By Andrew Ede
Where the streets have no shame
IF you were to lay 24 penises (flaccid condition) end to end, the chances of their combined length reaching anything approximating 500 centimetres would, except in very rare anatomical circumstances, be highly remote. Which is, for the purposes of this article, a bit of a shame (to coin a word of current popularity). I would dearly love to be able to paraphrase the Balearics’ president and refer to 500 centimetres of shame, but unfortunately I can’t, so you’ll have to settle for slightly less than 300 centimetres at best (average lengths may of course vary). It presumably won’t have escaped your attention that the dear leader informed an expectant media (one that had been expecting and not getting for more than a fortnight) what he thought of shenanigans in Magalluf. By the time he made his statement, he was the only person in Majorca not to have expressed an opinion, so he had to say something pretty spectacular to be heard above the noise. 500 metres, the street of shame, the street in question being the Calle Punta Bellend. Some were shocked by his words, as indeed I was. 500 metres? Is he certain? Far be it for me to question the word of a politician, but is it 500 metres long? Has anyone seen a politician acting suspiciously with a surveyor’s wheel along the strip recently? It’s no use saying that there are 500 metres of shame, if in reality there are only, for sake of argument, 472 and a half. We need to know, beyond any doubt, exactly how long the shame is.
One observer who was clearly unimpressed by the measurement was Manu the Not-Magi. At a rough estimate, if one can interpret what the Not-Magi had to say, the shame is only about 50 metres long. In responding to the Bauzá calculation, he let it be known that the great majority of businesses along the Punta Bellend eschew shameful practices. They are in fact all upstanding members (sic) of the community who make regular donations for church maintenance.
But then, we were suddenly confronted by the knowledge that not only was the length of the shame questionable, the street itself wasn’t even the street of shame. It was a different one entirely. No measurement as to the shameful length of Martin Ros García was offered, but we learned that a bar along it called Playhouse had been the venue for the score and four who had scored and that it was going to get it in the neck because of the presence of minors. Or so various laws that a press release reeled off suggested. Quite clearly what had happened was that these minors had mistaken the bar for a playhouse, as in, for example, a Little Tikes Princess Garden Playhouse, a Royal Lollipop Playhouse or a Mad Dash Bunny Wooden Playhouse. There can be no other explanation. President Bauzá was clearly going to be hopping as madly as a bunny hopping in a bunny playhouse at the revelation. The Not-Magi of Magalluf hadn’t given him the heads-up, so to speak, as to the location of the Shameful 24. Blissfully unaware, therefore, he made his street of shame announcement, not knowing that he had got the wrong street. And thus, the wrong length.
Whats App?: Ibiza in chaos
THE president really has not been a happy bunny at all these past few days. Normally his unhappiness is the result of some uppity mayor or other in Majorca giving him a hard time, like Mateo Isern (or even the Not-Magi). Generally speaking, he doesn’t get too much of a hard time from Ibiza, which, in a similar way to Minorca and most definitely Formentera, he can ignore along with everyone else in Majorca. But he has been unable to ignore it, thanks to the now ex-lady mayor of Ibiza Town having been found out putting critical comments about him and the president of the Ibiza council on Whats App. It was all a bit like Kevin Pietersen texting that Andrew Strauss was a “doos”, except that, unlike KP, Pilar Marí felt obliged to fall on her sword. Or fall on her mayoral wand, to be more accurate. Having resigned, total chaos has reigned in Ibiza PP land. So reluctantly Bauzá had to head off to try and sort things out and to insist on the resignations of three other PP-ites who were in on the Whats App slagging-off.
His ill humour could not have been helped by potential disruption to travel plans. While he was letting the world know about the street of shame, Palma airport was becoming the airport of shame. For the second time in the period of a few days there was a power cut. AENA, the airport operator, dashed out a press release saying that power had been restored almost straightaway and that there had been no delays as a consequence. However, the recipients of this press release, i.e. certain members of the press, were none too impressed by AENA’s statement. For starters, the baggage system was out of action for at least 90 minutes. The shopping area was also without power for some considerable time. How could there not have been delays if the baggage system was out of action for that length of time?
It seems that press releases, whether they emanate from Calvia or AENA, need to be treated with a touch of scepticism.
The Balearics’ raw financing deal
BAUZÁ and his masters in Madrid have not seen totally eye-to-eye recently. The row over the oil prospecting hasn’t gone away, and another row - that over the cut of the national finance cake that the Balearics receive - re-emerged last week. Bauzá was in fighting form.
He demanded that Madrid “correct the injustice” towards the people of the Balearics and insisted that this “injustice must be corrected by its perpetrator, the government of Spain”. Which was pretty strong stuff, it must be said, and far more worthy than the 500 metres of shame nonsense.
Indeed, full credit to the president. The Balearics do get a raw deal and have done for too long now. The imbalance between what the Balearics raise through tax revenues for the state and what the islands get back was put at 1,483 million euros last week. Or, if you prefer, you pay the state 1,329 euros more than you get back.