Saturday, June 20, 2015

Ten Thousand Demerits for You, Part I

This photo is worth too many words (& about 500 demerits)

“Every man has inside himself a parasitic being who is acting not at all to his advantage.”  ~ William S. Burroughs

The whole thing started in Florence because we were hot, tired, bored, and ready to go home. Unfortunately, our train tickets were for a 5:30 train, and it was only about 2:30 in the afternoon.  On any given day, Florence is like a chaotic Disneyland where people rush from place-to-place, look without seeing, and hear without listening. The difference between Disneyland and Florence—other than the real obvious—is that the chaos in Disneyland is rather orderly. There are lines, and people observe the Disneyland etiquette. In Florence, there are lines, but they apparently exist only for reasons I haven't quite figured out yet.

At any rate, when it's 90 degrees in Florence with 90% humidity, one's mind tends to go a little bonkers.  Such was the case with me when Group 2 and I hit the grand leather capital of the world two weeks ago. We had spent the morning in line at the Duomo (Three of them were brave enough to climb it.), and everyone but I went to the Academia to see David's marble body while I waited and worked in the Mercato Centrale.

Ed, Kathy, Barb, & Jerry at the Mercato Nuovo with the Porcellino

After we joined up and had lunch, I took everyone but Nancy to see the Ponte Vecchio, the porcellino at the Mercato Nuovo, and the inside of the Duomo.  If nothing else, going into the Duomo again got us out of the heat and sun for a time.  As luck would have it, pews form a large rectangle in the Duomo, so we all sat and enjoyed the peace, quiet, and coolness for a bit.

Of course, there's only so much peach and quiet that I can take, so I started watching people who walked around in front of us.

The candles but not the lady
"Oh, good grief," I said to Ed when a guy with black shoes, tan mid-calf socks, shorts, and a t-shirt started taking photos of his wife as she lit candles (above) and pretended to prayed.  "Does she get extra points if he has photo proof that she lit candles?"

"I think that's worth a few demerits," Ed laughed.  We were off.  At that point, we started handing out demerits to people for anything we figured earned them demerits.  In addition to the couple sleeping in the Duomo (photo at top of post), we handed out demerits to girls who had to buy cheap scarves to cover their short shorts in order to enter the Duomo (150 demerits), to women who had to buy scarves or see-through paper jackets to cover their bare arms in order to enter the Duomo (250 demerits since they were older and should have known better), and to men who took photos of women lighting candles in the Duomo (300 because it's just not right).  Our train got 500 demerits for being 15 minutes late, but the conductor who checked our tickets got 50 extra points because he was nice to me and nasty to the loud people sitting behind us.

Lady with the bra eye mask

Speaking of trains, I happened to look  up at one point and noticed the lady in the above photo fiddling with what looked like a bra for a really small child.  As you can see, she placed the thing over her eyes and fell asleep.

I handed Ed my iPad after I took the above photo. "How many does this one get?"

I'm not sure he ever answered me.

 Stay tuned to see more fun demerit-earning people...

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