During a summer I spent in Florence, I would frequent a little cafe that sat beside an upscale clothing shop at the top of a hill, in part because of their marvelous biscotti (mind you, every little confection and cracker there is a biscotto, but in this case I am specifically referring to cantuccini). I’m normally not a huge fan of them, but the ones here took on a perfect texture when dipped in the liquid of your choice.
On a Friday morning of the last week I was there, I was busy stuffing my face with almondy goodness when a tall, bearded man wearing far too many clothes lumbered through the doorway. And I do mean far too many – as I mentioned, it was summer, yet he wore so many coats and sweaters that he was scarcely more than a misshapen ball with little nubs of arms and legs tacked on at awkward angles. Seeing him enter, the owner stood, face reddening, pointed an elongated finger, and shouted “Esci subito di qui!” (“Leave here at once!”).
The overclothed man screamed back something in Russian, then began to advance with all the speed and hostility he could muster, but was ultimately overcome by the limitations of his vestments and went toppling to the floor. He struck a table on the way down and sent several patrons’ coffee flying, and all of the extra padding actually caused him to bounce when he hit the ground, which somehow flipped him onto his back. He grabbed the leg of a nearby chair and started to flail it around, but someone wrested it away before he could do any real damage.
It took the owner, myself, and three others (including a seven-year-old girl) to heft him up and heave him back out through the threshold and into the street. As we were at the top of a hill, the slope in the road caused him to tumble down at least thirty meters, where he finally came to a rest, once again on his back. Unable to right himself, he simply wailed upon the pavement with his padded arms like a child throwing a tantrum, screaming in deep, incoherent lament.
I went back to my biscotti, and never did find out what that whole ordeal was all about, but I think I prefer it that way, as I’m certain it’s that much more provocative without context.
The moral of the story, I think, is that absolutely none of that was true, and that you shouldn’t wear that many clothes. It’s ridiculous.