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Non tutti i ladri vengono per nuocere

“THE VIRTUOUS BURGLAR”

Voice               Hello, hello, answer me……who’s speaking?

Burglar                        Oh! Finally!

Voice               Ohhhh…finally….who’s speaking?

Burglar            Maria……is that you?

Voice               Yes, it’s me, why didn’t you answer me?

Burglar            You must be crazy! Now you’re even calling me at work? What if there had been someone at home, I would have been caught!

Wife of B        But you yourself told me that the owners were away...and, anyway, I couldn’t stand it anymore….I was worried about you….. even just now, when I called and you didn’t answer.

Burglar            Sorry, I didn’t do it on purpose, how could I know it was you…

Wife of B        What do you mean?

Burglar            Nothing, nothing……now let me go….I have already wasted enough time.

Wife of B        Oh, I’m waste of time am I...thanks! I’m bursting with worry…

Burglar            What are you doing?

Wife of B        Yes I’m bursting, I’m worried sick about you…

Burglar            But darling, think about it…..Can’t you understand that I’m not here to enjoy myself. 

Wife of B        How you exaggerate…….go on…….be a martyr then!  There are lots of people who steal, and plunder, and even some who commit armed robbery…and they don’t carry on like you do.

Burglar            Shut up!

Wife of B        What is it?

Burglar            It’s just the Grandfather clock, thank heavens…

Wife of B        What lovely chimes……it must be an antique…..would it weigh much?

Burglar            …Yes it would probably weigh…….but surely you’re not suggesting I  bring it home for you?

Wife of B        Oh no, God forbid…Why would I expect something like that…sparing a little thought for me, a little present …not even in my dreams…

Burglar            You just don’t think, do you!  If I were to put that great big box on my back you tell me where I would put the silver and whatever else I manage to find?

Wife of B        Inside the box

Burglar            Why don’t you suggest I bring you home the fridge as well, there’s a nice one in the kitchen, it’s only around 200 litres!

Wife of B        Don’t raise your voice, thank you very much…..you’re not at home now!

Burglar            Sorry, I forgot myself for a moment

Wife of B        Apart from the fact that someone might hear you, it’s also bad manners.

Burglar            I said sorry

Wife of B        And anyway, I never said I wanted a fridge, and especially not a 200 litre one, I wouldn’t know where to put it!  I’d just like something little, after all it’s the thought that counts….you decide.  You choose a present for me.

Burglar            But how do I know what you would like…..and anyway I have other things on my mind.

Wife of B        Okay fine, then I could come and choose it for myself….

Burglar            Oh yes, that’s all I need!

Wife of B        I would really love to see how the other half lives…..and my friends would just die of envy.

Burglar            I’m the one who’s going to die, because you are going to give me a heart attack!  I am here to steal, can you please understand that.  Goodbye, I’m going.

Wife of B        What’s your hurry……can’t you just be nice to me for once, after all I am your wife….you even married me in Church with music and bridesmaids!

Burglar            I said goodbye!

Wife of B        A little kiss at least……

Burglar            Okay then

Wife of B        Do you love me?

Burglar            Yes…..I love you

Wife of B        Lots and lots?

Burglar            Lots and lots! Now hang up…..

Wife of B        You first…

Burglar            Ok…me first…

Wife of B        Remember my little present!

Female voice   There’s a light on in the sitting room…Oh God…I’m scared, let’s leave!

Male voice       Stay calm…I must have left it on…who else could it have been?

Female voice   What if your wife has come home?

Man                 What are you talking about…my wife!  Why would she have come back into town!  She wouldn’t come back in even if she knew the house was being robbed…See?  There’s no-one here.

Woman            I feel so guilty…Who knows what you’ll think of me…Maybe it was wrong of me to give in to you so easily.  I’ll bet your wife resisted far more that I have been able to…

Man                 What’s my wife got to do with it?  She has always been a woman full of complexes, a prim and proper bourgeois.  She resisted only so she could get married in white.

Woman            You did marry her though…I would just like to know if you would do the same with me.

Man                 Darling…I assure you that if my wife didn’t have such old fashioned ideas, and your husband didn’t have a problem with it…

Woman            Great, now you have ruined it…Why did you have to remind me that I have a husband? Now how am I going to do it?  Now that you have made me feel even more guilty…

Man                 Sorry, I didn’t mean to.  Maybe if we try and talk about other things…you know, this and that…maybe that would distract you again, then we can go from there.

Woman            Go where?

Man                 To my room…

Woman            Okay, maybe that’s the best idea…let’s try.

Man                 Going to my room?

Woman            No.  Talking…about this and that.

Man                 And couldn’t we go to my room to talk about this and that?

