You may have noticed I’ve fallen quiet lately. This was partly because I hoped you’d miss my witty tales of derring do around Sicily so much you would decide to buy my hilarious novel to fill the void. It was mainly because the electricity keeps getting cut off.
The electricity has been cut off 42 times since my last blog post. The longest was 12 hours and, with no air conditioning, my son and I put on our swimming costumes and spent eight hours in the sea in order to stave off certain death. By the end of this time, I had gone red, peeled and gone white again, burnt red, and peeled white once more. The kiddo, on the other hand, like a proper Sicilian had gone so dark that a couple of volunteers hauled him out of the water probably thinking he had just bobbed over from Libya.
I gave him an ice-lolly and threw him back.
Well, apart from having no air conditioning, may I tell you what happens in Sicily when the electricity gets cut off?
First off, you have no water. Our water doesn’t come from the mains under the pressure of a water tower. Oh no! Sending water to houses by gravity was used by the Ancient Romans and it’s old hat nowadays. Instead we have the water delivered to us by a succession of electric pumps under the road, which push it along the pipes.
I always thought that connecting electrical apparatus to water was scientifically risky, but I was never much good at science in school. In fact the only way I could tell the difference between Chemistry and Physics was that if Randy Richardson was writing on the board it was chemistry, whereas it was Physics if Slimy Lipscombe was applying cream to his warts between strangely fondling coloured wires tipped with crocodile clips.
They both talked about atoms and electrons all the time. They both delivered the devastating news that solid objects are actually made almost entirely of nothing but empty space (I lost a lot of sleep over that) and they both wrote a great deal of odd stuff on the board that reminded me of people swearing in comic strips. You &/H∑Φ)$/”∇→µϖ=$⇒)=”^?!!! kind of stuff.
So, obviously I know nothing about science and it is absolutely fine to have live electrical wires embracing leaking pipes full of water all around town, and indeed connected to all my metal taps so that it knows when I turn one on.
Except when there’s no electricity, of course. We keep buckets of cold water lying around so we can flush the loo medieval style and vaguely pretend to wash our hands in them. Our loo has no window so we have to leave the door slightly open and yodel like Tarzan to keep unwanted intruders at bay.
The second thing that happens is, of course, that you cannot cook anything in your microwave, which is the only civilised way to cook at these temperatures.
Since it’s about 40 degrees most of the time, the third thing that happens is that the fridge-freezer transforms into a slow cooker. Whatever was in it will be cooked and ready to eat by dinner time. Maybe that negates item number two?
After this, the nerves start rising because we cannot have air conditioning. The thing that makes the electricity cut itself off in the first place is the hotter than usual heat.
Yes folks. We all like to criticise and laugh at the pathetic English who go into social breakdown when it snows and cancel all transport, schools and Christmas pantomimes at the first sign of a white flake. Yet the Sicilians are no better. Just wait for August and 40 degrees centigrade, and the island turns Neolithic. No electricity, no water, no i-Tunes.
This is when the real Tarzan would be such an asset. I mean the book Tarzan, not the film Tarzan who bears no resemblance to him, and who made Tarzan’s creator Edgar Rice Burroughs cringe.
Book Tarzan is so sexy I might cause another heat-induced power cut just thinking about him.
Book Tarzan has magnificently elegant aristocratic manners, by instinct, because he is by birth an English Lord. Sometimes he takes Jane over to his vast, fabulously wealthy Greystoke estates in England for a holiday, to let her eat with his silver cutlery and have monkey sex in one of his four-poster beds. He can learn to speak any foreign language as well as a native speaker in just eight weeks. By book three he speaks several different dialects of Arabic as well as Russian, most European languages and a few African ones.
But he speaks English wiz a sexy French accent because ‘e first learned English wiz a French Man in ze jungle. And ‘e cannot drop ze accent because zat would be less sexy.
Book Tarzan also happens to have the most magnificently rippling expanse of chocolate-brown, succulent chest muscles any woman could dream of fondling (or licking, because he’s not hairy), and a fabulous streak of silky black hair down to his waist that flies out behind him when he is whizzing through the trees.
In the books he never uses vines. How camp! Instead he swings on his arms and flies from one branch to the next, like a gibbon. A handsome gibbon.
He usually swings to the rescue of ladies – for yes, girls, he is such a gentleman that he cannot see a woman, any woman, slighted or insulted in any way without avenging her. And this always involves baring his chest, sooner or later, and wrestling a lion bare-handed.
Here’s Indian Tarzan from Bollywood. He’s even more of an imbecile than Johnny Weissmuller. No use whatsoever in a power cut.
His physical prowess as a sportsman is outdone only by his dazzling intellect. He has read thousands of books, having first taught himself to read by finding a children’s first reader lying about in the jungle and figuring it out for himself. There is literally nothing he is not brilliant at. He is a proficient guitarist and singer, dancer and conjurer, and he writes moving poetry. Including love poems. He knows how ships work and can mend them at sea to save the lives of everyone. He takes up a job as a spy from time to time. In between being aristocratic and naked, that is.
If you haven’t read the original Tarzan books, you absolutely need to. (But after you have read my one, of course).
So anyway, what do I want book Tarzan to do for me?
First I want him to make me a gravity-powered shower.
Then I want him to sling me onto his back and swing through the palm trees all the way from my house to the beach. There, he can use a couple of trees to make me a well-ventilated shady hut.
Then I want him to recite me a couple of love poems to distract me from the fact that I feel too darn hot and have sand stuck all up my legs.
After that he can pick a few things for dinner and roast me a beast on the beach as well.
And finally I want him to phone ENEL, the Italian electricity company, and tell them in fluent Sicilian to buck their ideas up and make the electricity come back permanently, or else he’ll release a lion into their head office.
Actually, now I come to think of it, I don’t really need Tarzan. I’m pretty sure my Hubby could manage all that.
He may not ‘ave ze French accent…. but de Italian one isa even more sexy, donna you thinka?
Have you read it yet?
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