Wednesday, September 7, 2011


We wanted to see a bullfight in Seville, but as luck would have it, the bull's schedule didn't match ours. Instead, we found cheap tickets to Portugal. Actually when you buy cheap tickets times 6, they ain't so freakin' cheap anymore. Lisbon was on our list of places we wanted to go and now, we are. We borrowed guide books from friends and then a funny thing happened. I actually started reading them. You see, I rarely read about our destinations before we go on the trip. I like to build the anticipation a bit longer either that or I'm just extremely lazy. Ok, both. But you know what? When you investigate pre-trip you find out paramount information. Such as, Portugal has bullfights too and they're on Thursday nights!

And then you can do things like get to the venue two hours early to make sure that they actually ARE having a bullfight because the information on-line is all in Portuguese and we don't read Portuguese. No one does, except maybe in Brazil. And no, I didn't mistype braille. The ticket lady asks which seats we want. Duh, there are 6 of us. We want the cheap seats of course. And by cheap I mean up next to the young drunk group of guys who also can't afford the ring side seats either.

With tickets in hand at 8pm and the fights starting at 10pm, we had time to drink in the sights and excitement. Speaking of which, one would think that there would be drinks served up outside the venue like a tailgating party. Wouldn't you? I mean this is Europe. What says bull fight quite like a nice big glass of sangria? Bullfighting is called a blood sport after all.

With nothing much to do, we skulk around and take pictures of the bull trucks. And ponder who gets the bull into the trucks and how? All I gotta say is stay in school kids or you could find out one day.

Finally we can go in and claim our seats in the nosebleed section. And my nose didn't bleed so much as drip. Then I start sneezing and coughing. I'm allergic to something in the air.

The medical team is on high alert. Or they are playing fantasy bullfighting, you know like fantasy football.

It's almost ready to begin.

All the players file out simultaneously defile the perfectly coiffed dirt. Wait, horses? What the crap are the horses for?

So back in 1799, after the particularly gory death of a Toreador (bullfighter dude), Portugal changed it's bullfighting rules. Since then. the bulls horns are capped in leather (ironic, no?). And they do not kill the bull by slaying it with a sword, well not in public anyway. This of course makes bullfighting much more humane and family friendly.

The air is filled with testosterone and the matador who's about to fight pick a woman out of the crowd to dedicate his talents too. I know, how romantic right? So the bullfight begins with the guy on horseback with his lance-y thing-a-ma-bob (bandarilha) which he uses to stab the bull 4 times in his back.

This is his first attempt.

Between lancings, horseback-dude gets rearmed from one of his team mates while the bull gets recharged with cape guy. And cape guy has a hot pink cape. Interesting. Especially since bulls are colorblind. Hmmmm.

So after horseback dude gets all four spears in the bull, it's time for the ground crew to take over. The leader of team wears a green hat, so let's just call him papa elf. Papa elf slowly approaches the bull and does the gayest little taunting dance that causes the bull to charge him and papa elf and his 7 elf friends jump on the bulls head. Check out tail puller guy.

Watch for yourself.

Now that meant that the toreadors won. Then they escort the bull out of the ring and get a fresh one (I'm pretty sure this is where the term "fresh meat" comes from) and a new team and the next fight begins.

But what if the team doesn't all pile on the bull? Then what? Ok, this was the last fight of the night and my personal favorite.

Check it out.

Yes, bull get 'em! Are we the only ones rooting for the bull? It took four attempts for them to take this bull down. And by take down I mean, eight guys dressed like elves jumped on the bull who had capped horns and was stabbed four times by a guy on a horse.

When it's all over, the toreadors walk around the edges of the ring and fans throw flowers. They throw other stuff too. I'm surprised there were no panties, as I would think that would be real appropriate here. I wish I had some big white granny panties to throw.

I just figured out what I'm allergic to here. It's bullshit!

Think about it. There's a medical team for the matadors, but there's no vet for the bull? Come on. He's already at a disadvantage with his horns being covered by a relative's hyde for god's sake. Now he's being chased by a guy on horseback who's stabbing him. Does that sound like a fair fight to you? And testosterone? The guy's got a hot pink cape and the other elf looking guys are dancing taunting the bull and then they end up on top of each other in a homoerotic pile. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.) And not killing the bull in the ring does not mean they don't kill the bull. They just do it privately with a butcher and conveniently close to a meat locker. The animal rights groups are right. This is so inhumane. That's it. I'm never going to a bullfight again. Unless it's in Spain, where the bull actually has a fighting chance. Hey, I bet they serve sangria there.


Roy A. said...

It's not what I expected, Marie. (And, I'm trying to discern what I would expect.) Having been to Spain, and visited the arena (sans the fight), I was never intrigued to return during the event. After seeing your clips (the first of which seemed to indicate the bull was more interested in the periphery than the meretricious garb in the center), I don't feel that I cheated myself.
BTW, your kid's peanut gallery comments added to the flavor.

A Brilliant Life said...

What did the kids take away from it? I can't imagine that I would be really into it either.

The Loerzels said...

First I must say, THANK GOD we didn't go to one in Spain where they do slay the bull right then and there. We all would have been more horrified than we already were. Especially the kids. I didn't know a thing about bullfighting prior to going (or I might not have gone). This was a one time experience for us, even though I jest at going to Spain to see more a bull advantaged fight. We're done with that bullshit.

TexaGermaNadian said...

This is amazing. Ok, I agree with the other commenter that it could be a blood sport, but what an experience. Seriously, how many people do you know that can say they have been to a bull fight. Just awesome. Thanks for sharing....and making me jealous :)

hocam said...

I have to agree with you. I think this is so inhumane. Don't think I could even go once. Like you. I'd be on the side of the bull.

momstheword said...

I laughed at your comment because that was exactly my problem, same jeans and same tee or sweatshirt! I was tired of saving all my "nice" clothes and hardly ever wearing them, lol!

I have to admit that I didn't look at the clips. I am a chicken and my stomach just can't handle it. I always turn away when it's on t.v.

You are sooooo much braver than I am to even attempt to go. And how fun to cross it off your bucket list, lol!

Grace said...

It totally is crappy. That poor bull! What did it do to those guys?

The Loerzels said...

I know, right!


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