Last night we went to a Halloween party thrown by my wife's cousins. They're Cubans who've been in the United States a little over a year, and like most Cuban immigrants I know, they're working at 17 jobs and adapting fast to life in the United States, or at least life in Miami, which of course is not quite the same thing. They love Halloween. They cannot believe what a great idea it is to put on costumes and consume vast quantities of carbohydrates.
They have no electricity, which does not paticularly bother them, as they often had none in Cuba. They borrowed a generator, which they used to power the stereo, because at a Latin party, music takes precedence over refrigeration. They also used it to power an illuminated skeleton that they got at a party store, which they had halfway buried in the yard, in a hole that was left when a large tree got blown over by Wilma.
There were maybe 50 people there, and I was the only one who did not speak Spanish. Not that it mattered: The main activity was dancing under the sky to a wide range of music, from salsa to the Fine Young Cannibals. At one point they were playing disco, and we danced to what has to be one of the dumbest songs ever written, even by disco standards: "Ring My Bell." When we got to the chorus, you could hear many different voices, with many different degrees of accent, singing:
Ring my bell...
Ring my bell!
It was a great night. I can't say we totally forgot about Wilma, But we definitely said the hell with her.
And now for the news: Here is a hardcore factual report on the situation.