Temas Especiales

27 de Jan de 2021


Getting a hat to get ahead

Have you noticed mayoral candidate Bosco Vallarino’s new headgear? While planting himself outside the electoral offices to try to persua...

Have you noticed mayoral candidate Bosco Vallarino’s new headgear? While planting himself outside the electoral offices to try to persuade the magistrates to rush to judgment, he sported a sombrero monturo , a straw hat much loved by the male denizens of the interior, and an enduring symbol of a true Panamanian patriot.

He was wearing it at a jaunty angle with the brim turned up, mimicking the swagger of a London Cockney in his Saturday-night-out “titfer” (in Rhyming slang, tit-for-tat? hat).

Cynics have pointed out that having held up his hand and sworn allegiance to the United States a baseball cap would be more appropriate. It could be emblazoned with the flags of both nations.

He could even add the flag of the European Union where, according to one publication, he has appealed his dual nationality case.

That must have caused a stir in Brussels: “Panama, Panama? Wasn’t that the pesky place that forgot to file papers to get a tax exemption on their fruit exports, and then wanted us to bend the rules. Tut, tut. Next subject.”

On the question of allegiance says one reader, in the event of war between the two nations, on which side would he throw his weight? Or was that made clear during the 1989 invasion? Better leave just one flag on that baseball cap.

BOTTOM’S UP. Just when the police are beginning to clamp down on drunk driving, a local travel publication has given prominence to an ill conceived promotion taking place this weekend in Chorrera. It is called Party Olympics (Olimpiada de la Parranda).

The story reads: “ Jeff Lane and Jerrin Tate of Joint 507 Productions are fiesta pioneers bringing American-style drinking games to the country. There will be prizes of up to $500 for the winners of different events carried out on stage, like chugging a beer and then spinning around in a circle with one’s head on the end of a baseball bat successively until the last man is standing (sic).”

Forget the syntax but I’m sure you get the message. Immature college freshman games, elevated to a public spectacle. The event is sponsored by a local beer company, a maker of tequila and a German liquor producer.

“Believe it or not, this is really about education” said Jeff. Tell that to MADD (Mother’s Against Drunk Driving), or to police officers across the US and Canada who have scraped bodies off cars after riotous chugalug parties.

Jeff, who gave no details of the “education” program before launching into a spiel about the German liquor, went on to say: ”It’s a tradition at parties in the States. You just say Jager and people get excited? most Panamanians don’t know what it is, so we are going to have lots on hand.” A teaching tool no doubt.

TODAY’S THORN goes to the color blind local cop who parked his shiny new in the parking lot of a fast food restaurant. He chose the blue area reserved for drivers or passengers with disabilities.

Will he get fined and disciplined following the publication of a photo by a local daily newspaper? Highly unlikely. If he was picking up munchies for the boys back at the station he may get a commendation.

SMOKE TOWN. While Bella Vista residents are looking forward to the completion of the Cinta Costera, and the ending of the continuous clouds of cement dust mixed with the exhausts of trucks and diablo rojos, they now have to share with the rest of the city the annual rain of of ash from the illegal burning of vegetation in the surrounding hills.

But this week they got an additional dusting when an enterprising worker at a restaurant under construction, decided to use the cover of the smoke from the hills to light his own garbage fire on the roadside, producing a fine toxic mix of cement, eau de diablos and ash.

It didn’t make me feel better watching a CNN program showing the use of an instrument to measure air quality next to truck routes, and hearing about diesel dust, which once in our lungs, never leaves. Someone should send one to the next president to speed up the exit of the diablo negros.

During the election debate Ricardo Martinelli was quoting another three years of environmental pollution.