Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A load of bull

What a fabulous picture this is of the shock result in Friday night's big Madrid bullfight.

Julio Aparicio, a 41-year-old matador, takes defeat by his taurine foe on the chin. And, indeed, through the chin. It's a man's sport is bullfighting.

Except it isn't, really, because the odds are hugely weighted in the matador's favour. Six bulls are killed in an average night's entertainment, about 10,000 a year in total.

The last time a Spanish matador died from a goring was back in 1985. Signor Aparicio is reportedly recovering well in hospital.

I've never been to a bullfight but would love to one day. I imagine as a theatrical spectacle, rather than sport, it is gripping and strangely beautiful. Some call it barbaric, but the beasts are treated with respect and dispatched with dignity. And it's great when one of them gets their own back.

Which reminds me of a joke...

A man was on holiday in Andalucia and found himself at dinner one night sitting next to a couple who had been served the most delicious-smelling stew.

Inquiring of the waiter what was in the dish, he was told that it was a regional speciality. "During bullfighting season, we take the testicles of the defeated bulls," the waiter says. "We fry them in garlic and oil and then add chillis, tomatoes, peppers and a good slug of sherry. It is very popular at this time of year."

Intrigued, the guest asks for a portion but is told that there are no testicles left. "But there is a fight tomorrow afternoon, sir," the waiter says. "Come back in the evening and I'm sure we will have a fresh supply."

The man returns the next day, orders the special and is delighted to be served a bowl of the delicious stew, which he wolfs down. But when the waiter asks for his opinion, he has one small quibble.

"I thought the testicles looked rather larger in the stew you were serving yesterday," he says.

"Well sir," the waiter replies. "Some days the bull wins."