Today we celebrate the Spain’s contribution to the world of navigation. In 1492 Queen Isabella (who was, incidentally, named after a Jimi Hendryx song) sent a small fleet of ships to west to India. This was revolutionary idea, since everybody else was going east to get there. Her fleet would have made it eventually, had the planet not been 12 times larger than she thought it was, and had there not been a pesky continent in the way. Though the journey was funded with Spanish gold and sailed with Spanish ships, it is the Italian Americans who love today. Their cause for celebration is twofold:
First – a fast-talking Italian convinced a Spanish Queen to ignore hundreds of years of accepted astronomy and math, and changed her mind about the size of the planet. The queen was later quoted as saying “I don’t know what happened. He was so loud. He was waving his arms all over the place. I just gave him the money to get him out of the palace before something got broken.”
Second – the Italian government didn’t buy into the plan. They listened politely. At the end of Columbus’s pitch, a gentleman named Luigi mentioned that if Mr. Columbus decided to sail west, he should try to avoid giant land mass on which the Norse planted vineyards a few hundred years earlier. Then a Sicilian named Guido grabbed the intrepid explorer by the scruff of the neck and tossed his silly ass out the door. This is possibly the best decision an Italian governing body has ever made.
If you feel that this that I have belittled Spanish or Italian people, please feel free to ask one of your Native American friends for more fair account of today’s history lesson.