On Thursday afternoon, Marcello Romano was named this year’s recipient of the Dale Fellowship. Romano has stated his intention to use the $35,000 award to “journey to the Orient.”
Said spokesperson Daniel Palomey, “We received many excellent applications for the fellowship this year, though Marcello stood head and shoulders above the rest. His project was daring, bold, adventurous. We had never seen an application quite like Marcello’s before.”
Asked to elaborate on the nature of his project, Romano explained, “I have recruited a band of veteran explorers and mercenaries, who await my arrival in Venice. There, God willing, we will gather provisions and set off to the East along the great Silk Road.”
Said Romano’s friend Frank O’Connor, “I’m really excited for Marcello. He’s always talking about how he wants to see the world and get out of the Orange Bubble, though I never quite imagined that he wanted to do it like this.”
Marcello further explained his plans for the next year. “I will travel through the Holy Land and on to the far East. I have heard tell of riches there: silk, spices of all kinds. I shall chronicle my experience and bring a cartographer to map our new trade route. I shan’t return until I find the fabled city of Peking and am granted an audience with the Emperor of China himself: President Xi Jinping.”
“What the actual fuck,” commented Romano’s roommate, Darren Chang.