Thursday, September 15, 2005

Torque Ya Muddah, Torque Ya Faddah

Every schoolchild knows the famous rhyme about one of Spain’s great trendsetters of the 15th century: “In 1498, Torquemada ended his rule of hate.” Yep, friday is the 507th anniversary of his death day. But so few of us really know the man who put the unexpectancy in the Spanish Inquisition. Sure, he was responsible for the deaths of 10,000 people. Yeah, he helped institutionalize anti-Semitism. It’s a given he was one of the key figures to sustain the Catholic Church’s inflexibility that it proudly maintains till this very day (a big shout-out to Pope Benedict!). But he did love puppies.

Famously described by the Spanish chronicler Sebastian de Olmedo-Saenz as "the hammer of heretics, the light of Spain, the saviour of his country, the honour of his order," it wasn’t until he jumped to the ABA that he earned the nickname “the Round Mound of Rebound.”

Alas, Torquemada rarely broke out the comfy chair to torture or punish. Nope, he was the master of burning non-believers at the stake, which was performed as a public spectacle called an auto-da-fé (literal translation: “what duh f---”)(and the --- isn’t to keep this clean, it’s because it’s hard to make the “k” sound when your tongue has melted). If the condemned recanted and kissed the cross, they were mercifully garroted before the fire was set, for nothing bespeaks coziness like a wire through the carotid. If they recanted only, they were burned with a quick-burning seasoned wood (Kingsford Quick-Lite Charcoal, the Official Briquettes of the Spanish Inquisition). If not, they were burned with slow-burning green wood (but as a bonus, the slow-cooking method preserves the heretic’s juices and makes for much better eating latter).

Here we have a picture of Torquemada right before devouring one of his victims.


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