You do know what an omerta is, right? Of course you know what an omerta is because like every man out there you have watched The Godfather. Wait, you have, haven’t you? Every man has to watch The Godfather. There has never been a movie with as many life lessons as The Godfather: Lessons on devotion, on family, on business and the “ethics” that go with it, on loyalty, decision making, manhood, friendship, power, wisdom, money, women and everything in between.
Then of course there are those quotes that should be engraved on the hearts of men: “Never hate your enemies, it affects your judgment; “You cannot say ‘no’ to the people you love, not often, that’s the secret. And then when you do, it has to sound like a ‘yes’, or you have to make them say ‘no.” “Time erodes gratitude more quickly than it does beauty!”
Then of course there are the enigmatic characters that you have to admire, from the Don himself - Vito Corleone, Michael Corleone (Oh, horny, hot-headed Michael!), Fredo, Sonny (I loved Sonny), Clemenza, Luca Brasi (Luca was cool) and the lovely cast of women who let the men be who they were. I have watched The Godfather about six times. It’s obsessive.
Then there was The Sopranos and Boardwalk Empire, all which bear vital lessons into manhood, business and everything in between.
But back to omerta. Omerta was simply a code of silence as practised by the Mafia. It was clear; if you got caught you didn’t squeal on the family. The reason the Mafia thrived can be narrowed down to this rule, which in turn translates into loyalty. Similarly, there are rules and codes modern men live by when it comes to women; rules which create form and order in our interactions as men.
Thankfully, they aren’t many, so they are easy to internalise. These codes aren’t taught in schools. There is no book you buy that will teach you these codes. Most are plain common sense and good judgment. In a nutshell; you are your brother’s keeper. Here they are:
If you friend breaks up with his girlfriend or even wife, you shouldn’t touch her. You can, but you shouldn’t. Nobody will take it kindly. You will complicate the whole friendship.
You will be that disloyal guy who all this while you were friends, had designs on his woman. That’s the message you will send. Also, the lady could as well be using you to get to your friend, and you will be the eejit who fell for it.
DON’T SAY ANYTHING
Let’s say one Saturday night your phone trills to life and there is a strange number and when you pick the call your friends’ girlfriend/wife asks, “Are you with Philip?”
Of course you are not with Philip but there is only one right answer in this circumstance. You will tell her, “Hey Pam! Good to hear from you! How are you doing? Siku mingi! ...Just a moment, Pam, sorry, let me call you right back.”
Then you will call Father Abraham if you have to and trace down Philip before you call back Pam armed with a background. Only a complete idiot will tell her, “No, I’m not with Philip, why?”
If Philip is on a bad path and he’s causing such misery to Pam, and she is super stressed and frustrated, and she calls you for a coffee and tells you what’s going on, how Philip is being a cow, etc., you will listen and nod and take her side. (Also you have to pick that tab).
What you have to do is to sit Philip down later and tell him to stop being an ass.
Most times when a man talks to another man he listens. Sometimes you need a good friend to get you off the wrong path.
If Pam asks you if Philip is seeing someone, you can’t say he is even if he is, because sometimes women will just make mountains out of molehills. Instead, you have to look confused and you have to shake your head sadly and say, “Aii, the Philip I know wouldn’t do that, I honestly don’t know if he is, but let me talk to him first, please don’t burn his suits ... just yet.”
Then you have to tell Philip that the Secret Police are onto him, so either he stops it all together or he stops taking his phone to the damn bathroom.
You can’t sleep with your pal’s woman. Not even once. It doesn’t matter if she is super hot and she keeps throwing herself at you. It doesn’t matter if she says that Philip rolls over and sleeps immediately after sex when all she wants to do is talk. It’s not like you are a talker yourself. No woman is ever worth losing a great friendship over.
You can’t visit your friend’s woman’s house when he is out of town or even when he is in town. Doesn’t matter if you are very close to him and he trusts you with his life. If he isn’t there, you keep off his woman’s house. Full stop.
Let’s say you find yourself in a kangaroo court where you friend is being nailed to a cross because of his indiscretions. You have to also participate in the lynching and drive in as many nails in his body as possible. Make it hurt. Say you are disgusted by his behaviour. Kick him while he’s down on his knees. He should be able to understand. Later buy him a drink. Two drinks.
Important rule: If we have been friends for years, you can’t hit on my sister. This is because I know your grimy dirty past with women and to think that you are pawing her with your dirty talons...
Did you hear about that married fool who showed up with a hyper girl in a short dress to a function where all his married pals were present with their wives? Did you hear the kind of difficult line of lengthy interrogation his pals all had to be subjected to from their rightfully disgusted and horrified wives? Did you see how they were all sentenced guilty because of one idiot’s very poor judgment?
And can you guess who will never be allowed to set foot in any of his pals’ houses?
ONE LAST THING...
If you are drinking at a pub and you go to the urinals and there is a chap doing his thing on the last urinal, you can’t use the one right next to him if the rest are not in use.
There’s no reason to stand so close to another man with his member in his hand. Also, we beg all those drunken chaps who while doing their thing in the urinal just stare at your member to stop! Can you at least be discreet about it, brother?
Have a coded weekend, shall we, gentlemen?