Sunday, March 21, 2010

Jai Alai Fronton Protocol by Pelota Políte

FRONTON etiquette is not only expected, but crucial to survival. Step out of line and you'll likely get stoned. Now we're not saying you can't show up stoned, but we're talking about the kind of stoned that involves hurling rocks at your CABEZA. Be safe. Google first, then come ready. For safety, every time you see the word FRONTON, just substitute it with the word MOSQUE. It is best to err on the side of caution. For instance:

1. If Men and Women should meet in the FRONTON, they should not show any PDA (public display of affection)! Such physical contact is commonplace in everyday Casselberry society, but is inappropriate at the FRONTON.

2. Relative to Casselberry norms, there are strict dress codes at the FRONTON. Make sure you dress modestly. For Men, this means, as a minimum, being covered from navel to knee. And even MORE dignifiedly, the top clothing should cover the elbows. It is also good practice for Men to wear a lucky red hat. For Women, the majority of opinion is that only the face, hands and feet should show. You should also avoid wearing clothes with pictures of the Miami Dolphins on them. Also, Women should remove their shoes and either bring a mat, asked to be carried or pulled in a little wagon by their escort. Men should WAX their calves before entering and Women should CALVE their wax.

3. The General Manager (peace be upon him) steps with his right foot first when he boards the Escalator. And disboards with his left. Follow suit. Emulate the General Manager (peace be upon him) as much as possible. This is NOT the "Hokey Pokey" folks. So don't flub it up!

4. Hygiene? One pari-mutuel gambler sayeth, “Whoever eats garlic, onion, then keep away from our FRONTON because the players get offended from what offends the children of Txurruka.” It is reported that if the General Manager (peace be upon him) finds a Simulcast Race Book Fan to have a strong smell upon him, he orders him to be taken out. So it is something that should be taken very seriously. On a related note, when a women is experiencing her monthly cycle, it is forbidden for her to enter the FRONTON.

5. If you enter the FRONTON and the game for which you came has started, do not run to place your bet. The General Manager (peace be upon him) said “If the game started, then do not join it running, and join it walking and quiet, and have a beer, dude, until you catch up with it the rest of us."

6. No smoking, unless you are a player and in the midst of a game.

7. Worshippers, I mean Patrons, don't like to be photographed. Especially with a flash.

8. Do not walk directly in front of a Simulcast Race Book Fan. This is one of the most common blunders of the newcomer! If the passer in front of a gambler knew how much sin he has committed, it would have been better for him to wait for forty years than to pass in front of him. On a related note, Simulcast Race Book Fans often place their lucky red hat or other item a short distance in front of them as a MARKER. Treat this as their inviolable space while they are gambling. If it is absolutely necessary for you to pass in front of them, do so in a manner that your back is facing the gambling person, but know this: Expect to be stoned when the race is over. Don't worry, they WILL find you.

9. The Jai Alai Fan should sit where he finds a place near the CANCHA. He should not skip people or squeeze himself between two people who are already sitting. To aid people who come when the FRONTON is busy, those already sitting should try to make space for him.

10. Do not sit with you feet pointing towards the CANCHA (direction of player) or other people.

11. It is generally agreed that your Jai Alai Program (only $1.25) should not be placed on the floor out of respect for tonight's game, although there are some groups that do not adhere to this, as it can serve as a useful mat for your Woman to sit on.

12. Also, do not engage in trade in the FRONTON. The General Manager (peace be upon him) said “If you see someone selling or buying inside the FRONTON, say to him: 'May Txurruka not make your trading profitable.'"

13. And if you see someone crying out inside the FRONTON about something he has lost (like his 401K), say to him, "May Txurruka not restore it to you, for the FRONTON was not built for this.”

14. More generally, try to avoid devaluing the purpose for which you came by speaking of worldly affairs, like being unemployed and not having health coverage or a 401K or having rickets or losing your wife while at the FRONTON and not being allowed to say anything about it, because Txurruka doesn't care. Yeah, stuff like that.

15. If POST TIME is about to be called, do not leave the FRONTON until you have gambled – even if you have already gambled the game that is being called. Gamble with your fellow Patrons, and count it as a 'shits-n-giggles' (optional) gamble. Erdoza Menor reported that Jericho (may Txurruka be pleased with him) said “the General Manager (peace be upon him) ordered us, when we are in the FRONTON and the POST TIME is called for, not to leave the FRONTON until we gamble or drink our weight in Coors Light.”

16. Greet people when you enter, and when you leave the FRONTON. The General Manager (peace be upon him) said “When one of you joins LIVE JAI ALAI, he should greet those present; and when he leaves them he should greet them because the first salutation is not better than the last one.” If there are many people present, a single declaration of"‘WHAZZUP!" will suffice, as this means "What be going down, holmes (all)."

There are many other things we could mention, such as the Florida Administrative Code, Pari-Mutuel Rules and Regulations Chapter 61D-7.020(8) which is read when entering and leaving the FRONTON, but arguably these are more clearly matters of gambling and can be covered elsewhere.

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