From Sara Jane Rispoli's Notebook

Rule #36 – The Walk ‘n Talk, cont.

Capitolo 7 - Procidimenti (Procedures)

“...that an electronic listening device (unità d’ascolto electronic) or camera (camera) can be hidden anywhere, and usually are – light fixtures, salt and pepper shakers, a waiter’s cufflinks (or worse, recalling the notorious ‘La Narice di un Cameriere’ incident of 1958 that resulted in a dozen convictions.) Because of this, public conversations must never take place in bars, diners, or any other well-known hangouts. It may be tempting to meet in locations where we’re welcomed with open arms (Melrose Park, Taylor Street, certain police precinct houses) or places you never go (libraries, religious institutions, poetry readings) but no – assume always that four walls and a ceiling mean federal agents have infiltrated and infected it with ways to listen and watch. That’s why the absolute safest way to discuss l’affare di nostro – our business – in public (versus a sitdown, which always takes place in a secure location; see previous page) is outdoors and on your feet.

It was Enzo Rispoli, Counselor-at-Large from 1963-2011 (a.k.a Enzo ‘the Baker’ and Enzo ‘il Biscotto’) who coined the term for Rule #36 – the ‘Walk ‘n Talk.’ 

Summer or winter, rain or shine, the most important and potentially indictable conversations must always take place while walking around the block (down the beach, up an alley, and across a rooftop are acceptable alternatives.) While video and film may be shot, it’s virtually impossible to be overheard while in motion. In addition, in order to foil the binocular-peering lip readers, a hand should be placed over your mouth – in fact, this is a good habit to get into at all times. You never know who’s watching. Also, keep your other hand out of your pocket, visible at all times, so there’s never a reason for a stop n’ frisk. And it goes without saying that using another language than English is advisable. Italian, Hebrew, Greek, Gaelic, and German are good, Sicilian or Yiddish are better, and Buondivalolese is best. Or, just shut up if someone passes by.  Next, the…