Does Maxwell’s Silver Hammer Make Paper Pinatas? UNM Thinks So

Lupe and the Blacksmith

I have never before had a day where blacksmiths and hamburgers factored heavily in its outcome. I can safely say that that milestone in my life–that is, a day wherein I was directly involved with both blacksmithery and hamburgery–has been broken.

I did not think that this was going to happen. I thought, being a red-blooded American, that I was going to spend the day learning to make pinatas. The art of pinata-making, one that dates back to at least twelve years ago–one which has inspired Americans to new heights of animated immaturity with groundbreaking shows like “Viva Pinata”–was supposed to be shown today at the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology according to a paper hastily printed out by the University of New Mexico Department of Arts and Journalism Mixed Together Into A Fine Paste (UNMDAJMTIAFP). Specifically, they said that it was to be held on Saturday the 18th, and if you haven’t yet noticed, Saturday falls on the 17th, which means that something is amiss.

Whatever the case, the curators of the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology nobly replaced this act with a blacksmith, Gary Williams, who I noticed probably could have created swords, the same type of which could have been used to destroy pinatas. I will leave you to connect the dots here, but I will say only that the curator seemed awfully hurried in asking him to leave, and yet he continued to speak, unhurriedly, just pushing his bellows up and down and making pointy nails. I can only imagine going to UNM Hospital later tonight and seeing the entire cast of Viva Pinata ripped apart in hospital beds, getting an intravenous mixture of paste and paper mache.

Tools for Pinata Destruction

Potential pinata-destroying weapons.

However, as it turns out the UNMDAJMTIAFP paper (NOT referring to the pinatas) was incorrect on another point. First off, the blacksmith could not be called up until 1:00 PM, but the paper had said that it was to start at 11:00 “PM”, Saturday November 18th. That meant my mother and I had three hours to spend. We spent them as follows:

11:30 “PM”–Proceed to Zimmerman Library, where I was to find books on New Orleans.

12:15 “PM” or possibly “AM” depending on what the paper says–I realize that I have spent 45 minutes looking for books and yet have still not found any books using the University of New Mexico’s ultrafast EBSCO research database.

12:16 “PM”–My mother humbly suggests that we use the library’s paper brochures to try to find the books. I disagree, realizing of course that I was dealing with a lesser mind that was simply too old to get modern technology.

12:19 “PM” (three minutes later)–I have found five books relating to colonial New Orleans.

12:25 “PM”–My mother and I decide to go to the Route 66 Diner to eat.

Now, this was where we began to enter the world of retro diners, where nobody thinks anything of seeing a neon pitchfork mounted on top of a disco ball. It’s a strange world, one in which old dilapidated gas stations are used as restaurants and there are at least three pictures of Marilyn Monroe for every twelve square feet of wall space. No room is spared:

Route 66 Diner Bathroom

Yes, they seriously had a Marilyn Monroe photograph in the bathroom.

Our waitress was very sweet, but I noticed that she wore those black earlobe plugs like Goths wear. I also noticed that she seemed very concerned, because I continuously looked into the kitchen to try to figure out whether she was seriously wearing black lobe plugs with a light blue 1950s-style diner uniform. One can only imagine what was going through our heads:

Waitress: My Lord, they’re really serious about their order. Why does that guy keep staring at me? Is it my hair? Good God, is my hair messy or something? Or is he just waiting for his order and watching me to see if I bring it out to him? Am I not moving fast enough for his chauvinist pig ass? GOOD GOD IS HE UNDRESSING ME WITH HIS EYES?!

Me: Is she seriously wearing earlobe plugs?

Whatever the case, my mother and I finish our meals by 1:15, so we were about a half hour late to the presentation.

Blacksmith Presentation

It was badass.

So, all right, maybe I won’t be able to use this lecture for my paper. Maybe I’ll have to find an event involving something else, like (God help me) quilts. Who knows. All I know is, today involved hamburgers and blacksmiths and lots of them, and I can’t help but be proud for being a part of the glory of it all.

And God was it glorious.


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