My brother-in-law, Floyd the Impresario, is slightly dramatic about almost everything. He painted a picture of bull fights as a “beautiful and magnificent performance.” Floyd lived in San Diego, just across the border from Tijuana (below the bottom of my list of places I’d like to visit, just under Afghanistan). But when my wife, Margaret, her mother (my fabulous mother-in-law) Annie, and I went to visit Floyd, he insisted on taking us to the Bull Fights.
“It’s beautiful,” he said, “like a ballet and an opera. The matador (the most senior performers) executes various magnificent formal moves which can be interpreted and innovated according to the bullfighter’s style or school,” he said. I later read something similar in the Bullshit Book, but that description went on to say, “It has been said that the toreros seek to elicit inspiration and art from their work and an emotional connection with the crowd transmitted through the bull. The costumes are fabulous.”
So we braced ourselves to get emotionally connected and crossed the border into Tijuana by “bus.”
Fortunately, I thought, the major league bull ring was dark that day. But then we spotted a poster advertising bull fighting starting at 2 PM. Floyd was vindicated and we crowded onto another bus that took us through the countryside and deposited us at what can only be described as a circular apartment building with an open interior stadium. It was as if the current trend in America’s taxpayer-built sports stadiums was reversed - they built the “luxury” apartments first then put the sports venue in the middle. The bull ring apartments would not qualify as luxurious by any stretch, but at least the taxpayers could afford to go to these games.This was not major league. It wasn’t triple A or double A or even single A. The band which hyped the entrance of the bull and matador played off key. The food dispensed by sellers in the stands were not hot dogs … but possibly recycled bull dogs. The bulls, like Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls, won almost every battle. They carried more matadors out of the ring than bulls.
When one matador managed to put his sword into the poor bull, no magnificent white horses as described by Floyd, came out for the ceremonial removal of the vanquished bovine. Instead a two-and-a-half –ton rickety pick-up truck and two “vaqueros” did a fascinating rope trick, tying the bull to the truck. When the driver got the signal he gunned the motor and lurched forward, sending the two bull-hands flying out of the truck to crash land near the mortally wounded bull. Almost certainly unintentional, but I like to think it was the Karma Credit Plan at work (I’m sure the bulls thought they had it coming).We were on our way out when the truck removed the combatants to the nearest ER/carniceria.
Our escape must be saved for another FLOG, but you can clearly see why I blocked out this episode.
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