He Traded Randy for Alexis Valdes


Cristóbal, an old man of 70, lives in the municipality of San Miguel del Padrón. He is a loyal TV watcher of The Round Table,* an infamous cuban TV show. Because of his hearing loss Cristóbal compensates by watching the show at an extremely loud volume. Along the hall where he lives and his neighbors’ houses, the sinister voice of Randy Alonso reverberates when he tunes into the TV show. Outside, teens laugh to themselves and others make the signs to show he is crazy, endless signs and commentaries demarcating 6:00 daily

Not long ago there, Cristóbal’s nephew paid him a surprise visit from the United States, and took him along with the whole family–children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren–to Pinar del Rio for a vacation trip. When returning to Havana his nephew shopped around for needed goods for the house, and among so many gifts he bought Cristóbal a 29-inch TV set.

I recently visited Cristobal’s neighborhood, where I have relatives. That day Cristóbal called out to me happily, eager to show me his new acquisition. When I entered the room, much to my surprise;  Randy Alonso was gone along with his Round Table; instead the image of Alexis Valdés was filling the screen of that immense TV set with his program “Esta Noche Tu Night”.

I asked him, unable to containing my laughter,

“So what did you do with the other TV set, you old fart, the Panda?”

To which he promptly replied,

“I have it on my bedroom,  that one is to watch Randy, this one is to watch Yuma* things.”

*Translator’s Notes:
The Round Table: A discussion program which Fidel Castro used to appear on regularly.
“Yuma things”: Yuma means the United States.

Translated by Zoquetote

Published in: on January 21, 2010 at 2:07 pm  Leave a Comment  
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