Monday, September 12, 2016

Is The Pope A Mallorquinista?

There was some funny old stuff cracking off last week. Take the visit of Real Mallorca bigwigs to Rome and an apparent attempt to sign up the Pope beyond the transfer window. The Holy Father declined the temptation to decamp to the Son Moix and end Mallorca's goal drought, but instead was delighted to receive a Mallorca shirt to add to the vast range that adorns the bar at the Vatican. Or this, one assumed, was the purpose of the gift. What else would a Pope do with such a shirt? Wear it in bed? There must be such a bar, therefore, to which the visiting priesthood are invited to make use of the Vatican's Sky dish, sample the ample selection of international beers and add football shirts from many nations.

Or was there an alternative purpose to this visit by the Real Mallorca delegation? Was the shirt part of a secret mission on behalf of the island's diocese to seek papal forgiveness for the naughty bishop and to allow him to continue to bless the club's less than spectacular fortunes? Were Monti and Maheta thus despatched in the knowledge, courtesy of the diocese, that the Pope does like his football? He must do. He is Argentinian after all. Alas, the sacrificial offer of the shirt ended in failure. The naughty bishop was defenestrated. Not literally thrown out of the window, but packed off to play with the reserves in Valencia.

While Monti and Maheta were engaged in mission impossible, a performance artist no one had ever heard of was making a statement. The message went something like the Balearics are on the point of sinking into the Med under the sheer weight of accumulated tourist numbers and environmental groups berating tourists at every available opportunity. The stats office needs to start producing figures to show the ratio of environmental organisations/agitators per head of tourist population; it must be edging towards one to one by now. There's saturation for you.

Anyway, whoever this artist chappy was - Hugo was in fact his name - he determined that the performance required the symbolic use of vast beach towels, which didn't look anything like beach towels. More like sheets, of the type some lookies prefer. It was all to do with saturation by tourists, as if anyone was not already aware that there supposedly is such a saturation. We are saturated by saturation statements, so Hugo inadvertently added to the saturation. Such was the power of his message, from what one could divine, that there was no one there to witness his performance apart from the odd press photographer. So much, therefore, for beach saturation: El Molinar beach at any rate. He really should have nipped along the coast to Arenal and spread his sheets out there.

It did occur to me to wonder if he had permission from the Costas Authority to engage in such occupation of a part of the beach in the style of superyacht louts taking over Cabrera. He probably didn't need it, given that the space occupied was no greater than that taken up by a typical Mallorcan extended family which invades a beach on a Sunday. But had he, it would have been very doubtful that any environmentalists would have denounced him.

Ultimately, though, Hugo betrayed a certain lack of appreciation as to what full-on beach saturation by tourists (also known as Mallorcan residents) looks like. Beach towels there are, but they are obscured by the contents of Toys 'R' Us, some of Ikea, the entire crisps section in Eroski and most of the nearest vendor of inflatable dinosaurs. And getting all that lot on to a beach is what one could describe as a real performance.

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