Literature bleg

The following fairy tales were reprinted in Espy, Words at Play (1975) and have been reproduced here and there (with introduced errors that I have tried to correct).  I think they are sidesplitting, much funnier than Mots d’heures, gousses, rames,  though I’m not sure why (you have to read them out loud as though the orthography is Italian: channel Father Guido Sarducci).  I don’t know and can’t find anything about the author, Bob Belviso, except a tantalizing comment on a defunct blog implying that there are more where these came from, and some news articles from the Atlanta area where his daughter Molly appears to be in the restaurant business.

Anyone care to join the search for more Belviso work?


Uans oppena taim uas tri berrese; mamma berre, pappa berre, e bebi berre. Live inne contri nire foresta.

NAISE AUS (No mughegge.)

Uanna dai, pappa, mamma, e bebi go tuda bice, onie, fughette loche de dorre.
Bai enne bai commese Goldilocchese, sci garra nattinghe tu du betta meiche troble.
Sci pusce olle fudde daon di maute; no live cromme.
Dan sci gos appesterese ene slipse in alle beddse.

Bai anne bai commese omme di tri berrese; alle sonnebronde enne sand inna scius.
Dei garra no fudde, garra no beddse En uarra dei goine due to Goldilocchese?
Tro erre inne strit?
Colle pullissemenne?

Dei uas Italien Berrese, enne dei slippe ona florre. Goldilocchese stei derre tri uicase; itte aute ausenomme;
en giusta becose dei asche erra to meiche di beddse sci sai “Go giompinna leiche,”
enne runne omma craine to erra mamma tellen erre uat sanomabicces di tri berres uor.
Uatsiuse? Uara iu goine du?
– Go compleine sittiole?


Uans appona taim uase disse boi. Nemmse Giacche. Naise boi. Live uite ise mamma. Mainde da cao. Uane dei, di spaghetti ise olle ronne aute. Dei goine feinte fromme no fudde. Mamma, sci crais, “Oreie, Giacche! Teicche da cao enne traide erra forre bocchese spaghetti enne somme uaine.” Bai enne bai commese omme Giacche. I garre no fudde, i garre no uaine. Meicchese misteicche enne traidese da cao forre bonce binnese. GIACCHASSE!

Mamma scise engri, enne giompe uppa enne daon craine, “Uare iu! Somme caine cresi?” Denne sci tro olle binnese aute da uindo.

Necchese dai, Giacche lucchese aute da uindo enne oaura iu tinke? Isse disse binnestaucche uate rice appe tru di claoudse. Somme uide! Giacche gos appe da binnestauche. Isse disse ogghere! Isse menne nainte sicchese futte tolle uite tri grin aise! Enne i garra ghusse uate laisse gholde egghese.

Giacche ielle, “Giaiaiao!” Denne isse grabbe da ghuse enne cuicche claimse daon fromme di binnestaucche. Isse cose cioppe-cioppe uite di acchese. Di nainte sicchse futte menne isse folle enne brecche di necche. Aucce!

Momma giompse fromme gioie. Sci mecchese naise ghusse cacciatore. Bai enne bai dei garre no morre fudde. De goinne dai! Uattse iusse? Uara iu goinne du uene iore ghusse isse cucchede?

Author: Michael O'Hare

Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley, Michael O'Hare was raised in New York City and trained at Harvard as an architect and structural engineer. Diverted from an honest career designing buildings by the offer of a job in which he could think about anything he wanted to and spend his time with very smart and curious young people, he fell among economists and such like, and continues to benefit from their generosity with on-the-job social science training. He has followed the process and principles of design into "nonphysical environments" such as production processes in organizations, regulation, and information management and published a variety of research in environmental policy, government policy towards the arts, and management, with special interests in energy, facility siting, information and perceptions in public choice and work environments, and policy design. His current research is focused on transportation biofuels and their effects on global land use, food security, and international trade; regulatory policy in the face of scientific uncertainty; and, after a three-decade hiatus, on NIMBY conflicts afflicting high speed rail right-of-way and nuclear waste disposal sites. He is also a regular writer on pedagogy, especially teaching in professional education, and co-edited the "Curriculum and Case Notes" section of the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. Between faculty appointments at the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, he was director of policy analysis at the Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs. He has had visiting appointments at Università Bocconi in Milan and the National University of Singapore and teaches regularly in the Goldman School's executive (mid-career) programs. At GSPP, O'Hare has taught a studio course in Program and Policy Design, Arts and Cultural Policy, Public Management, the pedagogy course for graduate student instructors, Quantitative Methods, Environmental Policy, and the introduction to public policy for its undergraduate minor, which he supervises. Generally, he considers himself the school's resident expert in any subject in which there is no such thing as real expertise (a recent project concerned the governance and design of California county fairs), but is secure in the distinction of being the only faculty member with a metal lathe in his basement and a 4×5 Ebony view camera. At the moment, he would rather be making something with his hands than writing this blurb.

6 thoughts on “Literature bleg”

  1. I strongly suspect I have another by that gentleman. Features a guy goes into a restorant and notices that there is only one fork next to his plate. Says "I wanna two fokk" waiter says "everibodi wanna to fokk" guy says "no i wanna two fock righta hera onna table" guy says "sanomabicce."

    I strongly suspect this wwas written by the same guy (the word sonomabicce is practically diagnostic and I defnitely remember it). Sad to say, this clue does not aid in the quest for his non-literary real life location, because it was found by an Italian living in Germany.

    I will check.

    Robert Waldmann

  2. Mots d’heures, gousses rames used actual French words that formed actual French phrases. This is just stereotype Italian English written in Italian orthography. It's like Milt Gross's "Nize baby" ("Nize baby, it opp all de cheeken zoop and mama'll tell you a story from Goldilocks mit de tree bears." Whether this sort of thing is still funny (if it ever was) is a matter of opinion.

  3. I'm not sure about these, but there is another book, perhaps by the same person titled "Moerder Guse Rheims" (as best I recall) which similar to "Mots d'heures, gousses rames", but in German.

  4. A Google search on the phrase "Uans appona taim uas tri berres" produces 54 hits, so this passage is reasonably well known. A quick review didn't lead me to any motherlode, but I would suggest a more thorough review of those links. If they don't lead you to it, it probably doesn't exist.

  5. I followed most of the links, but they all lead back to Espy, or an excerpt with no source or just the author's name (and accumulated errors), except that post from Belviso's daughter. And no additional ones.

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