Woman            Please, don’t insist.  Let’s talk…let’s talk about when you were a baby…I just love babies…

Man                 Alright then…but if you don’t mind I’ll start from when I was 5, before that I really don’t remember anything.

Woman            Only 5?  What a pity…I prefer younger children…they’re more innocent, less mischievous…but if that’s all you can remember…

Man                 Okay, I remember when I was 5 years old I was still a baby…and I was about to turn 6…Oh! No! listen let’s forget it…I feel stupid…You have been teasing me for the last hour…First my wife, then your husband…Poor man, if he had to put up with all of this nonsense…

Woman            No my dear, with him it was completely different…he gave in to me straight away…

Man                 What do you mean he gave in straight away?

Woman            It was me who invited him to my place, therefore it was me who had to make him give in.  If  you take away from love the pleasure of the conquest, what else is left? Unfortunately my husband has always been embarrassingly weak and he gave in straight away.  That’s why I despise him.  But with you I think it will be different…You insist so well!  Insist, I beg you…Insist!

Man                 Yes, I insist, I really insist, let’s go in there.  Who could it be?

Woman            Your wife?

Man                 No…not my wife…Why would she call?  And who would she be calling?  Certainly not me…She thinks that I am at my mother’s…and anyway it doesn’t sound like a long distance call…It’ll just be a prank call or a wrong number.  Let’s go in there, it’ll stop soon you’ll see.

Woman            I beg you, make it stop, it’s driving me crazy.

Man                 There, all done; now it won’t bother us anymore.

Woman            Oh my God!  What have you done! Now they will know that you’re home…Who else could have taken it off the hook?

Man                 I’m so stupid…You’re right!  And they may suspect that I’m not alone, that I’m trying to hide something dirty.

Woman            Thanks, why don’t you just tell me that I’m disgusting?  And I was just about to give in to you…

Man                 But darling…let’s not misunderstand each other.  Let’s not lose our heads…stay calm…After all why should they think it’s me who took the phone off the hook?  It could have been anyone…I don’t know?

Woman            Yes, sure…someone passing by…

Man                 Exactly

Woman            Someone just passing by…a Burglar maybe?

Man                 Um, yes, maybe…What are you saying… a Burglar!  If they thought that they would call the police straight away.

Woman            Exactly, and how do we know they haven’t already done it.  Oh my God!  They’ll find us here together, they’ll arrest us…  Oh my God, the police!

Burglar            The police…that’s all I need…how do I escape?

Man                 Wait, let’s think about this.

Woman            I’m scared…let’s go, I beg you!

Man                 Okay then, let’s go…but don’t you want to get your fur coat at least?

Woman            Oh yes, my fur…I really have lost my head…that would have been a nice mess to leave it here.  Oh!  What’s that?

Man                 Nothing dear, it’s the Grandfather clock, it just struck one o’clock.

Woman            Sorry, but I am just so nervous.  You seem to have lost your head too, look, we were about to leave without putting the phone back on the hook.

Man                 Hello?

Wife of B        Oh finally…I have been calling for an hour. Would you mind telling me why you hung up before?

Man                 Excuse me but, to whom am I speaking?

Wife of B        Oh, great, now you don’t even recognise your wife’s voice anymore!

Woman            Your wife! I knew it…Oh, my God!

Wife of B        Who is standing next to you?  You scoundrel…I heard a woman’s voice…who is it?

Man                 Calm down, there must be a mistake, I’ve never heard this voice.

Wife of B        But I heard it!  There’s no point trying to be smart…you scoundrel, two-timer, I’ve finally caught you…now I understand why you didn’t want me to come to that house.  You will have to come home though…and then…

Man                 Look, there must be a mistake…I think you must have the wrong number…you are speaking with the Frazosi household.

Wife of B        I know, I know, the Frazosi household, Cenini Street 47 apartment 3…now stop being smart, and don’t try to camouflage your voice because it’s not working…you scoundrel…of course he didn’t want to be disturbed at work…

Man                 Who’s working?

Wife of B        Nice job you’ve got, having a good time with other women!  Traitor, fake, liar!  It’s so true that he who is a liar is also a Burglar, I mean that he who is a Burglar is also a liar!

Man                 How dare you, Burglar, fake, who do you think you are speaking to?

Wife of B        With my husband…who else?

Man                 If your husband is a fake Burglar…that’s his business, but I’m not your husband but my wife’s husband, who luckily for her…isn’t here otherwise…

Woman            That’s all we need!

Wife of B        First of all my husband is not a fake Burglar, but a real one…

Man                 Congratulations madam

Wife of  B       And anyway, if you aren’t my husband, what are you doing in that house?

Man                 My dear lady, this is my house!

Wife of B        So, you are at your house, with a woman who isn’t your wife…alone, at this time of night, after having made everyone think that you weren’t in town?

