FROM THE ARCHIVE: Things To Do Before You Die: Xmas Things

13 Dec

The final in a 13 part series of Things To Do Before You Die, the whole shebang was written from the point of view of an over-the-top, bigotted, sexist, homophobic cartoon-stereotype of  a Mexican (for reasons I can’t actually recall now). Originally published in Club magazine 2004/5, this one, fittingly, is about Crimbo…

Bored of the nine-to-five? Looking for life’s great adventure? Want to know the heady scent of adrenaline? Then meet JUAN CARLOTTA, the man the Mexicans call “El Enorigby”…

Hola, mi amigos! Si, eet ees I, Juan, back for – how we say in Mexico – the last time. Si, there ees still much I, Juan, can teach you, but due to the fact that I, Juan, have lived so much I intend to commit suicide directly after finishing this article to avoid the huge disappointment that the rest of life ees inevitably going to be!
And while we are on the subject of muerte – how you say? death – eet ees an amazing coincidence that the subject of my final article ees on one of Mexico’s many death-centred festivals: si, the festival of Christmas.
There ees an old Mexican storybook called El Beeble and the hero of this book ees a strong and hirsute Mexican revolutionary called Jesus. I won’t ruin the ending just in case you ever read eet, but he comes a real – what you might call – cropper in the end! Anyway, Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus and ees the story of his parent’s journey across Mexico so that his madre – how you say? mother – can give birth to him in a donkey’s house… for reasons that I, Juan, admit to having forgotten.
Once born, tres kings and tres goat herders turn up with the traditional Mexican birthing presents of goad (a pointy stick that we use to herd our asses), Frank incensed (an angry hombre) and myrtle (a shrub) for reasons that also elude me. And why do they come with gifts for someone they don’t know? Because he ees the son of God! Si! You did not see that one coming did you? Then some angels turn up and they all sing a song called Leetle Donkey and pull their Christmas petados – what you call “crackers”.
And this ees why we celebrate Christmas in Mexico. I think you have something similar with a chocolate rabbit in your Eeeeenglend, no? There are many different traditions attached to eet, some of which I, Juan, insist you try for yourselves. Like these here!
Now farewell, mi compadres, eet has been a great adventure, si? But now I, Juan, must – how you say? – saw my own head off in the traditional Mexican way. Adios, amigos!

Si, this was the song everyone sang at that first Christmas party in thanks to the brave dwarf donkey that carried the pregnant virgin (let’s not get into that – I, Juan, have no answers) Mary across the volcanoes, fire rivers and precarious rope bridges of Mexico in what I, Juan, believe will be eventually released as a prequel to The Greatest Story Ever Told.
Today, to celebrate the dwarf donkey’s epic journey, the immaculately pregnant virgin women of our land (of which there are increasingly mucho) race these otherwise notoriously feeble animals across the entire length of Mexico. Naturally, many leetle donkeys die in the process, but eet ees no problem as we breed many in our efficient Mexican donkey battery farms!
The leetle donkey that wins the race is proclaimed The Jesus Donkey and carried high through the village, before being hurled into a deep gully so that it can be reunited with eet’s master… in Heaven.

This ees a Christmas tale written by one of Mexico’s greatest writers, Carlos Dickenz and has become a traditional play performed across all of Mexico. Eet ees obligatory to act in eet, under pain of death.
The story follows an old Mexican businessman who ees mucho greedy and tight of the arse with his money. Everyone hates him and wishes he were dead, because they are all lazy and owe him many pesos, particularly his employee, Roberto Crapchett who has a son that ees – how you say? – a raspberry ripple.
Then, one Christmas Eve, the ghost of Bob Marley visits him and warns him to expect supernatural company! Ghosts can’t lie and, sure enough, three spirits visit the miser and show him Christmases past, present and future… and then call him a bastardo and threaten to slit his face up in Hell if he doesn’t cheer up, or something.
Needless to say, the miser sheets himself and wakes up on Christmas Day, buys an enormous goat and a sack of toys and dances through town singing – for some reason – before turning up at his impoverished employee’s house, mocking their meagre belongings and then giving them the goat for their Christmas dinner, the toys for their children and then – as eet ees a Christmas story – uses Jesus magic to cure the crippled boy! Suddenly everyone loves him and we reach the moral of the story: people can be easily bought.

I, Juan, think that this Christmas character was added to the story at a later date. He’s a wisecracking, streetwise Jaguar that walks on his hind legs and has a long beard and a red suit. He lives in the north of Mexico with a band of frightening dwarfs that try to atone for their dwarfish sins by making toys for the children of Mexico.
Then, every Christmas Eve, Santie Claws travels on a flying cart pulled by magic goats to the homes of all of Mexico’s children. There, he climbs down their chimneys or swims up their toilets (whichever is most accessible at the time) and checks his list. You see, the deal ees this: if the child has been good, then Santie Claws will leave him a dwarf toy as a reward for his behaviour. But, if the child has been bad – ai caramba! – Santie Claws eviscerates the child, like the savage Jaguar he ees, in a frenzy of claws and fangs! Then he feasts on the child’s carcass before visiting the next house. This ees why his suit ees red.
Si, Santie Claws ees a good psychological tool employed to ensure righteous behaviour from our good but occasionally bad Mexican children… and many lives are lost each year to foolish Mexican shops that employ Santie Claws impersonators which they have merely caught in the wild, dressed up and let loose.
His role in Jesus’ birth ees not really clear, but most of our priests say he ate the holy afterbirth, which is how he got his ‘powers’.

Eet ees thick Mexican tradition that, every Christmas Day at three o’clock, we all gather in the town square to listen to El Reina’s Discurso – how you say? – the Queen’s speech. Normally he talks about events in our great country over the past year… and then begs forgiveness for his filthy, disease-spreading homosexuality.
Unfortunately for him eet ees too late to recant his disgusting gay practice, plus, eet ees Christmas – and everyone knows how God feels about these miscreants that spit in His face! So next comes another rich Mexican Christmas tradition: putting the fairy on top of the village Christmas tree… normally by inserting the tree into his rectum and leaving him impaled there until he bleeds to death through his anus. He’ll soon wish he’d never handled another man’s baubles, no?!

The good but simple and frequently disfigured people of Mexico are famous the world over for their glorious singing voices, and never ees there such a time of song in Mexico as there ees at Christmas.
Si, many are the villancicos – how you say? carols – that we sing together: Leetle Donkey, of course; Sandy the Sandman (which is now banned due to eet’s racist content); White Christmas (same); Violent Night (oddly savage Christmas ditty); The First Noel (in tribute to your Eeeengleesh Swap Shop superstar, Noel Edmunds); Walking in a Mexican Hinterland (depressing dirge about breaking down in the ‘unpleasant’ areas of Mexico) and many more besides!
Gangs of carol singers roam the villages all across our country, singing these songs at people whether they want to hear them or not! And the only way you can stop them – like our Mariachi bands in restaurants – ees to pay them to go away or counter them by invoking the ancient right of Kenbarlo, which entitles you to hold them down and whack them repeatedly in their flesh piñatas – how you say? people-nuts – with a special festive flail! Eet ees an obscenely rich tradition!


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