Thursday, June 22, 2006

The lizards of Pienza

Yes, I know that posts have been rather sparse lately. And I do apologize. I spend every waking moment scouring the Italian countryside for internet cafes so that I can send you my incisive and amusing observations about cultural differences between the US and Italy. Which differences, by the way, do not exist. Everything here is exactly the same as in New York, but with white beans.

Here is a real and true way to catch lizards: find a long, pliant piece of grass (preferably one foot in length or greater). Create a small noose at the end. Then seek lizards. When you find one sunning itself on a rock, sneak up to it & slip the noose around its head. Remarkably, the lizard usually will not bolt; for some reason, it's not spooked by the grass. Then yank slightly; the lizard will race forward, sealing its fate. Now you have a lizard on a leash. And the world is your oyster.

But lizards in Italy are different. They are wily. They are more athletic. They work in elaborate social networks. We have discovered that our weapons are useless against them. One lizard, when the grass noose brushed his nose, leapt backward and did a 180-degree midair spin, then darted off beneath a stone wall. I don't want to alarm you, but I believe they are a new race of super-lizards. I mean, these guys are good. Professionals. Lizards like this don't just arise naturally. Somebody trained them. Who are they working for?

Incidentally, watching the Italy-US World Cup game in a crowded bar in Siena, as the drunken men chanted something involving "funculo" and "usa", was utterly fantastic. More soon.