You know how Spanish Fiestas are; Lots of singing along to blokes playing guitars, women in frilly dresses, parades through the town etc. Some of Spain’s fiestas are a little bit different. Not what you might expect. Downright weird in fact! Here is another in our series of Spain’s Maddest Fiestas. A fiesta in which you might end up with someone throwing a dead rat in your face. All in the name of fun of course!
The Festival of the Dead Rats
Where? El Puig, north of Valencia. When? The Last Sunday in January each year
Neighbourliness in El Puig requires an increased level of tolerance. I mean, you don’t find too many places in the world where neighbours take delight in throwing decomposing rat corpses at each other.
Residents in El Puig (pronounced El Pooch) have squirmed and screamed for many a year as they celebrate their fiesta, and with good reason! Most people are aware of a piñada, the stuffed toy filled with sweets and goodies that is suspended by a rope, and bashed by a blindfolded kid with a stick, until it splits open and spills forth its tooth-rotting innards. A great reward for a little effort.
“Real Life” is not so easy however. In El Puig, the piñada is known as a cucaña, and has a far more realistic, (philosophically speaking) fifty-fifty ratio to it. In days of old, when these things were hung up, it is fair to imagine that they would have been filled with all form of tasty comestibles, nuts, fruit etc. but little in the way of sweets and chocolate bars, the corner shop still some years from being invented.
“Real Life” for a rat in those days was no barrel of laughs either, and so, it is also fair to imagine that the contents of these cucañas were equally appealing to the town’s rat population. So, I’m sure that you can picture that, come the great day of the fiesta, when giving the cucaña an almighty thwack with a convenient stick, in order to break it open, the chances were fair to middling that what was spilled from the battered cucaña was not a torrent of goodies, but instead, a rather dazed, somewhat podgy rat.
And it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realise that, what with sturdy stick still being in possession of our hungry and disappointed cucaña-attacker, the said fat rat would then be subjected to the same treatment as befell his previous harbourage, i.e an almighty thwack!
The rat, (once bucket well and truly kicked), would be tossed aside to general hilarity and disgust. (The distinction between hilarity and disgust being relative to whether the splattered rat landed on one, or on one´s near neighbour) These things have a way of getting out of hand, and in a year where the rats were particularly successful in their endeavours to invade the cucañas, the square must have been littered with the corpses of dozens of rats, all being merrily tossed around.
As human nature has been for thousands of years, retaliation is expected on being attacked. Therefore, when someone throws a dead rat at you, it is virtually de rigueur to then pick it up and throw it back. I suppose you could march forward and crack the thrower over the head with your cucaña stick, but that would hardly be in keeping of a good fiesta, and probably not have grown into the spectacle we see nowadays.
For the Spanish, in all their good-natured looniness, have found this to be a splendid way of spending an afternoon, and now commemorate the occasion annually by actually putting rats in some of the cucañas! Naturally, they still throw them about with mucho gusto and total disregard for hygiene.
(For the more squeamish, remember that today, in our enlightened times, only frozen, previously-prepared corpses of humanely-killed rats are contained within the selected cucañas, which must come as a relief to some.) and that only 50% of the cucañas contain a defrosted, decomposing rat corpse.
Fireworks at inappropriate hours, loud music, raucous dancing and the obligatory boozing it up confirm this occasion as a true Spanish fiesta. There is food available too at this Dead-Rat-Inspired fiesta.
Personally, I take sandwiches.
In this clip, a young blonde is trying to explain to TV’s Judge Judy how she accidentally ruined her friend’s new iPhone by pushing the other girl into a pool at a party. And, while she clearly admits that she did it, she claims she wasn’t responsible because it was the “atmosphere of the party.”
Judge Judy tells her she IS responsible and that it’s pretty simple legally, and that it’s not rocket science. Or maybe it IS rocket science to this blonde.
Good thing she’s pretty.
Alpharetta police have charged a waitress after they said she poured scalding hot water on a co-worker. Alexis Carter, 20, faces a charge of battery stemming from the incident last week at the Golden Corral on North Point Parkway.
According to an incident report obtained by Channel 2’s Mike Petchenik, Carter got into an argument with a cook, Marcus Benson. “While they were arguing, Carter hit him in the face with a dirty mop,” the report said. The report said the argument escalated with Carter filling a pitcher full of hot water. “(She) then swung the pitcher at him, hitting him in the face, which caused the pitcher to empty the boiling water on the back of his neck,” the report said. Police said they watched surveillance video of the incident before they arrested Carter.
Petchenik contacted Carter, who bonded out of the Fulton County Jail, but she declined to comment on the allegations. Customers outside the buffet restaurant told Petchenik they were surprised to hear about it. “She took matters into her own hands, I guess,” said Patrick Watkins. “It’s very unfortunate. Sorry for the guy it happened to.”
Golden Corral sent a statement to Petchenik about the incident, saying, “Two co-workers had a dispute over a personal matter. The incident was not work related. Golden Corral does not tolerate workplace violence and both employees have been terminated.”
Deputies with the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office went to a home regarding a lewd and lascivious act on a child that had just occurred.
Upon arrival, deputies said they found a man, later identified as 58-year-old Arturo Figueroa Ibarra with great bodily injuries to the facial area.
