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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Culture 101 for The Bad Guys by John von Daler

     There should be a course for the bad guys.
I remember reading about Ceausescu. 
When they kicked him out of his palace they
found televisions in the corner of each room blasting
action movies into the emptiness.
Or about bankrobbers. According to my newspapers,  
they drive around in taxies, stay at great concrete 
skyscraper hotels, and order fast food via roomservice.
I'm just your middle-classy kind of person. I've been 
a few places, but my list of unvisited wonders is a lot 
longer than what I will see, hear, eat, feel, or study 
before I die. So it irritates me that the bad guys are
not taking their opportunities; all that stolen money 
is pretty much down the drain.
Now if I suddenly found a few million Euroes, I'd
1) buy a three-piece, white cotton suit like Charlie Chan's
2) book the room with the best view in Ravello.
3) rent a Vermeer for the wall
4) order food brought in from a restaurant I know
in Bologna.
5) get Umberto Eco to fly the food on down
and while he's at it, explain semiotics to me.
6) check whether Penelope Cruz and Scarlet Johansson 
wanted to have dinner with Umberto and me and talk 
about signs, words, and pictures.
7) get Lang Lang to give us a before-dinner concert.
8) take an after-dinner walk with my guests down to 
the little park at the edge of the cliff overlooking the 
bay of Amalfi. We could sit on a bench and drink
espresso and grappa.
I have to admit that the thought of all this is getting
me out of breath. Think I'll have a bowl of spaghetti,
watch TV with Alice, curl up with a good book and 
fall asleep. Let the bad guys figure it out for themselves.

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