Retro Sci-Fi image at a corrida
The "Victorinos", from the ganaderia of Victor Martín, are supposed to be the bravest (and more expensive) toros bravos of the whole Ibero-American world. Last corrida in Las Ventas was sold out accordingly.. Rupert invited me to attend this 73rd (I repeat, 73rd !) bullfight of this year's season in the Mudejar-inspired arena of Madrid.
Close to my seat (or rather a spot on the stone stands turned comfortable with a cushion rented for 2 Euros) are the steep steps that have to remain free during the bullfight mass. An usher, a young man with plain clothes and a Airline Captain hat, seats down on these steps, just next to me, for the death of the sixth and last bull of that afternoon. He says hello and engages in some quick critical reviewing of the latest corridas with obviously long-acquainted aficionados. In front of me, a hardened finca-owner likes something in what was said, turns back and offers the young man a cigar. "Thank you! Can't smoke while on duty, but I'll smoke once this corrida over". He smiles, at the same time keeping an eagle eye on the stands around him to prevent people from standing up and start to leave their places. He's very strict. The bull is about to receive the "coup de grâce". A death penalty executed by a sword-carrying matador is a serious business, to be watched in silence and with due respect.