Your RDA of Irony

Illegal Aliens and Illegal Natives

On the August 4 edition of his nationally syndicated radio program, Michael Savage declared that “The Statue of Liberty is crying, she’s been raped and disheveled — raped and disheveled by illegal aliens.”

Of course, it is a relief to know that those illegal aliens are heterosexuals. Just imagine if it were otherwise, and what those illegal aliens might be doing to Mount Rushmore. Mount Rushmore is a location, not a proposition! Thank our straight God that Gutzon Borglum only sculpted the Presidents from their necks up; no need for that extra temptation.

NEWS: The Italian government is deploying soldiers on city streets to combat crime.

Unfortunately, being the Italian army, it already has been mugged and robbed.

Of course, as any tourist can tell you, being robbed in Italy is part of the itinerary. The genius of Italian art lives on in any restaurant bill. Observe how the waiter has drawn a three to look like an eight, or a two to pass for a nine; so a bill for 23 Euros might be mistaken for 28. The waiter certainly hopes so. In my case, I avoided the trap. I knew what the bill was supposed to be; there are advantages to being cheap and paranoid. Leaving the correct amount, I looked the waiter in the eye. He smiled and shrugged, as if to say “You caught me; so what! There is always another tourist.”

But I can’t say that I left Italy unscathed. (Only the Visigoths and Vandals can make that claim.) No, I made the mistake of expecting change from a Rome cabdriver. He decided that a 11000 lira fare deserved a 9000 lira tip. (That would be an $18 fare and a $15 gratuity). When I demanded the change, he returned a 1000 lira note. So I refused to leave the cab. He drove the car into an intersection, got out and proceeded to yell aloud. I surmise that he was not praising me. A crowd of Italians gathered around the cab, and those who spoke English wanted to know why I was causing trouble. I told them the details and how I did not want to be cheated.

But my audience was not sympathetic to the plight of the robbed tourist. In fact, I was told, “This is Italy. When you’re in America, you can cheat us.” So I evidently was in breach of social etiquette. To resist theft would be unforgivably rude.

Do remember that when you are in Italy.

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