Monday, January 05, 2009

Obama Takes a Shit in Spain...No Really!


(Warning: this Meltingpot makes liberal use of the word shit. If this word offends you, perhaps you should skip this post. My apologies.)

Welcome Back Meltingpot Readers,

I've missed you all while I was in Spain for the holidays. I really, really did. Especially when I discovered a peculiar custom common to Spain during the Christmas season. It seems, that in addition to a Christmas tree, most Spanish households erect an elaborate manger scene during the holidays. This makes sense especially since in Spain, it's the three kings (those are the guys who brought the gifts to the baby Jesus, for all of my non-Christian readers) who bring presents on January 6th and not a big fat guy in a red suit. Although, truth be told, Santa has invaded Spain and is gaining in popularity. But I digress.

So, anywho, apparently no manger scene is complete without -- of course the figures of Mary and Joseph, the baby Jesus and the three kings, but also a man taking a shit, aka, "the shitter." I'm not kidding. The most popular figurine in a Spanish manger scene, is the man taking a dump, affectionately known as "the shitter." Really, I'm not making this up. Apparently the shitting guy adds an air of authenticity to the manger scene, because obviously there weren't any bathrooms during biblical times. Right? I'm guessing here, because nobody could tell me exactly why this shitting man must be in the scene. But they could tell me that the tradition came from Barcelona where every year they erect a giant manger scene in a public square and the face of "the shitter" is always some famous person. Every year it's someone different -- a politician, a movie star, a king. It's considered an honor to be "the big shitter" in Barcelona. And this year, "the big shitter" is Obama!

You gotta love Spain.

Anybody else ever hear of this tradition in any other country? Please share!

Happy New Year Meltingpot Readers.

13 comments:

Gem said...

Ha! I love that.

Rose-Anne Clermont said...

Welcome back Lori. Um, that is very very peculiar. A shitter, huh? There are truly new things that can be learned, still, today. . . wow.

Spring @ forever spring said...

Glad you're back!

Don't know about nativity scenes...in my house we talk about Jesus, Joseph, Mary, etc. being from Ethiopia and it's a rule that our nativity representatives have to be ethnically plausible. Maybe we should have a "shitter" in the manger too! :)

We Are Never Full said...

i knew i loved spain for many, many reasons, but this REALLY makes me love spain. ha ha ha.

We Are Never Full said...

i knew i loved spain for many, many reasons, but this REALLY makes me love spain. ha ha ha.

glamah16 said...

Now thats an interesting fact. Welcome home and Happy New Year.

LT said...

Thank you Meltingpot Readers for letting me know I was missed. Stay tuned for even more multi-culti news and views in 2009.

Jennifer said...

Fellow Smithie here. Came across your blog via the Smith Alum listing and I love it! Just wanted to say hi and welcome back.
Jennifer

ieishah said...

aaah, you have a caganer, too! not sure how 'spanish' this custom is though. many of my friends from further south have no idea what a caganer is. this is almost exclusively catalonian. that said, my boyfriend is serbian and orthodox christian . . . he celebrated christmas yesterday!!

Carleen Brice said...

Wow. Just wow.

LT said...

Hi Jennifer. Thanks for the Smithie love!

Ieishah, checked out you blog and now understand the shitter. Sort of. Ha-Ha. Thanks for joining the discussion. And your life sounds really cool.

Carleen. Yeah. Enough said.

ieishah said...

LT, i don't think anyone will ever really understand the shitter!! read kinky gazpacho by the way. in like, 2 days. great read!!

Anonymous said...

hi!
I am a catalonian girl and I've been reading your thoughts about spain and spanish people and I find it really really curious and interesting.
I write you to give more information about the shitter, el caganer, as we call him here.

http://www.caganer.com/index.php?language=en&osCsid=0meh301b8e1je7vafhh455f2q3

strange post, isn't it? jajsjsaj