HUMOR: PATIENT MARIO CARRION IN AN AMERICAN HOSPITAL
On September 15 last year I suffered a serious heart attack, which could have been fatal, but thanks to an incredible team of Johns Hopkins surgeons I escaped the worst possible scenario with a triple bypass. Now as I write this I am close to being one hundred percent recovered.
From the time I had my emergency surgery at Johns Hopkins of Baltimore, where I was hospitalized for 23 days, until now I have received multiple calls, cards, e-mails and visits from friends and acquaintances, who were interested in my health and my progress, but nothing has been as amazing as a weighty letter I received almost a month ago from my dear friend, the American artist Olín Yoder.
Upon opening the envelope I found a humorous note from Olin, wondering how a bullfighter would have been treated in an American Hospital. I confirmed his impressions by looking at the cartoons he enclosed in the envelope. I started to smile immediately with the first cartoon, and as I looked at the collection I couldn't help laughing heartily. Maybe it was my open mind which permitted me to see the humor in an incident which could have had a tragic result for me. That was not the case, since my wife Sally, who was at my side, asked me what I was enjoying so much. I showed her Olin's clever cartoons and she also enjoyed them tremendously. I got the same reaction from several friends and family members with whom I shared the cartoons.
I Include below a brief bio note on Olin Yoder and an explanation of my relationship with the creator of these humorous works.
Olin Yoder is a Maryland artist and educator who has lived with his family in a suburb of Baltimore for many years, dedicating his life to teaching and painting. His university studies were concentrated on art and education. He pursued his undergraduate degree in those fields at Shepherd College in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, and then obtained a Master's degree in fine arts at Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore. A portion of his art work can be appreciated on line at OILS BY OLIN.
Olin and I met some forty years ago through an English teacher who taught at my school and was a mutual friend. On one of his frequent trips Olin had seen a bullfight which piqued his interest. Upon learning that I was a retired matador, Olin showed an interest in meeting me and through our friend, the English teacher, he invited us to dinner at his house. From the moment we met we felt like we had been lifelong friends, and from our conversation that night I realized that Olin's interest in the bullfight was based on the artistic aspect of the toreo. Our families became good friends, and he and I frequently discussed the artististic aspect of the bullfight, as well as other artistic topics. Also, from the start of our friendship, I could appreciate the profound and natural sense of humor that this artist possessed, and which had led him to became a sought after and popular speaker. From time to time he presented conferences on all types of art. In his humorous presentations he always made his audiences laugh with his astute observations. Sometimes he illustrated his point of view through the projection on a screen of cartoons of whatever the topic might be. I joined him once in a conference to chat about the artistic aspects of the fiesta brava.
A few years ago Olin surprised me showing me a series of cartoons in which brave bulls appeared as humans commenting about bullfighting. Olin said "Mario, this is how the bulls see bullfighting." In one of the cartoons the bulls with their families are watching a corrida from the stands, and one of them shouts "ole" each time the torero (a caricature of me) has a problem in the arena. To me that would certainly be a normal reaction from those horned spectators. I posted that cartoon, along with several others, on this Webpage which showed similar situations, in an imaginary role reversal. To my utter surprise one of the readers, who obviously did not understand the ironic humor expressed in the cartoons, sent me an e-mail accusing both Olin and me of being anti-taurine.
Well, without fear that this negative reaction will occur again, I include below a few samples of the ironic humor of my good friend, the great artist of the brush and the pen, Olin Yoder.
CARTOONS BY OLIN YODER