Stazoine Birra - Rome, Italy
Entry by Tom Hyatt

"We woke to the bus completely shut down and completely exposed to the sun. Fortunately, my chinciness, has paid off. Being too cheap to buy an air conditioner all summer made it possible for me to adapt to the furnace that greeted me this AM. Outside trucks plowed past and stopped on a dime in their perspective parking spaces. A guy could get killed out here. Duncan was catching some well earned Zs having driven several extra hours so we would have time to enjoy our stay in Italy. “Duncan Naylor: the patron saint of safe travel and good times” I thought, as I stood over him seeing how close I could dangle a loogie over his face before it was too late to slurp back up. Hey! He only requested quiet!

We wandered around dumb and confused amidst a soccer team honing their chops in the truck stop parking lot. Unlike American progressive rock bands, Italian football teams travel around equipped with young female admirers. “Please God! Just one dart to puncture their soccer ball and grant me victory over their youthful joy….Screw it! I’ll just have breakfast.

This particular truck stop was better stocked than most American Wal Marts: Domestic meats, a confusing array of coffee, soft core porn, seatless toilets, a woman standing outside of your stall, cursing you out in Italian. Really! I was in the Men’s room. Apparently, performance anxiety on the toilet is customary here.

Finally, Duncan reluctantly arose from the dead and took us to Pisa. “How long till we get there Dunc?” “Long enough for me to snuff you pansy hairdressers and make it look like an accident!!!” (To himself)(pleasantly) “Uuullmm!.....Ya!! That should be it. Just around the bend”.

I have to say, there is nooooooooo excuse to ask what time it is in Pisa. Watch salesman swarmed from every corner on the unsuspecting tourists. Duncan proactively ran interference by aggressively trying to hock his time piece to them, buying time (pun alert!) for us to slip by.

The sites were jaw dropping. Oh yea , and there were some cool buildings all over the place too. Unfortunately, the Pisa bell tower was leaning. I’m sure someone caught hell for that. You would think someone would try to fix those things before the tourists arrived. What would the Italians think if they came to Washington D.C. and found the Monument with erectile dysfunction? Or the Statue of Liberty wearing holding a beer and wearing a thong? Or Gene Simmons carved into Mount Rushmore? ...I’m workin on it.

After our routine beer, wine, and food run, we were off to the Mediterranean (What the hell, while we’re here). Duncan found a nice resort town and parked in his usual belligerent and illegal manner. We all leaped out of the bus snarling, giggling, and drooling and we were off to beach, like a bunch of escaped Barbary macaques.

For me, soaking my sneakers in the Mediterranean was a personal victory. I am here because I play bass in echolyn. I wound up repeating this to myself and the rest of the crew to exhaustion. I’m lucky it didn’t turn into “I am tied to the roof of the bus and am not allowed back in because I won’t stop saying that I am here because I play bass in echolyn”. After some celebratory beers and dragging drunken, camera happy, Joe out of the local restaurant, we were off to Stazzione Birra in Rome…… because I play bass in echolyn”."

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