Drunks and elephants / Borrachos y elefantes

La versión en español está después de la versión en inglés.

THE KID BROTHER WAS SO happy yesterday, he sounded almost giddy. He bowled Saturday. His high game was 148 and that pleased him. Although he has bowled over 200 in the past (rarely), his average right now is 110. But that wasn’t even the best part.

He told me he received “two postcards and a card… you know, a normal card… but it’s a Christmas card… and it’s a really nice card … really nice… beautiful!”

“Can you read who the Christmas card is from?” “Yeah,” silence and then, “you know who.”

“Can you read the name to me?” He rattled off the letters, “J-E-N-N-I-F-E-R.” I reminded him who Jennifer was.

“Yeah, I know. They live down south,” he remembered, “and how’s the bird?” That would be Jennifer’s parrot, Marco. He then said, “It’s a nice card alright! Beautiful! Really nice!”

I asked about the first postcard. He said, “Elephants!”

“Elephants?” I asked. “Is it a painting or drawing?”

“No. Just elephants. But nice!”

“A photograph?”

“That’s right. Real ones. It is nice though!” he repeated.

“Who’s that from?”

“The same person.”


“No. You know who. But they’re from the same.”

“So, the elephants and the other postcard are from one person?”


“Three what? Three elephants? Or three postcards?”

“Yeah! You know who! From the west coast.”

“Oh, wait. So you got three postcards from Susan in Oregon?”

“That’s right. I got three from her. All today.”

“Tell me about the other two.”

“There’s a bird house. An even nicer one. And then a bird. I don’t know the bird but it’s nice! Really nice. That was really good. All those cards!”

“Isn’t that amazing, Chuck. People can be so kind, huh? And there are still more on the way.”

“More?!?” “Yep.”

“Don’t worry. I’ll keep checking the mail!”

Thank you, Jennifer. Thank you, Susan. Thank you, everyone, for your kindness!

WHILE I WAS OUT yesterday evening, I stopped (yet again) at the little Christmas pop-up shop (click here). I planned to buy two black and white cookies, but they didn’t have any. I selected something else and then decided, since they were sold by the kilo, I couldn’t buy only two. So, I bought six. They’re called borrachuelos. Borracho is Spanish for drunk and borrachuelos are made with both wine and brandy, hence the name. They’re a Christmas specialty from here in Málaga province. These were filled with and half-dipped in dark chocolate. We liked them. A lot. A more traditional borrachuelo might be filled with sweet potato or pumpkin. I managed to keep two aside after dinner for our morning coffee/tea. San Geraldo had to be convinced. They taste like more.


EL HERMANITO ESTABA TAN FELIZ ayer que sonaba casi mareado. Jugó a los bolos el sábado. Su juego alto fue 148 y eso le gustó. Aunque ha lanzado más de 200 en el pasado (rara vez), su promedio en este momento es 110. Pero esa ni siquiera fue la mejor parte.

Me dijo que recibió “dos postales y una tarjeta … ya sabes, una tarjeta normal … pero es una tarjeta de Navidad … y es una tarjeta muy bonita … muy bonita … ¡preciosa!”

“¿Puedes leer de quién es la tarjeta de Navidad?”

“Sí”, silencio y luego, “sabes quién”.

“¿Puedes leerme el nombre?” Recitó las letras rápidamente, “J-E-N-N-I-F-E-R”. Le recordé quién era Jennifer.

“Si lo se. Viven en el sur”, recordó, “¿y cómo está el pájaro?” Ese sería el loro de Jennifer, Marco.

Luego dijo: “¡Es una bonita tarjeta, está bien! ¡Hermoso! ¡Muy agradable!”

Pregunté por la primera postal.

Dijo: “¡Elefantes!”

“¿Elefantes?” pregunté. “¿Es una pintura o un dibujo?”

“No. Solo elefantes”.

“¿Una foto?”

“Así es. Los verdaderos. ¡Aunque es agradable!

“¿De quién es?”

“La misma persona.”


“No. Sabes quién. Pero son del mismo”.

¿Los elefantes y la otra postal son de una sola persona?”


“¿Tres qué? ¿Tres elefantes? ¿O tres postales?”

“¡Si! ¡Sabes quién! De la costa oeste”.

“Oh espera. ¿Recibiste tres postales de Susan en Oregon?”

“Así es. Tengo tres de ella. Todo hoy.

Háblame de los otros dos.

“Hay una casa para pájaros. Uno aún mejor. Y luego un pájaro. ¡No conozco el pájaro, pero es bonito! Muy agradable. Eso fue realmente bueno. ¡Todas esas cartas!

“¿No es increíble, Chuck? La gente puede ser tan amable, ¿eh? Y todavía hay más en camino”.

“¿¡¿Más?!?” “Sí.” “No te preocupes. ¡Seguiré revisando el correo!