Deputies said Ibarra was then air lifted to San Jose Regional Area.
During the investigation, deputies found that Ibarra did commit lewd and lascivious act with a child. It was also discovered that the man who struck Ibarra, later identified as 53-year-old Miguel Angel Robles was the grandfather of the child in the case.
Robles reportedly left the area prior to deputies arriving to the scene and was the last one seen with Ibarra. Deputies said Robles was eventually found and interviewed.
Then on May 2, Joshua Measroch allegedly took the relationship further. The 21-year-old allegedly drove 50 miles from his east Cobb home to pick up the girl at her Newton County home, according to an arrest warrant obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Measroch then took the girl back to Cobb County, where he kept her for more than a month in a room, police said.
“The accused engaged in various indecent acts with the child,” the warrant states.
The girl was initially believed to be a runaway because many of her personal items were missing from her Covington home, police previously said. Police also said the girl was a frequent user of social media sites at the time of her disappearance.
The girl’s parents assisted police with finding her, according to Deputy Cortney Morrison with the Newton County Sheriff’s Office.
Measroch was arrested Friday and booked into the Cobb County jail, where he was being held Monday night without bond, booking records show.
He was charged with rape, aggravated child molestation, child molestation, enticing a child for indecent purpose — all felonies — and interference with custody, a misdemeanor charge, jail records show. He is also facing charges in Newton County, Morrison said.
That’s the gruesome scene Shasta County, California, sheriff’s deputies encountered Monday afternoon, before calling ambulances to transport the two to area hospitals.
A full day later, both Gregory Dunn and his son Jason are still alive despite their life-threatening injuries, said sheriff’s office Detective Will Gardner.
No charges had been filed in the case as of Tuesday afternoon. The incident is being investigated as an attempted homicide, police said.
The bloody scene played out Monday in the northern California city of Redding, in a neighborhood close to a municipal airport in that city.
According to police, what began as a verbal fight between family members at some point became physical. Based on interviews, the sheriff’s office alleged that the 27-year-old son stabbed his father multiple times with scissors.
Then, the sheriff’s office said a press release, Jason Dunn mutilated himself by using a radial-arm saw to sever his hands.
Neighbors heard the altercation, as did an unnamed witness who contacted authorities, according to Gardner.
Gary Rinehart told CNN affiliate KRCR that he saw both men being wheeled from the scene into separate ambulances. The first, the son, had “a lot of blood at the end of his arms, like his hands weren’t there.” The second, the father, had “blood in the upper area.”
“This is definitely the craziest thing that’s ever happened on this street,” Rinehart said.
The father would walk his dog around the neighborhood, according to Rinehart, who described him as a “nice guy” based on their occasional conversations. The neighbor said he’d only met the son once in eight years living there, when Jason Dunn apologized for shooting a pellet gun toward another neighbor’s house.
Reflecting Tuesday on the bloody incident that occurred across the street from his home, Rinehart said, “I just can’t imagine anything like that happening between family.”
Witnesses say a man struck a child with a hammer at an Albuquerque Smith’s Monday.
The child was transported to University of New Mexico Hospital, according to police, and despite a fractured skull is conscious and breathing. He is expected to make a full recovery.
Witnesses directed officers to a male in a wheelchair, Clayton Senn, who they said was trying to strike other children in the store.
Police said the boy’s stepfather heard the mother scream, saw the attack and went after Senn. The stepfather was restrained by witnesses until officers arrived.
Senn attacked two other children, neither of which are hurt, according to police.
Detectives said they’re still searching for answers after interviewing Senn.
“He wouldn’t even make eye contact with me, refused to say anything,” Detective Brian Crafton said.
This isn’t the first time Senn has been in the news. Police said Senn was rescued last year after nearly dying of exposure in the Bosque.
The grim and chilling details were released Monday.
In an amended complaint against Jessica Lynn Howell, 25, prosecutors now allege that she knew her boyfriend, Jordan Lafayette Prince, had previous convictions for sexual offense against a minor.
Prince is currently awaiting trial for first degree murder in the death of four-month-old Ashlynn Lilith Peters on December 3, 2012. Police allege that Prince strangulated Ashlynn after sexually assaulting her.
The complaint against Ashlynn’s mother, Jessica Howell, alleges she had sent text messages to Prince suggesting her willingness to allow him to engage in sexual activity with Ashlynn.
“In those text messages she suggested and encouraged some unspeakable things,” St. Charles Prosecuting Attorney Tim Lohmar said. “It is very, very disturbing.”
The complaint goes on to allege that Howell took Ashlynn to Prince’s home to spend the night at the time Ashlynn was murdered.
It was a trailer at Deerfield Village in St. Charles County. Neighbors said they were shocked.
“I saw them take the baby in and out, but you never imagine something like that is going on,” John Ezell said. “I am glad she is charged.”
Howell is in custody and held on $1 million bond. She will be arraigned Tuesday morning. Prince remains in custody as he awaits trial for Ashlynn’s murder.
Neighbors said they hope both are convicted.
“I hate to see baby killers go free,” Ezell said.
Read the complaint here [WARNING! Graphic Content] – Jessica Howell Complaint