Sunday, September 25, 2005

Avventure di un evaristico in Coneglianoland.

The press conference was scheduled for 4 o'clock in the afternoon, in Sala Giunta of Conegliano Town Hall. Myself+2 enter the place ten minutes early, following a random journalist who would remain partially unaware of us for the rest of the proceedings.
We reach the small early eighteenth century, lavishly decorated conference room and stand waiting, unsure whether to sit or not on the few available chairs. Few seconds pass and the journalist, a dark-haired lady early in her thirties, starts mumbling into her cellphone and eventually says out quite loudly "they decided to move it to the piazza downstairs, since it's such a nice day", in a manner which sounded too much like a personal reflection for us to accept it as her admitting our existence.
We go back down two flights of stairs where a very polite public relations lackey stops us all from exiting the building, and asks us for identification.

A small parenthesis. We had entered the town hall building unauthorized and uninvited so we could attend a press conference. The press conference was moved to the outside Piazza, an open, public space. This man was blocking us from leaving the place we weren't supposed to be in, demanding a justification for our inexplicable desire to simply walk out of a door, albeit in a pleasantly polite manner.
What makes me wonder now (i didn't really give the matter much thought at the time) is this: what would have happened if we didn't make it past him? Would we have been condemned to remain inside the eighteenth century construction for the rest of our lives, or until somebody actually realized we had nothing to do with the place? Or would we have been automatically whisked off to some otherworldly, extradimensional limbo? We'll never find out, i suppose, but the matter still troubles me.

Back to the events. The journalist in front of us says "i'm a journalist from Messaggero Veneto, and this is my press i.d.", flashing a card from her wallet. The man, unimpressed, lets her out.
He then turns to us: "e voi?" ("and you?")
"They're with me" i answer, pointing at my companions. "I'm from a website."
"Really? That's great!" said the surprised doorperson, his face suddenly lit up. He gives us a big smile and allows our exit.

On our way to the center of the piazza, where the chairs were already set, the personalities were already taking place and the waiters from the local Festa Dell'Uva were already opening complimentary wine bottles, Fabrizio, the friend who had invited me to the town in the first place, asks: "What if he'd asked you the name of the website?" I think this thoroughtly and sort of mutter out that yes, that would have been something of a problem. After twenty seconds of further reflection, i say out loud "Hey wait! I really do have a website!"

Therefore, my posting this account here retroactively justifies our presence there yesterday.

(A few disapproving eyes turned towards us, but it was too late for their owners to kick us out.)