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Dottoré!

The Political Revelation Of A Windshield Cleaning

Charity may begin at home, but for our Naples-based psychiatrist, it also begins behind the wheel.

Photo of traffic in Naples, Italy

Traffic in Naples

Mariateresa Fichele

Every time we stop at a traffic light, the same scene takes place between my husband and me.

It goes something like this: Someone approaches our car to clean the windshield, I tell my husband to turn on the windshield wipers, he gets outraged and tells me I’m a horrible person.

But then, if we've instead decided to give them something in exchange for their service, my husband somehow never has any change on him. I always manage to find some, and feel obligated to give the person whatever I've found.


Yesterday, I tried to stand firm and told my husband, "I don’t have any money — you figure it out."

He found 20 cents and handed it to the guy outside.

I looked at the man's face and couldn't take it, so gave him another euro.

But every cloud has a silver lining.

What happened yesterday helped me explain to my husband our different political positions with a practical example: I am a horrible person but a true Leftist; he, instead, is a respectable person of the Center-Left.


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