So tonight, at around 10 o’clock, I decided to take a run through the streets of Rome.
I know … I know—dumb. But, hey, I like running. Hence, I took off, darted down some unknown streets, around a corner, through a narrow passage, then—crap! Surrounded. There were seven of them. All in their early 20s (I’d guess), all speaking Italian, all armed with guns and knives. I didn’t know what to do. My head told me to raise my hands and beg sympathetically. But that would be the cowardly way out—and I’m no coward.
Instead, I stood my ground, stared at the man in front of me—the one with his arms covered in Nazi tattoos—and said, “Bring it on, bitch! I’m an American!” He charged toward me, and I grabbed his arm and, somehow, flipped him over my head at two of his friends. Meanwhile, someone to my left aimed his gun toward my head. I kicked it out of his hand, simultaneously aiming it toward the head of another attacker, who passed out when the 45 nailed him. With that, the others ran away—but not before one scratched me across the neck with a shard of glass.
You don’t mess with the U.S.A. You just don’t.
(Or I cut myself shaving)
PS: GREAT trip, by the way. Amazing city, amazing food, amazing culture. I could live here and be quite happy.
PPS: Unsolicited book selection: Growing Up by Russell Baker. I know … I know—it came out in 1982. I’d always wanted to read it … had been my Grandma Marta’s favorite. But I never did, until now. Fantastic.