The American Douchebag’s Guide to Europe: Rome & Pompeii

This isn't the When In Rome I was thinking of...

Here it is

You know what, I’m pretty sure the Lizzy McGuire movie was set in Rome too, so:

No, I didn't photoshop one of my tripmates face onto this pic.

Apparently only chick movies are set in Rome…

"WTF dude?"

Overview

Rome is the current capitol of Italy, and was the capitol of the Roman Empire and the Holy Roman Empire.  At one point during its existence, a huge section was burned to the ground and was replaced by a Palace for Emperor Nero. I don’t really have a good joke for that, I just wanted to point out that if Nero didn’t cause the fire, then he was the most opportunistic dick ever. Rome is also the city where the Catholic Church (and all of Christianity) got its start. They also killed a bunch of people and exotic animals in the name of entertainment. I like to think of the Romans as visionaries in this area, mostly because the roman athletes weren’t really known for their life spans. My idea is this: Once an athlete from whatever sport gets on our collective nerves, we make them fight one another to the death. That way they still entertain us, but one of them is dead. Sure, this idea come too late to save us from T.O. or Kobe Bryant, but this could save us from us having to deal with countless other over paid clowns getting big heads and forgetting their place.

Pompeii was an ancient Roman city that was buried by volcanic ash from Mt. Vesuvius aka Europe’s Mordor.  It was buried for a few hundred years before it was rediscovered, which makes Italy the shittiest country to have a natural disaster in, because once a city is devastated, the goddamn government just forgets about it.

Thankfully, America has never done such a thing...

Initial Thoughts

I don’t remember my initial thoughts from Rome because at about that time the bath salts were kicking in, and I was busy being locked in the luggage compartment by my trip mates and tour guide, Andy to notice where we were. Actually that is the same thing that happened on our way to Pompeii. Damn, they really got me good, those bastards.

Accommodations

The accommodations in Rome were the worst on the trip after the hotel in Brussels (we didn’t have a hotel in Brussels). To get to our rooms my group (That’s right, all 36 of us) had to walk a labyrinth of hallways that I suspect took us from one building to another. Our hotel room was a little out dated, but OK, but it was our bathroom that is what really sealed the deal for this being the worst hotel stay. Here’s a blurry picture of our shower:

weird

Notice how the shower head is on the side of the shower, not the end. I don’t know the logic behind this, or if this even caused a problem, but it’s weird and I don’t like it. And then there was the doorknob leading out of the bathroom:

and this is ghetto

That’s right, it fell right the fuck off as I was turning it. Seriously, what the crap is that about? Rome, your city is beautiful, but your hotels are crap. Do something about that.

Sites

Well, there is a Hell of a lot to see in Rome. First off, I got to see the Spanish Steps:

I didn’t get to eat gelato while sitting on them, but I’ll just see to it that I do the next time I’m there.

Then there’s the Pantheon:

And the Trevi Fountain:

Fun fact about the Trevi fountain: if you throw three coins into the fountain, you ensure your return to Rome. Another fun fact about the Trevi fountain, there is apparently a special way to do this, which is over your right shoulder. I didn’t know that. So I looked retarded just throwing my coins right into that water like some asshole. Stupid Emily didn’t tell me there was a wrong way. She will pay for this.

Then there was the Vatican which is huge, crowded, and beautiful. As a catholic, I don’t really care all that much about religion, but I’ll tell you that the Vatican and the Sistine Chapel were the most impressive churches I had seen on the entire trip. I didn’t get a picture of “The Creation of Adam” because I didn’t want my camera destroyed by the Swiss Guards. Also, it was really dark and my camera sucks at taking night pictures.

As for the Colosseum, I think my following story tells you all that you need to know:

I don't remember taking this picture at all, and quite frankly, I'm impressed they got me to stand still for that long.

