Here are the streets of Winchester today. Just kidding ha ha. This really is Venice but Winchester is hot on Venice’s heels with the waters rising and rising, hiding entirely the eyebrow-shaped arch of the bridge by the Post Office, coursing fast toward our Upper Mystic Lake and on out to the insatiable ocean.

When the floods of two weeks ago receded, they left a sorry sight: a thousand plastic bag parts clinging to tree branches even ten and twelve feet off the ground. The improvised neighborhoods outside Tijuana are strewn with this same harvest. So are many barren hillsides in Israel where Palestinian people have set up their woefully inadequate tents and lean-tos. If extra-terrestrials touched down for a quick tour of the planet they’d report us as a strange and warlike people drowning in our own waste.

We’re spoiled of course as Americans. When word went out last night that the people in certain communities should not flush their toilets for at least 12 hours they stood saucer-eyed reporting this fact to the TV reporters. We never think of what we leave behind; we’ve never really had to, with the services that have come to feel like ours by right.

I took the above picture just a month before Venice was once again flooded and in the days after saw an account of that most recent event in a British newspaper. In reporting the story, it described two American women, suitcases on their heads, trudging across St. Mark’s Square in knee-high water and – what else? – sobbing loudly.


Not a whole lot goin’ on at the old town Post office today. I stood on its steps to take this picture. The floods here are epic yet still some poor dunce tried to drive up to the drop box with his fistful of letters.  The cop was none too nice. “What part of the orange cone signal don’t you understand sir?”

Inside the P.O. though, it was business as usual, at least for the two or three customers who had hiked and waded and hopped the rivulets to get there “32 inches of water in the basement!” crowed my pal at the window, cheerful as ever – “We have to close when it gets to 36!” I asked if she could break a $100 l for me and her eyes lit up. “Guess what? we got a counterfeit twenty yesterday, want to see it!?” She went and got it and gave me a quick tutorial as to how you can tell (no watermark, no ghost of a dead president when you hold it  to to the light, the wrong color squiggle over on the left…. plus it just feels wrong;. She let me feel it and sure enough: pure paper. No rag content at all. My pal wasn’t at work yesterday else she might have laid hands on the one who passed it, maybe pressed some sort of invisible button that would call in the Feds.

Looks like we’re gonna NEED the Feds around here and because this water just keeps on rising. And unlike the fake 20 here it’s the sure-enough, Old Testament, God-must-be-really-mad thing.

Nice Try Department but it’s as fake as they get!