“Spelacchio”: A Christmas Story

Once upon a time a beauty contest was held among the snowy valleys of Trentino Alto
Adige in order to spot the most, luxurious, beautiful fir worthy to represent the
Christmas spirit in the capital: Rome. The prize was very high: the fir would have
been placed in the middle of Piazza Venezia and would have been adorned with
hundreds of fabulous silver balls and kilometers of lights bulbs. For almost a month
it would have reigned over that ancient city, close to the Coliseum and the majestic
Roman Forum . It would have been admired by millions of people, thus
becoming a celeb. The administrators of the city had in mind to create something
memorable that year, hoping people would forget the shabby organization of the previous Christmas setup. They were so confident that they didn’t even look for a sponsor
to share the expense, as it should have been crystal clear that the merits were to be all
their own .

The winner was a tall, elegant, rich sort of fir and as it had always been very admired and envied in the entire valley, nobody objected that choice. A party to celebrate the victory was given, then, band and scepter in hand, the Fir was accurately prepared and delicately placed on a lorry on a bed of cushions and tied, so that the 700 and more kilometers to the capital might be not too tiring. It should have been at its best once in the capital. However, when the snowy cliffs of Trentino Alto Adige were no longer in sight, a sort of melancholy took possession of its heart. The air was no longer clear and sparkling, but humid and polluted. It seemed as if it could not breathe.
Furthermore, it had started to notice in horror that some pine needles were falling
off prematurely. Surely, it was the stress of the long journey, but fortunately they were very close to the final destination. Nobody would have noticed few pine needles missing, the Fir was sure.

Only when it was eventually crucified in the middle of Piazza Venezia, the most deserving of all firs understood the tragedy that was about to overwthelm it. It was not only for the few
needles that had fallen off, but it had lost almost a half of his green coat. It
stood there, defenceless, tired, mortified at its own ugly nakedness. Was really this tall
and huge scarecrow the “elegant”, “sober” tree promised by the administrators? When the children gathered around the tree they were, of course, disappointed and soon named it sneeringly: “Spelacchio“( the closest word in English I might think about  is “mangy”) The tons of lights that weighted on its humbled spirit and the hundreds of silver
balls that wounded its bare branches were not enough to hide the shabbiness of the
entire effect. Giving a look around from where it had been placed,  however, the Fir felt just a little relieved: that capital was not exactly what it had imagined. Dirt and garbage could be seen almost everywhere, the city seemed chaotic and noisy. Somehow, its presence perfectly fitted that place, it thought bitterly.

Sunset was the happiest moment of the day. The lights were turned on, so the Fir felt safely hidden behind the magic wonder that covered it all and imagined to be admired as it used to be, but the mornings were hideous and the Fir couldn’t bear to read in the disappointed eyes of passers-by its own failure any longer. So there it stands now, barer and barer day after day, waiting for Christmas to come, hoping  to be set free as soon as possible from its misery and humiliation . Much better to end up as a log in some warm fireplace that exposed in that cold square.

The moral of the story? Well, if your city administrators cannot even make a decent Christmas tree, it is very unlikely they will be able to bring the place you live to the standards it deserves. Think twice before giving your vote next time.

In the meanwhile, Merry Christmas everyone!


19 thoughts on ““Spelacchio”: A Christmas Story

    • “Spelacchio” unfortunately is the symbol of an administration made of ignorant and arrogant people who cannot (don’t want?)stop Rome ‘s constant decline. We have been in this state of stagnation for 18 months and there is no change in sight. What’s more, the party these administrators belong to is likely to get the majority in the elections that will be held in March 2018. The words “sober”and “elegant” , referring to the dying tree, were pronounced by our mayor. One more detail, € 48:000 have been spent for that tree.🎄

      Have a lovely Christmas Emilio. 🙋🍸

      • Oh, I got the symbolism, but that’s even more depressing than thinking about the dying tree. I would have preferred the other moral.

        If it’s any consolation, you don’t have a monopoly on ignorant and arrogant elected officials, but if you really want to be depressed, think about the fact that it took a majority of the people around you (and me, over here) to put those people in office.

        We are doomed; DOOMED, I tell you!

        . . . but, try to have a great Christmas just the same.

      • Depressing…….. I’m Machiavell. I should not say that to a hot de di hot school teacher,
        by the way all your students should read him.
        love ya latter yo alligator. And tell you husband to lend me the little boat you have

        love ya Miss. Tink

    • Sorry Chris , but I win . At least that looks like a tree. I want to give you another sheer example of how things work in Rome. The “amazing” 😒5-star administration of the district where I live (about 250.000people) decided that the adorning of the Christmas tree should be a made by the citizens with their unused home decorstions . Here is the result:

      Who is the winner, Chris?

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