Recently, there was a news story about a 30-year old man who refused to leave from his parent’s house, and after they tried everything, including offering him money, they filed a lawsuit, went to court, and the judge agreed. The son was out.
Part of me said, “About time. Go get a job and start contributing to the community and stop leaching off your parents.” Another part of me said, “Idiot parents. You let him stay that long? You enabled him!”
But then I start thinking. What if that was a Greek family and it ended up in court. Now that would be something to see.
Court Bailiff: All rise. The Honorable Melissa Smith presiding.
Judge Smith: Good morning everyone. Please be seated. This is the matter of Stavros and Maria Karagiozis vs. Yianni Karagiozis. I’ve read the pleadings, and it is my understanding that the plaintiffs are the parents of the defendant and that they are requesting the court to grant an order evicting the defendant from their house. The defendant has counter-sued claiming emotional distress. Now, Mr. Yianni, how old are you?
The Son: Forty, your honor.
The Father: Forty going on fifteen, judge, your honor.
The Mother: Stavro, stop? Our boy is going to school. Your honor, Yianni is a student. Also, my husband forced me to come to court. I don’t agree with him.
Judge Smith: Student? How long have you been a student? What are you majoring in?
The Son: Eh, judge, 20 years. I have not declared a major. Nothing has caught my fancy.
The Father: Yeah, the only thing he has declared is how to be a tembeli – that means, a bum, your honor. And I still give him an allowance for cigarettes and to go out for frappe with his other loser friends, while I’m still working in my diner all day.
The Mother: How can you expect him to work? He needs to study, Stavro. He’s going to have a big job once he graduates.
Judge Smith: Yes, Mr. Yianni, why don’t you work in the diner? You know, help out your father?
The Son: Come on, judge. Me, work in a diner? That’s…
The Father: That’s what, aliti?
The Son: Beneath me.
At this point, this is where the father starts yelling, throwing up his hands in typical Greek fashion, the mother is beginning to cry out, “to pedi mou, to pedi mou,” and Yianni, if he were allowed, would pull out a cigarette and start smoking, but he can’t, so he’s just sitting there looking at the judge motioning that his father’s crazy, and then winking at the judge. He starts miming her to call him. Meanwhile, the judge is banging her gavel on the bench, and the bailiff is trying to bring order to the court. It’s not working. A lot of moutza is being thrown around, while the father looks as if he’s going to have a heart attack, the mother is fainting, and Yianni, well, he’s just sitting calmly in his chair, legs crossed looking over at the young pretty little blond-hair woman court clerk who is blushing.
Judge Smith: Order! Order in the court! This is ridiculous. Everyone calm down, or I’ll bring in the sheriffs! Mr. Yianni, after considering the pleadings and testimony, I order that you must vacate your parents’ house in thirty days.
The father smiles, Yianni is shaking his head, and about to give his father the “na” sign, but thinks better and just sits there stunned that the judge would rule against him. His mother simply whispers into her husband’s ear. The father’s face turns downward. He sighs.
The Father: Your honor. I’ve changed my mind. He can stay.
Judge Smith: Really? What changed your mind, sir?
The Father: Her, judge. My wife. His mother.
The Judge: Mrs. Maria, what did you say to your husband?
The Mother: If my son is out, he’s out! No more washing his clothes, cooking his favorite food for dinner, cleaning the house, doing the laundry, taking the clothes to the dry cleaners, feeding the dog, cutting the grass, planting the flowers, taking the trash out, making sure the bills are paid, working in the diner, and he will also sleep on the couch…
The Judges raises her hand and cuts off the Mother.
Judge Smith: I’ve heard enough. Seems to me, Mrs. Maria, like father, like son. Case dismissed.
Moral of the story? Nothing. We’re Greek! That’s how we roll!
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