July 25, 2016 A night with the wrestlers

OH! NO!!!
OH! NO!!!
IS HE OUT?
IS HE OUT?

Cholula, Puebla.

I never expected to be reporting on fake wrestling (called luche libre). This is not my favorite sport. But it was on the program for the Globalscope conference, so we signed up for the event as a token of our solidarity.

It was a delightful evening, even though we have never seen anything quite so phony. This isn’t wrestling. It’s acting and choreography and fantasy. The repertoire is limited: hits and kicks and holds and body slams and playing to the jammed galleries. It’s repetition and feigned hurts and pains. It’s fancy costumes and frightening gestures and grunts and making like male gorillas or tribal warriors huffing and puffing to scare away the bad guys. It’s exhausting for anyone who desires the real thing. BUT—it is hugely popular in this town. (For more information and to get a sense of what we experienced, Google or Wikipedia “luche libre.”) The large arena is packed to standing room only and the din is deafening. When Nathan McDade invited some of us older gringos to leave with him and his little daughters and father-in-law, we jumped at the chance to escape.

We’ll remember the pageantry and the crowd’s involvement, we’ll brag that we attended once, but we won’t look for a second opportunity. Funny, though—we’re still talking about it.

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