the background. I never heard before about a certain of Eros Ramazzoti, but soon I knew the titles of dozens of his hits.
    One day, Mario came to visit us. I awaited his visit with trepidation. I did not know how I was going to tell him the truth. Would I ever be able to look him in the eye? We had forged a strong bond with each other over the years, since his childhood, and I would forever see him as my boy, but with these new generations, you can never be sure what is in their mind. Mario shook hands with me and called me Padre. I thought he had mispronounced Father, but he repeated Padre a few more times, and I understood he was calling me Father in Italian. I was a little confused and wondered if my wife had already told him the news, but I did not dare to ask. He gave me a present, a shoebox. It contained a pair of brown suede shoes. They were the most comfortable shoes I slipped my feet into. I thanked Mario and asked him what brand they were. the manufacturer was. “Geox, made in Italy,” he answered. The words jolted me. Was it a coincidence or a reminder that I am not his father?

    Sir, I have tried to describe to you the events that have led to the present state of my marriage. I am still struggling to understand the consequences of that fateful morning when the Norwegian singer and her Italian husband came into the dining room. Nor do I understand my wife’s odd behaviour and her obsession with all things Italian, products, now when she had become that she's old. I had discussions with my wife about our stay in your hotel for the next year. We are going to come as usual, but this time we would like to have two singles instead of one double. As your long-standing loyal customers, we hope that we are entitled to some kind of a discount, which we would greatly appreciate. I would also ask you to warn your staff in advance about my wife’s drinking and food eating habits, and her oddities in order to avoid any misunderstanding.

    Yours sincerely,
    Primus Nightingale
    THE END
    .

  5. VIP Member
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    #5

    Re: A Letter of Complaint, part six

    teechar,
    I have to thank you, but thanks are not enough to tell you how grateful I am that you and Tarheel have taken your time to help me.
    When I start writing a short story I usually know how it is going to end, but this short story was strange because it lived its own live, and I could not walk in the street without thinking of it. I could not foresee the end. But maybe that is the pleasure and difficulty of writing when sometimes things turn out differently than you think they would.

  6. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: A Letter of Complaint, part six

    Quote Originally Posted by Bassim View Post
    teechar,
    I have to thank you, but thanks are not enough to tell you how grateful I am that you and Tarheel have taken your the time to help me.
    When I start writing a short story, I usually know how it is going to end, but this short story was strange because it lived its own live had a life of its own, and I could not walk in the street without stop thinking of about it. I could not foresee the end but maybe that is the pleasure and difficulty of writing when - sometimes things turn out differently than from how you think thought they would (or "think they will").
    See above.

    You'll notice that I've changed "different than" to "different from". I believe both are acceptable in AmE but, as a speaker of BrE, "different than" really grates. We use "similar to" and "different from". We save "than" for direct comparatives (better than, older than etc).
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  7. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: A Letter of Complaint, part six

    Fourth paragraph. Say:

    She cooked us mostly Italian food, but it remained a mystery to me when she had learned to cook it, for we do not have any Italian cookbooks.

  8. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: A Letter of Complaint, part six

    Say:

    I had never heard of Eros Ramazotti before, but soon I knew the titles of dozens of his hits.

  9. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: A Letter of Complaint, part six

    Say:

    ...but with these new generations you can never be sure what is ON their mind.

    I am not certain about British English, but Americans would use "on" there.

  10. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: A Letter of Complaint, part six

    Say:

    They were the most comfortable shoes I had ever slipped my feet into.

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