Yesterday I was going home on the vaporetto, about to alight, when the unmistakable figure of a well known rock star passed us in a motor launch. Unmissable too, because he was standing bolt upright, only too well aware of the ultimate stage that is the Grand Canal in Venice. The entire boat spotted him and the unfamiliar word sting sting sting sting sting ran around the deck. At the very same moment the rope that the boat conductor uses to fasten the boat to the landing stage broke (this never happens, said my local companion) and a woman and child narrowly missed falling in the water. No one seemed to notice that. Two very rare events, simultaneously. How strange, I thought, and how dangerous celebrity is.