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“The office of Putero Mayor de Málaga arises by the grace of their Catholic Majesties”

Historia para anormales   is a book that compiles real and documented events that have fallen into oblivion due to their sordidness, and that due to their surrealism seem more typical of the satirical newspaper El Mundo Today. Although it would be more credible to think that these bizarre stories had arisen from the imagination of its author, Jaime Noguera from Málaga, are the result of the arduous investigation of the versatile creator who has been based on historical archives, documents sometimes lost in library archives and books of those that accumulate dust for decades in bookstores. with more tradition from different parts of the country. And, these stories are so absurdly funny that they seem invented, even if they are totally real.  

Lover of everything Berlanguiano, Noguera already gave us samples of his great talent as a popularizer in Strambotic,  where, led by Iñaki   Berazaluce, he began his career as a writer of historical curiosities written in a satirical key that leave the reader speechless and that are now compiled in this curious book of which a second part is already in the making.  

-How did the position of ‘Putero Mayor’ of Málaga arise?  

-The position of Putero Mayorwas born in order to manage the mancebía houses and collect the corresponding taxes since the monarchs would be very Catholic, but they did not want to give up the income from prostitution. Conquered the kingdom of Granada by the Catholic Monarchs, they organized the new christian kingdom in its public, religious and military administration, and for this they created new positions. That of Putero Mayor in particular, fell on the Caracense Alonso Yáñez Fajardo and is that, Isabel de Castilla and Fernando de Aragón already had clear the need to regulate the oldest profession in the world. Their function was to attend to issues such as medical check-ups for prostitutes so that they did not become a source of infection for the wealthy who visited them, that they had a decent room with a basin, a bed and a blanket and, above all, that pay a tax or tithe to exercise. It was a profession that was passed down from father to son.  There were also Minor Puteros, who were in charge of managing a specific place under the supervision of their superior position.  Due to its sordidness, this profession has not gone down in history with the relevance it had in its time, but it did exist.  

If this profession is surprising, it goes without saying that Groom of the Stool, does not leave you indifferent …

-The king’s cleaning post was for centuries and since its establishment in the 16th century, one of the most valued in the English royal court. And even if one might think that a peasant would be chosen for such a task, as nothing more than reality. This work was carried out by nobles, who, above all, were required to have a gift of speech because in the end it was about entertaining the king during those intimate moments. Note that at that time the gout disease mainly affected high society because they were the only ones who had access to regular meat consumption and the lack of vegetables and cereals in the diet because it caused them constipation … not to mention the complexes and heavy robes that had to be removed so that the monarch could go to the quiet bathroom. In the lower nobility, what was customary was for one of the sons to become military, another to go to the clergy and if there was a son left without a job, one of the candidates for which he could choose was to be the king’s cleaners. These gentlemen spent a privileged time with the king  they could have benefits for the information they obtained from their conversations, which is why the position was highly valued among aristocratic families of the time who wanted to thrive.  

-Noguera, how do you marry an eight-hour trip on a scooter with the legalization of the use of the bikini? 

-In the late 1940s, the use of the two-piece swimsuit was prohibited in Spain as provocative. There are Franco mayors who, the truth is, are very unvitable, as is the case of Pedro Zaragoza Orts, mayor of Benidorm in the 1950s. He realized that the tourists who visited the Spanish coasts yearned to have the freedom that they had in their countries in terms of clothing. In those years, if a woman wore a bikini, they would crack a fine pasture, about 40,000 pesetas. The mayor of Benidorm, who was a visionary, issued a municipal decree not only so that foreigners could be comfortable on the beach but in which he also sanctioned those who hit them for insulting them. The mayor’s initiative did not go down well and even the archbishop threatened to excommunicate him. Pedro was not intimidated and decided to go to El Pardo to meet with Franco. He got on his scooter and after eight hours on the road he planted himself in Madrid and managed to speak with the leader. The mayor of Benidorm made friends with Franco and especially with his wife, who despite being Catholic, mediated with her husband to accept the proposal.  