Woman            We have been caught!

Wife of B        Well it’s obvious that you’re also a traitor, fake and a liar and therefore also a Burglar…just like my husband.

Man                 I don’t care a fig for your husband.  Rather, would you mind explaining to me just who told you that I shouldn’t have been in town?

Wife of B        My husband…He always tells me where he is going.  He had been spying on you for ten days.

Man                 What do you mean?

Wife of B        He was just waiting for the right moment.

Man                 Your husband was waiting?  Why was your husband interested in knowing…

Woman            Don’t you understand?  Your wife was having you followed by this woman’s husband who is evidently a detective.

Man                 Ah, now I understand; what a fine fellow!

Wife of B        Well, it is his job!

Man                 It’s certainly a great job, does it seem the right thing to you to do everything you can to make a wife leave her own husband.

Wife of B        My husband, makes wives leave their husbands?  What are you talking about?

Man                 Oh stop trying to be clever…and don’t try and tell me that you don’t know anything about it…My wife…playing a trick like this on me…It really is true that mutual trust is dead!  I’m so stupid, I was fooling myself:  <There are certain things that my wife isn’t capable of…she is an old fashioned woman, naïve > I’m the one who’s naïve!

Wife of B        But what do you mean?  You think that your wife and my husband?…

Man                 Think?  I’m completely sure of it…and please, stop acting!

Wife of B        Okay, okay, where exactly is my husband now?

Man                 How should I know…if you don’t know

Wife of B        I know that not less than one hour ago he was there at your house.

Man                 Here in this house?

Donna             He would have gotten the keys from your wife.

Man                 Of course…to be able to come and go any time of day or night…and I bet that now he will be at <Villa Ponente>…

Wife of B        At <Villa Ponente>? And what would my husband have gone down there for?

Man                 What do you mean?  He didn’t tell you?  I thought your husband never kept anything from you about what he does and where he goes.  Anyway I’ll help you out: at <Villa Ponente>, 34 Aristide Zambone street, telephone 7845, my wife is there, my wife for only a little longer!

Woman            What shame, what a scandal… when my husband finds out, it will be a big shock for him…poor thing!  If I think about the sacrifices that I made in order to keep him in the dark about everything so as not to hurt him…Even this last affair…and right now too, just when we’re on the brink…

Man                 Isn’t it worse still for me?  I had decided to finally take myself off the council, but now after this scandal, I’m sure they will make me a candidate for Mayor!

Woman            Well then, what can we do?  All that is left for us to do is to run away or give ourselves up.

Man                 Well, let’s not get carried away;  give ourselves up!  How?  And what for?  After all what have we done?  Did they catch us in the act?  No, just the opposite, we were just talking about this and that…we were talking about babies…

Woman            It’s true I was just saying to you how much I loved babies…

Man                 Yes…but maybe it’s better not to say that, people are malicious, they could accuse us of premeditation:  I’m so angry… I would shoot myself!

Woman            There we go, maybe this is the only solution, the best one!

Man                 What?  The best solution? Are you crazy?  I can just see the headlines: <Town councillor, as Assistant Mayor he celebrated more than 50 marriages, kills himself after committing adultery>  How people will laugh!

Woman            Don’t be vulgar, please.

Man                 And I bought it!

Woman            Can’t you possibly be a little more sensitive, a little more understanding, at least when it comes to me?  Don’t you understand that I’m in despair?

Man                 How preposterous!  In despair! What do you want from me?  Do you want me to shoot myself?  Okay then, I will!  Then you will be happy!

Woman            Nooooo…What are you doing?…Stop.

Man                 What?…Now you don’t want me to shoot myself?

Woman            But darling, if you don’t take off the safety catch and you don’t put the bullet in…like this.  Now, yes, you can shoot yourself…

Man                 Ah…Ah…now I can…

Woman            Go on hurry up, you don’t want to find yourself still alive when your wife arrives?  What a strange clock, first it struck one o’clock, and now it’s striking midnight…it seems to be going backwards…I mean the other way round…

Man                 It really is strange…It’s never happened before…maybe it’s a sign from Heaven!  The hand of destiny that comes to stop the suicidal hand…to remind me that time, life, they can be stopped, but that then one can never go back in time!  Oh thank you, blessed hand of Heaven…my dear Grandfather clock, you have saved my life!

Voice of B      Ow ow… Damn it!…Stop, that’s enough

Man                 That’s Destiny for you!

Burglar            Ow what a whack!  Good evening…excuse me, but you wouldn’t have any ice by chance? I feel lumps coming up!

Woman            Lumps?!  What a vulgar destiny!

Man                 Would you mind telling us exactly who you are?  What are you doing in my house? Answer me or I’ll give you some lumps...

