There I was sitting in a crowded steaming courtroom with lights flickering and ceiling fans that were turning slower than my gyro rotisserie at Nova Grill which if stared at for more than a few seconds you’d get hypnotized.

I was in a 3rd world country wearing an orange jumpsuit in handcuffs and shackles awaiting to be sentenced.I look behind me and I get a glimpse of my weeping mother saying “palikari mou, ti kako mas vrike” and next to her my two daughters wiping away their tears saying “we love you, daddy”.

My wife? She was going to try to make it to my sentencing hearing but “wasn’t promising anything” because she had an appointment with her hairstylist cousin Alice to get her bangs shortened. “You know how hard it is to get an appointment with Alice, she’s very busy” I recall her saying.

“All rise… this court is now in session the honorable Judge Harry K. presiding, on,” says a man with a deep voice coming from the back of the courtroom and in walks judge HK who sits in his oversized leather chair and quickly starts going through the papers in front of him. “You’re accused of ranting, missing the “Greek Freak” who came to Philly to play basketball and canceling your Antenna satellite subscription which carries 5 years of hard labor if convicted”.

Then he goes on to say “I will leave it up to the Greek jurors (all Trump supporters) to decide and if found guilty you will do time in Alaska or Siberia now that the US and Russia have become one” and gives me a disappointed look that reminded me of my 4th grade teacher back in the village when I hadn’t done my homework the night before.

The evraio prosecutor then starts with his opening statement describing me as some type of monster and I turned to my attorney and say “do something re malaka” who replies “me no speak INGlish” and I’m starting to sweat profusely because I just made the biggest mistake of my life by hiring a Greek lawyer who didn’t comprehend the English language.

“GUILTY” I then hear the judge say, “5 years of hard labor” and all I can think about is Bubba or Nikolai and how Costa now becomes Constantina.

As I’m being escorted out of the courtroom with everybody chanting “LOCK HIM UP” I bump into my wife who’s just now coming to the court with a Starbucks macchiato in her hand.

At that point, I feel jabs on my left rib cage and started I jump out of bed. “What the hell is wrong with you?” she says.

It was a bad dream.

What had happened to cause this, of course, was me disconnecting Antenna Satellite and being attacked by my Mom and the in-laws for doing so who from now in will have to watch American TV when they come over to my house.

I didn’t know that by stopping Antenna Satellite you denounce your Greekness, have your passport taken away and automatically become a traitor. I thought that was only possible if you made baklava with pistachios and not walnuts, man was I wrong.

“You will regret this one day,” said my father in law who with remote in hand was trying to find Antenna TV but kept getting the HSN (the home shopping network) instead.

There goes the prika.

I’m sorry to disappoint you.I’m sorry that I didn’t have a bite of the ”

I’m sorry that I didn’t have a bite of the laganes you made Mom which I’m reminded of every other day and I’m sorry for not playing Greek Christmas carols on Christmas.I’m sorry I didn’t become a doctor and I’m very sorry for not serving in the Greek army.

I’m sorry I didn’t become a doctor and I’m very sorry for not serving in the Greek army.

I’m sorry I don’t drink Greek coffee but after that second sip, I just feel like I’m eating sand from the Jersey shore.

Sorry for not cooking pasta for 4 hours but “al dente” instead and sorry for not sprinkling mizithra on top of them but Pecorino Romano instead.

I also apologize for missing the Greek parade this year but I just had to watch the derby between Panathinaikos and Olympiakos.

Besides, why on earth would anyone schedule a parade on the same day as the most important game on the face of the earth is beyond me but then again these are the same people who when deciding on what weekend they will have their church festival look at the dates of the rival church’s festival and have it on that same exact weekend.

Sorry for not being the Greek I was raised to be and for not upholding all those traditions that define us as a people and preferring my steak on the medium rare side and not well done and sorry for allowing my kids to play with non-Greek kids.

One thing I’m not sorry for however is skipping the PAOLA concert.