there was this italian guy, in his fifties, probably. his polyester jacket was beige-colored, his voice husky. we strolled through the city, he taught me about medieval architecture, and advised against vacationing in grossly overpriced sardinia. i was impressed by his well-controlled behavior and ostensible lack of humor. when we finally reached the historic city gate, he leaned in, and, instead of saying goodbye, deadpanned:
“remember: all rascals start with b.”
two days later the pope came to town.