EP022: Don Ysidro

By Bruce Holland Rogers.
Read by Evo Terra (of The Dragon Page).

On that last morning, anyone who came to visit me could see that I was dying. I knew it myself. As if I had cotton in my ears, I heard the voice of don Leandro saying to my wife, “Dona Susana, I think it is time to fetch the priest,” and I thought, yes, it’s time.

We don’t have our own priest, or even our own church, so someone has to drive in a pickup truck to get the priest from El Puentecito. But don’t be fooled by what you may hear in Malpasa or in Palpan de Baranda. Here we remain Catholic. Yes, we make pots in the old way. That’s why tourists come here. And it’s true, as is sometimes whispered, that we have restored certain other practices from the past. But not as they were done back then. Those were bloody and terrible times, the times of the Mejica. They say that the sacrificial blood covered the sun pyramids from top to bottom. Thank the Virgin, we don’t do anything like that.

Rated PG. Contains death rituals with possible disturbing imagery, and numerous pot references. (No, not that kind.)

Referenced sites:
Short-Short Stories

Comments (21)

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  1. al saiz says:

    What a sweet story…i love stories filled with life and hope and which can be played for kids to hear…a nice change of pace.

  2. Spork says:

    Evo’s (sometimes there, sometimes not) fake accent made me want to stick an ice pick in my ears…

  3. SFEley says:

    I’m sorry you didn’t like it, Spork. Thus far, no Mexican podcasters have offered to read for us, so we do the best with what we have.

  4. Spork says:

    You’re kidding, right? If a story needs to be read with an accent, you’re saying that the author isn’t capable of conveying such flavor in his or her writing alone.

    Are you really insulting your contributing writers?

    Evo sucked. No, this isn’t a statement of opinion, he genuinely sucked sweat off a donkey’s balls with his reading. There’s a truism in businesses that deal with customers. Yeah, I know you’re not much of an actual business, but hear this out. For every one customer from whom you hear a complaint, there are about a dozen with the same opinion from whom you don’t hear. Ever. They just go away.

    Your sarcasm, and apparent lack of faith in your contributing authors’ abilities to convey mood and culture in a piece without the benefit of a poorly-performed reading is sadly disappointing.

  5. SFEley says:

    I wasn’t being sarcastic, Spork. I was quite serious: we try our best to match stories with readers, and if we had someone better qualified to read this story in its native accent, we’d have made use of that resource.

    Opinions vary. I personally liked Evo’s reading quite a bit, and others have said the same, including the story’s author. I am sorry you didn’t. Of course no one’s going to like every story or every reading, but I do hope you’ll stick around to listen to the next one.

  6. Pavlina says:

    I also liked the story and the reading. What was the name of the band that played the music in this episode? You called it monster surfer rock. Thanks.

  7. Pavlina says:

    Oh, never mind. I just gained the ability to read.

    I love the podcast!

  8. SFEley says:

    Thanks, Pavlina! The band that does our music is Daikaiju. They’ve got two great albums and do a smashing live show — and yes, I really will take any excuse to talk about them. >8->

  9. Hi Scott, Have heard a lot of good things about your show. Subscribng right now so I’ll reserve comment on how good or bad Evo sounds. Re: I have a video of Evo sucking sweat off of a javelina’s balls, unfortuantely I can’t get this new fangled Video IPod to work other wise I’d post link to his site. I think it’s great how ecited you get over band-cool.

  10. Evo says:

    Damn. That video got out? I tell you, there are two things you never do: Video youself committing a crime, and nut-a-latio-ing native swine.

    Steve (was: Scott)? Next time where you’ve got a need for a hick from Oklahoma voice, drop me a line. I’m your man.


  11. JM Campbell says:

    Not the best accent I’ve ever heard, but I got past it after a minute. and really enjoyed the story.

  12. Spork says:

    The accent was bad enough to pull me out of the story. When I found I was paying more attention to the reading than the content being read, I knew the story was ruined for me.

    THAT’s what made it such a shitball reading. It yanked me kicking and screaming out of the story. Why do you think audiobooks are read by actors and voice professionals? Steve’s lucky enough to be a natrually gifted reader/storyteller. Evo, is not. Evo is, however, burdened with an over-inflated ego, and an opinion of his vocal abilities that far outpaces reality.

  13. Hank says:

    Please Spork let it go. Everyone who cared heard you the first time.

    Has anyone read the SciFi story “Potters of Firsk” by Jack Vance? I listened to an old Dimension X radio broadcast of this story a few days after I listened to “Don Ysidro”. Amazing! Two stories about using the dead to make pottery.

    I assume the author has read the Vance story, but maybe they are both from a common folk tale. The stories are actually quite different in tone and setting.

    Steve keep up the good work. And I didn’t mind the accent.

  14. 3Countylaugh says:

    Another Podcast I subscribe to has done a version of Don Ysidro (EP#22).
    Their version is very different and lovely. I thought other listeners might want to listen and compare as they are both delightful and different. The podcast can be found at:

  15. Jay says:

    If I had known Don Ysidro had been read on Escape Pod I probably would have asked permission from Bruce to read another one of his stories on AudioLingo. In any case, thanks, 3Countylaugh, for telling me about this earlier version.

    I don’t see anything wrong with affecting an accent in reading a story like Don Ysidro. I tried without the accent and with it. I quickly rejected the one without. To me the accent is needed, not to keep it authentic, but to get closer to the root of the story. I’m sure Evo would say the same thing. If we lose the Sporks out there, so be it.

    I think Evo did an excellent job. I also encourage folks to subscribe to Bruce’s stories, which are wonderful. The cost is now $10 a year, not $5. Still, that’s a little over a quarter a story. Well worth it.

  16. nevermind! says:

    well… the story is good!

  17. Dan the Man says:

    The problem with catching up on old EPs is that nobody will probably ever read my comments (and I’ll probably never check back to see who responds to mine).
    More to the point, some people can do accents and some people can’t. Sigler is awful at women’s voices. Hutchins does better by not trying to do it “high,” but ruins it anyway with an accent. It’s a dilemma.

  18. FriesianCat says:

    Wonderful story. I’m betting the author is a Novica.com fan…?!

  19. FriesianCat says:

    Oops…. that was supposed to read: Wonderful story. I’m betting the author is a Novica.com Fan…?!

  20. scatterbrain says:

    This is a very good macabre piece, don’t get me wrong; but was this really deserving of the award?

    Either there has been a mild injustice or modern speculative fiction is going down the shitter.

  21. __Jim_ says:

    This story was so miserable, that I actually aborted listening to it. I mean no personal offense, but Steve, you’ve definitely bombed on accepting this story.

    That accent ruined the story a second time, it was so very hokey. I personally am offended by Evo’s attempt to sound like Ricardo Montobaln’s rich and authentic accent.