Vicenza, Italy - A small, grocery store owner in the Northeastern, Italian town of Vicenza is growing increasingly impatient with an American customer who speaks "bad Italian."
Rosa Maria Membroni doesn't see why the American can't learn Italian.
"He's been here for years," she said through an interpreter, "and comes in every day to buy the same two bottles of carbonated water but he still refers to them using a masculine singular, demonstrative pronoun when water is feminine and two of them is obviously plural."
The American, Kyle Dickinson, says he knows "perfectly well that he's using the wrong demonstrative pronoun" but is doing it on purpose because Membroni is such "an extortionist."
"She marks up her waters by more than 150%," said Dickinson.
Dickinson is actually perfectly fluent in Italian but pretends to have a novice, at best, knowledge of the language "just so I can get under that greedy hag's skin."
Dickinson complained also that she "never cleans her slicer" before slicing his prosciutto and "rubs her hands all over her disgusting apron" before grabbing his bread.
"I'm left with no choice but passive aggressive counter measures," says Dickinson, "and mangling her language is my weapon of choice."
He says that he sees "her flinch every time" he fails "to use the subjunctive," and she typically responds to the grammar breech by giving him all his change in two and five euro cent coins.
He says he once paid with a 50 and walked out of the store with his pockets weighed down with "at least two kilos of loose change."
"I wasn't wearing a belt and had two bags of overpriced groceries and my pants kept falling down on the way home," said Dickinson. "It was embarrassing."
The American has no plans to stop his purposeful misuse of her language. He says he's lately "taken to using masculine articles with feminine nouns and vice-versa." In fact, he says he nightly plots different, more elaborate ways he can use her language incorrectly.
"I'll use the subjunctive when she stops charging three Euros for a Twix bar," the angry American said.
The American said also that he sometimes simply throws in a completely wrong word.
"I call black olives 'cat hooves' and she hates it," Dickinson said. "But at five euros an olive, she still sells them to me."
Dickinson says he hates also a nearby fruit vendor and doesn't care much for a bar he frequents either. But he reserves the bulk of his animosity for the old lady.
"She's a greedy little parasite," he said. "I can't wait 'til she dies."