Monday, June 15, 2009

Training Day

The pickings are pretty slim in the off-season, but we went over to the bullring yesterday to take in an exhibition of the up-and-coming talent from Querétaro's bullfighting school (which does not accept new students over the age of 40, regardless of their willingness to slip a little something extra into the tuition envelope.) As bullfighting goes, it was pretty awful, but fascinating all the same. We don't know how old the little tyke in the picture is, but we're guessing single digits. (For the record, he didn't kill the little baby lamb - though the older kids, fighting older [but still far from full-grown] bulls, did.) Anyway, we learned some stuff:

    With the exception of Chinese gymnasts, children under the age of 12 don't do anything very gracefully.

    Even very, very small fighting bulls weigh a lot more than we do.

    For a beginning bullfighter, one of the hardest things seems to be preventing the bull from stepping on your cape.

    Okay, maybe not the hardest thing. A good bullfighter tends to plant his feet in one location and force the bull to move around him. This second part is apparently much, much harder than they make it look. One boy, who looked about 13, got trampled by the bull the second it entered the ring, and the fight went downhill from there. The poor kid spent more time on his back than Nancy Davis when she was under contract at MGM.

    There's probably no more reviled figure in all of sports than the picador. A fat, unkempt presence atop a silly-looking horse, the picador has one job - to lance the bull's shoulders - which he inevitably fails to do correctly, and is furiously booed by the crowd. So it was amusing to see that aspiring child picadors are all fat and incompetent, and that the crowd goes after them just as viciously as they would an adult. At one point the announcer had to gently remind the crowd that the picadors were students, too, which got them just a smattering of unenthusiastic applause. We're still trying to imagine the conversation where a young boy tells his mom and dad he wants to be a picador.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Maybe they can teach the little tykes the art of waterboarding, too. You know, just to pad their resumes.

M

Anonymous said...

Burro -- I LOVE your mom

Burro Hall said...

Now that I don't live with her, I do, too.

:) <--- [international symbol for 'Just kidding, Mom!']

Anonymous said...

I'm thinking of an international signal. Can you guess what it is?
"Just kidding" Frank.

M

Anonymous said...

As I said --- I LOVE your mom!