(The following article is a humor piece published in a local paper, El Nacional, and liberally translated by me. In some sense it reflects the difficulties of trying to explain to others what is happening in my country, my reason for creating The Devil’s Excrement. Enjoy (if you can)!!)
By Claudio Nazoa
An Argentinean friend named Carlos Mamut, called me on the phone from his country worried by the images that he was seeing on TV about Venezuela.
As the conversation went on, I became conscious of the craziness we are living in, of which we are not always aware, because we are so immersed in it. My theory is that all Venezuelans have gone crazy. The first thing any self-respecting nut knows, is that he is sane and the rest of the people are not, which is the reason why I ask all of you to analyze and think seriously about the severity of what is happening to us without realizing what is happening: There are twenty million demential Venezuelans, each one of which thinks he is sane and that the other nineteen million nine hundred and ninety nine thousand nine hundred and ninety nine are insane. You don’t believe it? I didn’t believe it either until I had a conversation with Carlos Mamut, mi Argentinean friend, which I taped and transcribed faithfully to support this theory
-Yes, it’s me, who is it?
-Shit, don’t you recognize me?
-It’s me Carlos Mamut
-Carlitos, to what do I owe this miracle?
-Well, what can I say? I had to call. I am watching on CNN that an opposition group is in front of the Presidential Palace, burning tires and throwing stones. Tell, me what is happening in Venezuela?
-Claudio, that is not the opposition, the ones throwing stones are Government supporters.
-Don’t be nuts Carlitos, that is the opposition. How can Government supporters create havoc, put up barricades and throw stones? I saw the police repressing the demonstration!
-Well, yes, what happens is that…I don’t know how to explain it, but it happens that the police are the Government’s enemy; nevertheless they are trying to stop the demonstrators from overthrowing the Government.
-Listen to yourself, you are saying nutty things, I am watching on TV hooded demonstrators shooting against the marchers that are going towards the Presidential Palace.
-You are right, and now that you mention it I don’t understand it either, the point is that the demonstration that you are watching is in favor of the Government and those that are shooting, are shooting against the cops which are led by the Mayor of Caracas, who by the way is not in favor of the Government.
-Nuts! Are you kidding me? I have just seen the Mayor of Caracas saying that he backs Chávez.
-Carlos you have to understand that that is another Mayor, I am talking about the one that does not back him.
-Ah! The one that directs the cops?
-No! The police are being led by the Mayor that backs Chavez; I am referring to the Metropolitan police
-Well, the Metropolitan police does not belong to Caracas?
-Yes! But that one belongs to another Mayor, the one that does not back him!
-Definitely Claudio you are dumb! Calm down and explain to me the following: is the National Guard that is there is to protect its bosses, the officials that are being tried?
-Nooo….! I don’t have to calm down! I am not exalted! Don’t you understand? Those are officials that do not command the National Guard, because they don’t back the Government. They don’t! And what the National Guard is trying to do is stop the Government’s supporters from hitting the police that does not back the Government but that are trying to defend the buildings of the Government ,even if the Mayor does not back the Government.
-Do me a favor Claudio, relax, and as a friend I suggest you stop drinking Scotch. Have tea, or something like it, you are going crazy!
-Sorry Carlos, you are right. I think we have all gone crazy, but the only way to remain sane is to drink all the Scotch I can. But I am going to tell you something, the only person in Venezuela who is not crazy is me!