-What can you tell us about the first case that Iker Jiménez investigated? 

– It was at the age of 11 that Iker, who was already pointing out ways, interviewed the witnesses of an abracadabrante UFO sighting that happened in a town in Álava one night in 1984. Patxi, which is what the main witness of the sighting was called, assured that the aliens spoke euskera. And the thing is, Patxi -who said that in the middle of the mountain she had seen some very strange lights-, she had no other idea than to encourage her children to summon the flying object and in unison they all yelled at her: zatoz hona! ! (come here). And the UFO approached them, which terribly scared the mother who began to scream: ez mesedez! (no, please) and, the flying saucer drifted away. The thing is, J. J. Benítez in some statements he made to Efe took for granted that in the face of the testimonies of the witnesses, because clearly the extraterrestrials understood euskera. 

-What happened to the Argentine command that tried to attack Gibraltar? 

-In 1982, at the time of the war with the Falklands, the Argentine intelligence service came up with an operation to attack the port of Gibraltar, which has always been one of the most desired objectives by the special services of different countries. This group of Argentines were montoneros, -a Peronist guerrilla organization-, and since at that time it was easier to get to Malaga directly than to Cádiz, where there was no airport, it was here that they came. They planted themselves in the Corte Inglés of Malaga and bought a zodiac. Imagine the panorama. The Spanish police, who were already monitoring them, detained them and since they had not eaten they were taken to a nearby bar to have a sandwich And it was there that the most grotesque thing ever happened (-he laughs-). They asked them amiably why they had really come to Spain and the Argentines explained the plan to attack Gibraltar. The agents put their hands to their heads and in the purest Torrente style, they said something like: Damn, but have said it before! If we find out, we won’t stop you… 

-You also touch on dark issues … what have you managed to rescue about the pacts with the devil? 

-The pacts with the devil, perhaps due to the audiovisual world, we have assumed that to make them you have to go to a crossroads, at a certain time of the night and that is where the devil will appear. What caught my attention on this issue is that there was historical documentation on “real” pacts with the devil. In reality, I think it was all a ruse of the Spanish Inquisition that resorted to creating these written pacts to have a test and execute and later kill this or that character. These documents were archived and are currently preserved. When I discovered them, it occurred to me to write a kind of legal advice, as a joke, on how to make this type of agreement with all the formalities and guarantees.  

-In your book you also bring to light a demon that Ole Benalmádena can blame for any possible misprint … 

-The Tittivillus. Nothing less than the pattern of misspellings. This creature is represented with a sack on his back and he went into monasteries and copyists’ houses to collect his errors and have proof of his bad Christian devotion and thus be able to take them to hell. The truth is that during the Middle Ages he was blamed for errors in mass, for mispronunciation, even for stuttering. The reality is that it must be taken into account that the copyist monks worked many hours at a time, with little ventilation and only with candlelight, which even caused blindness to some, and that accumulation of circumstances led to some of them not only to make spelling mistakes but to include burlesque drawings or humorous comments in the margin of the page in sacred texts. 

-Is it true that Huéscar spent more than 200 years at war with Denmark? 

-Yes. This Granada town during the Napoleonic era declared war on Denmark and in 1981 they discovered that they had been at war for 272 years without knowing it. This information is discovered by the Huéscar archivist and they get in touch with the Danish consul, – who by the way was on the Costa del Sol-, and they made a peace signing by toro al alto, which was celebrated with the Danes dressed of Vikings in a big party in Granada.  

-Can you give us a preview of the second part of your book? 

-Well, I have many stories to tell that will soon be published in the second part of this book. For example, how the sexual issue was regulated in the Spanish galleons. A story that I think is going to attract a lot of attention because nobody talks about it, although it was a situation like any other in life at the time. 

If you want to know more about these stories and know others such as the plan of the United States to invade the Canaries and turn them into a new Puerto Rico, what was the reason why Hitler said “nein” to an independent Cataluña or what surname should our current monarch based on the hectic sexual life of his ancestors, do not hesitate and get a copy of Historia para anormales.



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