For the uninitiated - "Leave the gun, take the cannoli" - is a line from Francis Ford Coppola's epic movie "The Godfather". Peter Clemenza said it to Rocco Lampone after killing Paulie Gatto, as they were about to leave the murder scene.
The impact of the movie was such that over the years, this particular line has been quoted and parodied in other movies and TV shows - and not forgetting, inserted into daily conversations (hence, the term speaking Godfather).
Confession: I don't remember the line "Leave the gun, take the cannoli" from "The Godfather". Truth is, the first time I ever became aware of the line was while watching Nora Ephron's romantic-comedy "You've Got Mail" (and now you know the types of movie I prefer...)
In You've Got Mail, Joe Fox explained to Kathleen Kelly that The Godfather is like the I-Ching, it is the sum of all wisdom - and has the answer to all our questions. If one were to ask, "What should I pack for my summer vacation?" obviously the answer would be "Leave the gun, take the cannoli..."
And so, the term "cannoli" stuck in my head since You've Got Mail. Since it was associated to a gun in the movie line and mentioned in a mobster movie, cannoli must be some kind of a firearm.
I was in Arizona recently for work - and my colleagues took me for dinner at this Italian-American restaurant called Buca di Beppo.
At that moment of enlightenment I learnt that cannoli is actually a tubular-shaped pastry dessert with no resemblance whatsoever to any weapons of destruction - except that if you eat too much of it at one time, you'd probably become sick...!
And, the only thing the cannoli has in common with the mafioso is that they both hailed from Sicily, Italy.
Anyway, for those of you You've Got Mail fans that might have spent years thinking that cannoli is some variation of a gun - this article is for you.
The "Leave the gun, take the cannoli" clip from The Godfather: