Our next photo is only for those kiddies who REALLY want to prove to Santa that they've been good all year, by taking the Bocca della Verità, or 'Mouth of Truth' dare. The moment I saw this, I had a Roman Holiday flashback. OK, given the blank stares I'm picking up on, in the 1953 film, Audrey Hepburn is a runaway Princess who wants to have some time for herself before having to assume her royal duties, and she is accompanied around Rome by newspaper reporter Gregory Peck. At one point they stop at the Mouth while he tells her the legend, that if you tell a lie and put your hand in the Mouth, it will be bitten off. Watch the famous scene below to see how that turns out:
Audrey's shriek is genuine - read the comments below the video to see why! It's a charming, touching, funny film and one that will make you weepy at the end - perfect for Christmas! I would say go into it without knowing any more that that, but if you're the type who loves spoilers, the entire plot is spelled out below:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_Holiday
As for the Mouth itself, ITS history can be found here:
My favorite part of all this? There are in select locations modern versions of this, such as the one at left in San Francisco, where its a classical variation on Zoltar - you put your hand in and get your fortune. I know the Very First Purchase I'm making should I ever win Powerball! Ingenious - I gotta hand it ... to ... well, not LITERALLY - Moving on ...
We'll end today with a current dare - and it won't even cost you a hand, just some grey matter. Every year in the UK, the GCHQ (below), the United Kingdom's intelligence, cyber and security agency, sends out its annual Christmas card in the form of a series of challenging puzzles and codes for children to crack. Want to give it a try? It's harder than it looks. Here's how!
That should keep you occupied until we return tomorrow with a look at 1969. See you then, and keep your hands out of strange mouths!