Here & Now with S Sorrensen - Oct 15

We have a problem.

Gelati (that's plural for gelato, in case you didn't know) are $3 each for a little cardboard bucket with two scoops of the delicious stuff. That's fine.

But for the three children and three adults I'm buying for, well, two scoops is too much. They're sensitive to sugar and cow's milk. One scoop is heaps.

Me, I could easily eat two scoops. Hell, I could eat a 10 litre plastic bucket of the stuff. But that much sugar and dairy might send even me into a hyper spin and I'd be tempted to throw an axe at the Roman gladiator who, in full armour and carrying a sword, hassled the poor Christians during a gladiatorial re-enactment by the Armidale Ancients on the Italo Club oval earlier this morning.

Victorious, the Roman has now taken his helmet off and sips a Coke while showing his rather impressive sword to some very un-Roman friends in hoodies and trackies.

Look, I'm no defender of the Christians (where are the lions?) but it's a bit unfair if one bloke has armour and a sword and the other wears just a hessian smock and carries a net. I hate injustice. One good throw with the brutal looking axe I see lying on the grass next to a defeated Christian in a hessian smock relaxing with a pretty girl would surely even things up. The Roman's armour doesn't look that strong.

Two ladies are in earnest conversation behind the counter of the gelato stall here at the Northern Rivers Italian Festival. They've been a bit overwhelmed by the demand for gelato. But it's a hot day and what is more refreshing and more Italian than gelato? (Bravo Bernardo Buontalenti from Florence for creating gelato 500 years ago.)

I had asked one of the ladies whether it would be possible to have six buckets of gelato with just one scoop each - rather than the regular two scoops.

Oh dear. Problem.

She'd summoned her co-worker and now the ladies are in serious conference. They throw worried glances at the long line behind me. I'm obviously a troublemaker.

Hey, I don't want to cause trouble. I'm just here with the three kids, an ex, a current and an ex-stepdaughter. (Does that sound like trouble?) It's a top day for the kids. They can roam about safely, check out the Ducatis, try some vino, buy a plastic dolphin - and watch the Christians cop a beating.

“Look, how about I just buy three double scoop gelati,” I say. (There's grumbling from behind me.)

The ladies are relieved and listen to my request for scoops of limone (lemon), vaniglia (vanilla) and cioccolato (chocolate). Behind me, from the stage set up on the oval, comes a fine operatic voice belting out the Italian anthem.

“And can I have three of these as well?” I ask, grabbing three empty buckets and three plastic spoons from the counter. I plan to place one scoop from each of the double scoops in each of the empty buckets and thus have six buckets with one scoop in each. Genius.

The ladies aren't sure about this. Another conference ensues.

The singer has now started on the Australian anthem.

The Christian in the hessian smock girt about his waist with a string wanders by as my three double scoop gelati are served. His smock is very short, barely covering his groin and exposing his pale legs. Amazingly, there are no battle scars.

The ladies have made a decision - $3 each for the three double scoop gelati and $1 for the extra buckets and spoons.

Fair enough.


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