Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Wherein we revisit the phenomena of The Caganer

(The following is a reposting of a blog piece I wrote on August 3rd, 2010. I don't do many repostings from the past but I am very busy right now. Plus, many readers of Roundseventeen were not around when I first unearthed El Caganer and may not be aware of its existence. Tis the season.)

I may have in the past spoken harshly about being in the advertising business, but every once in a while I remember what drew me to this crazy business. 

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.

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