Chapter IChapter VIII:
Topo Gigio does unheard things for love.
Then what? the next night! What would I have done the next night? I had to have another idea!
Consumed by this dilemma I went to see my friend the Wizard, who knew everything. He was a marionette made of plaster, a material similar to gesso, therefore born in an earlier period, when they did not have plastic. He was older than me and was so full of knowledge, ideas and solutions.
The Wizard listened to my love pains and then said: “You have to become wealthy... with women you have to have money!”
And I: “How do you become rich? I never tried to be rich!”
Wizard: “I have no idea so far, but if we think about it, bet you that we’ll come up with something.”
And I: “How?”
Wizard: “Let’s start pacing, you to the right and I to the left”.
Every once in a while we would confer with each other. Then we started walking most of the night; it was four in the morning, when I had a struck of genius. At our first encounter I referred the idea to the little Wizard, we both thought it was genial.
“Listen little Wizard” - I told him - “If I want to become rich, really rich to have Rosy breathless, then I have to change profession.”
Wizard: “The concept is right, it holds water, but what other profession can you do other than a thespian?”
“I could do the work of a Zac!”
And he: “Of what?”
I was surprised that it was not clear to him: “Yes a Zac!!! Just wait and, even if you are asleep, with a bit of luck, after a little while, there a light goes on in your head and Zac, you are set for life”.
This is just an example, think about the person that the idea of inventing the “Yo-Yo” and I started doing a movement like a “Yo-Yo”, there you see he became rich for all his life. And the Wizard to show he was on the same wave length: “What about the person that had the idea of inventing a puppet made of plastic that moves against a black background! Well really, she did not make all that much, but what about the person who invented hot water, he really made out.”. At that point the Wizard realized we were going off on a tangent, and stopped me. “Yes that just a saying, but I understand the idea, it just needs to be refined.”.
Without wasting any more time, he sat down at the set designers table, who naturally were not there as it was still night and, seriously pronouncing the phrase: “Leonardo Da Vinci docet” (from Latin: “Leonardo Da Vinci teaches”), he drew a beautiful Da Vinci machine with gears, mechanisms, ropes and pulleys. Then he called in the marionettes and with their help built the machine that he designed. The marionette was very diverse and they were named: Arlecchino, Stenterello, Brighella, Pulchinella, all of the characters of the Commedia Dell’Arte, the Zanni’s none other than the buffon servants.
They worked hard and fast, but they were not at all that sure about our idea, they would make us laugh with their one-liners and jokes. I would help in the building of the machine, thinking that Maria would look at me with pride and would say: “You are the last of the Zanni, the Zanni of the 20th century”. At the end of the job, the little Wizard, to test out the machine, convinced me to be tied upside down, as it was for sure I would get better ideas in that position. He said nothing else, as soon as they finished tying me up it struck 7 a.m., time when all of us puppets, marionettes must shutter ourselves in our boxes and go into hibernation.
That morning, in a rush the Wizard and the others left me tied up like a salami and instead of taking the opportunity to come up with an idea like a Zac, I was counting the seconds just hoping that someone would come to the workshop and take me down. Later bit by bit the workshop got populated and finally at 11 a.m. even Maria got there. She quickly released me from that torture contraption and grumbled that the puppets must go back into their boxes at the end of the night. So there it ended the long night and, as I was falling asleep, I heard Maria laughing and then said: “Whose idea it was this Da Vinci machine? It’s beautiful, its brilliant and it gives me the idea for the next skit on the 'Ed Sullivan Show'.”
The day after, as a matter of fact, we left for the United States, and I found myself repeating, in a comic hue, what me and the little Wizard had hoped and concerted.
Chapter IX - The imaginary line between reality and fantasy exists only in the mind of “men” >>