Guido Barilla is my hero.
Guido said last week on Italian radio that he would never market his company’s pasta to same-sex families, and if they didn’t like it, they could go suck on another brand of spaghetti.
Complimenti, Guido! But why stop at commercials? Why not ban queers from buying your pasta altogether?
I, too, am very particular about what sort of people are invited to purchase Barilla, my pasta of choice. You can’t be too careful these days. Those flaming fanooks, who knows where their mouths have been?
Despite Guido’s forced "apology" for what was obviously admirable honesty, I don’t think he went far enough.
Why not set up a worldwide screening system for pasta buyers? Call it, say, the Barilla Barometer. Before a shopper can purchase a box of delicious Barilla rotini or linguini, he must show proof of his heterosexuality. If he refuses, send him back to the Chef Boyardee aisle.
The tricky part, of course, is figuring out what constitutes proof of heterosexuality, and how to weed out homosexuals who think they can "pass." Perhaps some kind of sexual DUI test could be created, in which customers would have to walk a straight line of pasta.
Such a test would present little hardship for supermarkets. It could be administered in a dedicated express lane for pasta, festively festooned with Barilla decorations. A pasta checkout party! I’ll bring a nice Chianti.
Sadly, it may be too late. Many LGBT organizations are taking Guido up on his suggestion that queers take their business elsewhere. They’re calling for a Barilla boycott, to force the fourth-generation family business to give in like a wet noodle. Mama mia!
The numbers are chilling. The gay community spends roughly $800 billion a year, by some estimates. Moreover, same-sex households shell out 25 percent more than the average U.S. household on consumer packaged goods–like pasta–over the course of a year, according to Nielsen Media Research.
Smelling bloody fusilli in the water, Barilla competitors have wasted little time in joining the cause. Bertolli Germany immediately brought back a 2011 commercial featuring gay couples, and posted a message on its Facebook page that says, in translation: "Pasta and love for all." (Ever wonder why it’s called ‘canoodling?’)
Even one of Guido’s own countrymen, actor-playwright Dario Fo, a Nobel Prize winner who once did an ad for Barilla, wrote an open letter to Guido, asking him to become "an ambassador for equality for all."
That may take some doing, considering Guido’s original statements. Besides, who ever heard of a pasta ambassador?
“I would never make a spot with a homosexual family,” he told Italian radio. “Not out of lack of respect, but because I do not see it like they do. [My idea of] family is a classic family, where the woman has a fundamental role.”
I feel you, Guido. And what could be more classic than a family in which two women have a fundamental role?
If you need us, my wife and our three children could make ourselves available. Abbondanza!