Woman            Oh please, don’t you be vulgar as well…After all what would it cost you to give him a bit of ice.

Burglar            Come on, for a little bit of ice…

Man                 Now then, would you really like me to lose my patience?  Who are you

                        Who are you?

Burglar            I’ll tell you straight away sir…I am…the husband…I mean, that                             woman who called before is my wife…and I am her husband.

Man                 Ah… you are the husband…very good!

Burglar            Yes, yes….we got married in church.

Man                 I’m very pleased for you, then you will be fortunate enough to be buried consecrated soil.

Burglar            What do you mean buried!… No, no…You can’t get rid of me like this…You don’t have the right.  Madam, you are the witness that I am not armed…Look if he shoots me he will be in trouble: article 127 of the penal code…at the most he can shoot into the air if I run away…but as I am not running away, he can’t.  I’m just telling you that it would be premeditated homicide.

Woman            Oh, you know the law quite well, you do…sure, the law is always on your side…but if everyone decided to shoot you in the spine like they do with spies in the war…That’s it, that’s what you have to do; shoot him in the spine…Sir, can you turn around please.

Burglar            I’m sorry, but I have no desire to play war-games!  Rather, let’s call the police…

Man                 Ah, he’s clever!  Let’s call the Police!  The police finds out about the adultery, we’re done for, and he gets the prize.

Burglar            I get the prize?  Who’d give me a prize?

Man                 My wife.

Burglar            You’re mad…I don’t even know who your wife is…

Woman            What a hypocrite…you don’t know her?  Shoot him now, please. He disgusts me…

Man                 One moment.  How long have you been inside here?

Burglar            Since 11.47…I got in just when you two arrived.  Why?

Man                 Then you were inside the clock the whole time, you couldn’t telephone!  Maybe if we hurry up, we can still save ourselves.

Woman            Yes, save ourselves, and he will go and blab everything!

Burglar            No, no, I don’t blab, word of honour…I won’t blab…I don’t know how to…see?!

Man                 Anyway if we kill him the evidence would be too obvious.

Woman            Maybe we could seriously injure him.

Man                 What for?

Burglar            I agree, what for?

Woman            I know what for.  If we manage to hit a certain nerve right here behind his neck, and he would completely lose his memory.

Man                 But are you sure about that?

Woman            Absolutely certain.  Anyway he would be paralysed and he couldn’t talk, so it would be a good result for us all the same.

Burglar            But for me it wouldn’t be good at all.  Isn’t there another way, something a little less dangerous?  Come on Madam, think of something else…after all you are very clever!

Woman            Yes, maybe there is another solution: Get him drunk!  No-one would believe the evidence of a drunk!

Man                 It’s true! I have always said you’re an amazing woman!

Burglar            Yes, yes, Madam is quite amazing…I knew it straight away, I did…Well then what shall we drink?  If it’s all the same to you I would prefer some red wine, white wine upsets my stomach…ever since I was young, I remember…

Man                 No, no, not wine, it takes too long; it’s better with whisky or gin:  three nice big glasses and you’re there.

Burglar            To tell the truth…I don’t really like whisky, it tastes like kerosene.

Donna             This brand doesn’t taste like kerosene, it’s the real Scotch stuff.

Man                 What do you think, what’s it like?

Burglar            Excellent!  Really very special!

Man                 I’m sure it’s good, it should be after what it cost!

Burglar            Could you give me another drop?

Man                 Eh….let’s go slow! If you gulp it down like that, what are we going to drink?

Woman            Don’t be mean, please…and anyway he’s the one who has to get drunk, isn’t that so?

Burglar            Yes, I’m the one who has to get drunk…But if you want, why don’t you get sozzled too. Ah, Ah if I told my wife about this she wouldn’t  believe me…Talking about my wife, what exactly did you say to her that got her so angry,  I’m sure you’ve dropped me right in it you two…now please let me call her to explain this ruse.

Man                 What ruse?

Burglar            Yes, that it was you two who got me drunk…to stop me from talking…about what, however, that is something only you two know.

Woman            Ah, you’re very clever, you want a witness…you were right dear it’s better we just kill him…and not think about it anymore.

Man                 Yes, yes, that’s a better idea…Eh…let’s not joke around.

Burglar            You’re the ones who have to stop joking around…First you make me stay inside that clock for an hour getting struck in the head, then you make my wife turn against me, then you want to paralyse me.  Have you finished, yes or no?  I came here to steal not to play the clown!

Man                 To steal?

Burglar            Certainly, I am a burglar, a serious one.

Woman            A Burglar?  Now it comes out that he’s a Burglar! Oh please!  Where is the black mask, the stripey jumper, the felt slippers?

Man                 Yes, where are they?

