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Saturday, November 03, 2007

Auto-Entertainment

Every Monday there is a street market in my hood where a caravan of little booths move in and sell every sort of clothing item you can imagine. It is mostly about clothes but there are booths selling other kinds of merchandise. It’s kind of like the mall coming to your neighborhood. The caravan moves around the city every day of the week so each neighborhood can have a crack at their stuff.

They start setting up early in the morning right below my window. The day begins with the police towing any vehicle not heeding the warnings about the parking rules for Mondays. The sounds made by the towing is soon replaced by that of metal against metal as the nomad businessmen assemble their booths and get their products on display. After that mostly what you hear until they close down at around 2 p.m. is the sound of vendors barking out their prices, “Un euro, un euro, todo un euro!” I like the life it injects into the neighborhood every Monday—not that this lively neighborhood really needs any more energy.

There are several of these booths that I call the Underwear Huts which sell nothing but every sort of underwear imaginable. They hang some of their product up on lines to show off what they have. One of these Underwear Huts had an absolutely enormous pair of tightie whities on display. They must have had a 60 inch waist, of whatever the hell that is in the metric system. I didn’t think they had such fat people in the metric system. Remember Pee Wee Herman’s wonderful gag using the giant underpants? You could easily use these tightie whities as a hammock. I was tempted to buy them just to hang up with my wash to freak other people out. Maybe I could have magic-markered in a huge skid mark just for added freak-out effect.

I have a terribly maladjusted inner dialogue going on but I keep myself laughing. Someone has to make me laugh. I’m not quite articulate enough in Spanish to get as many laughs from people as I would like so I am forced to crack myself up as often as possible, usually in ways not really fit for print.

Mostly this auto-entertainment takes the form of imagined conversations and shouted insults at macho Spanish drivers. I will see some kid flying down the street on his moped going 70 mph, in a tucked position to lower his wind resistance to juice more speed from his 20 hp mini bike, and I will scream out, “You call yourself a man? How about giving that thing a little gas?” I least I shout it out in my mind. It’s not like he could hear me anyway since most of the mopeds here are positively deafening. Short of stretching a piece of piano wire neck-high across the street, this is the only way that I can keep my sanity in the sea of obnoxiously loud and speeding mopeds.

The other day I was cycling along the bike path at the beach. There is a section that I call La Cala de los Viejos, Gordos Nudistas (The Old, Fat Nudists’ Cove) that seems to be the gay cruising beach. If you are gay and have an absolutely repulsive body, this is the place for you. It can be truly frightful at times and is, unfortunately, unavoidable if you take the bike path. When I pedaled past I saw a midget standing on a dune. Thank God he wasn’t nude, at least not yet. I don’t need to feel penile-ly inferior to a dude who I have been taller than since I was in fourth grade. I was struck with the thought, “A gay midget, what will they think of next?” I had just assumed that with all of the midget porn being produced, they had conscripted and converted even the homosexual midgets to fill the ranks of this burgeoning industry. Way to fight the power, my man. I would have given him a fist-in-the-air, black power salute but the trail gets a bit tricky here and I needed both hands on the bars.

It was uplifting to me to think that this young man had escaped the tentacles of the worldwide midget porn cartels and was roaming free here at the La Cala de los Viejos, Gordos Nudistas. And then I thought to myself, “If there is such a thing as gay midget porn, I swear to fucking God that I want to go to my grave not knowing about it.” I guess you could say that I am a “little homophobic.” Perhaps I should have written that "little homo" phobic? I struck the thought from my head by imagining myself on a pristine stretch of deserted beach, sipping a tropical punch, and swinging in a hammock made out of a pair of gigantic underpants.

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