La Bigada-Bangada en Venecia!

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: September 23, 2018

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Submitted: September 23, 2018

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La Bigada-Bangada en Venecia!

The other day I was reading my cousin/travel junkie Ana Lucia Carvajal’s wonderful blog she authors on her family trips to Europe and on this specific edition she had added these wonderful pictures of Venecia!

O the memories that those pictures rekindle in my mind!!!

Wonderful Venice, the romance, the excitement, the champagne, the honeymoon!

As a result I have been motivated to write a story for your amusement and merriment of my friend Miguel and my tour throughout Europe.

As I sit here pondering which story to begin with I recollect and search the archives of many “unscheduled side trips” Miguel and I found ourselves taking and the choice as to which would be the first story to write about took some time to determine as there were many varied and memorable adventures.

 Now to fully appreciate this let me begin by explaining that Miguel and I were two street smart kids from NYC sent to Europe by our parents in the summer of 1965.  We were 18 years old, all expenses paid; we had plenty of money in our pockets and no adult supervision, what could possibly happen!!!

So, which adventure to write about?

I could write about the time we almost got mugged in a park in Brussels late one night and how Miguel and I, holding these large tree branches we had cut off a tree. confronted the 5 men following us…or maybe the time we hustled pool and won some money off some Italian sailors in some seedy San Remo pool hall which prompted the need to run like hell back to the safety of the hotel…or maybe the time that Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake ballet was playing in the Montmartre district in Paris and someone managed to roll up his pant legs, put on a ballerina’s tutu and dance on stage straight faced in a dance line with the other swan maidens to the roar and great applause of the crowd, the Snow Queen was not amused, her feathers were ruffled and… yes there are pictures available, the sale of which may supplement my retirement in the near future and yes alcohol was involved!

No!

Venice! That will be the first story…

 Since Miguel who eventually went on to get his PhD and actually works at NASA, yes like Howard in the Big Bang Theory, I decided that the first story I would entitle “La Bigada-Bangada en Venecia!” in honor of my co-conspirator, just imagine Tony Soprano pronouncing this in his best Italian accent!

A story of the Big Bang in the Honeymoon!

Miguel and I had begun our tour in London then after a few days flew to Brussels where we met the other half of the Cook’s tour which had begun in Amsterdam a few days earlier.

There we were met by our tour director, who would stay with us the rest of the tour, and the largest bus I had ever seen and from there we proceeded to travel along together throughout the continent.

Back then it was not uncommon for the tour directors to receive gratuities from the different restaurants we stopped at during the day breaks we took and for reasons that I still have not figured out, in some places those gratuities consisted of magnums of champagne. Since he didn’t drink he would give them to Miguel and I so by the time we got to Venice, a couple of weeks later, we had 7 of these we were hauling around in addition to our luggage.

Now these bottles were rather large since a magnum is roughly equivalent to 2 large bottles of champagne and we had 7 of these puppies to lug around. Since the novelty of having them had worn off as the number of bottles increased we were getting tired of hauling them and by the time we reached Venice and we were looking for a way to getting rid of them!

When we arrived at the hotel in Venice we were standing in line waiting to check in. Directly in front of us was a young Italian couple on what seemed to be their honeymoon or if they weren’t on their honeymoon, he still needed to get a room nonetheless since he couldn’t keep his hands off of the dark haired beauty that he was with and she too was quite responsive to his amorous advances! I had not seen such passion since the last Marcello Mastroianni – Sophia Loren movie I had seen and though he was as good looking as Marcello no one in the world then or since could measure up to my idea of the perfect woman, the woman of my dream, even to this day… Sophia! Ahhhh! Yes,… my Sophia… Ahhhhh!

 Oh, sorry, got distracted there for a moment, my mind wanders about at times such as these, especially when Sophia is mentioned; let’s return to the story…

Shortly afterwards Miguel and I arrived at our room on the third floor. The hotel, which was not large but very nice, was in the shape of a horseshoe and as I opened the shutters of the window overlooking the courtyard below I couldn’t help notice that the young couple was likewise on the same floor directly opposite our room and was 20 to 25 feet away from mine. Since it was a warm he too had opened the window to their room.

