Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Tears & Toros: An Easter Retrospective

It's over. Not unlike the elation-cum-relief experienced at the conclusion of those Ramadans Past, I am also sorely tempted to hum a few bars of Roy Orbison's It's Over. Only it's not Ramadan, it's Easter. Clearly not the same thing but in many ways similar enough.

I am pointy-hatted out. No more coneheads. No more pasos (processions). No more mournful dirge-like saetas. No more wailing and flailing. No more, no more ...

And I for one say yippee!

I think, in retrospect, it was the tears that did me in. The weepi
ng of the faithful as trono after trono of doleful virgins and bleeding Jesuses passed by? The old ladies crying because that's what they do best during the pasos? The scared shitless kids? Nooooooo ... it was the tears of the costaleros - the "sack men" who carry the floats - upon learning that their processions were to be cancelled. You see, it rained much of last week. And although it's perfectly acceptable to "walk" a procession on your knees or in bare feet, it just won't do to get wet.

In all of Semana Santa, we had 2 dry days. Which meant for a lot of rain delays which turned into cancellations. And the most visibly affected were those float-carrying costaleros. They unabashedly wept like babies and in huge numbers. Imagine roomfuls of sobbing sack men. Now I appreciate the fact that to carry a trono is a tremendous honour and that these men put a lot of stock and hours of training and hard work into carrying them. But to see them weep and gnash their teeth ... well, that's just disturbing. Get a grip: there's always next year.

Mother Nature:1; Costaleros: 0.

So how to console oneself after nature cruelly washes away your moment of glory with a few torrential rainfalls and winds up to 70 km/hour? You can watch last year's Semana Santa processions which were televised every freaking night it rained but chances are if you're that interested you already own the DVD or you can go to the bullring. Fortunately, in many towns in Andalucia, any one with a pair of cajones can hie himself to the bullring and, if not run with the bulls, taunt them. Fun no? Indeed! Señor Gato Gringo & I spent the better part of this weekend (the cold & rainy parts) glued to the television, watching in car-accident fascination as men (young & old alike) climbed into the bullring in the nearby town of Los Barrios to, if not run with the bulls, taunt them.

Now, imagine a bullring with a lot of testosterone-engorged knobs males. Release a young-ish but nonetheless fierce bull into the arena. Watch as these testosterone-engorged knobs males wave their arms about to draw the bull's attention, use their windbreakers as a muleta or cape, reach to pull the bull's tail, try to touch the bull as it approaches, and then run for cover like the cowards they are when the bull actually does charge.

Such fun! It's fun to watch the testosterone-engorged knobs males posture about!

Watch as the young-ish but nonetheless fierce bull gets really anno
yed. Watch as the young-ish but nonetheless fierce bull charges and lifts the testosterone-engorged knobs males up up up, tossing them into the air and stomping on them.

Such fun! It's fun to cheer for the bulls!

Apparently over 60 such bull-taunters were injured in bullrings this weekend. To the best of my knowledge none were killed but those 60 certainly got a thrashing. A thrashing they deserved.

Young-ish but nonetheless fierce bulls:60; Testosterone-engorged knobs males: 0.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Three cheers for the bulls. It is about time that the sport (?) of both bull-fighting and the running of the bulls be abolished. I doubt tho that Spain is ready to give up their cone-heads.