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Friday, February 17, 2012

Nun Swarm

Cynthia and Giovanni drove Jen and I down to Rome from their shaded, happy, rural home in the town of Sarteano within Southern Tuscany. The following morning we had a jarringly early flight home to Boston so it was best for all that we stay close to Leonardo da Vinci airport on that last night in the country of sensual delight. (you know, god forbid we miss a flight back home. Back to the exhilarating rush of working, cleaning and bill paying).

Where did we stay? The Holiday Inn. Yes, the Holiday Inn despite the horrifically NON-evocative, NON-romantic, oh-my-god-we’re-in-Italy-but-we’re-at-the-Holiday-Inn-of-all-goddamed-places horror kind of a thing. It was very near the airport thus maximizing sleep time and minimizing, if only slightly, time spent in transit.

As we pulled into the tall tree lined, surprisingly lovely and quite nearly bucolic entry lane I began seeing nuns. More and more nuns. Schools of nuns. Flocks and swarms of them all in vibrant shades of grey, beige and black. I began to wonder if I was beginning to have a panic attack or perhaps a nasty grappa induced hallucination.

I went to Catholic School almost continuously from Kindergarten through sixth grade. The take away from all that nun exposure? They’re mean, nasty, small minded and thoroughly unhappy. Now that I think on it, not unlike a lot of people on this planet. Oh and they’re usually toting rulers under those habits for the sole purpose of whacking me because I chose not to hear them.

So, there I am in the midst of what was clearly a nun convention. They have conventions. Who knew? Probably where they learn niftier, more Jedi fast, ways to whack hard-of-hearing kids for their deliberate, willful and sinful inattention.

Hey, it’s a reasonable assumption!

In any case, here I am at a decidedly un-Italian hotel at the tail end of a glorious week of conversational feasts over incredible meals (Cynthia and Giovanni are total Kitchen Gods) followed by grappa and more discussion, raillery, jesting and gossip. And then some Grappa. Here I am and it’s wall to wall penguins.

Jen’s doing her best to calm me down. We head to the hotel bar figuring it’ll be nun free.  While we’re sitting there, savoring our chianti, a beige clad abbess, who wouldn’t have crested 5 feet tall on a bet, while wearing platform boots and standing on Kareem Abdul Jabbar’s shoulders, saunters up to the bar. No, she swaggered. Seriously, she was John Wayne with rosaries.

And ordered a shot of milk. No, really it was.

Suddenly I was no longer all nervoused up -- hard to stay in that state when you’re laughing chianti out your schnoz.

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