You Know What I Think Is Completely Moronic?

The whole running with the bulls thing that they do in Spain every year.  Mr. Mock used to tell me that it’s one of those things he’d kind of like to do once in his lifetime,  and my response was always the same; specifically, that it’s grounds for divorce.  Running with the bulls is the stupidest thing EVER.

Apparently, they have a similar activity in Columbia, only instead of having bulls run around the streets of Pamplona, they just shove a bunch of bulls into make-shift pens, have the crowd taunt them by yelling and throwing things at them, and see what happens. The latest news reports to come out about this are celebratory, because no one died this year.  They usually expect around 20 deaths, and this year there were only 25 serious injuries.

Frankly, I think anyone who taunts a bull mercilessly, and then is subsequently gored by it, deserves what they get.  It’s completely stupid.

BUT, guess what! To totally offset my irritation at Columbia for having this kind of an event, I just read about a carnival in Greece where all the local villagers put on goggles and celebrate the coming of Easter by throwing THREE THOUSAND POUNDS of flour at one another. It’s like an all day flour-fight, and you know how they kick it off?  They ring cowbells.  And they’ve been doing this for TWO HUNDRED years.  I totally love this idea and kind of want to implement it in some form at my company.  This sounds like a BLAST, plus it doesn’t result in death or goring or taunting of animals, which is a plus.

If you live somewhere funky and have really super awesomely fun events like this, I want to hear about them.

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  • jenn

    I live in NYC and every Dec 31 we do a similar thing. We put tourists in pens in Times Square and then force them to stand there for hours without bathrooms. We residents taunt them and overcharge them for everything from t-shirts to hotel rooms.

  • astoopidmonkey

    I grew up on a a little island off the coast of Honduras called Guanaja (Bonacca to the english speaking people).
    Three times a year: Independence day (Sept. 15th), Christmas, and New Years. The men (usually men in their 20’s to early 30’s) dress up in old torn clothes, and don Halloween masks (the ones that completely cover ones head) so they won’t be recognized.
    They also have an empty gallon jug (think old clorox bottle) with a tiny slit cut into it. They also have something that can be used for hitting/beating ie: a belt, a plastic pipe, a switch from a tree, or a branch from a tree.
    Once they and the other Junkanoos (that is what they are called) start roaming the streets on the most populated cay of the island (simply called The Cay). It is time to start the games.
    The people who are not dressed up, will get the Junkanoos attention by waving money in the air, for the Junkanoo to see that they are willing to play the game.
    Once the Junkanoo spots you, and see’s that he is interested, he will then start running towards that person, which simply means… RUN! run for your life (okay, not your life, but it feels that way).
    If the Junkanoo catches the person, it will proceed to beat you with whatever it has chosen as it’s weapon. Your only choices then are: 1. Take a beating or 2. give the money up.
    It’s a traditon and has been happening for a few hundred years.

  • mikey

    Running with and otherwise messing with bulls is among the testosterone fueled activities that are incompatible with intelligent life. The flour fight, however, sounds like a great idea, as is Tomatina, a gigantic tomato fight that is staged every year in Bunol, Spain involving over 100 tons of tomatoes.

  • Olivia J. Snarkypants

    I live in Louisiana now and they have Mardi Gras in New Orleans, which people confuse with the center of the universe during hurricane season. I went to Mardi Gras about 9 years ago and have zero desire to go back. Ever. Garbage waste-high all along the streets, people uriniating in public, women and men flashing others for 10 cent beads, drunken idiots trying to pick pocket you. No thanks.

  • wordwych

    I’m in NC, and the town next to mine has had an annual fund-raiser horse show for over 50 years now. One of the biggest draws is Mutton Bustin’, where little children (ages 6-10 or so) try to ride sheep the same way grown guys and gals try to ride broncs and bulls.

    This is how it works:

    A small herd of sheep is placed in the middle of the arena. Other sheep culled from the same herd are loaded one at a time into a big metal chute, where small a small child, usually clad in cowboy attire (the cuteness factor here is outstanding!), is plunked down on the sheep’s back. The chute is then opened, and the sheep hurls itself across the arena toward the herd, no doubt screaming in sheep-speak to his/her herdmates “HEY, WHAT IS THIS EFFING THING ON MY BACK? GET IT OFF! GET IT OFF! GETITOFFFFFFF!”

    If the wee wannabe cowboy/girl hasn’t got a good grip on all that woolly fur, he/she generally flops off almost immediately after the sheep exits the chute, and the sheep flees to the comfort of the herd, where I think the conversation goes like this:

    Newly Arrived Sheep: Is it off? Where is it? What was it?
    Other Sheep 1: Dude, what was that?
    Other Sheep 2: Holy crap! It was on you!
    Other Sheep 3: Oh God, there’s Daisy! They’ve got Daisy in that box!
    Other Sheep 4: Dude, why did you get in the box?
    Newly Arrived Sheep: I dunno, man. There wasn’t anywhere else to go!

    While this conversation happens, the kid is being peeled up out of the dirt and the announcer is urging everyone to clap and cheer that great attempt.

    If the wee wannabe cowboy/girl does have a good grip on the woolly fur, they make it across the arena, still attached to the sheep – until the sheep stops, and the kid gets pitched off into the middle of the herd. This prompts the herd to scatter briefly.

    All Sheep: AGGGHHH! WTF????

    And the announcer announces (’cause that’s his job, to announce things) something like: “HEY, GIVE THAT LITTLE COWPOKE A REALLY BIG ROUND OF APPLAUSE FOLKS! THAT WAS A 10-SECOND RIDE, AND THE NEW RECORD FOR THE NIGHT!”

    Regardless of how successful their ride was, regardless of whether the ride was successful, every kid has a fleeting look of “Why the #$%#@ did I ask my parents to let me do this???”

    The kids with the longest rides get a cash prize and tons of applause, hoots, howls, whistles and cheers. The sheep get the same applause, hoots, howls, whistles and cheers as the door to their trailer is opened and they all dive inside.

    I gotta say, having ridden broncs and one bull (just the one – and man, did I sober up FAST) as a stupid, stupid teenager, I would much rather land on a herd of fluffy, woolly sheep than the ground in the arena. Riding’s a whole lot easier than landing!

  • Christine

    Mutton Bustin’! I looked it up on you tube. Its hilarious!!

  • Chris N

    They have big tomato fight in Spain. It sounds like fun.

  • wordwych

    Christine, Mutton Bustin’ is total hilarity. And then there’s Chicken Bingo, aka The Power Poo.

  • Spikey

    To mix things up a bit this year all the guys who go out there to run with bulls should have to wear a cow costume like the woman in the post below. Then you would really see some guys running for their lives!!

  • Punky

    I LOVE this picture of the bull! I laughed hysterically, because it caught me so off guard!

  • mlm

    Punky, I agree! It looks like he stuck his head in at the last minute, like in a photo booth, to ruin the picture! Hee!

  • Jordon

    Hemingway’s the ‘Sun Also Rises” discription of it makes you want to check it out.

  • Mona

    So, I saw this picture and INSTANTLY fell on the floor laughing! It looks like the bull was running by the camera, but decided to stop to get his face in the shot.