His best shot

While we were in Florence, Jen and I visited the frankly awesome Galileo exhibition at the Palazzo Strozzi, which has been organised to coincide with the 400th anniversary of Galileo's first astronomical discoveries. The Guardian recently published some pretty good photos of some of the exhibits (no photos allowed to us mere mortals, I'm afraid), but they don't really do justice to the exhibition's utter awesomnocity.

As we walked back to our hotel afterwards, we heard a distant roll of thunder, which we thought was decidedly odd, as it just wasn't thundery weather. Then it began to cloud over very very rapidly and the wind picked up.

"Someone up there isn't too impressed that we went to the Galileo exhibition," I joked.

Minutes after we got back to the hotel, hailstones the size of, well, let's not exaggerate, hailstones the size of very large hailstones began to pelt down on to the patio. I stood in our covered porch area and watched them for a few minutes. They were very impressive.

By now, the thunder was getting louder and louder. So I went back into the room, and was just settling down for a not particularly quiet read, when three things happened pretty much simultaneously*:

  1. there was the loudest, most sudden bang I have ever heard in my life;
  2. all the lights in our room went out;
  3. the TV and DVD player six feet away from us exploded.

God had taken his best shot, but had been found wanting. So much for omnipotence.

Of course, you realise this makes it personal.

* Note: I say the three things happened pretty much simultaneously because Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle makes it impossible for any two or more events to happen absolutely simultaneously.

Richard Carter

A fat, bearded chap with a Charles Darwin fixation.


  1. Not a bad story. Did you miss out the bit about voiding your bowels?... Thunderbolt and lightning-very very frightening me-Galileo,galileo,Galileo galileoGalileo figaro-magnifico-But Im just a poor boy and nobody loves me

  2. I had a similar experience at the Vatican. I looked at the Mrs as we were strolling around that vast vaulted edifice with all it's ossified popes and murmered " 'effin Jesus Club" Cue deep thunder. Help me Jeebers!!!!! Hammer to Fall.

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