The photos above are of the Day of the Dead ofrenda at Miss Lizzy Jardin de Ninos, circa 1999, and the one I assembled to honor my grandmother who died in 1998 (she actually paid a visit to the ofrenda that year).
Last night we had at least 50 trick-or-treaters in our conjunto. Most were vampires. Some came twice and asked for more candy than I was giving them. Instead of saying “Queremos Halloween!” as they do in Mexico, they would say “truco trato.” We do not really know what this means. A neighborhood child, half Spanish and half American, thought the kids were saying, “tu contrato” (your contract).
Regardless of the translation, Mr. Understanding manned the candy door a few times and decided to ask the kids a few questions as part of the “trick” portion of the evening.
Mr. U: What is the name of the president of Spain?
Niño: Juan Carlos? (Um, nope, he’s the King. Big difference.)
Mr. U: What is the name of the president of the United States?
Between the two of us, we repeated this exercise the rest of the evening. Only two children got the first question correct.
There is something fundamentally wrong with this picture. How can you not know who your president is? When memorization is so prized? HOW?
That is something at which I’d throw a shoe, a pointy toed one.