Post #407

Mission Delores Park

18th June 2004, mid-afternoon | Comments (18)

Sitting in Delores Park reading my book, I look up to see a middle-aged woman standing a few metres away from me. She has her hands held out in front of her, is shaking slightly, and spasmodically thrusts her hips from side to side. Every now and then she collapses at the waist, flopping forward so her head and ankles meet, before jerking back upright again. I wonder if she’s mental, and decide to keep an eye on her lest she get some momentum up and come jerking and thrusting my way to attack me.

After a few minutes of watching, something about her behaviour strikes a chord with me, and I realise that she’s not a mental, but is in fact practising a form of modern dance (an easy mistake for me to make, believe me). Endowed with this new knowledge I watch in fascinated horror as she removes most of her clothing, until she’s wearing only a yellow Nike sports bra, a pair of black lycra shorts, and about fifty pounds of excess flab. Her hip thrusts and torso flops continue with gusto, becoming thrustier and floppier with every passing moment. I change my mind again, decide that she is indeed a mental, and move further away from her…

As I move I become aware that the park, previously occupied only by myself, the mental lady, and a bum, is now overrun with Mexicans. Closer inspection reveals three distinct groups:

  1. fat men with whistles and baseball caps;
  2. small children dressed in ludicrously baggy soccer outfits;
  3. the parents of the small children.

The fat men are yelling and blowing their whistles, the small children are yelling and running, and the parents are sitting in blissful calm, happy in the knowledge that for the next hour the small children are the responsibility of the fat men with whistles. It seems a Mexican soccer school is in progress…

The fattest of the men with whistles heads off to mark out the playing area, walking slowly down a white line, laying out little yellow cones after every set of four exaggerated strides. Behind him a tiny child scurries along carefully picking up the cones one at a time, and cradling them in his too-small arms. I can see this, the yelling children can see this, the parents can see this, and the other fat men with whistles can see this. The chaos subsides as seventy people stand and wait for the scene to unfold.

Eventually the fat man reaches the end of the line, dusts his hands off and turns around to survey his handy-work, only to perform a comedy ‘start’ (think Laurel and Hardy) at the sight of a three-year old kid smiling up at him through a heap of yellow plastic. I laugh, the children laugh, the parents laugh, and the other fat men shout things in Mexican before laughing a lot too. One of them blows his whistle in appreciation. The child is relieved of the cones and runs happily back to his mum and dad, windmilling his arms in joy at being the center of attention.

I check on the mental woman, and then go back to my book.

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Comments (18)

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  1. Daniel:

    I really liked this part:
    "she’s wearing only a yellow Nike sports bra, a pair of black lycra shorts, and about fifty pounds of excess flab. " more specifically the "fifty pounds of excess flab" really caught me off guard. Hilarious stuff.

    Posted 2 hours, 36 minutes after the fact
  2. Sage:

    "...shout things in Mexican..." – I believe that's what most people call "Spanish. ;-)

    Posted 3 hours, 22 minutes after the fact
    Inspired: ↓ Scott Johnson, ↓ Dunstan
  3. Scott Johnson:

    But it's not *real* Spanish. It's definitely a Mexican dialect. So calling it "Mexican" isn't completely inaccurate.

    Posted 5 hours after the fact
    Inspired by: ↑ Sage
  4. Sage:

    Oh, I know, I'm just giving him a hard time about it. ;-) Mexicans do indeed tend to speak a much looser form of Spanish than the Spanish spoken in Spain, but it's just kinda funny when people refer to it as "speaking Mexican" (as someone who lives in America, do I "speak American"?). Just friendly nit-picking.

    Posted 5 hours, 35 minutes after the fact
    Inspired: ↓ Richard Rutter, ↓ Phil Baines, ↓ Dunstan
  5. Greg Williams:

    This bit:
    "The fat men are yelling and blowing their whistles, the small children and yelling and running, ..."
    It's crass of me, but you should probably change the second "and" to the word "are". I, too, started in traditional Laurel and Hardy fashion after misinterpreting that line. ;)

    Though on the other hand, maybe he was a creepy L-Train driver?

    Posted 11 hours, 53 minutes after the fact
    Inspired: ↓ Jemaleddin
  6. Sweet N Sassy:

    Hmmm my head is being thrust slightly side to side and I am shaking it as I wonder where did the mental woman go?

    On a side note here I love this and use humour often and this was one of those time but I have to say...Damn you must watch me walk on my bad I have Multiple Sclerosis and I think no one could have or has ever better described my take this story and go with it but damn change the color of the

    I also love kids but never had any because of the disease but yesterday celebrated 27 years of marriage with the most wonderful married and Life is Simply Good

    Posted 20 hours, 1 minute after the fact
  7. Sweet N Sassy:

    the word marriage was really man.....

    Posted 20 hours, 4 minutes after the fact
  8. Flump:

    sounds like you were a little too close for comfort if you could tell it was a nike sports bra.

    damn you for not having your digital camera, *sigh*

    Posted 22 hours, 11 minutes after the fact
  9. Richard Rutter:

    > as someone who lives in America, do I "speak American"?

    Definitely. All Americans speak American. As far as us Brits are concerned it's a whole different language :-)

    Posted 2 days, 9 hours after the fact
    Inspired by: ↑ Sage
    Inspired: ↓ Jemaleddin
  10. Mary:

    Uhm, Dunstan ... there's really no such language as "Mexican". It's Spanish. Sorry to be so anal, but this happens to be one of my pet peeves.

    BTW, thanks for bringing the calendar back!


    Posted 2 days, 21 hours after the fact
    Inspired: ↓ Dunstan
  11. Phil Baines:

    All I know is that sometimes, the Americans are NOT speaking English! ;)

    Posted 3 days, 16 hours after the fact
    Inspired by: ↑ Sage
  12. Dunstan:

    I'm well aware that Mexican people speak Spanish, but I'm writing a silly story here, not an encyclopedia entry. On my web site, Mexicans speak Mexican :o)

    Posted 4 days after the fact
    Inspired by: ↑ Sage, ↑ Sage, ↑ Mary
  13. Sergio:

    Yo hablo mexicano. La tuna es buena. Los muchos tamales me como en casa de Juanita. Pedro es los novio de las muchacha del pueblos.

    Like... Totally.

    Posted 4 days, 18 hours after the fact
    Inspired: ↓ Dunstan
  14. Dunstan:

    Ai ai ai ai!!

    Posted 4 days, 19 hours after the fact
    Inspired by: ↑ Sergio
  15. Jemaleddin:

    Evidently Dunstan speaks American now:

    "small children dressed in ludicrously baggy soccer outfits"

    What happened to football?

    Posted 5 days, 12 hours after the fact
    Inspired by: ↑ Greg Williams, ↑ Richard Rutter
    Inspired: ↓ Richard Rutter
  16. Hopkin:

    In a slightly intoxicated state whilst at university, Dunstan posed the question "do the Welsh yawn in Welsh?"

    Need I say more!!

    Come to think of it, he convinced most of the first year students he was in fact Irish, by affecting an Irish accent for most of his final year!!

    There probably is more and I am happy to divulge his various linguistic escapades on request!!

    DO, hope everything is going well in SF. Dont let them drag you out of the closet.. lol!!

    Posted 5 days, 12 hours after the fact
  17. Richard Rutter:

    > What happened to football?

    See Jason Kottke's recent post:

    Posted 5 days, 13 hours after the fact
    Inspired by: ↑ Jemaleddin
  18. Yumanti:

    maybe she was listening to Wu Tang Clan

    Posted 3 weeks, 1 day after the fact

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