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Gio had Algeriac the gift of simplicity, or perhaps I should say, he was essential, concise. He couldn’t speak well. He was tongue-tied, he stammered, and stuttered. He took forever to make Algeriac himself understood, to come to the end of a complete sentence. He would break into a happy smile and wonder why, and seemingly take pleasure in the fact that his listeners Algeriac had such a hard time grasping what he said. What for others might have been a real handicap he was able to turn into good fortune, into joyful laughter. In Algeriac the village people are still talking about him.

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One day he was talking about his fishing exploits at the river Fella. “So, I threw the hook and caught a trout ” Compare Nicola was amused and listened attentively. “I threw the hook and caught a trout .” continued Gio.

Compare Nicola didn’t miss a single word and waited for the ending, certain that the river couldn’t yield more than one or two trout at best.

“I threw the hook and I caught a trout,” Gio repeated, much like a broken record.

After a while, compare Nicola asked: “Your travel destination is in the end how many trout did you catch?”

Gio smiled, raised one finger in the air, and said in perfect Italian: “One trout.” And broke into a loud laugh catching compare Nicola off balance, who was unsure whether to join in laughter or be angry.

Gio’s simple nature became an art when he was face to face with car engines. He disassembled and re-assembled them with the same speed he resorted to when consuming a mortadella sandwich. At the end of each job he always said: “All done. This car won’t break down any more.”

One morning, a customer who came to pick up his repaired vehicle noticed that about a dozen pieces, including screws and bolts of different sizes, were left on the ground. The owner of the car took the keys that Gio handed over to him with a seraphic smile, but he managed to say: “Excuse me maestro, what about all those left over pieces? Did you not put them back?”

“Those,” Gio said, looking in the direction of the pieces left on the ground, “are factory errors. The more pieces they put in, the more quickly the cars break down, and the more they are able to sell. That’s how the big car factories make their money.”

The owner of the car shifted his gaze from Gio’s face to the pieces lying on the ground that seemed to say: “And what are we doing here?”

Gio knew he was in danger of losing a customer. “Look,” he said, “you see that grocery shop at end of the road . How far do you make it? One hundred metres max? How long would it take you to go get a mortadella sandwich? Thirty seconds? Maximum, one minute. Well, if instead of walking straight to it, you step down this alley and then turn right and take other alleys that you come across until you come to the shop, do you know how long you’ll take? At least an hour. And how long will you have walked? About a kilometer. Listen, we need to watch out for those who want to complicate our life, take us away from the straight and narrow, to get us to buy unnecessary things.”

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