and stranger still
The scatological Catalan Christmas report continues and if you thought El Caganer was weird, wait until you hear this…
So while you guys were attending midnight mass or singing "Frosty the Snowman" or frantically assembling a Playmobil space navigation station, guess what the Catalans were doing on Christmas Eve?
Now imagine if you got David Lynch and John Waters together and ordered them to devise a Christmas scenario which involved poop. Just think about the possibilities and then understand that reality would still be stranger than fiction.
Because here is what they were doing. They were standing around logs, beating them with sticks and ordering the logs to poop candies. I'm serious people.
The poor little log is named "Caga Tío" (Pooping Log) and he usually has a face painted on him and is dressed in a jaunty cap and Christmas blanket.
As I understand it, in the days leading up to Christmas, he is fed copious amounts of orange peels (or whatever) which he will then poop out in the form of sweets on the big day. To get him to poop, you must stand around beating him with a stick while singing the following song:
avellanes i mató,
si no cagues bé
et daré un cop de bastó.
"Poop log, poop sweets
if you don't poop well,
I'll hit you with a stick,
You don't believe me? Look at this video.
Or this one which is even better because Caga Tío has antlers.
Poor Nico. A multi-cultural background is a blessing but it can be quite confusing around this time of year. First we went to a Hanukkah party and ate pumpernickel bagels. Next we started talking about Santa Claus (called "Papa Noel" in these parts) while in his class they constructed Los Reyes Magos (the three "magic kings" who leave presents for Spanish children on January 6th*) out of play-doh. In the meantime, his Colombian grandmother was asking him what he hoped "El Niño Jesus" would be bringing him, and at school all the kids couldn't stop talking about a log that poops presents.
To top things off, he lost his first two teeth within the past few weeks. The first time he was here and the Tooth Fairy paid him a visit. The second time was in New York City with his Colombian relatives and it was El Ratoncito Perez (a small mouse named Perez who deals with the teeth of the Spanish speaking world) who showed up.
The future therapy bills are mounting…
*instead of leaving a carrot out for the reindeer, water must be left for the camels