Wednesday, July 06, 2005

A Note on the Crazy Lady

Just before I finished my mission in Paraguay, I was assigned to a quaint little city called Piribebuy. Piribebuy had the distinction of being Paraguay's capital city for a few months at the end of the War of the Triple Alliance, and the inhabitants took that honor quite seriously. They also took their drinking and partying seriously, too, and on many mornings the entire town suffered from a hangover.

On one such morning, my companion and I ventured out to find absolutely no one willing to give us the time of day, so we decided that breakfast would be a good option. We entered into a little bar/restaurant on the edge of the town's main square and ordered up some empanadas. We were all alone in the bar except for the bar owner, who was busy cleaning the clutter from the night before. It was really quite peaceful.

As our empanadas arrived, I notice that the town's resident crazy lady had entered in with her basket full of exotic and no doubt elicit herbs and jujus (remedies). Her leathery skin seemed particularly tanned and salty as she tried a sales pitch on the bar owner. He knew her all too well and with nary a kind word booted her out on her tush. Much commotion and yelling ensued, but given her crazy lady-ness, neither my companion, the bar owner, nor I could make any sense of it.

The bar owner couldn't let her leave without a cutting remark so he let fly with some colorful Guarani insults and laughted heartily.

We hardly thought any more of it. A random encounter with craziness. It happened every day in Paraguay. Only this day the craziness continued.

A few minutes later, out of the corner of my eye, I saw the crazy lady creep back into the bar. Then, with a ferocity I had never seen from her, with both hands, she raised a rusty old machete high above her head and let out a blood curdling scream. She took dead aim at the bar owner and let her fly.

The machete, brandishing several years worth of rust and crud, twirled and danced as it missed its mark horribly. She wasn't even close to her target. The bar owner barely even knew what was happening, but as I saw the machete hurling toward me, I saw my life pass by in quick flashes. "Please don't let me die from a crazy lady's machete," I thought as the twisted knife whizzed by my head and into a pile of dusty beer glasses.

Again the bar owner let out a loud guffaw. I could hardly believe my luck. The crazy lady scuttled off before she could be caught, and my companion and I finished up our empanadas. Just another typical day in Paraguay.


Blogger Shaleen said...

Empanadas...yum! That might have been my favorite part. : p That was a fun tale, keep 'em coming!

9:33 AM  
Blogger Anita said...


Note to Self.

Do not visit Paraguay.

Unless I develop a death wish. Which is highly unlikely.

10:45 AM  
Blogger Le laquet said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12:19 PM  
Blogger Le laquet said...

Sorry spelling mistakes ..... here we go again!

Oh my gosh - you poor young things! My friend Dawn did her mission in Illinois .... she just got to warm her shoes in the oven each morning before trudging out in the snow!! Not as "exciting"!

When I lived at home (Swansea) Dawn and I ran the cub pack at the local LDS chapel - pack holiday was fab as the bishop (Rex from Utah) came and cooked pancakes for all the kids! But one of the young missionaries they had was from LA. One sunny summer evening (cubs night), we had been playing rounders in the car park and a car drove by. It's engine backfired. The missionary thought it was a gunshot (he was from LA) and hit the ground fast and missed the ball! Poor boy, we won and the cubs "ribbed" him for weeks!

12:21 PM  
Blogger PractiGal said...

I'd hate to be there for an a-typical day!!

6:37 PM  
Blogger Indigo said...

Holy moly!

How close to your head was she?

8:43 PM  
Blogger kenju said...

Remind me never to go there!

9:10 PM  
Anonymous john cowart said...

Sounds like you have enouch material for a book.

5:53 AM  
Blogger Faye said...

Wonderfully written as always. If you think that's a cool mission story, think about how much awesomer it could have been if you did die of the crudified and rusted crazy lady's machete. The people on the other side would love it!

8:26 AM  
Anonymous Grandpa Jones said...

It is just better, if parents don't know what goes on, while their sons and daughters are serving missions. The world is such a crazy place. It makes you want to take your family and go live in a cave, but then you might find the terrorists there. What is one suppose to do.........

12:07 PM  
Blogger Better Safe Than Sorry said...

i must live in a cave, cuz i have no idea where paraguay is, i have no idea what empanadas are and i have no idea what kind of language guarani is.

oh yeah, and guffaw is a great word!

1:14 PM  

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