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“No nookie for you” and other signs of the times

27 January 2008

I don’t think you could ever print something like this in a U.S. “family newspaper”. And, I have to admit, my translation had to play fast-and-loose with some phrases… a few of which I’d never heard before.

The original (Prohibido cachondear frente a la virgen) was published in the 21 January 2007 Milenio, written by Juan Pablo Becerra-Acosta M.

The best translation I can come up with for the sign in the photo (and the original title) is “No horniness in front of the Virgin.” A sign you won’t see in the U.S. either!

The little parish church of Saint Bartholomew theApostle, in the Naucalpan suburbs, has a pocket park in front where an enormous sign warns:

The vestibule and the congregation deserve respect. We prohibit loving couples. Please go elsewhere.”

The spend the lunch hour here: Secondary school kids who usually only travel in packs come here in pairs looking for a shady, discrete place. After a few minutes of whispers and giggles, the pubesce nt lovebirds gaze in each others eyes… their lips graze … and their adolescent bodies come together. Some, sitting near us, are discrete, but others are bold in their caresses: a boy takes his ease on a bench, his girlfriend hikes her leg on the bench, exposing firm young flesh. The peach-fuzzed badboy tremblingly slides a hand up the leg, arriving in the vicinity of white, fresh panies, where the exploratory finders of the youth remain for several seconds. Suddenly, the girl turns away, but settles on the lap of the now delirious youngster. And there they are, for several long minutes. He an amazon, he a rampant stud … until a passing patrol car lets loose with a howling siren, and the gasping couple untwines themselves and make a hasty departure.

 

[… wooo! I need a cigarette! Back to the translation…]

 

Rodolfo, the little man who takes care of the church for its pastor, Father Gabriel, is sweeping up the leaves that have fallen in the park. Yes, he saiys, they do call the police about the youngsters.

 

They are like little dogs after other little dogs in the street. Next thing, they’ll be laying down on the grass. It is a horrible and frightening thing, gentlemen. For that reason, the Father will be closing the gates to our little park. This kids come here and it gets ugly. These are things not meant to be seen by priests. They should be in a porno movie, gentlemen.”

The photograph was taken outside Metro Indios Verdes. “What gives,” I ask a vendor near an altar.

 

Oh, the usual thing,” she says. “Its not the kids coming to buy breakfast, but the kids that are horny- We tell them to go find some other place, but they say they’re not doing anything wrong… and that a little kiss in front of the Virgin is a sign of respect, nothing more.

***

In Chapultepec park, near the lake and the El Sope running track, Pro Bosque [a “friends of the park” charity] has posted a confusing sign: “Adding graffitti? Want to erase it? Throw trash? Damage Trees?” Perhaps it means you should mark the trees, so they can be scraped. Or you should trow your trash around, and kill the trees.

The intent was to remind people to just walk in the park, but here, like the area around the Cafetería Las Ninfa, where the lights are low, people act out – throwing trash, or themselves in pairs upon the lawn. Or, well … in the parking lot (there’s two now)… in the parking lot. The laid back, elderly lot attendant, Don Alfonso, said that almost every day, police patrols “give the fuckers a ticket,” or at least tell them “get a blanket.”

Of course, that’s an exaggeration,” Don Alfonso points out. “Until they get down, there’s not much going one but holding hands and kisses… hard and heavy kisses, to be sure.”

A well-dressed young woman, in fashionable sports clothes, who arrived in a Seat [a fairly-high priced auto] is warming up for her run. Marina, from Los Lomas, comments: “Of course, people do things. But they need to get a hotel room. Puleeze!”

In Parque México. Hipódromo-Condesa, the sign reads “Please use park benches appropriately.” .

 

Dude,” says the maintenance man, “we need the cops down here to at least write tickets. Look (indicating two couples in different parts of the park, wrapped up in themselves): drinking beer, smoking joints and bouncing the benches til they’re ready to break. Seriously, man… go down by the duck pond, and guys are getting naked. And those guys… you’d think they were in their own kitchen.

Two Condessa girls, listening to their Ipods on a bench, protest. “He’s dense. There have to be places to go. Who cares who is kissing whom… it’s nobody’s business. If we start banning everything in this city, it’s no longer “el Deyeffe”…”

The logo at Reforma 222 — a commercial and luxury apartment complex (featuring three-bedroom apartments, a virtual concierge, gym, pool, handball court, indoor jogging track, video room and events center), located at the corner of Insurgentes and Nápoles – reads “Another way of life”. But, the private security force are regularly escort out gay couples for doing nothing more than holding hands. Their improbable defense: “We’re not an assault squad, and we’re not homophobic. But we can’t permit these kinds of excesses. We’ve caught guys in the back (where is still construction and there are storage rooms) with their pants down, going at it. This isn’t anything against gays. There are men and women who get carried away in the fast food court, too.”

In El D.F., if you are suddenly overcome by desire, read all appropriate warnings before proceding.

 

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