A group of eminent Malaysian biologists have discovered a new zoological species in southern Spain: the Marbella thief.* In reality, this animal has been sighted in the area for many years and locals have proclaimed its existence repeatedly, but since it eluded apprehension, authorities have considered it a more or less mythical creature. Now, after its successful capture by the Malaysians, they have verified that the insect exists and that there are abundant examples.
The Marbella thief usually manifests a strange tendency toward swollen lips, which biologists are calling mouthy, and an uncontrolled propensity for adorning the body with gold and gilded objects.
The Marbella thief is a sociable beast with seminocturnal tendencies. The male shows a high tendency toward a hairy upper lip and a fat, happy little belly. The female can have blackish-brown hair from birth, but becomes completely blonde by middle age (this mass conversion to blonde hair has not been understood by scientists); at the same time, she usually manifests a strange tendency toward swollen lips, which biologists are calling mouthy, and an uncontrolled propensity for adorning the body with gold and gilded objects. The thief is omnivorous, that is to say, it eats everything, but, to be sure, only the finest of everything, particularly high-quality Iberian dry-cured ham and tiger prawns. It has an inclination toward seafood restaurants, luxury establishments, flamenco clubs, yachts, golf courses, bullrings, and the Rocío pilgrimage. It loves going out on the town and tends to go to bed fairly late. And when leaving the last casino in the wee hours of the night, it tends to let out the self-important and haughty yell of its species, which is a repetitive hiccup that sounds like “hiiic, hiiic, hiiic, hiiic . . .”
The Marbella thief is a bug of uncertain origin. There are examples that hail from the marshes of the right and others from socialist breeding grounds, but then all develop into genuine thieves. Because this is the most frightening characteristic of the beast: its fabulous capacity to swindle, its uncommon instinct for thievery. Always insatiable, it accumulates jewelry, paintings, luxury cars and palaces, and it takes pleasure in keeping huge quantities of money in its house to roll in (the zoologists suppose that it does this to delouse itself). It is a very unreliable animal: be sure not to get too close because it bites.
Translation from the Spanish
By Novia Pagone
A special section devoted to International Literary Journalism headlines the March 2012 issue of WLT, including a fascinating interview with Anthony Shadid.
Table of Contents
International Literary Journalism
- ESSAY: "International Literary Journalism in Three Dimensions," Norman Sims
- INTERVIEW: "Impartiality Has Nothing to Do with Neutrality: A Conversation with Ervin Hladnik Milharčič," Leonora Flis
- ESSAY: "The Order of the Blind Camel," Maria Golia
- ESSAY: "Female Narrative Journalism in Contemporary Ukraine," Mariya Tytarenko
- INTERVIEW: "Reclaiming What Was Lost: A Conversation with Anthony Shadid," Matt Carney
- ESSAY: "Telling Stories in Contemporary Spain: A Survey of Women Writing Literary Journalism," Novia Pagone
- ARTICLE: "In Search of a Man for Friendship and Possibly More," Empar Moliner
- ARTICLE: "The Pest," Rosa Montero
- ESSAY: "Searching for Truth: Arnon Grunberg's Literary Journalism," Agnes Andeweg
- ESSAY: "Buenos Aires, the Suburbs, and the Pampas," Pablo Calvi
- ESSAY: "Negotiating Nationhood through the Ethnography of “Literary Series” in Nigerian National Newspapers," James Tar Tsaaior
- "Marathons of Memory, Marathons of Life," Roger Robinson
- "Dark Side of the Manga: Tezuka Osamu's Dark Period," Rob Vollmar
- "Not Their Masters' Voice: Latin American Nonfiction," Will H. Corral
- "Filling the Unforgiving Minute: The Literature of Running," Roger Robinson
- Two Poems, Angélica Freitas
- Three Poems, Jacek Gutorow
IN EVERY ISSUE
- LETTERS/EDITOR'S CHOICE
- WHAT TO READ NOW: Greece
- CITY PROFILE: Havana, Cuba
- INTERNATIONAL CRIME & MYSTERY: "Credibility and Popularity in the Historical Mystery," J. Madison Davis
- OUTPOST: Paris, France