Zodi’s Blog

The Fountain of Wine

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Officially the fiesta starts on Thursday afternoon with a church service, but none of the real action heats up until pre-dawn on Friday. It’s at this point that you know you’re in a fiesta. It begins much like how retarded people have sex; abruptly at 5:00am, violently, with eardrum shattering explosions, and bright flashes of light, followed by 6 hours of utter silence. Okay I admit that I’ve never actually seen retarded people having sex, but that’s how I imagine it would be when I fantasize think about it.

 

A vociferous marching band complete with all of the accessories that a college football halftime show would include, begins in the center of town and winds its way through the narrow, echoing, white-washed streets. Every fifty feet they come to a screeching halt and a man in a fireproof suit begins setting off fifty shooting M-80’s. They are like bottle rockets on steroids. This is a tradition done to ward off evil spirits, because they can’t have the evil spirits screwing up the drunken revelry and debauchery of the three day party. Having nowhere else to go, the spirits flee into the body of our mini-dachshund who immediately begins shaking, howling, and hiding until deciding to shit on the floor.

                                                                                                                                                       

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 This is a very exciting beginning, especially to the newcomers of this tradition. The first year we hurriedly dressed, cleaned up the dog shit, and practically jogged into town. When we got there, it was all but deserted. There were only a few drunks sleeping it off on the park benches, and some hippies who had pitched tents on the cement, and were enjoying their daily wake and bake.

 

It turns out that nothing happens again until 11:30am when they turn on the wine flow into the town’s main fountain. Since nobody on this planet can turn down free booze, this draws a hefty, exuberant crowd. The wine itself is a potent potable, that if examined by a scientist would probably be classified somewhere between ‘red whiskey’ and ‘flotsam.’ It’s about 40 proof, and if you have more than a couple of Dixie cups full, you’re likely to have to fish your lower intestines out of the toilet the following morning. Luckily there are private bar stands conveniently located every 10 feet so you are never out of arms reach of life sustaining, soul-saving alcohol.

 

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The drinking age here is 16, but never enforced. The other day I saw an eight year old who was unable to change his Transformer back into the truck until he had two double vodkas. Anyway, they also have three rides set up for the teen-alkies. All three spin around in a circle with various degrees of violence. I’ve come to believe that these rides are for the sole purpose of sobering them up, by causing them to upchuck. The puking is usually performed while the ride is in full swing, causing a chain reaction puke marathon. It’s all pretty funny until you get hit in the eye with a piece of vomit.

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At 3:30pm they serve a free paella dinner with free beer, and nobody misses this event either. Except us. After last year, I figured out that I actually like my own paella better. Especially because I never get sick off of it. It helps that I don’t leave my sausage sitting in the sun for a couple of hours before cooking it. But this is also a must attend event that can not be missed, if only for a glass (or 17) of cervaza.                                             

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

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At 9:00pm the church doors open and three ginormous statues emerge. Each one is carried by six men. Three of four of whom are over eighty years old, and four of five of whom are half in the bag. They then carry these cumbersome statues up and down the narrow, steep, slippery streets to the church at the other end of the village. What makes this even more difficult (and hilarious) are the utility lines which are hung far too low for this procession. So every hundred feet or so, we get to watch St. Peter, the Virgin Mary, and Jesus himself, perform a very drunken, shaky limbo. In the two years that I’ve watched this I’ve seen Jesus (he’s the tallest, with the cross and all) almost wipe out and take a cache of bystanders with him.

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The limbo performing statues taken last year during daylight.

                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                                                     

I’m going to publish the conclusion to this post on Wednesday, since it’s so long with so many photos, and hopefully video to follow. I’ve saved my favorite part for then, so stay tuned!!

October 12, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 28 Comments