Last week a few friends alerted me to a piece of news that kind of amused me. It seems that some gondoliers were caught drinking and hazing an incoming staff member.
I'm sorry, but it must have been a slow news day, because any guy who's ever pledged a fraternity, played high school sports, joined a Boy Scout troop, or just spent enough time around other guys has seen or been a part of something like this.
My apologies ladies, but when guys are left alone to our own devices,
it's just something that we often do. Nobody ever died in my Boy Scout troop going to fetch a "left-handed smoke-shifter". And the stuff we had to do to join a fraternity back in the 80's, well, we're all still alive, and I'd argue that our loyalty to the house was strong for many reasons...including the hazing...and no, I can't talk about it specifically. I can say that it was at times more extreme than, say, swimming naked across the Grand Canal.
Here's the story as told by the Sydney Morning Herald via the London Telegraph
"Venice's boozy boatmen in spotlight"
If you're thinking I'm not taking it seriously, you're partly right.
Sure, drunken gondoliers are a problem for any operation, and a naked guy swimming the Canalazzo is something that is destined to get talked about by local authorities.
I just can't help but wonder how many of the authorities quoted or consulted for the news story either laughed or stifled a laugh before weighing in on the issue.