Did you know that Venice is a monarchy? Neither did I, until last night.
On paper he would appear to be a King.
A long flowing robe, a crown atop his head, and to say he exuded confidence would be an understatement, this man came walking down the middle of the street, no sidewalks for his highness.
He introduced himself (a humble effort as I am sure most Kings do not introduce themselves), as the one and only...
I am not sure if Shiny is a family name, or something self-appointed by his highness, but I do know that centuries from now, the annals of history will surely engrave the name Shiny in their texts, and your great-great-great grandchildren will read of his achievements.
You might ask, what are those achievements?
Well, if King Shiny wore a Brooks Brothers suit instead of a terry cloth robe, and if he were not a royal, but rather an elected official, I am pretty sure he would run on an "Anti-Tourist" platform.
King Shiny has made it his mission to represent the residents of his Venice Kingdom in a manner that might seem unorthodox for a King, but hey, most Kings were crazy, Henry VI went mad and spent his remaining days wandering the forests.
His Royal Highness King Shiny of Venice, is not much different than them, and that is why, when he asked for gas money, I felt it my duty to the kingdom to comply.
As you might know, royals do not receive a salary, rather they rely on the taxes of their followers, which I was happy to hand over, despite my curiosity as to why a King would need money for fuel, much less why fueling his chariot would even be his responsibility.
The chariot, a mid-80's Chrysler LeBaron convertible (a fitting car for a King), was parked just down the street.
It was this car that served as a vital ingredient in the King's rule.
According to King Shiny, and since then vouched for by some of his humble servants, the King's favorite pastime is to park the Royal LeBaron in the middle of the intersection at Pacific and Windward, stand up for all the neighborhood to see him, and in a manner that defines and embodies the idea of royalty, he spends a few minutes flipping the middle finger to anyone who will look at him.
He assures me that this message is only intended for those who enter our kingdom and trash it every weekend, the tourists and visitors, not his loyal followers for whom he "has nothing but love for".
Beyond the fanny packs, fake lifeguard t-shirts, and recently purchased "Scarface" movie posters, I am not sure how he knows who is a foe and who is a friend, but like anyone who respects their monarchy, I do not question my King, I simply give him gas money and curtsy.