La vita continues to take interesting turns.
Italian TV is interesting for more reasons than I can possibly enumerate let alone count in one post. We can look at commercials, per esempio. One of my favorites is a series featuring three men stranded on a desert island, doing deserted-on-a-desert-island-type things like making phones out of tin cans and string. I'm a sucker for tin can phones. Many Italian commercials make me go hmmm. For example, Vera, a company owned by Nestle, advertises their bottled water using a song made famous by Dick Van Dyke...
Today I was thrown a curveball when I found out that I had been signed up for a softball tournament. Does this kind of thing happen to anyone else? My team is the Bad News Bears mashed with Cocoon. In Italian, of course. A few of the players used to play for the baseball team here, but that was in the era of the phonograph. We even have the Babe Ruth of Codogno baseball, il bambino himself: Bob. Yes, Bob. I watched the first few innings from the bench, then I got the call up. "You've pitched before?" asked our make-shift coach, perhaps thinking that all Americans are born with a glove on their non-throwing hands and spikes on their feet. "Uh. Sure. Years ago," I answered. Maybe in middle school gym class? "Great. Start warming up. You're going in next inning."
Heavy metal poured from the sound system; beads of cold sweat trickled down our opponents' necks; time froze as I strode to the mound. I unleashed a barrage of fireballs and mowed down the batters like so many dandelions, fluttering in the breeze... Not exactly, but it was fun to hear the crowd of 17 cheering my name, to see little kids posting the score on the manual scoreboard perched above center field, to cheer incoherently with the chain-smoking grandmother sitting next to me on the bench. No one asked for my autograph and the kids posted way too many donuts for our side, but la nonna played center for a few innings and I went home laughing. Game #2 is next Sunday. I'll be working on my slurve all week.
Oh, and I was almost eaten alive by a dog the size and color of a polar bear.