In mid-2012, Daniel Samper Pizano temporarily returned to his earliest childhood thanks to the surprise visit of two masked men. In the office of a certain director of EL TIEMPO (whose identity we reserve), Samper and the owner of the office were photographed with the wrestlers Captain America and El Jaguar from Colombia, in extravagant wrestling poses, as if they were once again simple children who are fans of that sport.
The infamous record of that session worth the El Santo and Blue Demon movieswith simulations of the Turnstile at the head and the Double Nelson key, was taken to the grave by the great photographer Héctor Fabio Zamora, who died earlier this year.
(We also recommend: Jesús Abad Colorado’s Book Collection is an illustrated encyclopedia of the conflict).
But now, ten years after that ‘fight’ to remember, Samper Pizano returns to the ring of his passion by publishing the book ‘The night my father was humiliated and other humor blows’. From the cover it is clear that the show of the fighters with their faces hidden by a mask is part of the main poster and in it, Samper involves other accomplices:
“It has helped me rebuild the cast my compadre Humberto Dorado –says Samper in his new book–, of which I suspect that he managed to debut and bite the dust of the mat as a precocious masked man with the name of Garrick the Terrible”.
Such a provocative reference introduces the world of a very popular hobby in the middle of the last century. It was inevitable to consult Dorado himself, recognized as an actor, librettist, poetry reciter (Garrick is the protagonist of the poem ‘Laughing crying’), but until now unpublished as a fighter:
“Daniel is the only one who tells me that,” Dorado clarifies. Others are a little envious of me. The thing about El Terrible is an invention. What happened is that before a play, the great Antonio Cantús (King Kong) trained me for a wrestling scene. The Terrible was Iván in Russian history and in Eisenstein’s film, the first one I screened at the Los Andes University alumni Film Club over there in the old headquarters, in the early 1970s. And then I have a Stage Combat title granted by a Professional Doubles School”.
Dorado thus escapes from the shed and leaves Samper Pizano in it, who answered a questionnaire from EL TIEMPO about his new book and his early vocation as a wrestling fan:
How was the first of the 40 texts that make up ‘The night my father was humiliated and other hits of humor’ born?
Around 1953 or 1954, a golden age of wrestling began in Colombia and, above all, in Bogotá. For a couple of decades, every Wednesday and Saturday night there were wrestling programs in two tents installed in the area of the Plaza de Toros. Information appeared in the press, some fights were broadcast on the radio and we children collected Kings of the Ring candies. I was one of those infected by the fever. The title of the book reflects an incident that I witnessed and could never forget.
Likewise, you pay tribute to the obituary note journalists. What was the best obituary you read in the Colombian press?
The column that Klim (Lucas Caballero Calderón) wrote when Alfonso López Pumarejo died in November 1959.
By the way, have you thought about what you would like your own obituary to say?
“The person in charge of writing this obituary excused himself from doing so because he has passed away.”
What is your theory about music volume being inversely proportional to sexual fitness?
I refer to what I say in my book.
(At this point, it is pertinent to explain that the aforementioned chapter is a diatribe by Samper Pizano against the noise that we Colombians usually print on the music we listen to. His conclusion is hilarious: “There is an inverse relationship between the capacity of the device that vibrates in the living room and the device that sleeps in the bedroom. The more passive this one is, the more active that one is. So you know: to determine the impotence of the owner, it is enough to stick to the power of the equipment”.)
(Another recommended book: Pedro Alonso moves from ‘The paper house’ to a paper book).
Tribute to his friends
In various interviews and previous writings, Samper Pizano has recounted his friendship with the writer Alvaro Cepeda Samudioa member of the Barranquilla Group and who introduced him to Gabriel García Márquez.
In his new post, Samper Pizano pays tribute to him by recounting how Cepeda took him to a meeting that ended up being the prelude to the Vallenato Festival, and during which he also befriended composer Rafael Esalona.
