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Friday, February 23, 2007

What I need ...

... is one of these bad boys:

Or this, which came out a few years earlier:

I’d just like to know who’s infringing on whom. I’ve already studied the relationship between increasing Viagra usage and decreasing macho ibérico lovage, so this might be an interesting investigation topic. Who's stealing whose humor? In this case I will assume, being an arrogant American, that somebody stole this idea from the American original. The Keledén* ad is a somewhat crappier looking, pretty much word-for-word copy of Fukitol's. Fukitol should file an infringement lawsuit against Spanish imposter Keledén.

§

Here’s a couple links someone sent me with jokes in MP3 format from late Barcelonan comedian Eugenio. Here and here.

And here’s a link to my translated version of his "do you know why the monkey put his balls in my glass of whiskey" joke.

_

* "Keledén" comes from "Que le den", or "que le den por culo", which translated means "Up his ass". In colloquial English I think this would best be translated as "Fuck 'em".

Thursday, February 15, 2007

The macho ibérico, endangered species

It was inevitable. The slow march of progress - democracy, the euro, Burger King’s XXL hamburgers, the 8x8x8 workday, sin siesta - is feminizing Spain.

The emerging effeminate culture directly challenges the dominion of one of Spain’s most predominant archetypes. Next to el toro, paella, flamenco, playa and sangria, the macho ibérico is one of those indelible symbols marking the Iberian peninsula. Or so we thought.

Dan Bilefsky, writing for the New York Times, has an interesting article about the increasing use of Viagra in Spain. According to sources he cites, this increase is linked to rising male impotency due to stress, which is the direct result of shorter and shorter siestas. According to Pfizer, the masterminds behind the blue pill, 1 million boxes of Viagra were sold last year in Spain alone.

Desperate times call for desperate measures. A couple months ago in Madrid a man held up a pharmacy with two toy guns, demanding all the Viagra they had in stock. Bilfesky tells how the man returned two hours later with a bouquet of roses as a show of gratitude. He was subsequently arrested.

Two hours is probably enough time to pop a couple Viagras and visit a mistress or a puticlub. But the inexplicable, decidedly unmacho act of buying a bouquet of roses for the pharmacy attendants is telling. Even el sexo azul, as Viagra is sometimes called here, can’t save the last of the macho ibéricos.

I made a scientific, multi-axis graph to illustrate this trend:


Here’s some snippets from Bilfesky’s article:

Pfizer, the maker of Viagra, says Spain has moved into the vanguard of a European Viagra trend in part because economic prosperity has transformed the country from a relaxed Mediterranean culture, where the siesta was sacrosanct, into an Anglo-Saxon-style, workaholic nation.

This new stress, said Belén Alguacil Arconada, a Pfizer spokeswoman, is wreaking havoc with the Spanish male’s libido.

“We used to have a siesta, to sleep all afternoon, to eat well,” she said. “But now we have become a fast-food nation where everyone is stressed out, and this is not good for male sexual performance.”

[…]

Sociologists say that an increased willingness to address sexual problems reflects Spain’s sexual liberation after the repressiveness of the Franco years. Once one of the most conservative Catholic countries in Europe, Spain is now among the most liberal, with gay marriage, legalized abortion and one of the highest divorce rates on the Continent. The country’s freewheeling party culture also has played a role.

Tell me it ain’t so!

Anda guapa!

Further research brought me to this documentary on the macho ibérico. Sorry, it’s in Spanish without subtitles. But there’s plenty of ass slappin’ to back up the scientific babble. Enjoy.

§

Despite the demise of this singular Spanish phenomena, there is hope. Coming straight from the mean streets of Barcelona. Larry Kovaks in the Fake Baby Con. Back in full form, it seems, after an inexplicable lapse into cooking. I guess even he is not impervious to the feminizing incursions democracy.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

I couldn't figure out what I would dress as for carnaval ...


A geriatric cross dressing king, a little girl with an ulcer on her forehead (or is she "supposed" to be of the Hindu ethnicity?), or a guardia civil with aviator glasses reminiscent of Franco and a well-groomed mustache reminscent of Hitler ... Thank you ajuntament for your perspicacious insight into these matters! I was thinking of dressing up as an etarra, someone of the Catalan ethnicity, or a repellent queen with a crown from a tot a cent.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Chapuza lingüística

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Spanish water bottle mystery - update

It’s still shrouded in mystery, but most people agree: water bottles are supposed to stop animals from wizzing on your domicile. The glinting water sends out danger signals which animals instinctively recognize. The danger signal says, “Do not commit civil disobedience or you will be shined upon.”

But I wonder: are plastic water bottles littering the streets better than a little cat pee?

Link to my earlier post on this subject.

Here are some replies:

They do it in Italy too--I asked a woman in Venice once and she said it stops cats pissing on the front door step (lots of those in Venice) They also put basil plants on the window ledges to keep flies away.

Hope that helps--I am pretty sure I have seen it in Greece too so it must be a Med thing

Suzanne

Nicki in Positano says:

If you walk around any small town or village in South Italy you will find full water bottles gracing many a doorstep. My brother when he came to visit thought that the kind locals left the water there for any thirsty passerby to swig from. But, alas, he was wrong. The locals couldn't give a damm about the weary travellers. All they really want is to deter those pesky stray cats from peeing on their doorstep. I am sceptical to whether this method works or not, but the locals obviously believe in the powers of the full water bottle deterring needy cats from weeing there.

After all, if you were a cat would you wee next to a humans drink?

Positano’s a nice little town, by the way.

Some guy calling himself “one two” says:

Water bottles do keep from dogs and other animals as well from pissing on store fronts. Ever been to Paris? Lots of dog shit, no pissing though.

Yup. But they don’t keep humans from doing it. Multas from the ayuntamiento do!

Via barcelonareporter.com, who kindly linked to the original post:

My Girlfriend has always told me it is to scare the dogs away. She says it is just normal water and that the top should be on the bottle. Apparently the dogs are scared of the reflections made by the water.

I have another theory; the dogs like to wee on the bottle (because they like the reflections) so at least they dont do it on the wall.

Jim Morrison

Nice of Jim to make it back from the other side to illuminate us on these matters. How is it over there?

This has confounded me for years as well! I've got it down to two possibilities: it is the collected runoff from air-conditioning units (left on the street) and/or the containers are filled with bleach (or some other noxious substance) to deter dogs. Has anyone tried a sniff test?

Guiripoyas

Thank you, guiripoyas. And an elegant moniker, indeed, as my offshore islander friends might say. I haven't sniffed th bottles yet. Have you?