It is not as if I have never given any thought to the morality of this. I have. If you are interested—and I do not expect you to be—you can read those thoughts here. However, I have long since given up mulling that over. My feelings now are simple. As long as they keep selling tickets to the corrida--the bullfights--I will keep buying them. I have lost track of the number that I have attended now, which includes four in Spain.
Last evening's corrida, Rick's first ever, was a dandy. Usually, you have to sit through a lot of awful matchups, repulsive, revolting affairs, before you see one good one. Not Rick. He sat down in the arena last evening and watched the best session that I have seen up in that little ring. Across the board. Three good matadores, two of them great, and six great bulls.
One of the matadores was not a matador at all but rather a rejoneador, a guy who does his bulls from horseback. This was a first for me, too. Previously, having never seen one, I had snorted at this and called it a “novelty act.” I had to eat my words last evening. It was a spectacular thing to watch. Indescribable. He was a Spaniard named Pablo Hermoso de Mendoza, without any argument the best in the world. Of course his three Arabian horses deserve some credit, too.
Traditionally, as it is everywhere else, the bullfights here started at 4:00 p.m. until about a year ago. But they were having trouble drawing at that time. They changed to a start time of 8:30 p.m. and are now filling the place. I mention that because it makes it much more difficult to take photographs. I did my best nevertheless. Just consider some of these artsy photographs, and let us pretend that I fully intended them to come out as they did.
Everybody's favorite villain, the picador. They boo him from the moment he rides into the ring to pic the bull up until the moment he rides out. Two different bulls upended this picador's horse last night and dumped him.
Perhaps that will give you some idea what this is all about. He does this instead of cape work to prepare the bull.
This is Antonio "El Chihuahua" Garcia. He became an overnight star after a performance last February in Mexico City, which has the largest ring in the world.
A photo for the ladies. He plants his own banderillas instead of having another torero do it. If another torero comes out with banderillas, the crowd boos him until El Chihuahua agrees to take over the job.
Here I am tryiing to show his little patented move wherein he twirls and brings the cape up over his head as the bull passes. He was awarded both ears and the tail from this bull. Again, this was the first time that I had ever seen that. Every seat cushion in the place went into the ring including ours.
Let us not get cute here. In the end this is what it is all about. No matter how raucous the crowd, they always quiet down to absolute silence for this . . . .
Fermin Spinola missed his target, about the size of a silver dollar, and hit bone on this first attempt.
He got it done in good style on his second attempt. Here they are waiting for the bull to sag and drop.
I had this same stunned expression on my face afterward. And therefore . . .
. . . we had to stop in for a couple of sodas with young, drunk Mexicans on the way home. Everybody loves Rick. As I said before, if there are some who do not, they have not said a word about it to me. Luckily, we did not bump into Mariana, who we learned today was whooping it up with her friends right next door. In that event it would have been backslide city for the both of us, I am afraid.
Two old goofs no longer accustomed to being out and about at that hour of the morning.