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Urban Legends

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Urban Legends

[Translation of Leyendas urbanísimas published in Los 4 on 14-Mar-2006. These give an interesting insight into contemporary Spanish society... of a certain class.]

A little while ago, while we were having a coffee in the Polimenú (bar frequented by telco workers), someone brought up the subject of a recent urban legend: if you find a mobile phone without an obvious owner in the street or in a bar, don't even think of picking it up because it probably contains an explosive charge made in ETA (the Basque terrorist organization). I love urban legendss. In the case of the ETA mobiles there are two distinct concepts joined together: the classic fear of terrorism and the Spanish custom of nicking mobiles. After discussing this legend and while drinking our coffee, we began to think of other legends that could be circulated and might sound plausible. Here I am going to list a few; it would be great if the readers of this blog could circulate them throughout the world (say that your cousin told it to you to endow the story with greater credibility).

1. In Spain there is a radical group whose members at first sight appear to be Filipinos, but in reality they are Eskimos. They distribute ice to various discotheques, some of them very well known. The water they use to make the ice cubes contains a microscopic parasite that takes up residence in the vital organs. The parasite turns anyone who catches it gay, be it a man or a woman.

2. If you have any money issued by Franco, take it to the Francisco Franco foundation where they will change it for a 50€ note as a reward for serving the cause.

3. The big chief of the Illuminati in Spain is disguised as a beggar and is walking the streets of Barcelona. He will never reveal his true identity, but to any passer by who embraces him and kisses him on the mouth he gives an old pergamine from the XVI century on which is written, “Exchangeable for a Ferrari Testarossa.” If you take this to the President's Palace they will give you a Ferrari from those that they keep in a secret underground car park.

4. The human body is full of nervous reactions that are scarcely known and even less investigated. The nerve cells located on the outside of the ears are directly connected to the area of the brain that controls muscle spasms. If you are fucking and are about to come, bend your ears forward, holding them with your index finger of each hand and this will immediately delay your orgasm.

5. The Masons control the phone number 11888 (service that provides information via the telephone in Spain). If you call, and the first thing you say is, “I speak in the name of the Grand Master Architect of the Temple of Selene” (but in Spanish of course), they will not charge you for the call.

6. Some people have rare and special intestinal flora. Their feces have unusual energetic properties that are of interest to the hydrocarbon energy companies. An unknown number of Spaniards live by selling their feces to Gas Natural. To see if your own excrement has these special energetic properties, and therfore to see if you can profit by selling your crap, you only have to shit in a plate, let it dry in a well ventilated place for seven days and seven nights and soak it in ethyl alcohol. When you light the alcohol, if the flame burns with a green colour then your crap is worth its weight in gold. Send a card to the director of Gas Natural informing him of your situation and he will contact you very quickly offering you a contract worth millions.

7. Hindu Sikhs who wear turbans and who can be seen frequenting the area of Raval and other parts of the city always carry a gun under their turbans. If one of them asks you the time, make sure you respond. If you don't reply, he will drag you into the nearest alley, take off his turban and shoot you.

8. On a visit to the factory that makes Phosquitos (a popular chocolate cake snack), a little girl died. Her spirit separated into a million fragments. Each one of these now resides in the picture card that is packaged with each Phosquito. If you open one of these packets with the picture card inside, the spirit of the girl will come out and one of three things could happen:

- It might ask the question, “What animal walks on four legs when it is small, on two when it is older and on three when it is old?” The person who answers, “a man” is killed for being too clever by half.

- If you are a habitual consumer of little cakes, it will jump out in front of you and call you, “fatty!” and you will be plagued every day of your life by being called a glutton and a pig.

- You will turn gay, become a follower of Franco, the head of the Illuminati, the Burgomaestre of the Altar of the Celestial Carpenters and a Hindu will come and shoot you.


Update: Author's reaction

Richard Blazek, inglés afincado en Valencia y toda una eminencia en cuanto a tecnología y ciencia, dedica parte de su tiempo libre a traducir al inglés artículos en castellano que él considera interesantes. Además de algunos textos de plumillas como Javier Marías, Salvador Pániker y Javier Cercas, entre otros, Mr. Blazek tradujo al inglés -agárrense a la silla- ¡el post de las leyendas urbanísimas recientemente publicado en Los4! La traducción de Richard Blazek es acertadísima e incluso se curra acotaciones explicativas de marcas como "Phosquitos" o "11888" para el lector anglosajón. Encontré su traducción por pura casualidad y me hizo una ilusión enorme. Thank you, Richard!


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