Monday, June 01, 2009

Honk If You Love the White Cocks

The Querétaro White Cocks earned their way back into the Premier League this weekend, sort of the soccer equivalent of going from AAA to The Show (though, if that were to happen to, say, the Brooklyn Cyclones, we're pretty sure the Red Sox would beat them 58-0 in their first meeting). This occasioned a spontaneous parade of automotive honking through the streets of Querétaro on Saturday, which, because the game was played about 700 miles away in Mérida, meant Cocks fans had to turn off their TVs, get into their cars, and and head for the center of town - which, since it's basically just a bunch of paved-over horse paths from the 1500s, is pretty much a 24-hour traffic jam even without a couple of thousand Cocks enthusiasts. We avoid driving in the Centro except in emergencies, something that's difficult because our offices are located there. So we admire the fanaticism that would make someone voluntarily drive here. Still, the celebratory nature of a honking procession loses a lot of its majesty when the traffic grinds to a standstill. We sat at a cafe on the plaza watching four guys in a blue Toyota honking and hooting and waving the team colors as, over the course of 15 minutes, they progressed from one end of our table almost all the way to the other.

Another problem was that election season is in full swing here, and apparently the way Mexican politicians go about securing votes is to dispatch a fleet of cars and trucks with loudspeakers, flags and the candidate's likeness, and make as much noise as possible, all day, every day, until the public surrenders and declares one of them mayor. And what politician in his right mind would be caught not celebrating a local sports team's important victory? Thus were the streets of Querétaro choked, not just with Cocks aficionados, but with the processions of a half-dozen politicos, each with their own slogans, cheers, flags, and rhythmic honks. (We may have mentioned this before, but Mexicans are incapable of hearing sounds over a certain decibel level, which is why no one but us found this to be painful.)

Probably the king of the queretano horn-honkers would be a local character known as Ánimo, who got his nickname from his habit of spending a few hours every day driving around in his beat-up old car, sticking his head out the window, and screaming "ánimo!!" - which sort of means, "Let's Go!" or "Wooooo!" - at anything that moves. (We'll confess that our first encounter with him, as he pulled up beside us on a morning run and suddenly screeched "ánimo!!" at the top of his lungs, scared the ever-lovin' shit out of us. Since then, we've decided to find him charming.) Ánimo, whose real name is Pedro Gonzáles Quiroz, lost his family in the 1985 Mexico City quake, moved to Querétaro, and fell into a deep, dark, if completely understandable depression, from which he suddenly roused himself one day and decided his mission in life was to go around screaming "ánimo!!" at everyone. ("Ánimo" can also mean "cheer up!") That was 20 years ago.

Anyway, we brought that up only because, as if things weren't chaotic enough, there was Ánimo, honking his horn along with everyone else, his car plastered with the face of PRI gubernatorial candidate Pepe Calzada. This is bad news for PAN's Manuel Gonzalez Valle (the current mayor), and probably explains why he's been wearing a White Cocks jersey nonstop for three days now.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

But if the Cyclones were indeed promoted to The Show, that would mean that the minor leagues had thrown off their shackles, so the Red Sox wouldn't *be* the Red Sox as you know them, so the whole thing collapses under the poverty of the analogy.

Just sayin'

Burro Hall said...

Does this have something to do with the designated hitter rule?

Joy said...

Best headline ever.

Burro Hall said...

Thanks. Inclusion of the definite article pretty much tore apart Monday's editorial meeting.