From Cesare Pavese’s Moon and the Bonfires (pg. 83 of the NYRB edition). I wonder if there is an overarching name for this joke and all its endless variants of target, targeted vice, targeted locale, etc.
Another thing I heard that day was that there was a carriage at Canelli that drove out every so often with three women in it, sometimes four, and these women made a tour of the streets, as far as the Station, as far as Sant’Anna, up and down the highway, buying soft drinks in various places – all this to make a show, to attract clients. Their owner had worked it out, and then whoever had the money and was old enough went into that house at Villanova and slept with one of them.
“Do all the Canelli women do that?” I asked Nuto, when I’d understood.
“Better if they did, but no,” he said. “Not all of them ride in carriages.”