A fairytale on Ryanair about Pedro the Spaniard


The amphitheatre for bull fighting in Málaga

It’s absolute carnage here. I’m on board the Ryanair plane to Málaga. It looks like there aren’t enough seats for all the passengers, who cram the (very) tight space and race to get the best seats. Relatively speaking, that is. This race is not exactly speedy but there are so many people trying to get a seat with air hostesses barging everyone out of the way, getting in the way, trying to make space for the luggage, so it’s all very competitive. Panicky, even. And as for “best” seats, well they’re all the same, sordid, plasticised minuscule boxes to park one’s derrière into. It’s rather ferociously uncomfortable: there’s barely room for the length of my legs, whilst my arms are far too long and basically I simply don’t fit in.

The two people on my right, I have so far inferred, are Spanish. One (in the middle seat, which is just next to me) is playing a Spanish game on his iPad. This game has brightly coloured characters that resemble the pic-n-mix sweets that children eat at the cinema, or those fruit mix gambling games you play in pubs or at the fair — where you press a number of the buttons trying to reach a certain score so you can win a prize. Decidedly dull. Oh well. The man in question has now given his iPad to his friend, who has changed the game to Solitaire. I’m not sure how entertaining it is, but both these copains seem enthralled.

One is lanky, with long greasy hair and stubble. He has very hairy arms, peeping out of his black airtex top (which has a sprinkling of dandruff on the shoulders). Oh dear — the air hostess has just told them to turn off their iPad whilst the plane takes off. They look bored. Still, at least the plane is taking off. We’re on the way! How very exciting. Anyway, as I was saying, this man, with the hairy arms. He also has a clumpy watch, which has three faces. I imagine he must travel lots and so needs to see different time zones at the same time. I imagine he’s a professional bull fighter from Madrid, who travels the world to different Spanish colonies like Argentina, Africa (I’m sure one of the countries in Africa is Spanish) or Peru, or the moon, or Saturn, where Richard Branson’s company Virgin imported bulls, who are crazed at the heat. Pedro (this Spaniard with hairy arms) is on his way to Saturn, via Málaga. He’s stopping off in Málaga to celebrate Palm Sunday with his mother, and be principle maestro at the grand procession. Easter is big in Spain (it’s a Catholic country). The new pope, Francis, is going to be there and he and Pedro are giving Mass together. The Pope wants a layman to help him give mass, particularly a Spaniard, because of the new democratic, down to earth and accessible ethos of his papacy. Pedro has been chosen to fulfil this role because he represents both an ancient Spain, as a bull fighter, and also as a modern man, because of the way he has transformed bull fighting into a dance with bovines. Rather than attacking, wounding or slaughtering the bulls, and engaging entirely with The Death Instinct and relishing blood, Pedro has invented bovine dressage, where he teaches the bulls to dance with he and his dramatic, red cape. It’s a bit like that dog Pudsy on Britain’s Got Talent. In this case the Pope is Simon Cowel, and the setting is a relic of an ancient amphitheatre, rather than ITV. Pedro whispers to the bulls — he is a “Bull whisperer” and they perform together like a form of poetry in motion, in time to the jangling percussion of buskers whom Pedro (and Richard Branson) employ to provide the sound for he and his bulls’ performance. It’s like a Big Issue Seller scenario, except with music and bulls, since Pedro uses homeless buskers who live in the street.

Richard Branson comes in because he’s exported bulls to Saturn, and cows as well, a whole herd, with baby calves, who thrive, surprisingly, on the molten landscape, due to some magic ointment that Pedro himself invented, which he puts on their hooves/trotters (whatever they’re feet are called) and because of his mother’s special Spanish tapas, which the cows love to eat, far away on the planet. And Richard is launching “Saturn’s Got Talent”, either on ITV, or BBC3. There’s a massive price war going on at the moment, with these two channels in a bid to win the rights to air this show. My guess is that BBC3 will win it, since Pedro’s bull (pseudo) fight is artistic and balletic. It’s about culture. No more blood and guts. And We Don’t Want Any Adverts to disrupt the flow of artistry as Pedro dances with his bulls. So I’m sure it’s more suited to BBC3 than ITV. Although I expect ITV will pay Richard more money, which he needs, since financing the hole project in Saturn is ridiculously expensive. I mean, how does one (i.e. the cows, or Pedro, or the other contestants (use your imagination) on Saturn’s Got Talent breathe? Well, indeed, quite.

Richard at first tried to import air from earth, in a specially adapted cow-friendly cylinder, whilst Pedro had to do special training at the Astronaut Academy in Hollywood (another expense). But eventually it was my yoga friend, Theo, who has a PhD in something scientific, who came up trumps. He invented a device which uses the pranayama breathing exercise we do at the beginning of Bikram yoga. Theo transported this and transduced its biomechanics in a schizoanalytic fashion, which meant that All Could Breathe On Saturn, suddenly. It involved teaching both the cows and Pedro how to do Bikram yoga, but that wasn’t hard. Obree (Theo and Jennifer’s dog) helped, and so did Alejandrro (the Spanish Bikram teacher at T + J’s studio). All sorted. So Pedro’s off to Saturn, after Easter in Málaga with his mum, and the Pope. But now, by now, still on the plane, he’s fallen asleep. Luckily (for me) he’s not snoring. His friend is continuing to play Solitaire. Engrossed on the iPad…
IMG_1233Me in Málaga



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