Diversionary Tactics in Italy

Here’s a story from our time in Italy, with helpful hints if you ever find yourself in an awkward position:

The dinner table at our hosts’ house had one side with chairs, and then one side with a bench that was kind of shoved up against the wall. once you were in the bench, you didn’t get out until everyone was done with the meal and the after dinner conversation in loud, passionate Italian.

well, one dinner, I made the mistake of being the farthest one back on the bench, and after dinner, I desperately had to go to the bathroom. but the conversation was in full swing and it was such a lovely evening that I didn’t want to disrupt it by making everyone get up while I scooted out of the bench. eventually, someone else on the bench with me sort of wanted to get out, too. this drove my thinking into creative/desperate mode.

The table in question. note the bench on the left side of the photo. Also, photo credit to Jess, I think.

With as much seriousness as I could muster, I turned to Cynthia and said, “On the count of three, I’ll splash my glass of water into someone’s face, and you duck and crawl under the table in the confusion. then I’ll follow. no one will notice.”

And the mental image of me, the American at the end of the table, throwing a glass full of water in someone’s face, abruptly and bizarrely interrupting their animated conversation in Italian for NO explicable reason, while someone else scurried under the table, sent us into GALES of silent laughter.

and so, if you ever need a diversionary tactic, always remember that a glass of water could be exactly what you need to create chaos. and the mental image of the aftermath of that water-throwing will keep you entertained through whichever situation from which you needed a diversionary tactic. Guaranteed. Or your money back.


[I typed “or your mommy back” the first time. It gives the phrase a whole new spin…]


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