Blogs Nov 20, 2010 at 7:05 pm


Those cacafel figures are always afeature of Catalonian navity scenes. Why a shepard taking a dump appeals is a mystery to me.
It's a bidet that helps the ladies spread their Lyups and cheeks for proper cleaning.
Why am I not surprised that Brendan doesn't know what a bidet is?
For what it's worth, my father had a look, and said it's a "re-purposed bidet," although what its current purpose is remains a mystery. I vote for bidet with toilet paper dispenser.

And apropos of nothing, I thought I would report that Calgary Airport has neither body scanners nor sex-positive pat downs, and I even wore my skinny jeans in preparation...
I'm hoping for a full grope later in the week, though, in Newark or Chicago.
It looks like it's got a giant binder clip on it. I wouldn't put my business too close to that.
In the Netherlands, there's this:…
@6, aargh! Okay, so the Dutch have that tradition, and they have goodlooking footballers, like Wesley Sneijder, whom Frizzelle so adores.

If you only travel back to Spain again you combine them: here's Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos happily participating in the traditional Reyes Magos del Oriente, dressing up as the Three Kings and delivering kids gifts at Christmas. He chose the blackface Baltasar character. Double all caps ARGH ARGH!…
BIDET!! With some pussy support.
Perhaps it's to prevent any prom night toilet babies.
The shitting figure is found in Catalonian nativity scenes. He was waiting for the birth of baby Jesus but missed it when nature called.
This little bathtub smells like ass.

I wonder both who will see this comment, and who will get the reference.
@11 - I saw it. I didn't get it.
I know it's a bidet. But what's up with the oven rack?
He's not going to do one of those Garden Gnome things where he takes pictures of it everywhere he travels.

No. Why did I suggest that...

It's not a bidet. They don't have them in public places - they're strictly for home (and used almost exclusively for holding magazines these days).
The first is a cagalet, a classic figure in Spanish manger scenes. In Spain it's not traditional to have a tree. Instead, families make manger scenes. Traditionally, families buy a few figures a year, and build not only the manger itself with the family and wise men (known here as "Reyes Magos" Wizard Kings) but also the whole town, with shepherds, craftsmen, homes etc. The cagalet is an amusing traditional addition, meant to be placed behind some moss that acts like a "bush".

The second thing is not a bidet (notice the faucet well above it) but a place where whoever wants to clean the bathroom can fill a bucket and then get rid of the dirty water. They've become less common here over time.
@11 Look! A see-through wall of glass.
@6 and 7, please bear in mind that other countries do not have the same historic associations as the United States and are under no obligation to change their behavior due to American sensibilities. Blackface isn't even a concept here because until very recenty there were basically no black people (and even today there are very few). The idea that this is somehow a mockery of black people is alien to your average European.
In the cabalgata de reyes in Madrid (a massive Christmas parade) I have seen an actual black person portraying Baltasar a few times, of which I approve not because of racism, but because it's more realistic.
You want shit that creeps Americans the fuck out? Then you have to go to Easter:…

Bwahahahaha!!!! I want to go just for the terrified looks of the US tourists.
I remember it as a "Caganer," which is supposed to remind everyone at Christmastime that "everybody shits." Another phrase for it is "shitting shepherd."

Catalonia also has a pooping yule log that poops presents when you beat it. Google image it, and you'll see a lot of logs with faces and hats, with blankets over them. People buy a succession of sizes so they appear to grow from feeding them, and so they have room for all the presents.
It's for draining the fat off your bacon.
@18: well, except that Zwarte Piet were originally Sinterklaas' slaves, then changed to "helpers", they talk in Surinamese accents, and my Dutch friends are well aware that they're pretty racist looking. They just don't think about it. The context might be different but it's far from issue-free. I can't speak for Spain, though.
Can these be purchased, somewhere here in the States?

I think they're hilarious.
Andalucia is written with a C not an S. Just saying.
I was just in the Netherlands and jumped just about a foot away from a pharmacy window with a little display of those Zwarte Piet dolls in it before remembering what they were.

Just saying, whoever decided to purchase a bunch of those and pose them frolicking among the aspirin packages was at the very least not terribly racially sensitive...

However, there was also the joyous spectacle of an old, wiry, bearded Dutch man, high as fuck, riding his bike around and around the city square and waving to everyone while screaming the lyrics of whatever reggae song he was playing on the huge boombox in his bike trailer.
The "little shitter" is very old, you can see the image in Etruscan tomb paintings.
@#2: It's Cheryl Merkowski's toilet!

I'll love you forever because you got that reference. Honaids!!
@18, of course I had to look into it once my darling Sergio did the blackface - and while your statement that U.S. racial problems aren't the same as other nations' is accurate if vague, it is also beside the point. Baltasar blackface in fact is very troubling to thoughtful Spaniards. Not the majority yet, but they are waking to it. I don't insist that my darling Sergio doing it means he's somehow wicked, just less thoughtful than I'd hoped.

Which, duh, joke's on me - he's a footballer after all...
Baltasar blackface in fact is very troubling to thoughtful Spaniards.

I must not know any thoughtful Spaniards then. Which is odd, considering that they constitute 99% of the people I interact on any given day. Oh sure, I've heard news stories now and again about the Baltasar "issue", usually coming from the same people who recently informed us that Cinderella was sexist and shouldn't be read to schoolchildren. Generally speaking, these "issues" are met with rolling eyes. Having said that, I suppose by now there are enough actual black people in Spain so that it would be simple enough just to give the job to a black man and be done with it. It would look more realistic, at least insofar as a black man wearing a suit straight out of a Persian fairy tale can look "realistic".

Sergio Ramos is not the most thoughtful of guys, even within the low standards of football. I much prefer Casillas ;-)…
It is a Lady Urinal!
Lynx, I think the Casillas/Ramos dichotomy is compelling, like the whole Apollo/Dionysus thing. I'm much more apt to fall for the dim pretty ones - Casillas always struck me as one of those conventionally handsome fellows who turns out to have a doctorate in a field that doesn't really interest me.…

You may be right about the Spanish eyerolling being deserved, and it's a fair hit that I do spend a lot of time with the sorts of folks still able to get worked up over the banishment of the Moors and such.
Its moot since they are both merengues so fuck them.
@gloomy gus LMAO, well, to be fair I've always found our use of the term "La reconquista" irritating. The moors dominated much of Spain for 800 friggen years and we have the gall to call their expulsion a reconquest. Still, I am glad we ended up on the European and not Arab side, given the eventual result of history.

@34, is that some rojiblanca resentment talking? ;-) Let's just make our peace with them being part of La Furia Roja, ok?

Please wait...

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