Number of People with Nothing Better to Do

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Saturday Night Cockfights

So what’s a boy to do in the big city of Rio Grande on a Saturday night. Hmm. I’ll head down to the local “sports bar” and have a few beers and shoot the shit with Don Julio and watch a little futbol. What’s that Don Julio? You don’t have beer right now? You haven’t had beer in two weeks. What gives? I could go to the other bar in town but that’s where all the gays and other so-called degenerates hang out. That’s out. Love the gays but don’t need the chisme (gossip) at this particular juncture. I could hang out in the Plaza but they’re redoing it and there are no benches yet. So it’s off to the cockfights in Palpa.

A few Saturdays ago was the grand opening of the new cock fighting coliseum. I went with my site mate and another volunteer who was down visiting. It was 15 Soles ($5) to get in but included a sweet lunch of chancho and pallares (pork and these white lima bean kind of things). After the inauguration ceremonies, complete with skimpily dressed girls, a padre in his brown robe sprinkling holy water throughout the coliseum and the breaking of the champagne bottle we entered the coliseum. Not exactly the coliseum in Rome but still pretty sweet. To the right, the cages where the cocks are kept. In the center, the cock fighting arena, beyond that a stage for a band, and to the left the bar. After a delicious lunch we found our seats in the back of the arena, listened to a band playing popular Peruvian cumbia cover tunes and waited for the fights.

This was the beginning of the season where sure handed cock handlers pit their largest, strongest cocks pecker to pecker. There were 16 matches that evening. Each handler brings about 5 birds with him and uses a different bird each match. It's single elimination (so to speak) and the owner that wins all of his matches wins a bottle of pisco and advances to the final event at the end of the season in August. The winner at the end of this Palpa Super Bowl of Cockfighting wins 50,000 Soles (about $16,666).

I made some side bets with Jess. The bets started out at 20 centimos (about 6 cents) for the first eight fights and bumped it up to a whopping 1 sol (33 cents) the next seven. We bet about 3 soles (1 American Dollar) on the championship fight of the night. I got my ass handed to me.

After a few beers the conversation devolved between the Volunteers because word cock just kept getting funnier. Look at the size of that cock! What a beautiful cock! He’s quite the handsome cocksman. Look at the way he’s handling that cock. He needs to blow on that cock before putting dropping it in the dirt. I hate betting with you –your eye for the cock is just too good. Stroke that cock, I’ve got money riding on it!
And please save your cruelty to animals comments. It's the culture here and otherwise I'd be bored out of my skull on the weekends. Also, I really don't give a sh*t.

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