Jon, Paul, Brennen, CJ, Katie, Michelle, and myself stepped off of the heavily graffitied subway train. They actually invited me along this time; I think they had given up on trying to get rid of me. So I skipped merrily in the center of this uneasy pack of Americans, each of them knowing that if I broke out of that ring, bad things were going to happen. A shady looking man eyed me and my skipping from across the station. He made eye contact with me. Bad move. With a surprising amount of agility, I leap frogged over CJ (the tallest of us), and ran in a full sprint towards the man, our eye contact unbroken.  The screams of my posse and their echoing footsteps followed me as I ran straight as this mystery man. I stopped within inches of him, and he flinched as my abrupt stop made my upper body lurch forward.

Rome, this is as classy as I deserve.

We continued to stare at one another for a few seconds as  my group came to a halt a little ways behind me, about twenty feet. They knew better than to get too close to me once someone makes unwarranted eye contact.

“What the hell do you want?” the man said.

“All of your drugs,” I replied.

“What makes you think that I have drugs on me?”  the man growled.

“I can sense them on you. Now are you going to sell me all of your drugs, or am I going to have to take them from you?”

The man smiled and pulled out a handful of small baggies filled with an assortment of colored powders. I drooled a little. I handed him a fistful of bills and snatched the baggies out of his hand. I opened the bag with the pink powder and began rubbing it on my gums while making gnawing noises that made everyone uncomfortable.

“Do you even want to know what these drugs are?” The man asked.

“And ruin the excitement of taking mystery drugs? Puh-lease.”

“That just sounds stupid,” the man stated.

I smiled and then replied, “Not nearly as stupid as looking me in the eyes.”

Just like always, I punched the man hard in the heart before he or anyone else could react. The man stumbled backward before falling to the ground, dead.  My patented death punch claimed another victim. I pulled my cash out of his dead hands, and turned back to my posse.

“Let’s go,” I said brightly to their horrified faces.

We made our way out of the station and across the street to the Colosseum. By the time we got to the entrance of the Behomoth structure, I had finished all of the drugs that I had “bought” from the dealer.

As we entered the Colosseum, I had managed to break the circle around me and get to the front of the group. I walked forward for a few seconds when I noticed something disturbing.

“Hey guys,” I called back, “The drugs that guy gave me were shit; I’m not feeling anything.”

They didn’t reply. In fact they and everybody else went totally quiet. I turned around to ask why they  didn’t respond, but when I did, everybody was gone.  Hmm, I thought, if I’m alone, that means I don’t have to wear pants. Either do to some kind of magical force, or to the fact that I seemed to have temporarily lost control of my hands, I looked down and realized that my pants were already around my ankles. Thank God I decided to free ball it. At that same moment, a roar of applause thundered from above me.

“Well, it’s about time somebody cheers that I take my pants off.” I called out to the disembodied applause.

My good mood was almost extinguished when I felt four hands grab firmly onto my shoulders. I looked behind me to see two rather large Roman soldiers scowling down at me.

They turned me around, and one said to the other in Latin which I inexplicably understood, “this man is wearing very strange clothes. Do you think he is a gladiator?”

I slapped this man. “Of course I’m a gladiator, Roman,” I even more inexplicably said in Latin, “You people brought me from my country to fight, after all. And my name is Miniganimus Blackwoodsaccus. Learn that name, for it is the name that even the Devil fears.”

The two soldiers looked uncertainly at on another, shrugged, and began dragging me away.

“Well, Miniganimus, your fight is close at hand. You need to prepare yourself for the battle.

There was a burst of boos and catcalls from above. After a few seconds of confusion as to what’s going on, I finally figured it out. Because of how badass the Colosseum was and how awesome I am, when I entered the building it created a time portal which took me back to the Colosseum’s hayday. Yeah, that’s totally what happened. I probably had to right some wrong in the past and also bed some emperor’s daughter.

Excited about this revelation, I freed myself from their grip, grabbed one of their swords, and stabbed one of the soldiers right in his goddamn eye.  I screamed, “Miniganimus Blackwoodsaccus is going to fuck up some gladiators and exotic animals for some empress snatch!” I then hobbled off (my pants were still around my ankles) and into the lower levels of the stadium.

