Wednesday, January 9, 2008

“Born to push a pole”

Any gondolier who has been on the back of a gondola long enough has been asked: “why aren’t you pushing with a pole?”. This is not the only misconception of gondolas, but it’s one of the most prevalent here in the US. Some time ago a friend sent me this comic, years later I still get a kick out of it. There are so many things about it that crack me up:

First, there’s the caricature gondola – with it’s extremely high ferros…on each end.

Second, the gondola has flames painted on the side.

Third, the gondolier looks more like a member of the Hell’s Angels, complete with beard, tattoo, jeans, fingerless gloves, and the jacket with the sleeves torn off. With all these things, the authentic gondolier hat is quite a contrast.

Fourth, “BORN TO PUSH A POLE” on the back of the jacket.

Fifth, the gondolier’s “old lady” – she’s classic! She’s got a cigarette in her mouth and that wonderful sort of “white trash” sensibility (meaning she looks bored, pissed, and dangerous all at the same time).

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