Article

Alternative Verses

Photo by HJH Pereira

Photo taken at the Palácio de Pena, Sintra, Portugal by HJH Pereira

 

While on vacation outside of Lisbon:

Me: (as three fourths of my family walk through the door) Hello! How was Sintra?

Hank: WAY too many Tuk-Tuks!

Grammy: It was wonderful.

Grandpa Snitch: I can’t believe they let that one palace go into ruin.

Pai: We had a lovely day and then also got stuck in an impossible traffic jam that took almost an hour to fix.

Me: Sounds like Sintra!

Molly: PAPA!

Pai: (swooping Molly into his arm) Olá filha. (hello daughter)

Molly: Olá papa. (pythoning him about the neck) Hug. Hug.

Me: (with everyone distracted) Hank, come over here and tell me everything.

Hank: The traffic jam was unreal and the worst part of the day. I really liked the first palace. That was my favorite.

Me: Monserrate?

Hank: Yes, also we got to ride in a golf cart because Grammy and Grandpa (leans in and whispers) are old people.

Me: I can’t wait to be an old lady. I will wear turbans and moo-moos, keep a flock of corgies whom I will refer to as The Crogin and blossom into my fully eccentric self and also ride golf carts whenever possible.

Hank: And then we went to Palácio de Pena.

Me: Now that is special.

Hank: There was so much to see. I took 1000 photos almost.

Me: Show me.

Hank: (handing over his phone)

Me: (scrolling) You really know how to capture the details.

Hank: Sintra is all about the details.

Me: I couldn’t agree more. (in a mocking voice) Ooooo la la, it looks like you decided to take a picture of a rather naked lady.

Hank: WHAT? No, I didn’t.

Me: Oh, yes you did. It is a lovely painting, I must say. Good choice.

Hank: (taking his phone back) Mama, I don’t think you understand.

Me: Oh, I understand and have zero problems with it.

Hank: No, mama! Listen! There was so much to see in Palácio de Pena that I just took photos. I just clicked everything because there were people in front of me and people behind me and I knew I would miss things. I don’t even remember taking this photo.

Me: Riiiiiiigggghhhttt.

Hank: Mama! If I wanted to take a picture of naked ladies there was a whole room just for Don Carlos Primeiro (last king of Portugal) FULL of naked lady paintings.

Me: Okay, so you noticed those but not this one, is that it?

Hank: NO, mama. (deep sigh of defeat)

Me: (to the tune of What Would You Do With A Drunken Sailor)
Hank took a picture of a naked lady,
Hank took a picture of a naked lady,
Hank took a picture of a naked lady in the palácio!

Hank: Mom.

Me: (delighted with myself while simultaneously emailing the naked lady photo to myself) Haaaannnnnkkkk took a picture of a naked lady,
Hank took a picture of a naked lady…

Grandpa Snitch: What’s this about?

Me: (still singing, showing my dad Hank’s photo) Hank took a picture of a naked lady in the palácio!

Pai: Was it one of the nicer ones?

Me: Yes, he was discerning.

Hank: Mama, I will delete it.

Me: Don’t you dare.

Hank: Then you have to stop singing that song.

Me: (whining) But Hannnnkk. It works perfectly! It’s like this old drunken bar song was written for this exact moment.

Hank: You can sing it once more, but not every day and never in front of other people.

Me: Deal… HA-

Hank: (interrupting me) You’re going to blog about this aren’t you?

Me: Oh yah.

Hank: Argh.

Me: Hank took a picture of a naked lady,
Hank took a picture of a naked lady,
Hank took a picture of a naked lady in the palácio!
EVERYBODY!

Hank: (hands up) NO.

Me: (sticking out my lower lip)

800px-Da_Vinci_Vitruve_Luc_Viatour

Leonardo da Vinci’s Virtuvian Man

 

About a week later back at home:

Me: How was the Da Vinci exhibit at the Palácio dos Duques?

Hank: It was fun! Better this time because I was in a better mood and with my Grandpa Snitch who knew all about him and his inventions; the ones he made and didn’t make because it wasn’t possible when he was alive.

Me: He was a visionary. Da Vinci is one of my biggest inspirations because he didn’t do just one thing. He was a doctor and an engineer and a painter and an inventor and a reader and a writer of letters and a world traveler and so much more. Today, society wants you to master one thing.  I find this boring.

Grandpa Snitch: And I got the one thing in the gift shop that was in English, but except it is in Italian.

Me: Oh, good they had Da Vinci swag? They had nothing when we went a few weeks ago, but it was newly open.

Grandpa Snitch: (pulls out a t-shirt of Da Vinci’s Virtuvian Man with a flourish)

Me: (teasing tone) I love that sketch, but isn’t it a bit controversial of you to flash a penis around town in Middle America? I have zero problems with it, but is that church appropriate, dad?

Hank: Yup, there’s a penis on your shirt.

Grandpa Snitch: I thought about that. I am going to ask your Grammy if she will stitch a fig leaf over that area.

Hank: That’s cleaver.

Me: American to the end!

Grandpa Snitch: You don’t think that is a good idea? I guess I can just wear it at home.

Me: Nope, it’s a great idea. Makes for a great conversation starter.

Hank: I like the leaf idea. Fig leaves are pretty. It will look nice.

Me: (eureka moment, singing at the top of my lungs once again to the tune of What Would You Do With A Drunken Sailor)
Bern (Grandpa Snitches’ first name) bought a t-shirt with a penis on it,
Bern bought a t-shirt with a penis on it,
Bern bought a t-shirt with a penis on it…

Hank: (gleefully joining in)

Hank and I: IN THE PALÁCIO!!!

Hank: (riots of laughter)

Me: (practically purple, tears rolling down my face)

Grandpa Snitch: (walking away) Alright, alright.

Hank: You’re right mom, that is a great song. (walking away, singing to himself)
Bern bought a t-shirt with a penis on it…