Cold Start: The Mysterious Frunk Basket Ceremony

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In some small Northern Italian villages, marriage ceremonies are handled in a completely secular manner, free from all rites of the dominant Catholic church, and instead center around the Fiat 850. The ceremonial act that officially defines a couple as being married is when they jointly place a wicker basket of fruit and fertility items (often a carved figurine of squirrel with an erection and a fistful of lemon pepper) into the front trunk of a Fiat 850.

Both parties’ hands must be on the basket as it is placed into the trunk, and both hands must assist to close the hood. The car is then driven around the block, once by each partner, with the other shifting through the gears as their partner drives, ceremonially stating when the clutch is in by shouting “frizone!”

It has been said the ceremony originated with the Etruscans thousands of years ago, but remained dormant until the Fiat 850 was developed.

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22 Responses

  1. So is the man a bigamist marrying both women?
    Or is the woman in the scarf officiating the ceremony?
    Or is the man officiating and the women are getting married in Northern Italy to escape the intolerant Catholic church that won’t recognize same-sex marriages?
    Or was the wicker basket just so damn full that the couple needed help from someone in the wedding party to lift it into the frunk?

    Enquiring minds want to know!

  2. No, I think the direction is all wrong.
    Monsignor Andretti is pulling the fruit basket out of the frunk bay. Both he and Ms. Gagliollo (bride) are looking at the mess made when it tipped over and with great interest to see if the dozen or so wine bottles survived the incident. Her sister Maria (maid-of-honor) was driving the Fiat 850 to the church and was ripping around the neighborhood. Now, she can’t bear to look inside for she may have ruined the entire wedding day.

  3. Obviously the etymology of trunk goes back to strapping an actual travel trunk to a car. Which lead to one of the ugliest accessory of all times, the luggage rack. Was there ever a car in history that looked better with one? (Roof racks excluded. Obviously they are totally different, and no Landy should come without one, for example. )

  4. So what happened when Fiat replaced the 850 with the 127 that had the frunk at the rear because the engine was in front? Or a year later when they gave it the hatchback its’ shape cried out for?

    1. The truth is I actually prefer just calling it a trunk, as that’s all I ever called the one on my Beetle. But, with multiple trunks at both ends becoming more and more common–which is fantastic, by the way–a more specific word isn’t a bad thing?

    2. Hello Captain! Major Pretentious here, providing backup. This is especially on-point since the only actual positional definition of “trunk” is in the front (of the elephant). (The trunk of a tree or trunk of a body is vertically positioned, but implies nothing about front or back.)

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