Of taverns and tarantulas

Grande consuelo es tener/La taberna por vecina,/But trying to find a spider there:/It’s a facking misdemeanour (guv).

Here, for St Francis of the Raval, is one of the less lumpy bits from La Cena by Baltasar del Alcázar (1530-1606):

Por nuestro Señor, que es mina
La taberna de Alcocer;
Grande consuelo es tener
La taberna por vecina.
Si es o no invención moderna,
Vive Dios que no lo sé,
Pero delicada fué
La invención de la taberna.
Porque allí llego sediento,
Pido vino de lo nuevo,
Mídenlo, dánmelo, bebo,
Págolo y vóyme contento.

This is decanted from Espigas, an anthology of Spanish literature edited by D Federico Doreste Betancor and published in 1936 by Imprenta Elzeviriana y Librería Camí at 64 Joaquín Costa. Federico Doreste, who was director of the Colegio Pablo Iglesias in 1936, published a number of interesting works in the 20s and 30s, including a treatise on snail farming and one on windmills. I believe that the building that occupied Joaquín Costa 64 was demolished in the 80s, and that its replacement houses a bank and a knocking shop, institutions which I find inimical to my well-being and which I tend to avoid.

I currently live opposite a re[t/d]emptress of a tavern where, last night, I had a long conversation with the hind leg of a giraffe. As you may know, my full-moon Night of the Tarantula outings are a great success in all respects but one: we have never seen a single føcking tarantula. So I devised a scheme which would involve unemployed thespians dressing themselves up in giant spider costumes and mopeding themselves out into the park through which we walk; they would then jump, barking (as I presume Lycosa to do), out of the well behind the last ruined farmhouse we pass. Unfortunately, although Barcelona echoes to the snores of resting actors, I have yet to find one who will undertake this role. Mr Giraffe wanted €600, which seemed a bit steep to me. An illegal Pakistani Oracle database manager with whom I had a long conversation the other night said he would do it if it meant he would get residence papers, which he would then use to get into Britain, but we eventually agreed that this might create more problems than it would solve.

London's Historic Inns and TavernsAn Encyclopaedia of Oxford Pubs, Inns and Taverns (Series X)Tarantulas and Other Arachnids (Barron's Complete Pet Owner's Manuals)Expert One-on-One OracleOracle PL/SQL ProgrammingOracle Jdeveloper 10g HandbookThe Very Busy SpiderIncey Wincey Spider (Sign & Sing-Along) (BSL)

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