Posted by: 4initalia | December 28, 2017

What We Are Fighting About in Italy

Here is what we are fighting about in Italy:

1. Whether the original Nativity scene included a camel.

Certain people (that would be Andy) claim that since a historic Nativity scene used in Cleveland Ohio in the 1950s did not include a camel, that is irrefutable proof that camels were not present at the birth of Baby Jesus. I countered with irrefutable proof that camels were indeed part of keeping the Christ in the first Christmas, based on a cracked camel in a Nativity scene in continuous use in Cranston Rhode Island since that same ancient epoch.

Not to beat a dead dromedary, but in a Bologna museum, (most of Bologna is a museum, so that’s redundant) I gleefully pointed out that a 15th century painting, by pseudo-Jacopo de Bologna,  included a camel. Would a guy named Pseudo lie about that? Further, camels were the SUVs of the desert; any wise man toting gold, frankincense and/or myrrh to Bethlehem through Christmas traffic would just say say neigh to making that trip on a donkey.

Andy replied: “Most of the paintings in this museum don’t have camels. They have oxen, and donkeys, and sheep. No camels. Just like Cleveland.” I countered: “According to this guidebook, pseudo Jacopo was one of the only painters of that time capable of painting a camel.” Also, camels come standard with extra-large cup holders; wise men would love that.

I totally won that round.

2. Whether we should open the window to check the weather.

We’re staying in a second-floor apartment that requires travelling a considerable distance to check the weather. Certain people (Andy again) insisted that instead of opening the window, which is 20 feet tall, we should check the weather forecast.

I pointed out that the weather forecast is continuously, perilously wrong. For example, on a day declared that Bologna skies would be 57 and sunny, those same skies pelted pea-sized hail. Often, when the forecast predicted temperatures in the 50s, my hands froze to my gloves. On a day forecast to be mild, the air was so biting it actually chewed through my clothing, until 7 p.m., when a freakishly warm wind hiked the temperature within minutes – to 60 degrees. Andy cheerfully observed that the sudden rise in temperature could be the result of a change in pressure from a nuclear blast, so then we fought about whether the blast itself, or the change in pressure, would trigger the balmy winds.

While we resolve that new issue, I am opening the window to check the weather, so I consider that another win.

 3. Whether that guy at the Christmas concert looked exactly like Josh Groban.

At a Christmas concert in a 14th century Basilica, which could well have included a camel, I noticed a guy who looked Exactly Like Josh Groban. Which I announced in the following manner: “That guy looks Exactly Like Josh Groban.” My spouse, who was preoccupied with singers who sounded like Exactly Like Angels, disagreed.

“No he doesn’t,” he replied convincingly.

“Yes, he does!”

“Josh Groban doesn’t wear glasses.”

“He does too.”

“Josh Groban is much fatter than that guy.”

“He was chunky when he played Pierre in ‘The Great Comet’ because he was wearing a fat suit.”

[This fight was interrupted when we were distracted by fabulous musicians playing their hearts out, because, obviously, they thought they were playing for Josh Groban.]

That guy looks EXACTLY like Josh Groban.

Given that the concert was so excellent on account of the musicians thinking they were playing for Josh Groban, I totally won that round.

4. Whether certain people bought too much at multiple street markets.

There are troubling developments on the packing front, which will require the purchase of an additional suitcase. Certain people (Andy again) have accused certain other people (that would most likely be me) of buying too much at the street markets. As if that could be a thing.

Andy brought more coats to Italy than Coco Chanel. At 6′ 4″,  Andy’s clothing and shoes  weigh a zillion times more than the clothing and shoes of a certain other person, who is barely 5’1” when not hunched over from carrying multiple items home from the street market. Also, by spending exhausting hours at the street market in search of fabulous Italian shoes, that smaller person quite possibly lost weight, which should count in our favor with the airline’s Weight Police.

Nevertheless, we’re going to need to buy another suitcase. Who is to blame for this?

Clearly, that is Italy’s fault.

Therefore, I think this one may be a draw. 

But I’m super glad I bought a camel at the street market.





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