Tony Soprano And Collateral Damage

I’m going to mention something in a moment that I usually don’t talk about. Which is kind of funny since I’ve invited the world into my broken childhood and I talk like a sailor. Randy cringes if I put the word ‘cunt’ in a blog post. Not because it offends him. HAHAHFUCKINGHAHA, ย His language is more obscene than mine. And that is very nearly true.

It makes him cringe and then he says: Michelle, there are a lot of people who are really offended by ‘cunt’, you’re going to turn people off and lose readers.

Fa la la la. I’ve spent my whole life worrying about what other people think. Not here, though. This is mine.

That being said, one thing I rarely talk about is sex. I am way too uptight to talk about sex. I come from a family where sex was never mentioned. We certainly did not ‘get the talk’ at my house. Everything I learned about sex, I had to learn in the streets. In Dry Ridge,KY.

In order to tell this story, though, I’m going to have to talk about sex.

In May, Amazon streaming added a shit ton of HBO shows. Randy was pumped about this. The Wire. The Sopranos, Deadwood, We were in our favorite series heaven.

We started The Sopranos over and I have to say, I like even more the second time around.

There was a scene with Tony and Carmella and Uncle Jun and his girlfriend that stuck with me. This is where I have to talk about sex.

Here we go.

So, you guys know how there’s this orally performed sex act, right? Well, apparently, Uncle Jun was really good at it.

He was in Boca with his girlfriend. She was the typical big busted, simple secretary who worked in an office with shiny wood paneled walls. Jun was hiding out in Florida and he took her with him. They were talking about that one sex act I mentioned and she said how good he was. Jun cautioned her, don’t tell anyone. The guys think if you go down on a woman, then that means you are a fag.

Aside: I really REALLY struggled with using the word fag. I have a lot more of a problem using the word ‘fag’ ย than ‘cunt’. However, this is what they said on The Sopranos, so I’m going to leave it.ย 

She promised she wouldn’t say anything. Then at her hairdresser’s, her stylist brings it up as it must have been something they discussed in the past. She asked her not to say anything….but you know how that shit goes.

Carmella went to the same stylist. That night, Uncle Jun was having dinner at Tony and Carmella’s Carmella makes a few cryptic remarks and laughs about them. After dinner, when Tony and Carmella are in bed, Tony asks what she meant by those remarks. She makes Tony promise to not tell and then tells him that apparently, Uncle Jun is a virtuoso at that one sex thing that I talked about a few minutes ago. This was a joke to Carmella. Not for a moment did she consider collateral damage.

The next day, while golfing at a country club, Tony starts singing about going down to Mexico and asks Uncle Jun if he smells tuna. We all know that Tony would never concern himself with collateral damage.

Jun figures it out and it culminates with the poor girlfriend, who really seemed to care about Jun, getting dumped and having a cream pie smashed in her face.

The disparity between Tony and Carmella’s life and Jun’s girlfriend’s life is glaringly apparent. Tony and Carmella used a secret to fuck with Uncle Jun, probably without thinking ONCE about the poor girlfriend who would face Jun’s wrath.

I know this is a show, but it still made me think. How often do we needle someone in a way that seems innocuous to us without considering the impact it could have? Who are we hurting when we pass along information that is really not our business to pass along?

Do I pay attention to my words?

Do I consider when I open my mouth what the impact could be on other people?

I think I do.

But always?


I decided that it was time for me to be cognizant of what I say and maybe learn to keep my mouth shut when it should stay shut. I don’t want to be Carmella Soprano.

I mean, I guess an argument could be made that the girlfriend was better off without Jun. Any time there is a relationship where one person is willing to physically harm another person, even with just a pie, then you are better off running in the other direction.

Or should I ignore that justification and continue down the path of trying to be more considerate of others? Should I continue to consider how far my words reach when I spray them?

I’m not setting myself up for perfection here, I don’t think there has ever been a time in my life where my goal was perfection. But could I be better? I’m sure I could.

It’s like Thumper’s mother says: If you can’t say anything nice, shut your fucking cake hole.