Burglar            Black mask? Felt slippers? Do you think I come straight from the Sunday paper cartoons.  And anyway, what do you know about thieves?

Woman            For your information, I know everything about thieves… I have studied for a television quiz…which happened to be on <famous crimes and burglaries>…

Man                 Ah, now I understand how you knew all about how to use a gun!  I’m sorry that you chose badly, maybe you should invent some other job because that one just doesn’t wash with us.

Burglar            Listen, you’re the one being funny, haven’t you every heard about the Martello band.

Woman            The Martello band, made up of Mangia, Serafini, and Tornati Angelo also called  “Lucky”

Burglar            Tornati Angelo also called “Lanky” and not “Lucky”… “Lanky” which means long…

Woman            Long…oh please…But he was tiny!

Man                 Say small at least

Burglar            Why, do I seem small?

Man                 But what’s it got to do with you?

Burglar            What do you mean, what’s it got to do with me!  If you don’t mind, Tornati Angelo also known as “Lanky” is me!  And if you don’t believe it, look here are my release papers from Santo Stefano Penitentiary.  I served three years in there if you don’t mind!

Woman            Oh isn’t it wonderful, it’s really him, “Lucky”…pardon… “Lanky”!  What a pleasure!  You don’t mind do you sir?  A burglar, a real burglar…this has never happened to me before!  Please let me have a look at you.

Man                 What are you doing mow? This scoundrel comes to my house to steal…and you kiss him…It’s disgusting!

Woman            Oh please!  Don’t talk like that.  <It’s disgusting…>  What do you know?  Have you ever kissed a burglar?

Man                 No

Woman            Well then?  Try, and then you can tell me if it’s as disgusting as you say!   Who could it be?

Burglar            I bet it’s my wife again.  No, let me have the please of explaining to her…Hello, Maria?  You’ve got me in a nice mess you have, calling me!  I told you that when I am working you must leave me in peace, even if the house is on fire.  I want you to stay calm at home, do you understand?

Man                 But it’s not the telephone…it’s the door bell.

Burglar            Ah, that’s why she let me talk!

Man                 Who is it?

Anna               Who do you think it is, it’s me, Anna!

Woman            Oh, my god…this time it really is your wife!

Man                 Ah, it’s you dear…I wasn’t expecting you…why are you here, what happened?

Anna               I’d like to ask you what happened.  Some crazy woman called me…hurling insults at me.

Burglar            A crazy woman!  That’s my wife…I’d swear on it!

Anna               What are you waiting for, open the door!

Man                 Yes, I’ll open it straight away.  This is all we needed…now what are we going to tell her?

Burglar            Ah, I think I’ll just jump out the window.

Man                 No, my friend…that would be too easy…it’s yours and your wife’s fault that we’re in this great big mess, and it’s up to you to get us out of it!

Burglar            Me, and how can I do that?

Man                 One moment.  May be if you two are able to pass as husband and wife…we’ll get away with it!

Woman            What do you mean?  Married to him, a man that I don’t even know?

Man                 Don’t worry, love is sure to follow!  And anyway it’s better to pass for the wife of a fake husband than the lover of a real husband!  Now I’m serious, so stop messing around…or else…

Woman            Oh God, what a mess…Stand up, let’s have a look.  Didn’t you have a less squalid suit to wear? When one goes out, what a great impression you make…do you know that when the husband is scruffy it’s always the wife’s fault?

Burglar            I know, but I never imagined that something like this would happen…anyway at home I have a lovely pinstriped suit, I’ll go and get it.

Woman            No.  Oh these lumps!

Burglar            It’s just like this, Madam

Anna               Okay then, would you mind telling me exactly what is going on.  Who’s in the house with you?

Man                 Now I’ll explain everything to you…there was a misunderstanding but now everything is resolved.

Anna               What misunderstanding?  Weren’t you supposed to be at your mother’s?  What are you doing at home?

Man                 That’s the point, that’s exactly what I wanted to explain to you…Can I?  My friend Dr Angelo Tornato…

Burglar            Tornati…

Man                 Yes, sorry Tornati, and Madam…

Burglar            It was your husband who married us!  Love will surely follow, that’s what he said.

Man                 Yes, when I was still Deputy Mayor!

Woman            Please forgive us for the inconvenience…and at such an unseemly hour…but we really had to see your husband because…something happened…I mean…see…

Anna               Tell me rather, was it you who called me?

Man                 Yes, yes, it was her…but you must understand, the poor thing, she was so distraught!

Woman            Forgive me Madam but it was jealousy that made me lose my head, who knows why but I had convinced myself that my husband was having an affair with you…But now that I have seen you, I ask myself how I could ever have thought such a thing…

Anna               Why, do I seem that unpleasant to you?  Why don’t you just call me a monster, you might as well!

