Hola de Mendoza, Argentina!
It seems as though almost all 100 or so of you on my mass email list responded in some fashion to the last email... Apparently it was a lightening rod of controversy and potential tomfoolery, so let me now dispel all myths about my commitment to the people of Picantemanos and their extremely extraordinary extremities. I will be going there at the end of June, and I am sure that the craziness of the experience will leave me a stronger and better person.
To answer the questions-
1) FACT- Alfonso is real. I discretely took a few snapshots of his freak hands, but I forgot my camera cable so I'm unable to load the pics at this time (the same reason why I haven't created an online album with any of the trip's 700 shots). His father, Alfonso, is also very real as are his 12 hideous digits. His four sons, all named Alfonso but nicknamed Zo, Z, Zorge and Zoseph, all possessing normal 5-fingered hands, are great kids. His wife, Alfonsa, happens to be a sweet woman but after witnessing the respect a 6-fingered man receives in Peru, I understand why Alfonso despises the pathetic weakness of Alfonsa's genetic makeup.
2) FACT- The world's first and only cocktail umbrella cartel will become a reality, and it will exist in Picantemanos, Peru. Unfortunately, in recent years the cocktail umbrella business has become a dirty game around here, soiled by corruption and backstabbing... literally stabbing in the back with small, delightfully colorful umbrellas has become a method of persecution by local gangs. The wounds are small and non-life threatening, but it gets the message across when you're lying face down in the mud with cocktail umbrellas sticking out of your back. Yet the proud people will not be intimidated by their weaponry.
3) FACT- The slapping contest with the outgoing Jefe Superior will occur on the Summer Solstice in 2007. Apparently I have to undergo 5 days of alpaca chasing as training before the event because it will exhaust every ounce of energy that I possess. There is no loser in this contest, only two sore-faced winners.
4) FACT- Yes, the closest translation for the spanish word Picantemanos is "Hot Sauce Hands".
To those of you that showed immediate unquestioning support for my becoming mayor of a Peruvian town called Hot Sauce Hands where the people have 12 fingers, mayoral inaugurations include slapping contests, and the biggest problems are dog-shit covered streets and cocktail umbrellas cartels, especially to those that are interested in arranging a summer visit- I thank you for your unwavering commitment to the absurdity of the adventures thus far. I love you the way Dennis Stratton loves bestiality pornography. But please don't change any of your current plans because I'm awaiting to hear back from the outgoing Jefe Superior about whether other Westerners would be allowed to move into/visit the village. When I know more, so will you...
To the rest of you, I still love you, but more in the way Phil Charm loves Lion King... which is a strong devotion, but not nearly as intense as Stratton's insatiable lust for hardcore bestiality porn.
I hope this email finds your day filled with happiness, health and
Challenge the assumptions,