Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Generalísimo Snorkel Hibiscus

We had our appointment with the National Police Tuesday morning. First we went to the bank, to make another payment (this time, 18.36 euros each), and get our receipts. At the police station, we had to wait for our numbers to be called, which took about five minutes.

Unfortunately the official who processed our paperwork was the grouchiest guy in the room (even the usually nasty Englishman at the front desk — click here if you need to be introduced — was more pleasant). Our guy, who appeared to be the most senior person there, never cracked a smile. He never even made eye contact. He snapped orders — at us, at his colleagues, and at people hovering around the desks waiting to be served.

GENERALÍSIMO SNORKEL.
At a glance I thought he wore the bars on his uniform of perhaps an officer in the US Army (although they were vertical and didn't resemble any military insignia I had ever seen). He was certainly bossy and self-important enough. But then I looked more closely and realized the bars were just four ballpoint pens lined up in a pocket on his upper right uniform sleeve.

I pointed to the pens and said in Spanish, "I thought those were the bars of a general." (I know. I know. A general has stars, not bars.)

His facial expression changed momentarily. I think he might have been trying to smile. But it seemed to bring pain to his face and didn't last long. I clearly wasn't going to break the ice with this guy.

I dubbed him "Generalísimo Snorkel," because his expression reminded me of Sarge Snorkel from the American cartoon "Beetle Bailey." Well... except that Sarge Snorkel can actually smile sometimes.

So, what should have been a pleasant and very brief exchange was not pleasant — only (thankfully) brief. At least this stage of our "Second Renewals" is complete. We go back in 30 days to pick up our new cards and then we shouldn't have to see the usually nasty Englishman or Generalísimo Snorkel for another two years. Maybe they'll retire.

Anyway, the walk home through the beautifully blooming city restored our moods. We stopped for coffee along the way and laughed when we talked about the generalísimo.

See below what we saw on the walk home. You'll understand why our sour moods recovered so quickly. The city must have planted these gorgeous flowers to compensate for the usually nasty Englshman and the Generalísimo. It worked. (Click any image to see only beauty.) 

Then listen to the song at the end, especially if you didn't know about Beetle Bailey. (The Kid Brother still makes me sing him the theme song.)

























So, hibiscus for the Dowager Duchess and the Beetle Bailey theme song (below) for the Kid Brother. I hope you find something to enjoy here, as well.

18 comments:

  1. 'At ease soldier!!'
    I see why the kid brother likes this Mitchell......catchy tune....has us marching around the room here!! (kidding) Too humid here for that!
    Those Hibiscus are beautiful! Don't they have an amazing blossom....in so many shades and varieties.
    Yep, I can see that these would change anybody's mood after your valiant attempt and encounter with ole Snorkel Face!!

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    1. Jim:
      Can't believe the variety of hibiscus planted around the city... and the way they thrive.

      Delete
  2. I don't think I've heard this theme before. I bet this was popular when most adult American men had served in the military. Great pictures of those flowers. I know they'd brighten MY mood.

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    1. Stephen:
      The comic strip has been running since 1950. Unbelievable.

      Delete
  3. Mitchell, I love your description of police officer it is perfect and so funny. Flowers are beautiful. My favourite picas are red and yellow ones.

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    1. Gosia:
      I can't believe the variety of colors of hibiscus.

      Delete
  4. Everything ain't so Ducky, not at all impressed with self-important people ~~ jokes sometimes work but I really think their DNA has gone wonky(no sense of humour runs rampant in some parts) Winks!
    Hibiscus always does it and with the abundance flowing along your pathways ~~ mmmm!
    R

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    1. Ron:
      I'm usually able to lighten the mood with even the worst bureaucrat. This guy was humorless and unapproachable. Too bad for him. As for the hibiscus, it's incredible that this is what's planted along the primary streets of the city (among lots of other exotics).

      Delete
  5. From your description of Generalisimo, I thought you were talking about my own father...who was in the military and rarely smiled...at least I never saw it.
    Those hibiscus put the ones in my backyard to shame...in comparison, mine look puny an wimpy.
    saludos,
    raulito

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    Replies
    1. Raulito:
      Sorry you had to experience the Generalísimo at home! I've never seen so many thriving hibiscus. San Geraldo is tempted to try them on our terrace... but we figure they'd immediately be covered in white fly!

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  6. Oh, man! What a bunch of gorgeous color variations! THANKS!
    I've been spoiled with my whole teacher-summer off, but go back tomorrow (Thursday), so these give me a lovely send off :)

    Yeah, those grumpy folks... what IS it with them? Sad. Glad you two laughed and enjoyed a good walk and a nice coffee after... and being done with the paperwork!

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    1. Judy:
      Oh, hope your first day back at work is pleasant. Can't believe your "summer" off is already over.

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  7. My father always called that type of person 'self-appointed little tin gods'; seems a pretty apt description. Glad you and San Geraldo were able to relax and laugh about it after.
    Beetle Bailey! Does that intro. theme ever bring back memories...and you know I love the flowers!

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    1. Jacqueline:
      Your father said it perfectly!

      Delete
  8. Those blooms should be enough to raise anyone's spirits. Lovely!
    There are few things more deflating than the rebuffing of one's attempt to be friendly. I always think that presenting a hard shell exterior covers a very insecure inner person.

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    1. Raybeard:
      The plantings throughout the city are amazing and uplifting... and always so well-maintained.

      I think you're right about that hard shell. It seems to me that's usually the case.

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  9. Lovely flowers!
    I haven't heard this tune in 40 years!

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    1. Spo:
      I haven't LISTENED TO the turn in years. But I'm expected to sing it at least once every time I see The Kid Brother. Another one he loved, for no reason I can figure, is the theme from the Snuffy Smith and Barney Google cartoons. "Oh oh oh, great balls of fire, I'm bodacious."

      Delete

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