The book also abounds in tributes to other names close to Samper Pizano, such as those of Joaquin Sabina, Juan Gossain and some of their relatives. But Cepeda’s is particularly timely, since this year marks the 50th anniversary of his death.
What was your last memory of Álvaro Cepeda Samudio?
The fun and loving cards I sent to my daughters from the New York hospital where she died. The last one said: “They have an uncle for a while”.
Has your perception of Mother Nature changed much during the pandemic?
Yes. I found it terrifying.
Where is the YouPorn University that graduated him, as revealed by Matador in the cartoon in chapter 14?
I am afraid it is a falsified diploma, following what is fashionable among our politicians. In any case, we would have to ask Matador where he got the document from, because thank God we don’t go to the same places.
On a comparative scale with world politicians, how smart is the toilet you review?
This toilet is like a senator, even because of the type of matter it handles.
Why did you translate traditional Colombian coplas into English and which one is your favorite?
Because I have two simultaneous goals: to promote the learning of the English language in Chiquinquirá, Cucunubá, Vélez and in between, and to spread Andean folklore in English-speaking countries.
(Another parenthesis here, to highlight the undeniable poetic vein of Samper Pizano, who offers this translation of some popular Colombian verses):
An old woman and an old man
they fell into a well
and the old lady said:
“Oh, what a tasty old man!”
Poem in English:
An old man and an old woman
fell into a muddy pool,
and the old woman commented:
“What a cool old man!”
(Another note of interest: Teresita Gómez, the 79-year-old pianist who saved the possession of Gustavo Petro).
Daniel Samper Pizano’s humor books have a captive audience among those who read his pen for exactly 50 years in EL TIEMPO. There are already nearly forty titles that he has published in different genres.
Currently he continues to write his weekly column on the Los Danieles website, continues as a member of the Colombian and Spanish Language Academies and is frequently invited to journalistic events such as the Gabo Festival, or cultural events such as the Hay Festival and the Carnival of the Arts, in Barranquilla.
Although he is currently in Spain, in the next few days he will return to Colombia to present his book on Tuesday, November 22 at 7:00 p.m. in the Los Fundadores library, of the Moderno Gymnasium.
You dedicate a chapter to your relationship with Spain. What bothers you most about that country and what you like the most?
I like everything, except that they speak very bad Spanish there.
When was the last time you wore a tie, a garment you publicly oppose?
When I took over chair P at the Academy of Language. A chair at the Academy is worth a tie.
Many of these texts could have been published in the column he wrote in the magazine ‘Carousel’. Miss Dessert Notes?
Some of them come from this paila. Yes, I miss Dessert Notes every day. Especially at lunch time…
Finally, football runs through your entire book from goal to goal, what are your expectations for the World Cup in Qatar, which is already upon us?
As Colombia does not participate, I do not see another champion than Spain.
(A final recommendation: ‘Cinema is a childish, superb and perverse genre’: Carolina Sanín)
On sex and other specialties of Samper
In his new title, Daniel Samper Pizano spreads his wisdom on various topics, but in particular about sexual activity. Not in vain, in chapter 14 he opens an erotic clinic with eight answers to concerns that he has received from his readers.
The most comforting is the confession of his full vitality at the age of just 77: “I am only in a position to affirm that I’m still very active. At least in what has to do with work, food and football fans. For now, something is something”.
In the same sense (or perhaps in the same way in the opposite sense, as a certain beauty queen pontificated), Samper Pizano announces the constitution of a new company, which responds to the acronym of Unmapol: National Union of Bad Powdersof which he declares himself president for life.
Finally, he comments on a complaint that caused a sensation among lovers of conspiracy theories and lovers in general: they find 11,500 adulterated condoms in five cities in the country. With admirable intellectual clarity, Samper Pizano elucidates the mystery: they are martians. “It is not, then, about condoms that are leaky, but about creatures with a strange elastic and transparent texture (…) But we are using them wrongly, in a very bad place and to fulfill annoying missions.”
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JULY CESAR GUZMAN
Editor of the Visual Table of EL TIEMPO
(On twitter: @julguz).