Monday, September 11, 2006

"I shit on the 105th kilometre of your horns"

Well, it´s been a while. A long while. Laziness got the better of me and I let the blog lie fallow.

This, though, moved me to post. An ETA (Basque separatist terrorists) man, receiving his sentence from the other side of a glass screen (I assume bullet-proof) last Thursday let off an extraodinary volley of abuse. Among threats to shoot, stab and employ miscellaneous other methods to shove the sentencing judge of his mortal coil, the beefy, shaven-headed convicted terrorist shouted, "Me cago en kilómetro 105 de tus cuernos."

The literal translation - I shit on the 105th kilometre of your horns - demands further interpretation.

Poner los cuernos (to put on the horns) means to have an affair or be otherwise unfaithful in the amorous sense. Someone who has long horns is, in this sense, someone whose partner is having many affairs. The suggestion above, therefore, is that the judge´s wife is sleeping around a lot. Not only that, but the fellow recently consigned to many years in prison shits on the whole sorry lot.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Teenage pregnancy

Just been an interesting discussion on an internet forum I go to about teenage pregnancy rates and why england has the highest in western europe. I found this table with birth/pregnancy/abortion data for 15-19 yo girls from lots of countries.

A few related thoughts from having lived in Spain for 4 yrs:

1) There is a much smaller gap between the generations in Spain. Older people act younger - at one festival I got chatting to a group 50 and 60 year-olds still out on the town at 5 in the morning. Younger people don't necessarily act any older but they don't have the same contempt for older people. Stop to ask a group of surly and socially-awkward-looking teenagers for directions and they will answer in a bright, friendly and helpful way in Spain much more often than I found they would in England. I don't know if this is a cause or an effect of Spaniards living with their parents for much longer than is typical in England. It may mean that parents have more influence over the excesses of their children.

2) Booze. After 4 years I still haven't identified categorically the difference between the spanish and the british approach to booze. Spaniards seem better able to hold their drink. They can stay up all night drinking spirits by the gallon but still rarely seem to get blind, unconsciously and uncontrollably drunk in the same way that the british do. One thing is that british go out with the express intention of getting drunk. The british refer to their social lives in terms of getting drunk. (We're out on the piss. What did you do Saturday? Got leathered. etc) The spanish refer to their social lives in terms of having fun (la marcha).

3) Attitudes to sex. The spanish are quite an earthy bunch and tend not to be shy away from topics which would make an englishman blush. A friend aking a park attendant for the nearest toilet was told, "Depends, do you need to shit or to piss? If you need to piss, this place is full of trees. For a shit you'd need to go to the other side of the boating lake where there's a public toilet." Prostitution is much, much more visible in Spain. Madrid is next to a large park which is hopping with near-naked prostitutes cat-calling to the steady stream of cars driving up and down the strip. What is especially odd about this is that, during the afternoon the traffic is a mix of solitary men, taxis and families and old people out to take the air. Joggers and cyclists often run up and down the strip too, fending off interest. All over Madrid "club" or "whyskeria" signs flash in neon. These are brothels. There are 4 within spitting distance of my office (as an aside, the area is called "neighbourhood of the conception" and all the streets are names after virgins "de guadeloupe", "de africa" etc). Today's El País, the socially conscious national daily paper, carries three full pages of adverts for call girls, brothels and massage parlours. Some are job offers.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Overheard at the deli counter

"Anything else madam? Milk-bread? Eggs?"
"You've already asked me that."
"Yeah but, y'know, just in case..."
"...truth is I've got that brain disease, y'know that...oh what's it called, y'know, German fella..."
"Oh fuck it I can't remember."

Monday, March 13, 2006

Slobodan Milosevic's last words

Slobodan Milosevic is still capable of controversy even after his recent death. The alleged war criminal and courtroom curmudgeon's last words, "I never did trust those 'erbs", have pitched the Indignant Irish Nationalists of O'Serbia into a fierce war of words with the People's Democratic Party for the Eradication of Spices.

"He was killed by the spices!" bellowed Rdancic Klvdic of the People's Democratic Party for the Eradication of Spices.

"He has stuck oor loyalty up his double-crossing ring, so he has" hollered a spittle-flecked Klvdic O'Rdancic, spokesperson for the Indignant Irish Nationalists of O'Serbia.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Germans and toilets

"When your arse makes the noise, your heart feels good."

Bavarian proverb
Told to me in a toilet in a Berlin bar at 6 in the morning.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

In the interest of political discussion

John Prescott should be PM. Remember when the lout punched an oaf? That brought politics to the people.

Condom-tax policy is as racy as Gordon Brown gets. Could someone poke me with a stick when he does one of the following?

1) shoots a lawyer,
2) punches a farmer
3) has some clown set fire to the seat of his trousers, screeches like a chimp, runs about in a blind panic and puts the flames out by bouncing on his arse. This happened to a friend and I laughed like a drain.

Mick Hucknall: pop genius or twat?

Click on this unbiased link and judge for yourself: T.W.A.T.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Lawyers: hunt them with dogs?

Harry Hutton's really got his teeth into this Cheney hullabaloo.

But I see a deeper story. I find myself wondering, what is the most humane way to cull the lawyer population? For cull them, we must.

I'm not convinced that shot-guns are the right tool - as the veep has demonstrated. However much you recognise the need to control the population, no right-thinking human being can look upon one of God's creatures, once so magnificent in its pin-striped plumage, squirming, writhing, yelping like a pup, shaking buckshot from it's snout.

I am told, by a greater-tweeded lawyer (no less), that hunting with dogs is a more humane approach. At least that way the poor mite gets torn limb from limb in a matter of seconds.

Or, now that we've taken a step down the road to sport, perhaps we should allow these proud beasts one last hour of glory. Perhaps we should put them in a ring and have them taunted by a fairy in buttock-hugging, gold-lamé trousers. That would be the Spanish, and to my mind the best, approach.

Monday, February 13, 2006

The mysterious case of the black sock

A most odd thing happened this weekend past. My doorbell cruelly chirruped at Saturday's hangover. Answering the door I was confronted by Esperanza - an old lady in her eighties who lives across the stairs - and Pilar - an "inqusitive" neighbour from downstairs. They asked if I'd lost a black sock. No, not so far as I'm aware, said I. I must confess I haven't checked recently but I'm fairly sure I have the full set. Why do ask?

Well, last night Pilar heard a terrible crash and a bang at about 2am and Esperanza woke this morning to find her purse missing, footprints on the windowsill and a black, gentleman's sock on the floor of her living room!

It seems someone climbed the stairs to the third floor, took to the window, stepped onto Esperanza's window ledge, climbed in, robbed her purse and left a sock.

The odd thing is, during my first encounter with Pilar, the downstairs neighbour, she offered me a single black sock as a settling in present.

There's more to this than meets the eye.

UPDATE: unloading a white wash at the weekend - a white wash which I personally loaded, item by item - I found single, black sock. I shiver tickled my spine. Like a coward, I hung it up to dry inside the house. This will come back to haunt me.