Recently I found myself working on a Christmas promotion. I know we're still in the thick of summer, but like the snake who has swallowed a small moose, the process of getting work through the corporate pipeline can be long, slow and excruciatingly painful.
In any case, without going into too many details about the assignment, I needed to research odd Christmas celebrations. And that's when I came across the Caganer.
Now you may be asking why is there a man "having an exit interview with Mr. Brown" right outside the Nativity scene? I know I did.
Well, it seems it's an ancient custom from Catalan. Before the kids were born, my wife and I spent two weeks on the southern Iberian Peninsula. Now I wish we had been a little more thorough.
Being both scattological and inquisitive, I gave the Caganer the attention it deserved. All the more enjoyable because someone was actually paying me to do so.
Wikipedia offers several explanations about how and why the Caganer (loosely translated -- 'Shitter') appears in the the typical Catalan Nativity scene. My favorite: the idea that God will manifest when he is ready, whether we human beings are ready or not.
Wow, if the Messiah comes while I'm busy "launching a lifeboat off the S.S. Assitania",
I'm going to tell him I need a minute or two.