Family Business Part 3 – A family supper at Oak Farm brings out the worst in Massimo and conversation turns inevitably to the firm.

Family Business Part 3

Back with the Edges in Family Business part 3, everyone’s talking about an important invitation. Is Charlie going to upset the apple cart?  

                                                                           Family Business Part 3

To: Rosa
From: Laura

Date: 28 Oct 2014

Subject: Re: Charlie


You pig!  You always beat me to everything.  I thought I’d got the scoop by telling you about Charlie, and you go and trump me with a personal visit.  You could have invited me along too!  Anyhow, I won’t have to wait long because mum has invited all of us (me flying solo with Paul off on tour still), Lorenzo and Carla, Flora and Charlie and Massimo to supper tonight for a “Family Conference”.  She seems to think if you serve up enough pasta, you don’t need to approach these things in a professional manner.

If you could see her, you’d be amazed by our mum.  It’s like she’s spent the past 50 years in limbo waiting for a chance to get her hands on the business and now dad’s out of the picture, she’s finally got her opportunity.  I don’t know how she’s done it, but she’s got Lorenzo to agree to have Charlie as sales director.  She’s insisting on taking over the finance role herself which leaves me mopping up all the admin as usual and Massimo dicking around.  I’ve said it before, but if she’d just give Massimo an allowance and stop pretending he actually contributed anything to Edge Outdoor Furniture, we’d all make more money.

He really is taking the piss now that dad’s not around.  It isn’t as if he ever really did anything like work, but now he’s taken to throwing his weight around, meddling in the warehouse and upsetting staff left, right and centre.  He’s insisting that he has one of the two parking bays just by the warehouse since they’re nearest the offices.   Never mind that it makes it nearly impossible for the guys to use the forklift with his sports car out front.  He expects them to drive the forklift out of the side entrance and round to the front when we have garden furniture deliveries.  I wouldn’t be surprised if he found himself accidentally on purpose buried under a mass of cushions one of these days.  Mum seems to recognize how unreasonable he is, but she’s forever making excuses for him which only makes the situation worse.

Carla’s been on the phone trying to find out what I know/think about the Charlie situation.   Lucretia Borgia had nothing on her.  It’s only when I think about the monster he’s married to that I ever feel sorry for Lorenzo.  He’s so foul at the moment I think his piles must be playing up – but can you imagine what it’s like in their house?  Poor Ant, and poor Maria.   Ant just gets quieter and quieter while Maria has started flirting terribly with the warehouse guys so maybe she’s taking after her mother’s minxy ways.

Anyhow, I’ll fill you in tomorrow with a juicy email since I’ll be in the office all day with Lorenzo breathing down my neck.

Love, Laura xxx

                                                                           Family Business Part 3

To: Rosa
From: Laura

Date: 29 Oct 2014

Subject: Mama Cucina

So Rosie, last night was quite like old times – by which I mean Massimo got drunk and tried to get us all to do his dirty work (more of this later), Lorenzo tried to act like the patriarch out of some gangster movie and ended up looking stupid and pompous, Carla was her usually bitchy self and Ma didn’t relax all evening – hopping around brandishing ladles of pasta.

By the time I got there, Massimo was sprawled out by the fire on about his third or fourth beer.  Mr Cock-up he may be, but this time he excelled himself – he only went and brought the wrong girlfriend!!  Ma was obviously expecting Poppy, but there was this grumpy Czech teenager sitting on his knee.   She looked like one of those students that throws your order at you at McDonalds.  All spots and attitude.  She’s really very pretty but sulky!  And, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if she wasn’t pregnant – she didn’t touch a drop of booze and how anyone can sit through one of our family gatherings sober, is beyond me.  Anyhow, she didn’t really say much so she’s either very enigmatic or very thick and he’s just after her youthful body.

Lorenzo and Carla had clearly had a row.  She arrived looking like something out of Puss in Boots.  The short shorts and fishnets didn’t look so hot when mum took one look at her slutty ankle boots, pointed at the parquet and commanded “take-a your shoes off ina ma house”.  The wardrobe malfunction didn’t stop Carla flirting embarrassingly with Charlie though I don’t think he noticed.  He was too busy fending off a hostile interrogation from Lorenzo who bellowed all sorts of intimate questions down the table at him – you know how he gets.  He kept calling Charlie’s adoptive Australian parents, his ‘real’ parents which was winding Flora up beautifully.   And of course, he’s the expert on all things down-under, having gone on a few visits to metal garden furniture firms there!

