The Lung Brothers

Hanging out at the extreme end of the long tail ...

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Disasters Come in Threes......

About a month ago, two not-so-natural disasters occurred almost simultaneously in Spain.

In Barcelona somebody hadn’t read the geologists report well enough and the tunnel that was being dug to extend a metro line caused a huge cave in. Gaping pits suddenly appeared in a working class neighbourhood called Carmel. (Nothing to do with any recent Oscar winners) This caused several apartment blocks to collapse and some serious damage was caused to many others in the vicinity. Miraculously nobody was killed or injured. There is currently the typical game of fingerpointing going on between political parties and municipal authorities while the poor people who lost their homes and belongings are being pushed well out of the spotlight.

A few nights later, one of the most symbolic skyscrapers in Madrid, the Windsor Tower, went up in flames under what now appear to be highly suspicious circumstances. People had been spotted moving around inside just before the alarm was raised. The building could not be salvaged and is currently being dismantled by a forest of giant cranes.

In both cases the press are having a feeding frenzy of speculation about who might be to blame.

Yesterday I was at an internal office meeting between the various departments of our company. Things were winding down and smalltalk turned to current events. It occurred to me to make a light hearted quip that I had the perfect solution for both of the recent national disasters. Easy, I said, cheerfully digging my own grave, we just use the rubble from the Windsor Tower to fill in the holes in Carmel. Well, that went down like a french kiss at a family reunion. The blank expressions on the faces of everyone else in the room made it quite clear that they were taking me totally seriously. You see the word ‘irony’ in Spain is mostly used to describe something that tastes like iron.

The worst was the look on my boss’s face. He was giving me one of those Vito Corleone looks that make his underlings stutter.

Maybe I won’t be getting that raise this year after all.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a new aim in life: to use the word irony in the sense of "tasting of iron" in everyday conversation.

Thank you Lung


1:34 pm  

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