CNN’s Al Goodman reports that the annual San Fermin Festival begins tomorrow in Pamplona, Spain:
On the busiest days, a few thousand runners trying to stay ahead of the raging bulls…the event became popular after Ernest Hemingway wrote about it in his novel “The Sun Also Rises.”
When my ex-girlfriend, a friend of ours and I arrived there two years ago, I toyed with the idea of running. I mean, what guy wants to admit he watched other hombres run with the bulls? Not very macho.
There have been fifteen deaths since record-keeping began in 1924 and thousands of injuries from gorings or getting trampled.
I decided not to do it. But not because I was afraid of getting gored or trampled. (Note: I am afraid of both painful occurrences, but they are not the reason I remained on the sidelines.) Rather, the media made me not do it.
Four months after our trip to Spain, LOVE AND OTHER DRUGS, the movie based on my first book “Hard Sell: The Evolution of A Viagra Salesman,” would be premiering. That event had become the focal point of my existence. I did not want to risk this headline, surely to be picked up by every wire service in the world:
Idiot Author Blinded during Run with The Bulls; Cannot See Own Film Premiere
So, I didn’t run. But I did get to see Jake Gyllenhaal play a character named “Jamie” on the big screen.
And I’ll be back in Pamplona to run with the bulls some day, preferably before I turn 50 and require hip and/or knee replacement surgery. And I will run. Believe me, I have to. People – men and women alike – give you the same look when you tell them you went to the Running of The Bulls but didn’t run: What. A. Pussy.
Here is a cool video I shot from our balcony above the race (and for which I provide NSFW play-by-play):
GMP readers, would you run with the bulls?
FYI: If you plan on visiting Pamplona, do yourself a favor and contact “Pamplona Man” at the San Fermin Travel Center. He hooked us up for the amazing balcony seen in the video, and did so with buy impressivo (yo no hablo Espanol) customer service.