Since it was late in the afternoon when we had arrived Miguel and I left our stuff and proceeded to go out for a while.

Coincidentally, later that night when we had returned from running around the city both Miguel and I and the young couple returned to our respective rooms about the same time and as I was getting ready to go to bed I noticed that young Marcello had closed the windows to his room and I imagined was getting ready for what he probably envisioned as his night of passion not unlike the 1964 Mastroianni – Loren classic, “Marriage – Italian Style”!

Hmmm…

Now let me take a dramatic pause here for a moment and tell you that throughout my life I have somehow managed to capture these errand thoughts, these ideas, floating in the air that populate the Universe and that are in search of some individual to execute them for the sake of humor and on this night; that is what happened next as I listened to the little voices in my head who were having a very humorous conversation of which I was privy to! From them I got this idea that I thought was very funny and asked myself the eternal question that has brought me much laughter though I must say it has also had some unintended consequences and that question is…Why Not?

I got back up and got Miguel in on what I was thinking and we then proceeded to get all 7 magnums of champagne lined up just below the shuttered window of our room.

The idea was simple.

Since a magnum is 1.5 liters of liquid under pressure, why not shake the bottle, open the shutters and fire the cork at the couple’s window and see what happens!

You could say this was to celebrate the Big Bang in their honeymoon!

So as I shook the first bottle, Miguel opened the window and when the cork exploded it easily traversed the distance to the other window, much faster than I imagined, and hit with such a violent force that it echoed in the courtyard below, talk about a Big Bang, even I was surprised at how loud the noise was!!!

Almost immediately Marcello came to his window and as we watched through the levers of the shutters of our closed window, we could peek and see him open and look around hoping to figure out what was going on.

Unsuccessful in his quest to determine the big bang noise, obviously it wasn’t coming from his room; he reclosed his shutters and proceeded to continue what he had started previously!

We waited a little while, wanted to make sure the mood was right, we wanted him to have time to get back to “whatever” he was doing and when we deemed the time was right, we opened the window and fired off another volley which likewise flew straight to the intended target, a metaphoric cupid firing his arrow so to speak, and La Bigada-Bangada en Venecia went off again!

This time Marcello was quicker in responding and it was obvious that he had been interrupted again and though we didn’t understand Italian it was obvious from his body language and speech that he was not pleased! I don’t know what he was saying but he wasn’t singing songs of love to Sophia!

Again he closed the windows after a while… he had not seen who or what was causing this disturbance.

There is a saying that goes, time and tide wait for no man, a very appropriate pun for the city of Venice and it wasn’t long, maybe 30 minutes or so, when the third volley again interrupted the tranquil evening and this time our young man threw open the window began yelling and gesturing wildly as only Latin’s can do so well, unfortunately there was no one there, I surmised he was upset and by now this had caused other people, whose windows faced the courtyard to arise from their beds and look to see what was happening.

Miguel and I were having trouble containing our laughter and we didn’t want to give away our position. I was actually crying, made worse by trying to control the laughter especially in light of the circumstances!

Shaking the bottles as I had done produced a lot more pressure than anticipated and by now the wall just below the window and the floor immediately in front of us was soaked in champagne.

Three down, four to go.

By now we had spent about 1 ½ hours doing this and we figured that we needed to pace ourselves, better than he was, if we were going to last the whole night of the honeymoon so being in a celebratory mood, without consuming any alcohol we just took our time throughout the entire night.

I am reminded at this point of a stanza of Tennyson’s “Charge of the Light Brigade” poem which says…

  “Cannon to right of them, Cannon to left of them, Cannon in front of them, Volleyed and thundered”  which pretty much described the night and early morning activities so that by the time the sun rose over romantic Venice our friend Marcello looked very tired and haggard from “La Bigada-Bangada en Venecia!"

 

I have often wondered about this couple as to whether their marriage went well or not since surely they could not have forgotten that it started with a Big Bang!


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