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The Trevi Fountain coin toss

Posted by Alex On September - 13 - 2011
Turdless Trevi Fountain, Rome

“This’ll be worth 15 minutes, tops,” said William Shakespeare.

“Well I hear it’s one of the most, er, spectacular fountains in the world,” replied Sophie Ellis Bextor, choosing her words carefully.

“No fountain is worth more than 15 minutes,” continued Shakespeare, rounding a corner and seeing a throng of people. “If the fountain is worth looking at for longer than it takes to do a shit, I’ll be impressed.”

“Are you going to try and defecate in the fountain?” exclaimed Ellis-Bextor, grabbing Shakespeare by the shoulder.

Shakespeare shrugged her off. “Of course I’m not going to do a shit in the fountain,” he said. “Are you mental? I literally just went.”

“But you would do it if you hadn’t just gone?”

“No, of course not. I wouldn’t have just gone if I wanted to shit in Trevi Fountain, would I? I can hold it in, you know.”

“I can’t believe I’m even discussing this,” Ellis-Bextor said, more to herself than to Shakespeare.

“I like privacy, you see,” continued the bard. “I don’t want to be squatting down in public. I’d feel rushed. I hate feeling rushed when I’m having a shit.”

Ellis-Bextor swanned off, as only she could. She tried to work her way through the crowd towards the edge of the fountain.

Shakespeare followed her. “I mean I’m not against dropping some shit in the fountain. Maybe I should have planned ahead. I could have dropped a log in a bag or something, but you can’t be certain about the consistency, can you? You don’t want to be standing there squeezing a thick paste out. It wouldn’t be worth the effort. What would I gain from doing that?”

“Give me a coin,” demanded Ellis-Bextor.

“Why?” said Shakespeare, reaching inside his jerkin.

“Actually, give me three,” she said.

Shakespeare handed over three euros and Ellis-Bextor flicked them into the fountain.

“What are you doing, you mad bitch!” screamed Shakespeare.

“It’s a tradition,” answered the alien-faced vocalist.

“You’re literally throwing money away, you fucking nutcase.” Shakespeare’s nostrils flared and he seemed to be on the brink of violence. He brought his right hand alongside the left side of his face and his eyes bulged. For a sickening moment it seemed as if he might backhand his coin-throwing travelling companion, but then the hand dropped again.

“Three coins,” exclaimed Ellis-Bextor in a bizarrely confrontational tone of voice. “Three coins will lead to either a marriage or a divorce, they say.”

“Fuck this and fuck you,” said Shakespeare. The hand that had threatened now shot back inside the jerkin. When it emerged, it was grasping a fourth one euro coin.

Shakespeare gripped the coin firmly between thumb and forefinger and brandished it in Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s face. “Marriage or divorce, eh? It’s ultimatums, is it? Is that what this is? Well what does four coins mean then?” and with that, he threw the coin into the fountain.

Ellis-Bextor looked shocked. “I don’t know what four coins means,” she said, trembling slightly.

“I’ll show you what four coins means,” said Shakespeare, gripping her by the upper arm and steering her away from the fountain. “I’ll show you what four fucking coins means – and unlike that fucking fountain, it’ll be worth at least 15 minutes.”

Ellis-Bextor seemed to go slightly limp as she was shepherded away, so the bard released his grip and threw his arm around her shoulders instead. He held her tightly, but not so tightly that he could have stopped her hand from snaking down the front of his breeches.

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