Guilt-stricken Tico comes clean about his treasonous palate
OROTINA – Local cell phone repair proprietor and roadside plantain salesman Juan Carlos Pérez made a shocking public announcement to the Orotina community Sunday morning: he prefers Nicaraguan Gallo Pinto over the Tico dish.
Perez made the announcement at the close of Sunday morning mass during the community notices when he said he felt compelled by Dios to make a confession before the congregation.
“No one thought it was unusual when Juan-ca took the pulpit, though his hands were visibly shaking,” said local churchgoer Milady Segura. “I think we all just assumed it was going to be another one of his Nicas-are-stealing-our-jobs tirades.”
To the surprise of everyone present, Pérez started his announcement with an apologetic tone.
“I know I’ve said some pretty mean things about Nicas in my life, like how they eat iguanas, are machete-lovers, or how they have blowholes between their shoulder blades,” he said. “But I come before you today to announce a change of heart, and taste-buds.”
Pérez went on to say that he learned six months ago he’s been eating Nicaraguan gallo pinto his entire married life. The red beans and rice he consumed every morning the last 16 years, which he said is more effective at getting him out of bed than the six neighborhood roosters, turned out to be a Nicaraguan recipe his wife inherited from her grandmother, who emigrated to Orotina from Masaya in the 1980s.
“For the past couple of months I tried to keep it to myself. I was so ashamed,” he said. “But when my cousin caught me eating them in a closet while drinking a Toña, I knew it was time to come clean.”
Pérez says he wishes life could just go back to normal, but knows it’ll never be the same. He also recently admitted to eating Vigoron for lunch and actually caught himself saying the phrases “dale pue” and “ma’ pue”.
“Every day just seems a little darker,” he said. “I can’t tell jokes like I used to. All my best material is about Nicas. Jokes about Panamanians don’t get nearly the same reception.”
Pérez says his biggest concern is how this will affect his children.
“They’re being teased relentlessly,” he said. “One kid called my boy ‘son of a Nica-lover’ and another made fun of him for being from an open-minded family. He comes home crying almost every day.”
Pérez’s family and friends hope that, with their support, he’ll be able to kick the habit and get back to his anti-Nica racist self. Pérez is doubtful, however, as he “Liked” the Sandinista Front FSLN page on Facebook last week and has started selling Quesillo at his roadside stand for 35 Cordobas a plate.