Gracias, Jennifer. Gracias, Susan. Gracias a todos por su amabilidad!

MIENTRAS ESTABA FUERA AYER por la noche, me detuve (una vez más) en la pequeña tienda emergente de Navidad (haz clic aquí). Tenía planeado comprar dos galletas blancas y negras, pero no tenían ninguna. Seleccioné otra cosa y luego decidí, como se vendían por kilo, no podía comprar solo dos. Entonces, compré seis. Se llaman borrachuelos. Borracho es español para borracho y los borrachuelos se hacen tanto con vino como con brandy, de ahí el nombre. Son una especialidad navideña de aquí en la provincia de Málaga. Estos estaban rellenos y medio sumergidos en chocolate negro. Nos gustaron. Mucho. Un borrachuelo más tradicional se puede rellenar con camote o calabaza. Me las arreglé para reservar dos después de la cena para nuestro café / té de la mañana. Había que convencer a San Geraldo. Saben a más.

Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

24 thoughts on “Drunks and elephants / Borrachos y elefantes”

  1. Yummy baked goods! I’m glad your brother got his cards, but I am truly mystified about where mine could be. The Royal Mail is apparently running WAY behind!

    1. Steve:
      Some cards from the States have taken a month to get to him. Don’t lose hope. And, still, thanks so much for sending it. I hope it gets there soon. When he was surprised there were more cards coming, I told him there was even one from London but it was on a slow boat.

  2. The Kid Brother always makes me smile. I need to sen another card!

    And a pastry with wine and brandy? Yes :::hic::: please!

    1. Bob:
      I hope someday to be able to give you a tremendous hug! I was going to run back to the Christmas sweets shop today, but Pedro and Kathleen dropped off pastries and sweet wine, SG bought ice cream last night (half left for tonight), and we’ve been having chocolate banana bread a couple of times a day.

  3. Mitchell, you have no idea how much joy it brings me to read this! Please tell Chuck how pleased I am that he likes the card. Also, please convey to him how often Marco is a naughty, naughty bird….in fact, he said so himself the other day. I said, “Marco, you’re a good boy!” and he replied, “He’s a BAAAAAAAD bird!” Hahaha. I have a feeling Marco and Chuck would be great friends. 🙂

    1. Jennifer:
      Can’t wait to tell him your latest Marco story. I can’t remember the last time he was that gleeful. Thank you again.

  4. How very nice to buy these home made biscuit, they must be very good indeed. So happy to read that the kid brother is doing well and getting mail from friends.

    1. Larry:
      The Christmas pastries from this shop are exceptional and made just an hour away. It’s a joy to talk with Chuck right now.

    1. anne marie:
      You are so kind and he will be so happy. It’s amazing to experience him like this.

  5. That was a nice and giddy conversation with Chuck!
    Those borrachuelos would be lethal to me because I would not be able to stop eating them. I made chocolate rum and fig ice cream for us to have for Christmas and it is divine. Easily the most decadent thing I have ever made. So rich that a 2 ounce serving is more than sufficient.

    1. Wilma:
      SG was going to have all three of house, but I reacted in just the right way so he saved one for the morning. (It took all my self control to not have my third that very minute). That ice cream sounds amazing and you made it! I had never had fig ice cream until moving to Sevilla. I love it and now can’t often find it here in Fuengirola. It was getting better with all the new artisan shops that had opened, but I don’t know how many will survive. But back to yours: A 2 ounce serving is more than sufficient? That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard!

  6. You’re adept at steering conversations with Chuck. I know you’ve had lots of practice, but some people never learn and would be irritated.


    1. Janie:
      As my mother once told a friend about me while they watched from a distance as I interacted with Chuck, “He’s been like that since he was 6 or 7 years old.” I was 6 when Chuck was born!!!

    1. Mistress Maddie:
      Wow. Even better than a man after midnight, huh? (To be honest, they CAN be; I guess it depends on the man. But have a borrachuelos before-hand just in case.

    1. Jim:
      No, Chuck doesn’t get excited during any season. Events will make him temporarily happy at times, but he tends to be much less demonstrative. He used to go to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade every year and enjoyed it. And Dale used to always buy Christmas goodies for us all. But that was about it. This Chuck makes very rare appearances.

  7. Elephants on a Christmas card? That has to be something to see. As for the borrachuelos, they look delicious. And since it’s the holiday season, would it be too much to wash one down with egg nog?

    1. Kirk:
      Elephants were on a post card. Christmas tree on the Christmas card. The borrachuelos were even better than they looked. Ooh, I miss egg nog!

  8. I will get a card in the mail, the baked goods look lovely. I made a christmas stollen, it turned out a bit heavy, I asked J if he needed an electric knife or a chainsaw to slice it.

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