Monday, 19 July 2010

The Journalism Of Noonan McKane: 'At The Tomb Of Eva Peron' (cont. from page 84)

...because, astonishingly, Evita's corpse has been disinterred TWICE since her death in 1952, the last instance being in 1971.
Today, her mausoleum incorporates elaborate secret chambers, sliding panels and complex locks, and although the crypt may be visited by the public, Eva's sarcophagus may not be viewed. Visitors are reassured by security guards at the gates of the complex that the mortal remains of 'Santa Eva' do indeed rest nearby, and that their pilgrimage is at an end.
Here in Argentina it is popularly believed that Evita's body was initially exhumed by fanatical devotees (and Ms Duarte-Peron had many of these..) who truly believed her to be divine, and therefore not dead, but risen. I find it difficult to fathom such faith; such devotion.

I jokingly remark to some local people nearby that Madonna was far better looking than the real Evita (in Alan Parker's 1996 film) and they give me what can only be described as a fairly robust beating using bottles and short pieces of wood, as well as their fists and boots. I struggle free and return to my hotel room.
An hour later, there's a knock at my door. I'm amazed when I open it to see the people who had beaten me earlier. They all look rested, and very focused and motivated, and they have heavier bottles and stouter pieces of wood. They blacken my eyes like two huge, ripe plums and crack three of my ribs in another textbook beating.

As I recline on my balcony later, examining my bruised and swollen face in my shaving mirror, wondering if I should cancel my appointment to dine with two of the charming ladies from the "Foundacion Eva Peron" (who had helped me greatly with my research) my luck, hitherto not great, worsens yet further when a huge hornet flies up my shorts and lands an agonising sting on my right testicle.
The pain which follows almost knocks me unconscious. I sweat and shake and begin to hallucinate. I see the room a different shape. I see odd colours. I see that my testicle, now a vivid and angry red, has swollen to the size of a cricket ball. This effectively rules out all of my casual slacks for tonight. Dark glasses will conceal my blackened eyes, but my knacker now has a radius of 5 and a half inches. Mercifully, though, the pain has begun to subside.
I remember I've packed my bowler hat. I find that it fits very snugly over my enlarged pod. If I wear the bowler on my way to dinner, no one should notice, as it will be dark. I can remove my hat, but keep it with me, on my lap, and thusly conceal the elephantiasis of my afflicted gooly.
I decide on my stretch crimplene 'AdventurerPants', and a silk shirt in subtle eggplant. As I'm preparing to leave, I see the people who keep beating me up, outside the hotel, looking around for pieces of wood, but I manage to slip past them and into a taxi. I arrive at the restuarant, 'El Highhorse', with a minute or two to spare.

My dining companions, Consuela-Marie and Anna-Espias, thankfully are too polite to enquire as to why I have a bowler hat on my lap. I presume they take it to be a 'British eccentricity'. I notice that Consuela-Marie has particularly large breasts. I hope I can avoid becoming distracted by them, because if I should inadvertently take a semi I could be in all sorts of trouble. Thankfully, both of the ladies are such fascinating company that I'm utterly absorbed in the wealth of knowledge and the abundant detail they have to offer about Evita and her enduring legacy, here in Argentina and around the world.
As Consuela-Marie reaches into her handbag for her Marlboro Lights I sneak a look at her knockers. They're the big, round kind, which spill out of the top of her dress that you just want to pat the top of. As she lights a cigarette, I realise to my horror that the humidity of the evening air has caused my knacker to swell even further. Unbeknownst to me, numbed as I am by nearly two bottles of Cabarnet, my bowler hat has become rigidly affixed to my front right upper trouseral area.
Going on to a little nightclub is now definitely out; I won't be able to dance and I probably won't even fit into the booths.
I bid the ladies 'buenos noches' and leave as chivalrously as I can.....