When I started to write the previous post, I was actually intending to talk about this ‘news’ story: The headline comes from Antena 3 and translates as:
Judge pardons King Balthasar for ‘caramelazo’ in the Three Kings cavalcade.
‘Caramelazo.’ What a lovely word. And what a wonderful language Spanish is that it can produce such words:
Una torta is a slap or a blow of some kind.
Un tortazo is one heck of a clout.**
Una puerta is a door.
Un portazo is a door-slamming/the bang of a door. (Dio un portazo al salir – he slammed the door as he left.)
Un caramelo is a sweet, or a candy. If you receive un caramelazo, you have been hit by a piece of candy.
So, the judge has pardoned one of the Magi for hitting someone with a piece of candy during the annual Kings’ Day parade. Yes, that really is what the headline says. The story is that a woman who was watching the Kings’ Day parade had denounced the King after being hit in the eye by a sweet thrown from his float.
Every town and village in Spain has a Kings’ Day cavalcade, often with camels, though probably not an elephant. And it wouldn’t be the same without the Kings and their attendants throwing candy to the crowds – who stand with upturned umbrellas to see what they can catch.
What has caught the eye of the journalists isn’t so much the story itself, though, as the way the judge handled it: “el magistrado se muestra irónico” (Actually, I suspect it wasn’t irony, just like it’s never lupus.)
He admitted a certain ‘friendship’ with the accused, who, along with Caspar and Melchior have brought him gifts every 6th of January for as long as he can remember. In addition, he said it was doubtful that Balthasar would ever be identified, given that for over 2,000 years “no se resuelve la polémica en torno a su verdadero país de origen” – no one has been quite sure where he really comes from.
I don’t know why he just didn’t invoke the royal prerogative, diplomatic immunity or whatever it would have requred for him to dismis the case.
** Actually, since torta is also a cake, perhaps tortazo could be a custard pie in the face. Which might hurt less than a boiled sweet in the eye.