Sunday, February 15, 2009

or is that a buss in your plaza?

What do you do after pretending to clear the streets of illegal vendors, setting up the largest skating rink in the world, turning your tropical city into a Santa-infused Christmas wonderland, and handing out Viagra to aging, but indigent, Lotharios?

If you are Marcelo Luis Ebrard Casaubón, the mayor of Mexico City, North America's largest city, you try to break the world's record for the most people kissing at one time -- in one place.

The city's goal was to attract 35,000 people to the late site of the skating rink, Mexico City's Zócalo, on Valentine's Day to show Mexico City's "warmth and love." Plus attendees were to get a free concert to boot. What better way to celebrate Valentine's Day.

[Update: According to the official monitors, a world record was established. 39,897 people showed up to show their mutual affection. The fact that the number is odd -- and not even -- indicates that at least one lonely soul was willing to kiss solo. There are alternative readings, but this is a family blog.]

Of course, politicians do not simply put on these extravaganzas for no reason other than the very goodness of their souls. Bread and circuses (or busses and erections, in this case) come with a cost.

Mayor Ebrard knows exactly what he is doing. Regional elections are due in July. And the mayor needs to position himself as a more rational alternative to his PRD rival for the presidency, Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

But, whatever the politicians do, we can still wish one another a belated el Día del Amor y la Amistad -- even if I kissed none of you in Mexico City yesterday.


Michael Dickson said...

Often, when my wife and I are sitting on the Plaza Grande here in Pátzcuaro, a car of honking newlyweds passes, followed by happy relatives and friends in other cars, honking too.

Sometimes they pass in a fancy horse-drawn carriage. That´s fun to see.

We spot the fresh couple decked out in formal duds sitting in the back seat of the car or carriage.

Invariably, I say: "Pobrecita" (poor girl). Invariably also, my wife chimes in with something approximating (in Spanish): "Ain´t that right!" If my sister-in-law is with us, she nods in agreement.

Being married to a Mexican man rarely turns out to be a happy experience.

I thought of that as I looked a few moments ago at a photo of the kissing event in Mexico City.

Islagringo said...

I noticed Jonna used the same greeting yesterday. Here on the island everybody says "feliz dia de san valentin". Funny how it changes from region to region.

CancunCanuck said...

Regardless of political agendas, I am happy to see some happy news out of Mexico!

Here's some raw video of the event....

Sending you a virtual beso and a belated Feliz Dia de Amistad!

Babs said...

Where they had the "kiss in" is where about a year and a half ago, the most nude people ever laid down to be photographed. Can't remember the name of the artist! Surprising in a Catholic country, huh......The zocalos of Mexico contain life, in all dimensions.

Steve Cotton said...

Michael -- I talked with a woman at church today. She is dating an illegal immigrant, who is in the process of being deported. She is in love -- and is devastated. Her recitation of his best quality: He is such a good kisser! Maybe Mayor Ebrard is on to something.

Islagringo -- I suspect there is not really that much difference regionally. My cynical side says "el Día del Amor y la Amistad" is merely another way for merchants to separate money in the guise of obligatory gift-giving by adding friends to the list of grasping lovers seeking some proof of affection by making the gift-giver go deeper in debt. As Mercutio would (and did) say: "A plague on both your horses." Or was that "houses"?

CancunCanuck -- Happy news from Mexico is also welcome. And it makes much better blog material than the drug tale I am about to tell later this week. I am still worried about that odd number, though.

Steve Cotton said...

Babs -- The name of the "artist" was Spencer Tunick. No nude beaches. Just a massive nudist colony in the middle of North America's biggest city.

Calypso said...

Steve there is lots of good news down here - it just seldom makes it across the border.

All nude and then kissing for the record book - good vibes in that stadium I think.