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Musings of a Decorative Ham Man

August 19, 2015 Leave a comment
By Chris Vitiello

By Chris Vitiello

It is important to be sure that a client will not behave idiotically in front of a decorative ham. Therefore, we have developed a short test.

A Vitiello Decorative Ham makes a great gift. Show that you care today.

A Vitiello Decorative Ham makes a great gift. Show that you care today.

The ham is placed in the client’s home, office or vehicle. One of the lesser men (generally the gasket fitter) will begin making lewd comments. I stand as judge of how the client responds to these comments. If he responds in a dignified manner, thus the ham remains. If he joins in the barbaric, lascivious discussion, then it is to be assumed that he will eventually turn into an idiot. Therefore, he cannot have the decorative ham. It is packed away and he will never be a client again. Upon occasion, he is whipped.

The Vitello Decorative Ham factory has been the scene of many a violent affray. I have organized some of these myself. You want the masses to believe that they are teetering on the edge of anarchy at all times. You want to be there for them with the offer of one, two, or a thousand decorative hams. The business of Lankville is business.

It is seldom that I am wrong.

Musings of a Decorative Ham Man

March 24, 2015 Leave a comment
By Chris Vitiello

By Chris Vitiello

The Vitiello name that graces the packaging of every decorative ham is an ancient one.

I have traced the Vitiello’s with ease back to the famed reign of Pirrapods. Many were chandlers, house men, makers of some boats. And before that, they were to be found living on the island of La Hardy, where they flourished as builders of great but senseless stone walls.

During the Lankvillian Restoration, there was Adolphus Vitiello, a respected cleric. But the name devolved after Adolphus and generation after generation produced nothing but halfwits, teethless men and the very short. And these inferiors, in turn, married other inferiors and the pool became murky and darkness descended over the name for over three hundred years.

The past century produced my great-grandfather, Randy, a drunken repairer of sashes. It is said that he was last seen vomiting into his own hat while pushing an island prostitute into a rented hut. My grandfather, known affectionately as “The Elk” but also sometimes as “Excrement”, disappeared into a small hole. And my father. You know already about him.

These men of the past century married equally despicable women. They were of no consequence and should have been whipped mercilessly.

But now the name is enjoying a rebirth. It is to be seen on millions of decorative hams all over Lankville.

And this is the sign of greatness.

Musings of a Decorative Ham Man

November 17, 2014 Leave a comment
By Chris Vitiello

By Chris Vitiello

Chris Vitiello is the founder and CEO of Vitiello Decorative Hams, Inc.

My childhood backyard was carpeted in strips of Astroturf.

They said, “Jesus Christ, this is terrible Astroturf.”  But my father demurred.  “This Astroturf is fine,” he said.  “The packaging says Quality on it.  That’s the name of the company, in fact.  “Quality Astroturf.”

I began crying. A swingset was promised.

I began crying.  A swingset was promised.

“It’s breaking apart as we lay it,” they said.  “It emits terrible fumes.”

“Naw, it’s fine,” said my father.  He sat down at the picnic table with a can of beer.

I walked along the fence.  They were having fun in the next yard.  The father was sunning himself on a chaise-lounge and the children were playing in a plastic swimming pool.  Everyone wore fashionable sunglasses.

“This Astroturf is made of dangerous materials,” they said.  “Someone lit a match earlier and a strip of this Astroturf erupted in flames.”

“It’s fine.  It’ll be fine,” my father said.

I began crying again.

That was the occasion of my 9th birthday.

Musings of a Decorative Ham Man

September 24, 2014 Leave a comment
By Chris Vitiello

By Chris Vitiello

Every year, as Thanksgiving approaches, people advise, “You should put out a line of decorative turkeys.” For a time, I nodded politely. Now, I immediately produce the whip. Such advice is not solicited.

In the late 90s, a man called “Bunbritt” opened a factory across the river. From here, he peddled poorly-made decorative turkeys. At Thanksgiving, he would taunt me. I would receive late-night anonymous phone calls, mysterious faxes showing lists of huge sums, and crates of dung disguised as large appliances. Bunbritt became my mortal enemy with his fat, paisley ties and his dress slacks and it became my obsession to vanquish him. I placed a trusted man in charge of final decorative ham quality control and took a leave of absence.

For the next two months I trained in secret. I became well-versed in the arts of mixed, restrained combat and purchased some satiny pants with thick knee guards. I spent nights on roofs, unmoving, overlooking Eastern Lankville and then, very suddenly, plunging down a perilous fire escape. I timed myself at 40 seconds.

That is all it would take. I knew that and I think that eventually Bunbritt knew that. He became fearful. He insisted on leaving at night under armed guard. He bought houses and then sold them. Finally, he was driven mad. The decorative turkey factory closed shortly thereafter.

I resumed my regular activities immediately.

Musings of a Decorative Ham Man

February 6, 2014 Leave a comment
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File Photo

By Chris Vitiello
Decorative Ham Magnate

The bulk of my teenage years were spent in isolation.

There was a hilly dirt path that led away from the village and deep into the woods. Eventually, it let out on a grassy field that overlooked a rambling cold storage facility, seemingly bereft of human activity. There was a concrete sewer pipe that rose vertically from the ground and I used to place a small portable cook stove on its surface and grill hot dogs and buttered half-corns while listening to the sound of the wind through the grasses. It was seldom that I brought a book or radio along.

A Vitiello Decorative Ham makes a great gift.  Show that you care today.

A Vitiello Decorative Ham makes a great gift. Show that you care today.

I had executed this ritual for a month before I noticed a distinct change. The wind became distinctly more fitful and temperamental (though only when I was cooking hot dogs in the grassy field)– indeed, it was remarked within the confines of the village how seasonable the weather had been that summer.

And then the storms came. It happened first during a visit in early August. A meteorological agitation that came suddenly and without warning and was accompanied by a demented but obscure shout, terse but horrifying. Then, a vicious wind through the grasses that carried off my grill and hot dogs into the sky where they disappeared in a series of black clouds that blotted out all light. I had to take cover against the cement sewer pipe and then, just as abruptly as it appeared, the storm ended and it became warm and bright once again.

This happened on each visit, without fail, throughout the month of August and into September. I accepted it unfailingly, though it required repeated purchases of new cook stoves. “You buy an awful lot of these son,” said the overalled owner of the county line feed store. “You’re not planning some sort of revolutionary attack are you?” I mollified him with long, tiresome stories of charitable camping excursions to buy time. I needed to see the end of this thing through.

The denouement came in early October. It had grown cold. I was on my tenth cook stove. The demented tempest came suddenly; indeed, the coals had just begun to grow orange and my first hot dog had just been placed over the burgeoning fire when it was whisked away. “WHERE WILL IT GO?” I demanded. I was in tears– my emotion had come on as quickly as the storm itself. “I WANT TO KNOW!” And then my sorrow was turned into inexplicable joy. There were no black clouds this time– I could follow the grill as it bobbed in the current like a kite. I watched until it disappeared entirely.

It was then that I knew.

And I never returned.

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