Citizens in shock as Venice fills with wet liquidy stuff

by philapilus
English: Church of San Giorgio Maggiore from P...

Most Venetians had only ever seen water coming out of a tap before, so it was sheer luck there were so many of these around.

Heavy rain, freak tides and bad weather-forecasting are being blamed for the unprecedented flooding of Venice over the weekend.

The Italian city, famed for its sandy streets and a small surrounding desert (given the ironic name of ‘the Venetian Lagoon’), is more used to drought and water-rationing than deluge.

But to their horror and shock, Venetians found themselves suddenly stuck with canals instead of streets, and had to use special walkways – or even resort to boats – in their efforts to get around.

Restaurant owner Mario Pavarotti said “I walked-a downstairs this-a morning, and oh! Mamma mia! There is-a water everywhere I look-a! My business it has-a flooded-a! What I to do? -a”

Mayor of the city, Leonardo Ravioli, denied any incompetence on the part of the authorities, saying “Venice has never flooded in its entire history. There is no precedent, and as such the civic council had no chance to prepare whatsoever.

“All I can say is that we were very lucky that there happened to be so many boats just lying around. They’ve always been seen as a nuisance before, piles of abandoned gondolas, filling with sand every time the hot desert winds send sandstorms though our streets. But now we’re glad we had them.”

Italy has always had a somewhat confused relationship with its weather forecasters, and is notorious for charging the unsuccessful ones with manslaughter and then burning them at the stake, on the assumption that they are inexplicably responsible for the bad weather.

But a storm on this scale, leaving most of the city full of water, is expected to cause a huge backlash against Italy’s Meteorological Office, where even now scientists are barricading the doors, and strengthening the fortifications.

Head of the Venetian Tourism Board, Michael Corleone, said “Someone has to pay for this. Visitors to our city will be taking their business elsewhere for the forseeable future. Whoever heard of people paying money to visit a town full of water? We are facing perhaps months of little or no income, because our tourism industry will vanish overnight.”

In the meantime, the city will this morning begin the long, slow process of gathering up all the water, putting it in carrier bags and then piling them onto lorries, to be dumped at sea. Then the challenge will be to deal with the long term damp-damage.

Mayor Ravioli said “Venice’s buildings cannot cope with water, they were not built to withstand this. I have got hold of the Argos catalogue, and I am ordering 40,000 towels and hundreds of every hairdryer model they have. We are going to dry out this city if it takes the rest of our lives.”

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