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<   No. 1498   2007-03-04   >

Comic #1498

1 Minnesota Jones: {to a Swiss Guardsman outside the Vatican} Buongiorno! Dobbiamo parlare al Papa! Mio nipote sta avendo visioni di San Pietro!
1 [subtitles]: Good day! We need to speak to the Pope! My grandson is seeing visions of St Peter!
2 Guard: Come sai che non è semplicemente impazzito?
2 [subtitles]: How do you know he's not simply crazy in the head?
3 Minnesota Jones: Oh...
4 Minnesota Jones: {turning to Monty, Prof. Jones, and Dr Smith} He's on to us. I don't think I can refute his argument there.

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I've used another of my own photos as the background here. This is the entrance of St Peter's Basilica. The day I was there, there was an enormous crowd in St Peter's Square, and Pope John Paul II was giving an address from the steps of the basilica. I hadn't realised that this would be the case - it was purely coincidence that it happened to be the day we visited.

I learnt a bit of Italian on my trip there, though not quite enough to construct the dialogue here without some help from a (slightly) more fluent speaker.


Having received helpful suggestions from no fewer than five native Italian speakers, I have done a George on this strip and replaced my rather laughable Italian with something that is hopefully closer to what people actually speak in Italy. They also pointed out to me that Swiss Guardsmen generally have very poor Italian, if any at all - Swiss German being their traditional language of choice. So if the guard is still speaking bad Italian, that's the reason.
2016-12-11 Rerun commentary: Cool. I've actually learnt enough Italian over my few years of self-study since this strip was originally published that I could now read and understand the Italian dialogue without needing the subtitles.

The Swiss Guardsmen have blue and red clothes to at least partially mimic the rather colourful uniforms of the real Swiss Guards (though I've left the yellow out):

Guarding the door

However, you may notice that the colour patterning is not the same on the two guards in the comic. The foremost one has a red left leg and a blue right leg, while the one behind him has the colours of the legs swapped. This is because I used a red LEGO minifigure lower body and a blue one, and swapped the right legs of each one. The right and left legs are not interchangeable, so I couldn't make two sets of legs with the same colour parity - and I didn't want to bother making the same swap with another pair of red and blue legs, so the result is what you see here.

You'll also notice that I gave the foremost Swiss Guardsman a beret-style LEGO hat, to somewhat mimic the hats the real ones wear. But the rearmost guard doesn't have one because... everyone say it with me now...

I only have one radiation suit! <cough> beret!

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