I was stretched out on the sofabed next to La Bimba, reading about binary genders and the heterosexual contract while La Bimba watched Elmo learn how to get ready for school, when it occurred to me that I had not shared one of the jaw-droppingly yowsa Neapolitan stories ever!
The Husband likes to watch a program called Report. It's a news program that devotes each episode to some Italian cultural/political/social/economic lunacy like the southern Italian garbage crisis or slave labor and the Italian fashion industry. Most episodes end as cliffhangers, e.g. did they resolve the garbage crisis? The folks at Report know how important it is to provide follow-up information, if not closure, so they have a section called "Com'è andata a finire?" or "How did it turn out?"
The other evening, The Husband was watching Report and I decided to watch it with him instead of popping in my ear plugs and reading about liminality and communitas. And boy was I psyched that I did! I caught the "Com'è andata a finire?" of an episode first aired in 1999. The story, insomma, is that the Comune di Napoli built a freeway that ends smack in front of a three-story apartment house.
(Insert baffled emoticon here).
(Insert baffled emoticon with smoke coming out of its ears here).
(Insert baffled emoticon with Tickle-Me-Elmo rolling around on the floor hysterically laughing here).
Try to picture it: a stretch of freeway that just drops off, as if for a Mission Impossible 12 car stunt, and right in front of it, eye-level with Tom Cruise's scientological smirk, the third floor apartment of a Neapolitan family.
No way! Si invece!
The comune claimed that they thought the building was unoccupied. How they thought this when the ground floor electronics store was open for business and all the apartments had moms and dads and grandpas and grandmas, aunts, uncles, dogs, living in them, BOH, I can't fathom. So years go by and deals are offered (moving costs, evacuation packages, whatever), and in 2008 we find everyone gone except the businessman, who is just waiting for his money and will then move shop across the street, and an elderly woman, who keeps repeating, "How am I supposed to move if I can't find another house to live in?" The engineers, who looked like Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dumb and Dumber, could only giggle, like Elmo.
BECAUSE IT'S SO ABSURD!
I was just so pleased to discover, once again, that Naples will never EVER cease to amaze me.
You just had to see the view from that third floor window.
Here is the link to the report. If you would like me to translate anything...it'll cost ya.