Well, the carnaval season is over and it’s time to get back to business, or at least the goofy business that is Panama politics (politics from any country actually).
I had no intention of writing a follow up to my “Funny Politics in Panama” blog post, but with the political season in full swing, I can’t help but stare at the new posters lined up and down every street in Panama City. And it’s not just in the city. I recently returned from a trip to David in Panama’s interior and the political ads stretch the entire length of the Pan-American Highway.
You know me. Rather than get annoyed by these things, I spend my time sitting in traffic, trying to find something amusing about each one, and I thought I’d share some of these random thoughts with you guys. Maybe it’ll make your time stuck in the daily grind a little more enjoyable. It’s fun. Just pay attention to the pictures and the nicknames.
Tio Gabriel is one of my favorites. This guy has so much bling. He looks like a serious bad ass. Every time I see his pictures, with the watch, bracelet, necklace, and chest hair, I can’t help seeing one of the crime bosses in my wife’s telenovelas. All he’s missing is the cowboy hat and he could be one of those mean oil tycoons.
Even the name “Tio” which is Spanish for uncle says a lot. In the photo above, he’s campaigning with his buddy, “Fulo” Erick. Fulo is a nickname that basically means blonde or light haired. I can see these two in a novela scene right now.
“Que Tal? What did you come to see me for Fulo?”
“Well, I’m sorry, Tio. But everyone knows you go see Tio Gabriel when you have a problem that needs taken care of.”
“So you need me to whack somebody? Good, done. I’ll call on you one day for a favor. Now leave Tio Gabriel and go on about your business.”
Tio could be the coolest, most down-to-earth person on the planet, so don’t take my word for it. Maybe he’s just a really great uncle.
I see the photo above, every morning when I drive my kids to school, and each day I look at it and kind of chuckle. I love seeing the political posters depicting candidates as every day, caring, supportive members of society. I’m sure many of them are. But I’m not sure I believe Varela heads out to local parks, in his white linen shirt, and helps kids slide down the slide while they eat duros (frozen juice out of a cup).
If anything, as a parent, I might be concerned about the strange man at the slide feeding my kids frozen treats. And let’s not mention the choking hazard.
I’m a parent of 4 and it’s rare that I help my kids go down the slide. I’d rather stand off on the side and laugh when they go flying off (I’m totally kidding, I would never do that).
Here’s another one. This poster cracks me up because I’m guessing her campaign manager wanted to show that Roxana is loved by the public, but look at Roxana’s face. It’s kind of like she’s thinking, “Haha, this is so awkward. Umm, yes, I’m glad I cleaned up the parks too. Okay now. Okay. Really…okay now. Somebody…anybody…please help get this lady off of me.”
José Blandón, or the man whose name is a pain in the ass to type because I have to figure out how to do the ´ mark twice. This guys is on a lot of posters and he always looks so slick. Seriously, his shirt always matches his hair. Something about him makes me think of the opening credits to the TV show “Top Chef.” He just looks like he’d be there, with his hands folded in front of his chest.
I started out yelling his name in the car, just to see if I could do the accent marks right, “Blandón!” Heavy on the “O.” Now, I love the word. It’s become my new word. It’s fun to use in situations where you may have, in the past, yelled, “Booyah!” Or, “In your face!” Or, “Domino mutha bleep!”
So, when my wife says to me, “I thought you said the keys were on the counter.”
I reply, “They are.”
She says, “No, they’re not.”
I walk over, point to the keys, and ever so politely yell, “Blandón!”
Orejitas. Orejitas means ears. This guy calls himself ears. And he looks so happy about it. I love it! I grew up with gapped teeth, still have ’em, and I would’ve never thought to call myself “Gaps.” I might just start doing that. Chris “Gaps” Powers for district 9.
I don’t even know what this guy’s real name is. It’s nowhere on the poster. So he really wants to be referred to as Orejitas. Unless he came out of the womb and his mom said, “Little Charles Celis.” And his dad shook his head and said, “No way. Look at this kid’s ears. He’s Orejitas Celis, and one day he will rule the world. Why? Because he will have no choice but to listen to the people.” I can hear you guys beating on the corny joke drums now. Ba dum tss!
This guy is going to hate me. Maybe he was just nervous when taking this photo or maybe he just chopped a bunch of onions, but I swear, look at his eyes, he looks hungover.
I know the look because I’ve been there. The beady, red eyes, threatening to close on you. I imagine his campaign manager said, “Let’s take the picture today.” And he was like, “Last night was the Barcelona VS Madrid game man. You can’t be serious. Fine, just take the friggin’ picture. Who’s gonna notice?”
For the rest of this post, I’m just gonna hit you with some photos and my short thoughts on ’em in the captions.
Okay, I think that’s it for this political fun. Soon they’ll all be spray painted with dollar signs over their faces (the Panamanian way for saying the person is a crook).
All joking aside, this was all meant to be fun. To all the politicians shown here, please, if you’re in a position to put me in jail…ever…just remember I was joking, and when you think about it…this was free publicity.
Thanks for reading,
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