Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Happy Birthday Sniff! A Piñata Story

It wouldn’t be a party without a piñata! At least in Mexico. And since you are an ocean away in Germany, most likely this post is as close as you are going to get to your very own piñata– so let’s celebrate (by whacking your favorite superhero or TV star to a violent shredded death and spewing his or her cavity-inducing innards of various treats all over the floor for your closest friends to fight over)!

I was invited to a Spider-Man-themed surprise birthday party a few months ago, where among the Spider-Man plates, napkins, cake, blue and red spandex-clad father (weird) was, of course, a Spider-Man piñata. Upon not-too-close inspection, it was evident that this was not a Marvel Corporation sponsored event, but supported by one of the many back-alley pirates rolling in mountains of dough made via intellectual property rights violations. Judging by the blocks and blocks of market space taken up by vendors selling knockoff CDs, software, name-brand clothing and DVDs that haven’t even debuted in cinemas, Mexico is a world leader in ripping off el hombre. As it turns out, Spider-Man, SpongeBob SquarePants, Santa Claus and all their homies are being denied their rightful profits in the mass exploitation of their image. Well, news flash: Spider-Man Is Fighting Back!

My friend who put on the Spider-Man fiesta will remain anonymous, let’s call her…. Isa. Isa innocently went to Santa Tere, the obvious neighborhood in Guadalajara to purchase a piñata; walked into the first shop in a row of open-front stores that were bursting with colored crepe paper, and asked if they had an Hombre Araña piñata (Spidey’s Spanish alias) somewhere among the princesses, Batmans, and Dora the Explorers. A glare, mixed with suspicion and contempt, backed-up with pursed lips and a screeching shout, shot Isa back onto the pavement; the second shop owner waved a stick one might use to bust open one of his life-size paper maché creations. Por que?! Was Spidey the latest youth idol to stun the world and show his bare back on the cover of Vanity Fair? Couldn’t be, he wasn’t raised by Disney, he is a Marvel Man. So what gives?

After nearly inciting a mob of party supply store owners, Isa found what she was looking for – someone who was willing to talk. As it turns out, there was a recent crackdown on Spider-Man paraphernalia by the higher-ups at Marvel, and Sante Tere had been raided by the federales. Many piñata dealers selling Spider-Man look-alikes had been arrested and fined. After much pleading and begging and promises that she will boycott all Marvel products, Isa was led to the back of the store, up a set of stairs, and into a room that was packed with five-foot Spider-Man zombies, Spider-Man plates, napkins, party hats, etc. She chose the one that looked the most like Spider-Man. I mean, seriously, Marvel, you are going after these bandidos? A very confused, grateful and relieved Isa paid the man and promised she wouldn’t tell anyone where she bought it (unless, of course, they wanted to buy one too). Isa was given a large garbage bag to hide the contraband. She proceeded to put Spidey, prematurely, in his body bag; she backed out of the store, and ran down the street away from the web of deception she had just become a part of.

This is too much! So many questions: what about a crackdown on the Hulk? Iron Man? How much would I LOVE to see a windowless van smuggling a full load of illegal Spider-Man piñatas over the border? Perhaps immigration should get involved?

But I digress, really Sniff, I was just wanting to give you the gift of a piñata from Mexico. A fabulously fun tradition enjoyed by all ages, adaptable for all occasions. I have noticed that once you graduate from candy and fruit, your adult piñata will rain airplane size liqueur bottles and condoms. Here is an idea for your next bachelorette party: Why not have a five-foot cock and balls piñata made and have it spew sex toys and penis straws! No, really Sniff, Happy Birthday!!! Aiiiiieeeee-yiiii-yiiii!

End Note: I checked up on the Marvel Mexican Piñata Bust story, because, I must admit I found it slightly unbelievable, and did find proof that the absurdity is actually true: Check it out.

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