Once there, I found the place I was to prepare myself for the fight. In my room, or rather, the room that I had claimed for myself, there was a wire metal mannequin wearing my armor, protective belt, and helmet. The metal glimmered in the dim light. I hungered for it. As fast as I could with my pants around my ankles, I made my way over to the mannequin so that I could get ready for my fight. The helmet was easy enough to remove, but the breast plate refused to come off. After several minutes of fighting, swearing and threats to bestow pain that no one has ever felt before on the mannequin, it finally released my armor and belt. To teach the stupid wire-man a lesson, I picked it up and threw it out of the room. As it clattered on the floor, I turned around and put on my armor. The armor, simply put, was weird. It didn’t fit me well; it was much looser that what you’d expect armor to be, but it was very light and breezy, which I decided must help me retain my agility. Clearly the Romans had this whole armor thing worked out. But I guess they should, you don’t become an empire by killing off all of your soldiers.

I removed my pants the rest of the way, and made my way through the labyrinth  of passages to the Colosseum floor. I stepped out from the dark hallway and into the warm golden light of the open stadium and the crowd roared with excitement. I sauntered out to the middle of the stadium, waving to my adoring fans all the while. Then, I saw her. The emperor’s daughter sat on a golden throne at the center of the field. She was draped it a vibrant red dress that looked like it was made out of her own sweet breath. And boy was she hot. I mean Olivia Wilde’s level of hot. You know what, let’s just go ahead and assume that this empress was Olivia Wilde.

My sweet, sweet Empress

I walked towards the majestic beauty that was the Empress, and when she smiled at me, I felt a rush of adrenaline that made even my most violent of benders seem tame. I bowed to her, while being aware, yet indifferent to the fact that I was exposing my anus the rest of the crowd.

“I,” I called to the empress once I finished my bow, “Miniganimus Blackwoodsaccus, declare that the blood I spill on this day will be spilled for you, my radiant empress.”

She gave a curt smile, which I took as that I had properly moistened her panties. Fuck yeah, I’m practically in. I wish I could have continued with the wooing of Empress Olivia Wilde, but the crowd roared back to life as a group of five retiariuses stepped into the stadium and began their advance towards me.

Being out numbered and out weaponed, I decided that my one sword was not enough for the five sets of tridents, daggers, and nets that were going to try and ruin my day, so I ran to the closest wall and picked up a heavy metal chain that was laying there. I began to swing it over my head, and I waited for one of these dumb bastards to get too close. One eventually did, and with one swing of my chain, I was able to hit him hard on the head, effectively knocking him out. The next blocked my chain with his trident and attempted to stab me with his dagger. His dagger was too short, but unfortunately for him my sword was long enough to reach him (As it always is, ladies). I stabbed him in his chest and then slashed at his face. As he fell to the ground as a bleeding lump, the other three retiariuses (or retardiuses, Am I right!) stepped forward. Learining from the other two’s mistakes, they attacked me at once, using their nets to grab ahold of my chain and their tridents to stab me. But with one unexpected flourish of my wrist, I was able to knock all three tridents out of their hands. I rushed in and plunged my sword right into the first retiarius’s groin. I lifted him up over my head and let him land on his. I then turned to the second one, and swung hard at his temple. My sword made its mark, and that one fell too. The fifth and final retiarius, seeing what I did to his friends, decided to run away. Stupid move. I chased the coward down and tackled him. With one quick move, my blade sliced his throat and ended his weak existence.

I stood up to claim my prize of empress ass when I heard a roar come from behind me. Slowly I turned around.

“Tiger!”

AAAAHHHHH!

The large feline beast stared me down, waiting for me to make a move. I stared back, rapidly thinking of my best course of action to kill the beautiful creature. Before I had even made my decision, my legs were racing towards the tiger, the rest of my body being dragged along by them. With one impressive jump, I was able to leap over the tiger’s swiping paws, and land on its back. The cat kicked and thrashed, its sharp claws scratching my arms and face. After a few minutes of intense jungle cat wrasslin’ the tiger was too tired to fight on, and I was easily able to dispose of it. I did it quick because I felt that the tiger was a worthy adversary and that it deserved all of my respect.

