This ain't my first rodeo


Do people assume that not being in the first flush of youth means I'm naive?

My spam inbox is of course awash with notices of my having inherited a fortune in Hong-Kong, asking to send money to a friend stranded in Cairo, helping corrupt government officials in Nigeria, to my recent favourite, I am about to be sued for sexual harassment unless I send money to a lawyer to settle (at least I think that one is a con)! As they have been caught in the spam security net thank God I never get to read them....or I might take them seriously.

However it's the face to face one's that amuse me. Last week I visited Villa Romana Del Casals which houses the most astonishing rooms full of ancient mosaics I have ever seen.

As my wife and I took the long walk from the car park to the entrance, appearing out of the glaring sunlight, a young guy steps forward with a guide book.

"Latest copy. U.N.E.S.C.O sanctioned book. €12."

It looked well produced but was heavy and I wondered if I needed to carry more crap in the car. He then blew it:

"There are no signs once inside. Without it you will not understand."

Did he seriously think a site as famous as this would have no signage?

  • Once inside the Roman Palazzo it had displays in every language in each room
  • As we got closer to the site the same guide book dropped to €8 and came with a lemon squeezer! ....and yet
  • I still bought it! But the point was I knew he was ripping me off but he got a point for chutzpah. He probably thought I was senile.

I have been offered diamonds on the streets of Rio - if you really think you are going to get a bargain 4 carat stone from a stranger you clearly are gullible enough to believe that Jersey Shore is not scripted - but just breathe on it. A diamond will dissipate the humidity fog in under three seconds, a fake takes twice as long.

A student at Bangkok Airport said he was collecting as many different airline boarding cards for a charity competition (the bar code on your boarding card has your passport and credit card details on it) and once in The Philippines I was offered by a very persistent 10 year old kid a pair or Ray Bans that belonged to General MacArthur's (er...that finish was not around in 1945).

...and another thing

I do accept my generation have a bulls-eye on our forehead in terms of technology but I know more about how the internal combustion engine works than any under 40 year old and probably more about illicit substances than any amateur tweaker.

So please if you see me ambling towards you in a pair of tartan booties and matching shopping basket, make sure your shit is good shit and the car ain’t a pile of shit. However if you have an app that can create dinner in the altogether with Beyoncé, Bo Derek and Jessica Rabbit, just tell me how much to pay.

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