The death of Chico Ansisio
The day of the table was the day following the death of Chico Anisio, the famous Brazilian comedian and author. As we arrived in the Centro do Rio so we saw the mourners queuing outside the Municipal Theatre to see his resting body and share the grief of his wife and family. Had we not been on a mission I think my Dudu (my son-in-law) would have joined the queue to pay tribute to the well loved and respected man. From what little I understand Chico was a little like our Les Dawson, Ronnie Barker or perhaps Lenny Henry and able to impersonate men and woman in a very raw but humorous way.
I understand that Brazilians do grieve very publically for some celebrities. As we sat in a bar to wait for my Dudu’s return from delivering the table, the T.V. was alive with Chico’s honour. There was indeed a camera in the theatre watching the mourners file past the coffin and flowers.
That evening as we sat around the newly placed table Dudu read a short story by Chico Anisio called Tem aquela do … in Portuguese and then Amy proceeded to translate it for us; sentence by sentence. She was unfamiliar with the story, so it was a little wobbly to begin with. As the story opened she became more eloquent and the very funny story unfolded. It was about an Argentinean whisky taster who was able to recognise the name and blend of any whisky. He was able to entertain the crowds in this way; on one such occasion he was requested by a visitor to try the contents of a glass he was holding. Rather than do his usual tasting ritual he spat it on the floor and shouted ‘This tastes like urine!’ ‘Yes, but whose?’ replied the stranger – putting the pompous show-off in his place.
The story was most entertaining and Dudu’s spontaneous action was a fitting way to end the day and honour the memory of a funny man.