There is a village in the mountains outside of Rome. It Is thousands of years old. But it was redecorated in the year 1072 in the medieval style. It has a medieval church and some and museum and it is granite heavy. Architecturally I am not sure if it is an important town – it looks impressive but grim – rather like the middle ages in general. The redecoration predates the renaissance so beauty was not high on the agenda for these buildings. I was suitably awed however. Mostly by the ugly multi-storey car park which came directly from the 1970s and was nestled in between all the old buildings.
The restaurant was in the medieval side streets and involved about five starters. I indulged while quaffing prosecco thinking that this was a tapas style dinner. Big mistake Murphy, big mistake. Buffalo mozzarella, polenta, parma ham, olives, spinach, herring, bread – these are merely taster. By the waitress came to take orders for pasta and the main dish I was feeling a touch bloated – bravely I struggled on to partake of a pasta pancetta and a lamb dish called ‘Burned Fingers’. It was blissful.
The concept of schadenfreude is a very interesting one to me – the idea of taking pleasure in another person’s misfortune. It is nasty and small-minded and not remotely noble. But sometimes it is very satisfying.
Does anyone know of a particular type of person – you know the fake, jolly hockey-sticks kind of individual who is always ready with a witty, good natured comment. Woe betide you if an amusing comment can be made at your expense however. This type of person is forcedly happy, and sincere, and irreverent, and takes pleasure in making vaguely controversial, insulting and borderline offensive comments, which are excused by a shrug of the shoulders and a ‘That’s how I roll, I shoot from the hip. I take no prisoners.’ There is an undercurrent of vague hysteria in the tone of voice. When challenged on a comment – for example making a joke about Franco to a Spanish person – the reaction is ‘I’m not being facetious, I know what I am talking about. Hahahaha’
Such people can be tiresome.
But when a waitress knocks a glass of prosecco over a white, dry-clean only style jacket, it becomes important to be able to suppress a smile. I am a bad person. I went to bed smiling last night.