Woman            No Madam, that’s not what I meant at all!  In fact, you seem so distinguished…that, knowing my husband’s rather vulgar taste…

Burglar            What do you mean, I have vulgar taste?

Anna               I am sorry that you feel vulgar, my dear, seeing that your husband married you, but that doesn’t mean that you should consider me so beneath you.

Burglar            Okay, that’s enough, first vulgar…now you want to wipe the floor with me…

Man                 Now, lets not exaggerate, dear, he may not be anything to write home about, it’s true, but some may find him pleasing!

Anna               Well done, what a great husband I’ve got!  Instead of feeling offended that his wife’s honesty was doubted, he insists that I find my presumed lover attractive!  How crazy!

Woman            No Mam, that’s not what your husband meant, he meant to say that a woman, when she’s in love, always thinks that her own husband, even if he does have vulgar taste, could be pleasing to other women.

Anna               What great reasoning that is!  It’s like saying that because I like my husband, then you for example must also like him!  And if that’s so, why don’t you take him as your lover then.

Woman            Thanks but no thanks.

Anna               And you, Sir, have nothing to say?

Burglar            To tell you the truth, I would also prefer to have her as my lover, instead of my wife…as long as your husband has nothing against it…he’s the one who has to decide after all…he’s the one who married us!

Anna               That’s funny, that’s very funny; now I understand why your wife is worried about other woman…funny men are the most dangerous men, especially those with vulgar taste!

Burglar            She called me vulgar again!

Woman            Yes, he really is dangerous…you couldn’t imagine how dangerous he is!

Man                 Okay, let’s not exaggerate…All men are dangerous, some more and some less so!

Anna               That’s certainly not the case for you, darling!  Oh, look at them, aren’t they cute, they look just like newlyweds!  You two look so good together…it’s true isn’t it dear?

Man                 Yes, but now…maybe it’s better we all said goodbye…it’s getting a bit late…

Anna               Don’t be mean, please… Be our guests, stay as long as you want.  Even better, why don’t we have something to drink?

Burglar            Great, whisky like before…

Woman            You’re too kind…but we have already taken advantage of your kindness…And, anyway, it really is getting late, I wouldn’t want my husband to get home and not…to get home too late…We live quite a long way away, on the other side of the city, and he has to get up really early tomorrow morning…right dear?

Burglar            Eh?

Anna               Well then, why don’t you sleep here at our house, we have a free bedroom, go on, you tell them too dear!

Man                 Yes, why don’t you sleep here tonight?  What am I saying?  Maybe they prefer…

Burglar            Yes, yes we really do prefer that.

Anna               Good, see?  They prefer to stay!  You can’t imagine what a pleasure it is…

Woman            But really…we are here with nothing, and my husband just can’t get to sleep without his pyjamas!

Anna               Well, if that’s all, you’ll give him some of yours, the new ones, right dear?

Man                 But of course!

Anna               Come with me Madam, I’ll show you the room…You’ll just love it, I’m sure.  I’ll just steal her for a moment.

Man                 Was it really necessary for you to act the clown? You ragtag Don Juan! You don’t really think you’re going to sleep with my…and in my pyjamas…You can get that thought right out of your head!

Burglar            Nothing of the sort!  Who had the bright idea to make me the husband of their lover?  And then you get all worried about it…A poor wretch comes here to make a bit of money…and not only is he unable to take away even a broken clock, but he has to aid and abet your sordid affairs! No, no, I’m sorry, now you will do me the pleasure of calling my wife..even better, first we’ll call your wife and we’ll tell her the truth… then I’ll also call the police station.  It’s always better to be interrogated by the police than by my wife!

Man                 Oh listen to him, the gentleman is offended!  We have disturbed him during his saintly work!  But we’ll soon fix things.  You came here to steal? Well then steal, come on!  Burgle away all you want, there are some golden spoons there too, please be my guest!

Burglar            No, thank you, I don’t really like stealing this way…Thank you, another time perhaps…Well if you insist…Okay, if you wish…

Man                 I said steal… and plunder, I will not let you go around saying that at my place one can’t burgle profitably, that thieves are disadvantaged!

Burglar            I never said that.

Man                 You’re the type to say it…come on, take these as well.

Burglar            I wouldn’t want to take advantage of your kindness, of your goodness…

Man                 Don’t be so virtuous, come on…

Wife of B        Oh no, my goodness, Sir, don’t kill him. He will give everything back, but don’t kill him.

Burglar            Maria!!! Where did you come from?

Wife of B        The door was open…

Burglar            What a ninny I am, I climbed up three floors to get here!

Wife of B        Forgive me…it’s all my fault, I know…I understood too late…But now it’s better that you give everything back to the gentleman…Then, even if you get a few months, it’s Christmas time and it’s not that bad in prison…they even give you Christmas cake and mandarins…I beg you give yourself up!