After a second or two of silence, the Colosseum practically ejaculated with applause and cheers. I ran to the Empress who was now in the fighting arena. Her beaming smile warmed my heart, and I knew that I needed to have her right then. I wrapped my arms around her and filled her mouth with the most passionate kiss of her life. I felt her buckle as her tongue danced with mine, as our souls became one. I felt several guards pull me off of her, but I didn’t care; this was the happiest day of my life. I fell in love, I found my place in the world, and I got to legally kill people.

And as they pinned me to the ground, I could still hear the crowd chant my name, “Miniganimus, Miniganimus, Miniganimus…”

“…Minigan? Minigan. Minigan wake the fuck up.”

I stirred and opened my eyes. The first thing I saw were several thin, yet deep scratches on my arms. As my eyes moved their way up my arms, I noticed that I was wearing a turquoise floral blouse and a hot pink fanny pack that was blatantly not covering up my junk. I looked upward and noticed a pink brim right above me. I felt for it and realized that I was wearing a pink baseball cap as well.

“What the hell happened?” I asked, “Where’s the empress? I was so close to tapping that!”

“I don’t know that you’re talking about Minigan,” Paul snapped, as he kept me pinned firmly to the ground, “all I know is that you are a crazy bastard that probably shouldn’t be alive right now.

“I know!” I answered, “Did you see me fight those 5 retiariuses? That was so bad-ass!”

“No,” he retorted, “But I did see you beat the shit out of those five Colosseum guards with a billy club and a chain.”

“Wait. What?”

“Oh,” CJ said sarcastically as he walked up, “You’re confused? Here, we’ll start from the fucking beginning. After you punched that guy in the chest and filled yourself with the stolen drugs, we came over to the Colosseum. We were barely inside when you started to say, ‘guys, the drugs that guy gave me were shit’ before you trailed off. You then turned around and pulled your pants down. Two of the guards saw this and grabbed you. That’s when you said something in tongues, grabbed one of their billy-clubs and hit one of them in the face with it. You then ran into the woman’s rest room. Within seconds we heard a woman scream.”

Paul let me up and continued CJ’s story, “Apparently you stole her hat, blouse and fanny pack and then threw her outside. After about a minute you came out wearing the stuff you stole from her. You then ran out the exit to where we are now. You started to wave at no one until five guards came after you, two of which you had already attacked. You took them all out with a chain barrier and the billy-club.”

“and what about the tiger I fought?” I asked.

“What you mean the stray cat you tackled?” Jon replied as he handed me my pants, “It’s over there. Michelle is taking care of it. We’re amazed that you didn’t kill the poor thing.”

It still looks a little pissed at me

I looked over and sure enough, Michelle was petting a terrified looking cat while casting dark scowls at me.

“But, but what about the empress?” I asked, “Please tell me it was really Olivia Wilde. I so want to believe that I just made out with Olivia Wilde.”

“Well, you did make out with someone, but it wasn’t Olivia Wilde,” Paul replied, “It was Brennen.”

They turned their heads to a quivering mass about five feet away that Katie was tending to. She looked at us and called, “I think he’s going into shock.”

“Well that wouldn’t be the first time one of my kisses had sent someone into shock (ladies),” I replied, “but assuming from the amout of drugs I had injested, I’m going to go ahead and say he’s probably having some kind of messed up hallucination right now. We should get him back to the hotel so that he can sleep it off.”

“And that’s it?” CJ cried, “Brennen just sleeps of the drugs and the fact that you almost molested him and everything is OK?!?!”

“Yep,” I replied, “That’s usually how it goes.”

“Well, fuck you, Minigan.” He screamed, “you’ve taken this shit too far this time. I’m going to get you kicked off of this trip. I swear it.”

“Ah, come on, at least I didn’t do anything to you, and besides, think of the stories you’re going to have once you get back to the states. Now, c’mon everybody, let’s have some of that wine!”

See, everything turned out OK.

And then we had some wine, laughed at my antics and just generally had a good time tailgating the Colosseum. And everything was better.

