Wednesday, March 08, 2006

(55) Pancho Sanza (plus Spanish and the selection of a horse)

On the evening of March 11th 1990 I dined with GMs G.Flear and J.Bellon at the Regency Hotel in Bahrain.
Bellon is Spanish and I began chatting with him about Cervantes’ classic novel Don Quixote.

"Do you remember the name of Don Quixote’s horse?", he asked me.

I struggled to recall it.

"Rosci... ?"

"Roscinante!", he completed it for me.

Then he asked if I remembered the name of his assistant.

Flear replied "Pancho Sanza, or something like that."

I laughed and said "No. Sancho Panza."

At 5:30 a.m. on March 13th 1990 I watched a film on the hotel’s video channel.
I tuned in at a scene where a man and a woman had been taken prisoner by some Spanish-speaking bandits.
The girl was challenging the bandit leader to a horse race, saying that if she were to win then she and her companion ought to be let free.
The leader responds by ordering (in Spanish) one of his men to select a horse for the girl.
She then proceeds to win the race.

In the next scene she and her companion are alone together and she asks him what he is doing with his life.
He responds that he is a knight making his way through life.

"Let me be your Don Quixote", he says.
She replies "And I will be your Pancho Sanza."

He then tells her that the name of Don Quixote’s squire was actually Sancho Panza.

All the same, she goes on to take the name of Pancho, pronouncing it "Poncho", throughout the rest of the film.

I subsequently discovered that the film is called Pancho Barnes, and that it had not been broadcast on the hotel’s video channel prior to that.

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