Well, my plans to go to Piedmont on Saturday and stock up on Barolo were dashed by Wayne who had so much fun last week that he decided to plan another Venice Pub Crawl. This one turned out to be a success as well. To view the Pub Crawl pics, click on this link:
Venice Pub Crawl (Act II) Pics
The one disappointment was that we had to take the last train back to Vicenza, so we couldn’t stay as long as we’d have liked. On the bright side, we managed to cram quite a bit of revelry into the time that we did have. And as it turned out, the train ride home was almost as eventful as the pub crawl itself.
We had to literally run through the streets of Venice to catch our train and made it about 20 seconds before it pulled out of the station. The train was unbelievably crowded; it was standing room only and even the standing room was limited. So we eventually settled into a space between two of the cars. Somehow we got separated and Wayne, his girlfriend Nikki, a New Yorker named Chris, and I were on one side of the glass, everyone else on the other. At the Padova stop, a bunch of people got on and one of them, an African looking guy with a do-rag on his head under a ball cap ends up standing right next to us. We were all still a bit hammered, so Nikki and I start talking to him. He says he’s from Philly and for some reason, Wayne and I don’t believe him, because he’s got a very thick African/Caribbean accent ("Yes mon, I am from Phee-lee mon!"). So we’re engaged in a really animated conversation with this guy – his name was Maxwell – and all the Italians on the train are watching it chuckling. Eventually Maxwell admits that he’s really from Ghana (it’s in Africa), not Philly.
All of a sudden, out of nowhere, the guy breaks out into a rap. Something about my shoes or Wayne’s hair, I don’t remember. What he was rhyming about was not important. What WAS important was that we were obviously being challenged. And I just could not let it go unanswered. So no sooner did he finish than I launched into a rap of my own which I culled from my extensive musical library. I had to show this guy that he wasn’t dealing with any average white boy here. Everyone in the train seemed pretty shocked when I came right back at him like that, but I had no choice. Maxwell had thrown down the proverbial gauntlet. The challenge was on...it was go time.
Wayne, Maxwell, me and Nikki
So I finish and now it’s his turn again. He comes back at me with some weak rap about some random thing and I answered him once again. By now, everyone in the train is watching intently and really getting into it. They’d never witnessed the likes of me before. Maxwell takes his turn again and then I decide to get serious. I reached down, got in touch with my “inner gangsta” and threw some L’il Jon and Ludacris at him. He seemed flustered but came right back at me. I was starting to wonder if I was going to able to take this guy. But, fueled by a mixture of ale and adrenaline, I did. I decided to go old school on him and whipped out some Public Enemy. By now he was reeling. It was obvious who the real MC on the train was. He managed one more rhyme but by the time I hit him with Tupac, the battle was over. He gave me the congratulatory handshake and half hug, and we all laughed the rest of the way to Vicenza. I doubt the Italians have ever seen anything like that before.
We made our way back to Wayne and Nikki’s place for a couple more drinks before crashing. Venice Pub Crawl, Act II was a success. Can't wait to see what happens on the next one...