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On Francisco Franco, Exotic Pets and Eating While Riding in Cars

I’m not sure how many of you know this, but Generalissimo Francisco Franco kept a large menagerie at his private residence outside of Madrid. He was particularly fond of a pair of black bear cubs he’d adopted after a vacation in the Canadian Rockies. He and his staff of trainers did a remarkable job of taming the two bears, named Baloo and Mowgli (the Generalissimo was fond of the work of Rudyard Kipling). They were more like housecats than anything else, often wandering around the mansion on their own and eating from Franco’s table. 

Franco himself was very fond of French-Canadian cuisine, another taste he picked up on his visit to Canada, and he insisted that his personal chef learn to cook in that style. After all, man does not live on paella alone. Unfortunately, the cheese curds didn’t sit as well with the baby bears, and after eating some leftovers, Mowgli took ill and died. Without his lifelong companion, Baloo was heartbroken and began to follow Franco around everywhere, often making trips into the capital with the fascist dictator. However, one particularly eventful trip caused Baloo to accidentally damage the upholstery in Franco’s favorite Grosser Mercedes, putting the official presidential limousine out of service until the damage could be repaired.

That night, however, an emergency arose, demanding Franco’s presence before the cabinet in the middle of the night. Franco’s personal adjutant, not having had time to arrange for a new car, had to drive him into the capital in his personal vehicle, a small four-door Yugo. For the road, Franco ordered a plate of poutine to eat on the way, and all looked to be under control until Franco’s pet bear realized his owner was leaving. Still mourning for his brother, Baloo bounded out of the house, climbed into the car next to Franco and, in his excitement, knocked the plate out of Franco’s hand, spilling the food all over Franco’s hands and arms. Baloo himself was hungry, it being the middle of the night, and tried to hold Franco’s arm down so he could lick the gravy off, but in so doing, he cut the generalissimo’s arm quite badly.

National emergency or no, Franco had to be taken to the hospital so his wound could be cleaned and sutured, so the valet drove there first. When the admitting nurse asked how Franco had cut his arm, the breathless valet could only say the following:

"If you’re Baloo and you don’t know where to go to
Ride in Yugos where Fascists sit, 
Poutine on the wrist.”

  1. noplatform posted this