__________________

Well, that went longer than what I was expecting. Here some info on Pompeii. You can adopt puppies from there. If there was one thing that I took from Pompeii, it was that. Not the fact that they recycled their broken pots my putting them in concrete, not that they carved penises into the streets to point horny travelers to one of Pompeii’s brothels, not even that you get to see the remains of dead bodies, it’s totally the puppy thing.  Honestly, Pompeii was the place I was looking forward to most on this trip, and it didn’t disappoint at all. How can it? It’s really just ruins. But it was still amazing in a desolate ghost town kind of way. I wish I would have got to see more of it.

he he he he..... dong

finally, a corpse that I didn't have anything to do with

Food

Before I go into anything that deals with what I ate, check out the pasta CJ got for lunch when we left the Vatican:

Now that's what I call penne pasta! HO! UP TOP!!!

That’s right, he got a plate full O’Dicks. What he ordered was the daily special, which gives us a lot of information to go on about the owner of that particular restaurant. CJ was a good sport though; he laughed with us, and ate all those dicks without any complaints or jokes about their being a weird cream sauce mixed in.

Other than the gnocchi that I ate on our second day in Rome (the same meal that CJ had the penis pasta), I don’t remember what I ate in Rome. For our second dinner, I was hammered, but I did get a pic of the bruschetta that we had before our main course:

That dinner, by the way, was amazing. That is, of course, a biased opinion because I was shit faced, but I had a blast drunkenly singing “That’s Amore!” with the guitar player that was entertaining us. Of course, the night wasn’t all fun and drunken games for those of us who aren’t Jon, Paul, Brennen, and CJ (They were out until, like 6:00 AM). No, sadly, two of our trip mates, Tristan and Erica were leaving the next morning. Tristan was going back to London to start her study abroad program, and Erica was just headed back to the states because her parents didn’t want her flying back from Greece. We missed them, and I assume they missed the Hell out of me.

Erica or Tristan, call me.

Anyway, as for the rest of the food I ate in Rome, I don’t remember at all. I remember eating at this place, even though I don’t remember what I got:

Also, I assume I ate more gelato. I fucking love gelato.

Alcohol

Good, cheap wine again. After our trip to the Vatican, Jon, Paul, Brennen, CJ, Katie and I stopped at a market to load up on cheap wine so that we could tailgate the Colosseum, just like the ancient Romans would.  We merrily drank wine from the Colosseum all the way back to our hotel, where we partied in Jon and Paul’s room. We then drank some Swiss beer that we had on our trip to the restaurant for dinner. What I’m getting at is that I got hammered that day.

we were drunk here, and this was early in the night

People

Well, other than Paul cussing out an Italian kid, who turned out to be able to speak English (Why is every European multilingual? Does our schools system suck that bad?), I didn’t talk to a whole lot of Italians. They mostly gave us weird looks for taking full advantage of their open alcohol container laws. Seriously, Europeans, you have no clue how lucky you have it with that. But with those people aside, Italians seemed to be very hospitable and laid back. Maybe it’s my Italian heritage, but I love taking two to three hours to eat a meal. And I’m not being sarcastic about that, nor am I going to say that I like it because it gives the booze a fighting chance to get me drunk (even though it totally does and I love that). It is just so relaxing.

I do have one caveat with Italians, however. They are kind of pushy when you’re walking somewhere. I guess that it may have something to do with them wasting most of their day eating their meals at a leisurely pace.

Overall Atmosphere

Again, this is relatively the same as Northern Italy, just with the added bustling city and ancient ruins of Rome. What the Hell do you people want from me? Just look at the goddamn pictures:

That's totally not phallic, Italy. Nope, not phallic at all

the ruins of "Old Rome" as I like to call it because I forgot its real name

Mt. Vesuvius, waiting...

I think these guys might just love my antics

inside the Vatican, I see God

My douchey artistic pic of outside the Colosseum

my douchey, artistic pic of the Roman Arc from inside the Colosseum

my douchey artistic pic of a alleyway in Pompeii

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1 Comment

  1. […] Zack- And you released the Kraken. Paul- And you smuggled drugs into Switzerland! Brennen- And you made me fall in love with you! Therapist- What?! Brennen- Well, It was actually the drugs he took. They are highly addictive and […]


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