Ma was exhausting – she was putting on the down-trodden Italian housewife act – wearing the ghastly pinny with her hair scraped back into a messy ponytail.  Looked like she’d come off shift as a hospital cleaner.  I don’t think anyone was fooled – of course there were vats of pasta, but I detected a whiff of Dolmio about the place, and the mains were most definitely from Cook (I know cos I buy the same stuff).   She didn’t really sit down – just kept rushing in and out of the kitchen for one thing or another.  But, she’s clearly decided that Charlie’s the answer to all her woes – the perfect son (grandson) she never had.  Let’s face it – it’s not hard to be cleverer, classier and more productive than her own two darlings.  She got rather drunk too!

The best bit was when Massimo suddenly asked who would take his speeding points.  It then got into a competition with everyone saying they already had loads of points on their licenses.  I kept quiet of course – and if you ever let on that I hold a clean license, I’ll murder you.  Turns out his girlfriend can’t help cos of course she can’t drive (probably not old enough).  Ma has been caught by the camera on the bypass twice recently and Lorenzo apparently is one step away from losing his license.  Next thing I knew, Massimo’s grabbed Miss Czech Republic and is huffing out.  Charlie and Flora left soon after and once Charlie had gone, Lorenzo felt it was safe to leave too!   He clearly can’t bear for mum to be on her own with Charlie for one second.

The only business talk that went on was to say that Charlie was starting with the firm on Monday.  Of course there’s no clear definition of roles within the company – as per usual.  We’ve just got to absorb another body and take on another viewpoint.   I think Charlie will be good for the firm – he’s fresh and does seem to talk from experience.  I for one think we could do with expanding from metal garden furniture into rattan.  Those rattan lounge sets seem to be everywhere these days.  We could do with shaking up a bit.  Lorenzo’s very paranoid about it though.  Perhaps someone will finally see through all his bluster.  Interesting times ahead.

All for now, L x

                                                                          Family Business Part 3

To: Laura
From: Rosa

Date: 30 Oct

Subject: Fwd: Lorenzo’s 50th

Isn’t this priceless?  I guess we’ll all have to go… but it does seem very tactless with dad missing.

I particularly loved the bit about RSVP-ing – tautology! And people on the waiting list!  It’s so him.   At least the kids are off the hook which means we won’t need to make a big thing of it.  The invite was sent to me and quite pointedly didn’t mention Nick so I think he’s still persona non grata.  Can I stay with you?

Lorenzo Filippo Sebastiano Edge requests the pleasure of your company at an exclusive event to mark his 50th birthday.  Please join his wife Carla and their children, Maria and Antonio, at Staveley Country Club on Saturday November 22nd at 8pm.   Dress code: formal. 

Please note that while we are very fond of little ones, we are not able to accommodate children under twelve on this occasion.   Please RSVP your reply by 7 November since there are many people on the waiting list for invitations.  Please contact Carla directly for ideas about gifts.

Rosa xxx

                                                                          Family Business Part 3

To: Rosa
From: Laura

Date: 31st Oct

Subject: Re: Fwd: Lorenzo’s 50th

Happy Halloween to you and yours.  I bet Joe and Freddy are really up for it!  Juno is insisting on being a zombie this year (I blame that computer game Plants vs Zombies).

Of course you can stay on the 22nd.

What a bastard not to invite Nick – well what a bastard to invite you, and not to invite Nick.  Doesn’t he think that’s rude?  What did you make of the fictitious middle names though?  You didn’t mention that!   I checked with mum and yes, Lorenzo’s real middle name is John (after dad) – he’s just added those himself.  Who on earth goes around at the age of 50, seasoning their own name.  He’s bloody odd.

You can contact Carla directly about gifts – ha, ha!  I bet she’s got a long list of things she’s eager to get her hands on.  How grasping.  I’ve a good mind to get them a new parasol or cushions for a metal patio set!  He’s always giving away the firm’s stock instead of reaching into his pockets.  After all, one can’t have too many metal garden furniture sets, now can one?  Seriously, let’s combine on a pressie.  Something utterly pointless and rather pompous would be good.

Lots of love, Laura xx

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