I’d trade a Christmas parade for a leg of ham

Some towns are preparing a “static” Three Kings cavalcade this year. Yes, it sounds odd, but considering how things have been going this year, it’s not the strangest thing to have happened. We’ve put Christmas lights up as if there were no tomorrow and then we tell people they have to stay at home and that these Christmas holidays are going to be different, because if not there’s the threat of a third wave.

What are we playing at? It’s already hard enough to explain that the Kings bring gifts to all the children in the world in one night, but some get more than others; and now we have to explain that this year it will be the other way round. The Kings will be the ones standing still and the children will parade past to look at them.

I understand that it’s difficult to get the right balance between trying to keep the excitement in the air and avoiding crowds, but perhaps now’s the time to consider something different.

Between lights and static parades, I’d rather have one of the ‘pata negra’ hams that Parauta town hall has given all of its residents.

This need to maintain all of the symbols of Christmas while at the same time calling for contention is like blowing and sucking.

The same goes for the no-alcohol rule between 6 and 8 in the evening.

They’ve announced that plainclothes officers are out making sure that the rules are complied with: not just not drinking alcohol in those two hours, but also keeping social distance and wearing face masks. The latter seems easier to police; in terms of the contents of a glass, are they picking them up and smelling them, like a mother trying to catch a teenage child out drinking... or what?

On the other hand, there’s also the danger that cafeterias and ice cream parlours will fill up more than ever during those two hours, if they are the only places allowed to stay open.

If the aim is to protect us from infection, there’s no need to go around in circles.

It makes me think of the joke about two Basque mushroom hunters. One of them digs up a Rolex and when he holds it up like a trophy, he is scolded by his companion. “What are we hunting? Rolexes or mushrooms?” he asks. Well, quite.