Hello neighbors! You can be a cougar (fucking hand) with a lot of dignity. You can also be a duck but, if you are like the Benasque duck, you have fallen with the whole team. The Benasque duck (papanatas tolai) belongs to a harmful, annoying, unhealthy and dangerous species. A bad bug. In Benasque they have hunted a papanatas tolai, a duck that was signed like this: ‘Duck’.
Benasque is up there in the Aragonese Pyrenees, close to Catalonia, in the old county of La Ribagorza. It concentrates languages such as Aragonese, Catalan and Gascon, as well as a transitional speech known as Benasqués or Patués. Also Spanish, of course. Free linguistic problems, what Isabel Díaz Ayuso would say.
The town and the valley of Benasque -or ‘Valle Escondido’-, with the Cerler winter resort, the Posets-Maladeta natural park, the Aneto peak and the natural monument of the Pyrenean Glaciers, bring together landscape and environmental attractions of great worth. The town preserves a charming mountain atmosphere with constructions in which stone, wood and slate abound. Some of singular interest are the church of Santa María la Mayor, the Palace of the Counts of Ribagorza, Casa Juste, Casa Faure or the medieval bridge. Well, in such a welcoming, caring and picturesque space, the papanatas tolai, or Benasque duck, has been doing its thing without any respect, consideration or the slightest trace of common sense.
The Benasque duck was arrested on April 12 by the Civil Guard and is a 21-year-old zangolotino who, since the beginning of March, has been vandalizing the town. More than 80 graffiti in 43 different locations. In a first estimate, they reach damages valued at 9,279 euros, although the definitive appraisal is awaited by the different insurance companies of communities and establishments affected by the cave-dwelling activities of the clumsy duck. The judge has released him with charges. It seems fair to me. But leave Benasque like a whistle.
The Benasque duck was arrested on April 12 by the Civil Guard and is a 21-year-old zangolotino who, since the beginning of March, has been vandalizing the town
The curious thing about the matter is that the duck seems to be possessed -or possessed- by a double personality. As in ‘The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’, the novella written by Robert Louis Stevenson. The Benasque duck appears to have an intellectual and philosophical side through the use of quotes copied from authors such as Ernest Hemingway or Charles Bukowski, who by the way have been working for a long time using the black spray can. And he alternates it by bringing to light a rude, machirula drive and ‘tell me what you brag about and I’ll tell you what you lack’: male genitalia that, as everyone knows, is not pleasant to see. Argh.
‘That, and that cats overcome taking care of themselves was the only good luck that man had’, four lines of text on a garage entrance. ‘I am a genius and no one knows it but me’, on a stone wall. ‘The balanced man is crazy’ -this could have been a clue to locate him-, ‘Man was born to die’, ‘The definition of life is only problems’, ‘The cat is the greatest anarchist. The rat is the true underground. The dog is the biggest imbecile’, -poor dog-. What do you want me to tell you: I prefer Banksy. Anyway, this is the ‘cultured’ part.
And then there is the coarse part, that of painting piles in public places, containers, traffic signs, stone facades, ornaments on public roads, private property, garage entrances, building walls, shop windows, posters and other places. Some of the pililas go with the autograph signature: Pato. Damn, duck, taking care not to erase traces of the crime, you’re a figure. Especially if you have sown crime throughout a population of 2,200 inhabitants. With a lot of tourism, yes. But where the landlines all know each other.
Apart from leaving Benasque like a whistle, I think that the Benasque duck should receive some kind of training that would bring him profit in terms of American literature, philology and literary creation -plagiarism is not good-. From 2011 to 2015, María Luz Gabás, a novelist with a degree in English philology, who lived in California for a year, was mayor of Benasque (for the PP). Gabás has published Palm trees in the snow, Return to your skin, Like fire in the ice and The heartbeat of the earth. A course taught by the former mayor may have contributed to returning the duck to an honest, useful life with a future.
Very different is the obsessive theme of the pililas. At 21 years old you can’t go through life painting dicks That’s done with three or four, in Primary. And because it gives a lot of laughter in the children’s universe. But at the age of doing the military service – that the duck from Benasque would have gotten a good military service from the movies, the juvenile judge Emilio Calatayud already assures it – if you continue painting cocks, it is that you need a sexologist.