Mad Cow Disease
Some folks don't
know anything about Spanish culture, except when it involves a pitcher
of strawberry blended margaritas or free chips and salsa.
This Independence Day weekend, instead of throwing
sparklers at each other in the back yard, three thousand like-minded individuals
gathered in Pamplona, Spain to participate in San Fermin's annual running
of the bulls.
| First, the animals are incited to riot. They're jabbed
and stabbed with banderillas: long, sharp spikes adorned with multicolored
flags and ribbons. When six 500-pound bulls are deemed full-on fed up with
human beings, each is released into a crowd of bumbling tourists and liquored
up college students. The people serve as sheepdogs, corralling the bulls
from street to street, into the matador's arena.
| Americans are afraid of a lot of things. Will Tower
have that DVD in stock? Will I be able to pay next month's car insurance?
Our more valuable, instinctive fears are relegated to the background. Cultural
institutions like Six Flags, Santa's Village or Marine World Africa/USA
dumb down our perceived relationship with the animal world. Now we battle
huffing, puffing, blue smoke-snorting Spanish bulls like we're special guests
on the Muppet show.
|| Abrie Nel from London was speared at the
knee, suffering a deep gash in a shattered leg. He described himself as
shocked. Newspapers around the globe described him as a cable
|I didn't actually feel any pain at the
time, although it was a bit of a wallop!
A bit of a wallop? Readers visualize only the squishy,
Jim Henson version of Abrie's tubular grey face. Modest tufts of white cotton
poke out from behind each ear. Thick, square eyeglasses fitted with kaleidoscopic
lenses create surreal, googly eyeball effects when observed straight on.
Oversized foam buck teeth clamp down around Kermit's microphone, gobbing
away about nothing in particular.
Hey, guess what. You don't need to provoke a bull
into a good fight with a flouncy, West End frat boy concealing dimebags
of overpriced Mexican giggle weed down his knickers.
| Twenty-nine year old U.S. tourist Jennifer
Smith suffered the worst. She's in serious condition, with multiple injuries
across her thighs, face, neck and tits. Girls and bulls? It sounds like
an episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show, if you know what I mean. What
encourages these Tex-Mex adventure lesbians to bandwagon together in tour
groups chasing every extreme sport on the planet? So they can twaddle on
about it in their web journals for 50 kilobytes? No thanks, Rita Mae Brown.
Today, Smith wears a tight neck brace. Maybe a well-deserved
break is in order; a little down time from all that globetrotting and crime
fighting. With proper rest, she should be healed just in time for Mardi
Gras, or Bastille Day, or whatever contemporary Wiccans have planned for
Stonehenge during the upcoming Summer Solstice. We're pulling for you, Jen!
Pulling our floppy, apathetic dicks.
| I don't really know what I'm doing here!
brays Yoeli Barag, a 21-year-old Israeli student. I hope I don't get
trampled! Good luck with that. Thirteen bull runners have died in
the past 77 years. That's nearly zero point one six percent of a
single, precious human life lost at each event over time, with strong emphasis
on the zero.
|| Derek Hoffman, a visiting American shares:
I'm really scared. The bulls have pretty big horns.
By comparison, Danelle Ng was lucky. A bull managed to
remove both her Air Jordans, one sock and four toes. She screamed and hollered,
encouraging another animal to ram its head directly into her face. Let's
flash forward to an interview with Ng ten years from today, as she recalls
her passion for Pamplona:
| Yes, those were good times. A series of rainstorms the
night before made each cobblestone corridor not slick, not slippery - but
slickery, further exacerbating the treacherous, overcrowded terrain.
| Participants skidded and
crashed into one another, trampling over the heads of those injured on the
ground. Bulls buckled at the knees and fell, gashing horns and hooves into
people's sides with unpredictable force and direction. It was an upside
down traffic jam, a WTO protest and a Los Angeles riot, all to the tune
of La Cucaracha.
Anyone adding this attraction to their vacation itinerary
should be made aware that these are not Warner Bros. cartoon bulls
like the kind Bugs Bunny asks for directions to Albequerque. Nor does any
resemble Ferdinand sitting in a patch of flowers under the cork tree.
If you're surrounded by bulls, you're probably in Spain - not Chili's
or El Pollo Loco.
Rotten Dot Com finds nothing funny about animal cruelty,
except when dick jokes or smart remarks can be extracted. Mess with the
bull, and you get the shit. Stitches for everybody.
( Posted by Rotten Staff )