Man                 His wife, that’s all we needed!…Now, what exactly do I say to my wife when she finds out that you have two wives!

Wife of B        Who’s got two wives?

Burglar            It’s got nothing to do with me.  He gave me a wife, so his wife wouldn’t find out…that she wasn’t my wife…but just a wife…

Wife of B        Ah, you traitor, liar, murderer…how stupid am I, I though that you were doing it with his wife and instead you already have another wife…who isn’t even his wife…now I’m going to kill you.  How do you do it, how do you do it?

Man                 You don’t do anything!  For goodness sake, don’t make such a din…If the other two wives hear us…I’m ruined it’s true…but also your husband.  Listen to me, I beg you: I’m not going to stand here and tell you the why and wherefore.  That would take too long… but, in short, if you want to save your husband…keep calm.  Oh no…here they come…now what are we going to come up with?

Anna               Your dear little wife, Mr Tornati…is waiting for you…I have also brought some pyjamas for you because if I waited for my husband to…Oh, excuse me dear…who is this other lady?

Man                 Who?

Wife of B        I am a wife too…may I?  Maria Tornati…

Anna               But what do you mean?  Another wife?

Man                 Yes, dear, that’s exactly what I wanted to explain to you before…this lady…would be

Wife of B        What do you mean “would be”…I am the wife!

Man                 Exactly, I am the wife…she is the wife of Mr Tornati…The first wife of my friend Tornato…

Burglar            …ti

Man                 …to-ti

Burglar            …ti-ti-ti Tornati.

Man                 The first wife from whom Tornati is divorced.

Anna               Oh, he looks like the one who works in films.

Man                 Yes, yes he works in films…he is a producer.

Anna               Producer…and what sort of films do you make?  Excuse me, but what is that?  It’s my silver, what are you doing?

Burglar            Stealing…

Man                 Nooo!  He was telling me about one of his new films…where there was a scene about a burglary…and he was showing me…

Anna               Oh how interesting!  You are a specialist then.

Burglar            Yes, I come from a long line…

Anna               And your wife?

Wife of B        No…I’m not allowed to, he always leaves me at home…

Anna               No, I was saying…what’s this story of a divorce…if they’re divorced why is his wife still his wife?  I mean, now he has two of them!

Man                 Exactly…he remarried…but the State, contesting canon law didn’t consider the divorce to be valid even if it allowed the second marriage to go ahead.  Therefore the poor thing finds himself at the same time to be a bigamist, a concubine, a sinner and a practising catholic…

Wife of B        What are you talking about?  A you said nothing to me?

Burglar            But I didn’t even know…But how can I be a practising bigamist?!

Anna               Oh, my dear lady…some things it’s just better not to know about…and anyway even when you do know about them you never understand them…The poor thing…who knows where it will all end…maybe they’ll make him stand trial, then they’ll send him to jail like a common criminal.

Man                 Yes, like a burglar, and all because he has a wife…

Anna               What do you mean?

Man                 I mean two wives…

Anna               Yes, speaking of that, what about your other lady?  Maybe it’s better she doesn’t find out that she is here…poor thing…and what can be done!  Even if everyone agreed , it’s only a small double bed…and the three of you would be very uncomfortable.

Man                 Don’t worry dear…we’ll sort everything out.

Wife of B        Like fun we’ll sort everything out, don’t think you’re going to get out of it that easily…

Burglar            Yes, yes, but for now let’s go in the other room.

Man                 Come Madam, I’ll introduce you to the wife of your husband…I mean…umm, after you!

Anna               Poor woman, oh my goodness what a mess, and look how much they’ve drunk.

Anna               Anna, are you alone?

Anna               Oh my god, Antonio, what’s gotten into you?  Get out of here, quickly, get out of here, my husband’s at home.

Antonio           Would you mind telling me what happened to you?  You made no sense on the telephone…What was all that stuff about my wife phoning you?

Anna               Nothing, nothing, there was a misunderstanding, thank God.  I received a phone call from a woman who started screaming at me about her husband.

Antonio           And you thought it was my wife?

Anna               Exactly, I don’t know your wife and I’ve never heard her voice.  I got such a big fright!  But you can’t stay here, go away, we’ll see each other tomorrow.

Antonio           Oh, I have to leave now do I?…No, my dear,  I’m not falling for that.  The telephone call, the misunderstanding, your husband coming home when he’s meant to be at his mothers…no there’s something not quite right here. You planned it all…

Anna               Are you crazy?  How can you think such a thing?

Antonio           Don’t lie…and these glasses?  It’s clear to me…everything was in place…Where is he…what’s his name…it’s better for you if you just tell me!

