22 June 2009

That Guy with the Bullhorn Again

A few entries back in the comments section, I had an exchange with Spike about the man down the street from my campsite with the bullhorn who cranks it up at about 7:00 pm and starts chanting and chanting and chanting. At least that is how I described it. Spike was going to get an expert consultation on what might be going on.

Then I misled Spike, misled myself, and probably misled the consultants. One morning I had walked past the carnival, which was in more than ordinary dishabille as if it might be preparing to leave town. When the cantor had at it again the following evening, I eliminated the carnival as a possible source of these goings on, because I assumed it had left town.

I then theorized that this was a street preacher, a pentecostal preacher perhaps. The obvious fervor of the cantor seemed consistent with that.

This evening the old bullhorn cranked up again. I determined simply to quit bitching and get up off my ass and go investigate. There was no way to concentrate on reading, or music, or anything else, I assure you. You cannot conceive of how loud and relentless this performance is. It drives me nuts!

I followed the sound to its source at the carnival. It was a pitchman selling stuff, actually a cross between a pitchman and an auctioneer. As far as spectator activities are concerned here, moving from the opera to this is truly moving from the high brow to the low brow in Mexican society

The guy stands on a podium in the middle of a huge tent that has one side open. The citizenry gather there in larger or smaller numbers depending on the whims of the gods of consumer capitalism and the time of the evening.

It is not a bullhorn, just a head mike jacked into a sound system heavy on the volume and light on the quality. He is surrounded by stacks and stacks of cheap consumer goods. Nothing complicated, mind you--simple, cheap stuff like plastic buckets, plastic bowls, plastic wash pans, blankets, flatware, and on and on. He also has helpers moving about passing him the goods and watching the crowd for bids.

And he sells this stuff. And sells this stuff. And sells this stuff. And sells this stuff into the evening and with unbelievable endurance. I only notice a shift change about every two hours.

That mystery is now solved, but the solution has done nothing to give me some peace. The open side of that tent faces directly toward my camper about a block and a half away. It is like a Hollywood Bowl performance of auctioneers directed right at me.

It is the Sabbath! Don't they know it is the Sabbath? We should not be doing this in the evening of the Sabbath.


spike said...

I did ask Iris about the bullhorn....she had no clue, now we know why. This does seem to resemble a Wingert auction however!

Señor Steve said...

I knew the name Wingert would come up. I just knew it!

This guy even kinda looks like him, although this guy is a bit better dressed.

Wendy said...

Reminds me of arriving in Istanbul at 4 a.m., going to sleep with the window open, and at 5:30 a.m. the mosque RIGHT NEXT DOOR started blaring morning worship calls through multiple loudspeakers. Even if it wasn't right next door, ALL the mosques do this.

This ritual happens 5x per day, every day. Makes me glad I don't live in a predominantly Muslim country.