Thursday, January 31, 2008

Everyone's Balls Lived Happily Ever After

It seems like every couple of weeks I post another item about some bullfighter getting his jockstrap snapped by a 900-pound raging bull, prompting a commenter (Hi, Mom!) to congratulate the bull, at which I point I remind everyone that the bull gained nothing except the chance to be killed by a different guy a couple minutes later. But rarely, very rarely, a bull so impresses the crowd, the judge, and the torero alike that, by raucous popular demand, the bull is "pardoned" and led away to a long, prosperous life of eating grass, banging cows, and not getting stabbed to death by a guy with a sword. This happened last Sunday in Mexico City, when a bull named "Pitito" [above] was pardoned and sent on his way.

In 20 years of bullfights I've seen this happen in person just once, two years ago in Valencia. (Seen here in this photo. The ring is full of seat cushions hurled in protest by the crowd every time the torero started to attempt to kill the bull. And how do you get a savage fighting bull out of a bullring? With a herd of cows, of course, which are always on hand just in case this thing that never happens, happens.)

The only reason I'm bringing this up is that "Pitito" - which, according to my dictionary means "tiny dick," so I assume my dictionary is incomplete, since that would be the worst name ever for a fighting bull - comes from the Barralva ranch in Querétaro, and the local papers are covering his homecoming the way the Boston Globe will be covering the Pats next week. Today's paper has full-page coverage of the veterinary team treating the various post-bullfight wounds, complete with diagrams, lists of medications, and a post-surgical press conference reminiscent of the day Reagan got shot. No word yet on a ticker tape parade.

If I were a bull, by the way, I would seriously consider changing my name to "Pitito," despite the risk of being giggled at by schoolboys. Another "Pitito" was pardoned just a couple of years ago, in Palencia, Spain. Unfortunately for him, he died, somewhat ingloriously, of an unrelated kidney infection three weeks later.


Anonymous said...

When a bull is pardoned by the crowd like that, is the torero humbled, viewed as having lost the "fight"?

Burro Hall said...

Not at all. It means that the bull was of exception merit and, if anything the torero is the one who helped demonstrate that. No shame in it at all.