Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Land That Loves "Arnold"


(First posted August 3, 2006)

When we were up late one night (Or was it early one morning? I don't know...All I can remember is that it was dark outside), a few members of our party, who were still adjusting to the time change, discovered that Italian television is a bit different than American TV. Several channels were titled Sex TV and tucked in between those channels was a channel with a catholic priest broadcasting mass. Yes, you read that right.

So, we found ourselves flipping through the channels quickly, trying to find something we could comfortably watch with family members of all ages. We all breathed a sigh of relief when a young Gary Coleman popped up on the screen. Different Strokes! Yay! None of us had seen that show since the 80s.

It was an episode I hadn't seen before, but the character "Arnold" was the entire show. I jokingly asked my husband if they had cut out the rest of the characters because Arnold really was the best part. Then the credits rolled and we started to crack up because it was now title "Arnold" and had a montage of that character and ONLY that character.

Later that day, my family and I were walking back to the train station in Florence and spotted the picture shown above in an alley. Guess the Italians really do love Arnold! I think it's sweet. And as warm, friendly, and incredibly giving as the Italians are to everyone, it doesn't surprise me too much that they love Arnold. (If you know something different about their connection to this character, then maybe you should just let me believe my little delusion. Oh, what the heck, tell me about it.)

Have you ever been in a place where you're surprised about who is famous there? And if you write a story that is set in that place, does it change the way you write about the people who live there?

Inquiring minds want to know...