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  • I am so excited that Amazon got that deal! I never saw The Wire and I’m hoping they put Game of Thrones on there soon so I can watch that! But The Sopranos….. That is my FAVORITE FUCKING SHOW EVER!!!!!!! I could talk about that show (and I certainly have) for hours and hours!!!

    Anyways…. you’re absolutely right about thinking twice before we say something. I use to never do this, but in recent years I’ve become much better. I hope to do an even better job as I grow older. It is very, very hard to do sometimes….

    Lastly, I think it’s fucking hilarious how you just discribed that whole episode and the “act in question” HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Rocco and I have talked about that episode, and how ridiculous the notion of going down on a girl makes you a fag is, quite a bit. Great show.

    As for biting your tongue from time to time, I think it’s a sign of respect. 10 years ago I wouldn’t have thought twice about spitting acid at someone or really anyone. As I’ve gotten older I’ve realized that there’s times that NOTHING good will come of it and I need to shut the fuck up. Doesn’t mean I always do but I know I ought to. Oh well.

  • Knowing when to keep your mouth shut is a hard thing. I was talking to a woman I know about a mutual friend (via text, I’ll admit–never a safe medium) and there was something the mutual friend was doing that I (and everyone else who expressed an opinion on it–and let me say those were unsolicited opinions, not me saying “Can you believe what x is doing?”) thought was dumb (not hurtful to anyone else, just dumb) and I was planning to approach this friend to discuss the dumb thing with her, but I was texting the woman I know to get her feedback. Before I could talk to the mutual friend, SHE went and told her the things I’d been saying OUT OF CONTEXT.

    Now, was I 100% right? I’ll accept that I may not have been, but what did the other woman (I say “other woman” because I now no longer consider her a friend) hope to achieve by telling our mutual friend what I’d been saying? In fact all she did was piss me off, and cause me to draw back from the mutual friend (the mutual friend has always acted exactly the same towards me, but I really don’t know if she harbors any lasting resentment).

    I have never told anyone in that circle of friends (perhaps a dozen women who hang out together once or so a month) about her betrayal because there’s nothing productive that could come of it. It could just end up in a Her Side/My Side division that would be destructive to the group dynamic. But I don’t go to the monthly events anymore and my one friend who goes all the time is like, “Why don’t you come anymore?” and I just blame other commitments or my husband’s travel schedule. But the truth is, one person opened her big fat mouth and now I don’t trust her and don’t want to hang out with her.

    • I’m sorry that happened to you! This is exactly what I’m talking much unpleasantness could be avoided if people just shut their damn mouths.

  • I love how you say what you want and claim this space as your own – keep it up. And if we didn’t say anything unless we had something nice to say the blogging world would be dead except for those 30 Day Fitness Challenge blogs – ugh. – I’m still thinking about our island ๐Ÿ™‚

    • you make a good fucking point…I guess I was saying more..indiscriminately passing on people’s personal lives or secrets without regard…

      I often don’t have something nice to say

      And we do need to get those adjoining islands

  • First off…that’s a compliment, Jun, you asshat.
    Second…I think it’s one thing to be a malicious gossip-monger…it’s another to have to watch every little thing you say because there are just some people who are not happy unless they are offended by some damn thing. I don’t worry about those people.

  • I have that conversation with myself all the time, using Thumper’s mom’s voice. (That must have been in the uncut version, though… LOL)

    What amazes me, is that I have children who are so kind-hearted and lovely and tactful, and really gifted at keeping everyone’s secrets. They see the best in everyone, first. I like to tell myself they learned it because of my super awesomely spectacular mothering and by watching me be *that* kind of person, but inside I’m also half-sure they are aliens who wonder why I ever speak at all most days (using the Thumper’s-mom rule of communication).

    Actually I’m pretty sure they inherited it from my father-in-law (who died before my youngest was born). That man was not CAPABLE of saying a bad thing about another human being. Ever. I wish I could say that about myself…

    • I had an uncle like your Father in law…sweetest human on the planet.