Burglar            Am I disturbing you?  I just wanted to get this sack.

Antonio           Ah, here he is…with the pyjamas and all…I can see the “gentleman” is all ready to go.

Burglar            Excuse me, the lady herself gave them to me, but if you want them, take them, there’s no need to throttle me over some pyjamas…

Antonio           I know she gave them to you, and that’s exactly why the two of you are going to pay!

Anna               Oh, Antonio, I beg you…you’re making a terrible mistake.  This gentleman is a friend of my husband’s and he’s here as our guest with his two wives.

Voices of Women       But no my dear, I’m not the village idiot!

                        Careful what you say…who are you calling a harlot?

Antonio           They are your wives?  How many have you got?

Anna               Oh, I beg of you…Mr Tornati, don’t say anything to my husband about this…

Burglar            No, no, I won’t say a thing…

Antonio           Thank you…and sorry for the misunderstanding.

Burglar            What’s one more misunderstanding, after all it’s been a whole evening of misunderstandings!

Anna               Now, you must leave.  Where did you put the key?

Antonio           Here, in my overcoat…Oh no, it’s fallen down into the lining…there was a hole in the pocket…that’s all we needed.

Anna               Here it is!  Oh no.  You made me drop it…

Burglar            Don’t move, here it is…oh what, now where has it gone?

Antonio           Oh, go slowly, you’re tearing all the lining…Oh no, now it’s gone into my sleeve.

Anna               Here they come, and now what are we going to do?

Burglar            Listen, come inside.  I’ve already spent a couple of hours in here and it’s not too bad.  I’ll warn you though, soon it’s going to strike the hour, careful when it bangs.  And remember, no smoking.

Wife of B        Seeing they don’t want to explain anything to me, we’re going home and you’ll explain it all!

Burglar            Why do you want to go home,  it’s so nice here, and everybody has been very kind.  Look, they even gave me some pyjamas.  Anyway, even if we wanted to, I don’t know how we would get out…There’s no key.

Wife of B        Well it shouldn’t be difficult for you to pick the lock…That’s what you do for a living, don’t you?

Anna               What a lot of keys.  Why so many?

Man                 I’ve already told you, he’s a producer, and if a producer doesn’t have at least five or six offices…two or three villas…and a couple of pied a terre what sort of producer is he?

Antonio           Ohhh my head hurts oh, oh, oh

Burglar            I did warn you…And now there isn’t even any ice.

Woman            But that’s my husband…Hello dear!

Antonio           Giulia…what are you doing in this house?

Anna               What, you know Mr Tornati’s wife?

Antonio           Whose wife?  Don’t be funny, Giulia is my wife.

Man                 No, dear, don’t worry, there has been a misunderstanding.

Burglar            Another misunderstanding?  There have been quite a few this evening!

Woman            Now you’re going to have to explain to me just exactly what you were doing inside that clock…was he already in there when you were in there?

Burglar            Well, you know, it’s so dark in there!

Man                 But it’s clear…crystal clear, you just have to let me explain the misunderstanding…now

Burglar            Misunderstanding?  Like fun!  There’s no misunderstanding here…I’ll tell you what it is…it’s, it’s

Anna               But of course, it’s a misunderstanding, it’s obvious that’s what it is.

Antonio           Yes, yes, I saw it straight away, in fact I’m surprised the gentleman didn’t realise it too…it’s all a misunderstanding.

Woman            It’s so obvious that even a baby could see it…

Man                 Well then, there isn’t even any need to explain it. One doesn’t explain misunderstandings, otherwise what sort of misunderstandings would they be?

Burglar            Quick, come with me!

Wife of B        Wait, don’t pull me like that!

Anna               Who turned out the lights

Woman            What’s going on?

Antonio           Stop them, where are they going?

Woman            He’s so mad he’s probably going to give himself up…quickly

Man                 Quick, stop them, don’t let them get away.

Woman            They’ve gone out through the garden, run!

Man                 It’s impossible…you two go that way, and you come with me…he’s come back through the window.  He thinks he’s so clever!  He’s come back to get the silver…

Anna               Get him!

Woman            Quick…grab him…don’t let him get away!

Man                 Turn on the light!

2nd Burglar       No, no, this is going too far.  Now you’re the ones setting traps…the open window, the loot ready…and then all of a sudden: bang…everything up in smoke…No, no that’s not right.  I’m going straight to the union and good night!

Everyone         NOOOOO!

Man                 No, for goodness sake, listen to us, there has been a misunderstanding…

2nd Burglar       A what?

Everyone         A misunderstanding!!!

Man                 Now, if you will allow me, I’ll explain everything…

Everyone         Well….. (Confusione generale…. Mentre cala la tela)

           

           

                       

                       

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