The Italian press got a big kick out of the fact that Cardinal Bertone, during a sermon at San Giovanni in Laterano, the third most important Basilica in Rome, quoted Woody Allen’s famous line, “God is dead, Marx is dead, and I’m not feeling so well myself.”
Frankly, I applaud any attempt by the clergy to appeal to their flock, and with humour no less; in a country where Latin Mass will soon assure that even more people are detached from the church.
But even I gotta admit that perhaps Cardinal Bertone should maybe have chosen a different person to quote from…I mean, with the pedophile scandal in America costing millions per year (in Italy, it generally goes unreported both by victims and the press), quoting an incestuous pedophile is, well…perhaps not so PC.
But, what to expect from the Vatican who took Cardinal Bernard Law, after being disgraced in Boston for covering pedophiles for decades, and ‘demoted’ him to run Rome’s second most important church, Santa Maria Maggiore?
According to the most excellent monthly news magazine, The Roman Forum, a public works councillor has estimated that it costs €4.3 M ($6.4M) per year to maintain Rome’s Nasoni water fountains. I imagine that cost, however, does not include the amount of money literally going down the drain in water itself. And with water prices up 27.7% since 2002, well…
But, the fact that someone is even starting to talk about the Nasoni is good news (although the EU has been talking about them since the ‘90s, fining Italy millions for this waste year after year).
Just think: if they just added off/on nozzles, we’d probably save enough between water, maintenance & fines to give IBM a new €58M website contract! (see previous blog entry about that scandal).
And finally, in a rare moment of Awesome Customer Service, the (German) Bosch Company, known for its high quality, replaced my car battery with just one email exchange to the powers that be, and with incredible professionalism on the part of the Customer Parts people throughout my little ordeal.
[Basically, the retailer where I had originally purchased the faulty battery told me in no uncertain terms:
a) the warranty was only 6 mths (it was 2 yrs)
b) the faulty battery was actually the fault of my car (yeah, right) and
c) they would send it in to Bosch and wait for an answer (over the 3 wk holiday closures) – and I’d have to simply sit tight and go without wheels during that time, as a sort of ‘punishment’ for causing them this distress. As it turns out, they sold me the wrong battery in the first place (but is that a surprise?).
The Bosch people even amazed themselves over their own response, stating well, “We’re not a very Customer Service – Driven country and we were glad to prove otherwise." (Had my true identity been revealed to them in a Clark Kent sort of way???).
They have earned a customer for life and I’ll even be taking my Honda there for servicing…(they even took the time to give me a personal introduction...something worth its weight in gold in Italy).
Now, if the rest of the country would just catch on…