A severed horse head was found in Washington, Pa., 20 miles southwest of Pittsburgh.

This is not exactly what anyone wants to come across in an alley, especially in the sweltering heat.

The head reminds us of one of the most indelible scenes in The Godfather  when Hollywood studio head Jack Woltz (John Morley) wakens to discover the severed head of his beloved racehorse Khartoum in his palatial bed, staining his ivory satin sheets.  The horse is the ultimate equine payback after Woltz refuses to cast Don Corleone's godson, a popular crooner with teenage girls.  "Johnny Fontane will never get that movie" he says, before unloading a string of anti-Italian epithets. Fontane, commonly believed to be based on Frank Sinatra, was portrayed by South Philadelphia's Al Martino, who died two years ago in Springfield, Delaware County.

Of course, like Tom Hanks' character in You've Got Mail, everything reminds us The Godfather. Especially a severed horse head.

"The Godfather is the I-ching. The Godfather is the sum of all wisdom." Hanks character says. "The Godfather is the answer to any question. What should I pack for my summer vacation? 'Leave the gun, take the cannoli.' What day of the week is it? 'Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Wednesday.' "

--Karen Heller

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