When I took journalism in high school I was taught that the headline of the article should reflect the story you’re about to tell. What my two topics things have in common is my stream of consciousness. I’m outside, overlooking layer upon layer of mountains and hill towns and thinking about Nazis. “Black Mirror” enters the picture because all around me are reminders of a certain episode. SPOILER ALERT.
I’ll start with the crazier of the two: “Black Mirror.” If you haven’t seen the episode, skip this because you won’t give a damn or understand what I’m talking about. But those of you who have seen the most recent season will, I hope. It’s the episode with Kelly McDonald and the drones. The ones that look like bees.
Right now there are flying creatures, beautiful, a cross between a butterfly and a hummingbird all over the terrace. I’ve never seen them anywhere but here in Italy. Except on that episode of “Black Mirror.” These flying objects look EXACTLY like the scary fucking drones on Black Mirror. Whenever I see one, which is often, I’ll say “drone” and Jim goes ballistic. He tells me I’m becoming one of the “crazy conspiracy” people (ala 9/11 and chem trails). Of course I don’t really think they’re drones, BUT they always remind me of that episode so I get creeped out. Some of them are really small. Other ones are little mini-B52s.
Another stray thought – there are two small donkeys down the road, kept as pets. Anytime somebody comes up or down the road, which isn’t often they start their “hee haw-ing” and it’s utterly hilarious. Like nothing I’ve ever heard before. They just did it.
NOW, the real story.
Jim and I are obsessed with WW2. We’ve watched the Hitler Channel since the inception of cable television. We watch endless documentaries and films and miniseries and read hundreds of books. One of the highlights of our WW2 obsession was visiting Normandy and, in London, the War Rooms and the Churchill Museum. Jim and I will often tease each other that it’s all Hitler all the time for us.
THEN, by total happenstance, we rent this house in Italy which, it turns out, played a role in Hitler history.
The Germans occupied it because of its strategic position. It enabled them to see when and if the allies were coming, which direction, etc. (One ally might have been my father who was stationed in Italy during the war and engaged to an Italian but now I’m really getting off track!). Not only did the Germans park themselves here, they parked their weapons as well. Some piece of a cannon remains. They built a trench that led to a bomb shelter under the house. This owner uses it to keep pool equipment. Perfect, huh? Then inside the house there’s a trap door so they could escape if the house was bombed while they were inside.
I think that makes us officially six degrees – possibly even closer, to the ultimate villain! Let’s be honest. When it comes to villains who is more interesting Bin Laden? Some cross-eyed bearded whacko under a balaclava?? Or Hitler?!!
Here are the pictures to prove the connection.
We also visited Lucca, land of 100 churches, literally, and it’s about the size of Pasadena. A church per person. I’ll post those another day since we’re taking some friends back there when they arrive tomorrow!
AMERICANS!! It’ll be so nice to hear our native tongue, such as it is.