The word pisa is probably a corruption of peas-ah, which is the Italian pronunciation of the well-known and truly delicious and nourishing small spheric green vegetable that cannot be named openly for fear of retaliation by its growers.
Another possibility is that pisa be related to Latin pondus, meaning 'weight', that gives origin to It. peso, Sp. peso, Fr. poids, Old Eng. luothoen, Sanskrit fluffybunny. As we know, in the past the concepts of mass, weight, gravitation and pizza where easily confused. In fact, in the past, they did not even have CD players. Or DVDs either. Gravitation is one of the major products and exports of Pisa, and it has been so since time immemorial. The locals' crafty meddling with gravitation has given rise to massive local fluctuations that tend to destroy buildings, or at least to skew them grievously.
That bloody tower
One of the big issue of Pisans, a vile and corrupt breed of Eye-talians crossed with Greeks, Etruscans and Tuscans, is their stinking funky breath. And the tower. A little known secret is that the tower is, in fact, the only straight building in the whole town, and everything else is askew. This will not be remedied until the Pisans let the natural sources of gravitation replenish the gravity fields.
Sports and entertainments
The main sport in Pisa is tourist hunting, an ancient activity in which shopkeepers, restaurant-owners and street hawkers compete (in three separate categories of course), to determine who can fleece more efficiently a standardized American tourist, 6' tall, weighing 295 pounds and equipped with loud floral print shorts, a Nirvana t-shirt, an Eastpak bag, a Lonely Planet guide purchased in Missoula and a large sunburn. At the end of the day receipts are tallied publicly in the Loggia dei Banchi. Handicaps are applied, based on the closeness of the competitor to the tower, since it is well known that tourists in the vicinity of major attractions become weak-minded and liable to purchase large alabaster replicas of Roman replicas of Greek statues (often imaginary ones). A special prize is given to the Senegalese vendor that can dump the highest weight of fake Rolex watches during an afternoon. Vendors that are shown to illegaly weigh down their bling-bling with lead shot are run out of town, then run back in because after all they belong.
The Pisan visitor, that in tourist hunting is more the means of entertainment than the end, can look forward to many exciting moments as he observes the rather charming mangiest stupid mutt competition, run every Saturday night in Piazza delle Vettovaglie by punk-oid people (the punkettes sometimes are quite hot, though. Ok, hottish).
Coming in a good third, is the nerdathon run every year between students of Scuola Normale Superiore and Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna. Nerds from all over Italy compete in the thousands to be named TurboNerd of the Year. The competition includes things like dresser combinatorics (how many possible combinations of clothes that do not match at all can I pick out of a given set of clothes), sociology (what is the most obnoxious habit I can develop given certain finite resources) and copulation statistics (what is the chance of me getting laid).
The last specialty is more of an inside joke than a real competition of course, since the right answer is always zero, and it never changes from year to year.
Souvenirs and Memorabilia
There is nothing worth buying in Pisa, unless you feel unexplainably attracted by penis-shaped pasta. As a quick means of interpretation of Italian text in shops, the following glossary can help:
- tradizionale: made up
- antico: made in China
- toscano: made in China
- italiano: made in Korea or made in China
- pasta: year-old, crumbly pasta that no Italian would touch with a proverbial three-meter pole
- pesto: green material
- vaffanculo: good morning, gentle customer
- sconto: sodomy
- grande sconto: grand sodomy
- sconto eccezionale: grand sodomy by multiple monkeys
- benvenuto: welcome to my shop. I hope you'll buy something or I have to use the shotgunthat I hide under the desk
- welcome, tourist: fuck you and the airplane you flew on in
- cippa: penis-shaped pasta