The illusion on the path of angels

Alright folks, get your thinking caps on.  I have seen these fellas a few times on the bridge leading into my destination from last Saturday (Ponte Sant’Angelo, the one lined by angel statues), and they absolutely kill it in terms of revenue generation.  Literally sit there all day with their eyes closed and rake in coins from silly tourists who don’t use their brains quite hard enough to figure out the trick.  I’ll give you until the end of the post before I pull back the curtain from their illusion:

I even got an enthralled tourist really getting into his photo-taking

I even got an enthralled tourist really getting into his photo-taking

This guy hasn't gotten the memo that 'being a cowboy statue with futuristic guns leaning against a trash can' isn't the most lucrative of professions

This guy hasn’t gotten the memo that ‘being a cowboy statue with futuristic guns leaning against a trash can’ isn’t the most lucrative of professions

So if you have been keeping up, you’d know that I left off the story after Marko and I had just climbed a heinous amount of steps to view the city from atop St. Peter’s Basilica.  Next, we headed to Castel Sant’Angelo, my local Castle/Mausoleum/former residence of the Papacy.  It is a strange looking fort, but built to last.

A hulking mass of a building

A hulking mass of a building

A nice view of the Tiber from Ponte Sant'Angelo

A nice view of the Tiber from Ponte Sant’Angelo

This hulking structure, which I greet every morning on my walk to work, was built around 125 AD as the final resting place of Emperor Hadrian.  Poor guy probably didn’t rest all too peacefully, as his descendants turned the thing into a full-fledged fortress 150 years later.

If this were an assault, I'd be in a pretty vulnerable position right about now

If this were an assault, I’d be in a pretty vulnerable position right about now

The view leading into the Castel from Ponte Sant'Angelo

The view leading into the Castel from Ponte Sant’Angelo

Check out the cool stacks of cannon balls

Check out the cool stacks of cannon balls

Now THAT is a sweet rifle and 2x blunderbuss trio

Now THAT is a sweet rifle and 2x blunderbuss trio

‘But why Sant’Angelo?’ you may be asking yourself.  I’ll tell you why:  Pope Gregory the Great re-named this bad boy in the 6th century after the Archangel Michael supposedly appeared atop the fortress and sheathed his sword, which apparently was resulted in the end of a terrible plague that was then ravaging the country.  Personally, I’d be a big fan of doing an empirical study to test a) what people were on that believed this guy appeared, and b) the real reason the plague ended (Pope G the G apparently was not up on his immunology and epidemiology…).  Anyways, this place is all about them angels.

...and #2, representing the vision seen before the plague ended

…and #2, representing the vision seen before the plague ended

Archangel #1

Archangel #1

Not to mention, it had another pretty damn decent view of il Centro Storico.  If you were wondering, yes I have seen this city from pretty much every high point imaginable.  The view never gets old though!

See if you can spot a few of Rome's famous monuments

See if you can spot a few of Rome’s famous monuments

After grabbing a pizza with Marko, we parted ways and I headed back home to turn on the jets.  I have recently signed on to an extra consulting gig for the next few weeks, which has me cranking out some work after hours, and unfortunately also on the weekends.  However, don’t you worry, as I’ll be working hard now just to provide you with amazing stories and pictures later in the summer when I have free reign to travel the countryside.  Don’t be surprised if il bloggo is a bit sparse the next two weeks or so – it will pick up some serious steam in late July.

The black blob is our favorite balancing duo clothed in orange 'dismounting...'  Why so secretive fellas?

The black blob is our favorite balancing duo clothed in orange ‘dismounting…’ Why so secretive fellas?

So time to burst these dudes’ bubble.  First off, my dude on the bottom is definitely not in good enough shape to have the biceps/delts made of titanium alloy to hold even the littlest of dudes on a platform like that.  That guy isn’t even in the zip code of being able to do one pull-up.  In other words, it has to be an illusion, as I am a firm believer in the laws of physics over some sort of divine intervention.  Also, if the big man (or men/women) upstairs (aka God(s)/Godess(es)) were going to pull off some miracles, do you think they would help a guy hold up another guy sitting on a platform so they could rip off tourists?  Nah.  NAH.  So back to the solution: if you look at the picture at the top, the thing I key on is this – the guy sitting on the ground’s sleeve.  Now it is HOT out there in full garb.  So why would you have your sleeve outstretched so far that you can’t even see the guy’s hand?  Or more importantly, the base of the pole.  I guarantee you if he isn’t clutching that sleeve to the base of the pole, we would see a nice metal bar that wraps in a U-shape from his arm, down his side, and onto the ground.  Put it in the books.

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