An imminent change of Spanish government?: You know this is about to happen when numerous shredding machines are brought into the offices of the outgoing admininstration and used round the clock until they burn out. It's probably illegal but who cares? And there are, of course, companies who'll happily do this for you. The leading one shares my initials – DCD - but has nothing to do with me. Honest. See here if you can read Spanish.
Not only in Spain: A week or two ago, I reported that over 300 impostors had claimed to have bought a missing Spanish lottery ticket worth millions. Well, the same thing has just happened in the UK, where 'hundreds of people' have claimed the 33 million quid going begging. Or lying, to be more accurate..
The sins of the father: One of Spain's bullfighters has posted fotos of himself holding his baby daughter in his arms while he tackles a bull. Cue Twitter storm. But the bull was only a calf and it was merely a training session. Can it be more dangerous than pushing a baby buggy into the road while you wait for a gap in the traffic? Plus it's a family tradition. And this counts a lot in Spain. Though there are doubtless some Spaniards who think he's an idiot.
Talking of cretins . . . Some Spanish thieves left their mobile phone at the scene of a robbery last week and then called the police to report their loss.
Spanish Transexuals: There are advantages. Madrid Metro will be offering free annual passes for them very soon. It sees itself as acting as a vehicle [Geddit?] to:-
- encourage the integration of transsexual men and women in the city
- raise awareness of discrimination,
- promote respect for diversity and
- avoid any kind of prejudice and discrimination.
Presumably the transgender folk (assuming they're different) will be next in line [Geddit?]
Spanish festivals: There's no shortage of bizarre fiestas in Spain, the chance for Spaniards to show just how efficient they really can be when they want to be. These 2 took place recently:.
- Correfoc, meaning literally fire run in Catalan, is celebrated throughout Cataluña and Mallorca. People dress as demons and devils and run through the crowds setting off fireworks. Spectators dress to protect themselves against burns and attempt to get as close to the devils as possible, against a backdrop of pulsating drum beats. The festival is derived from the 'ball de diables' or devil dances, said to come from medieval street theatre. The aim of the dance was originally to depict the epic struggle between good and evil. Maybe, but now the reason is purely to have fun. Spain's specialisation.
- The Feast of Saint Sebastian, in the town of Piornal. This involves a young man dressing up as a demon being pelted with hundreds of turnips. The demon is known as the "jarramplas" or scapegoat and must stand defiant while being pummelled by the eager crowd. Here's the Daily Telegraph on it. You might like to check out the spelling in the link. My guess is that the fiesta was started by someone who had a surplus of turnips to get rid of. As with the custom of downing 12 grapes on the strokes of midnight on New Year's Eve.
Finally . . . The nationalisation of jokes. I first heard this joke more than 20 years ago in the USA, when the respective poets (more convincingly) were Longfellow and Nash. This inferior version is from today's Times:-
The Almighty has told the English and the Scots to settle their differences by electing a poet to write a four-line verse ending with the word Timbuktu. Wordsworth was chosen by the English and came up with:-
I went unto a foreign land
I came upon a silver strand
A sailing ship hove into view
Her destination, Timbuktu.
Very nice it was too, but Rabbie Burns saved the day for Scotland with this:-
Tim and I a-walking went
We spied three virgins in a tent
Since they were three and we were two,
I bucked one and Tim buck’d two.