      None of my kids are tactful…the youngest is the sweetest of the bunch..but he’s far from tactful

  • Oh, I *totally* remember that episode. I was so sad for the girlfriend. I admit, I never took it a step farther to think about the meaning behind it all (be careful about your words). I don’t gossip, but I’m sure I’ve said things that caused hurt someone and I didn’t even know it. Blergh! (but I still think Uncle Jun should have been flattered!) –Lisa

  • I’m the same way… Or was until twitter… We just didn’t talk about sees in my family and I was extremely uptight about it.
    I think this is excellent example of why we should be careful about what we say. I’m not usually worried about offending people but to say something that could hurt someone? It’s happened on accident and as I’ve matured, it happens less and less… I can’t remember the last time.
    It’s never the wrong time to think about trading people with respect.

    That said… I have to tell you a story:

    About 18 years ago, I was on the phone with a friend (also a mother of 5 like me) from church. Our then 2 year old son came running into the room, jumped on the bed and accidentally landed right on Charlie’s groin. He let out a very loud groan. My friend asked what happened and I told her, in a very careful whisper.
    Charlie didn’t hear that over his groaning and thought he was making a private joke when he yelled “Can mommy come kiss it better?”
    I had a brief moment of mortification before my friend burst into hysterical laughter. Then I broke up and Charlie wanted to know what we were laughing about so I told him.
    This man who rarely blushes looked like a radish and was horribly embarrassed.
    It took a lot of coaxing before he accepted that he wasn’t being judged, they were laid back people and, in fact, his joke he thought would just be between the two of us probably made out friend feel a little more normal in her sense of humor.
    We laugh about it and tell the story as one of out favorite embarrassing moments… But this post brought it to mind and I thought you’d maybe get a kick out of it. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • I have a headache and I can’t think right, but I love the way you refer to it as that one sex thing, and also thunpers mom. you are good pwople michelle. im on my phone and im not fixing those damned typos.

  • I have to admit — I’ve been guilty of telling tales from time to time in my life — and it always led to trouble, drama, and hurt feelings. I’ve also been on the receiving end more often than I care for. I’m making a conscious choice to try to change the way I think and interact — I want to be the person people feel comfortable talking to, knowing that what they say won’t go any further. I don’t always succeed — there is a snarky side of me that I sometimes have trouble reigning in.

    • Yeah…I can be fucking snarky and not in a funny way. I have a hard time with that as well.

      I’ve been on the receiving end of gossip before a couple of times and I was shocked. I had NO IDEA that my life was interesting enough to be fodder. I was surprised that I was considered at all. I didn’t like it, either. There was a rumor that I was sleeping with my (at the time) boss who was one of the most repulsive men I’ve ever met.

  • Fun write. I relate to trying to keep my mouth shut but I can’t. I forget. I talk to everyone and sometimes people don’t have time because they know how to focus and I’m like WTF?

    I wear a pin at a yogi retreat I visit the “I’m in silence” pin. HA! CAN’T DO IT!

    What I’m practicing is accepting who I am, a talker with a bit of mania.

  • Oh God, it figures you had to mention THAT episode of The Sopranos! HAHAHAHAHA! Could be the reason I never dated Italians… just sayin’.
    SEX. Now that you’ve mentioned it, will we be hearing more about it from you? ๐Ÿ™‚

  • The Sopranos and Thumper’s mom in one blog? Nicely done!

    Honestly, I think spewing without thinking is a sign of immaturity. Don’t get me wrong, I say stupid stuff all the time, but at least I know that after it comes out of my mouth it was the wrong thing to say, and I try to atone for it. Carmella and Tony? Not too big on atonement.

  • I remember that episode well. And I think about the effect that words have. I admit to not being as good as I should be. I don’t say mean things to people’s faces, but I’m guilty of talking shit to my husband. And I do feel guilty about that. Sometimes…

    In other news, I’m glad you’ll still read about sex otherwise you’d miss 25% of my stuff. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Oh, I can read the shit out of it…it’s talking about it myself that makes me all squeamish.

      I talk shit to my husband as well..I kind of feel that doesn’t count. At least if it stops there. Your husband isn’t an underboss or anything, right?

By Michelle


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