She was, if you're impressed by rattlesnake/scorpion hybrids that stand 4' 10" tall, dress like women, call their overweight grandchildren "Gordito" ("Little Fatty"), threaten one grandson with falsely reporting him to the police for physically abusing an old rattlesnake/scorpion hybrid in a dress, tells her daughters she wants to and is planning on outliving them, and thinks it absolutely and hysterically funny that a) one of her sisters took an ax to her cheating husband's brand new car, b) another took a baseball bat to her sleeping husband; breaking 20 bones in his body because he was mean to the 11 dogs who were receptacles for ancestor spirits and kept in her home and fed grilled steak every night, and c) a third sister shoved her 8 months pregnant daughter-in-law down a flight of stairs. And when I say she thought it was funny
, I mean she was in tears laughing as she told me the stories of her sister's antics.
One of her own personal stories recounted the night her husband Hector came home from work and found her sitting on the front porch of their home.
(it wasn't her real name. All of the bruja sisters had nicknames that were just sounds and didn't mean anything - "Manna," "Da Ta" and "Jatine") I have something I need to tell you
," he said to her. "Tomorrow I need to go to the wedding of Maria Torres and Victor Cruz."
she asked her husband,"you don't even know the girl or the boy."
Slowing stepping away Hector answered his wife, "Because rumor has it I am the girl's father."
In a flash, Coca leaped to her feet and doused Hector with kerosine from a container she likely kept close by for just such an eventuality, and then chased him through the house and around the yard throwing lit matches at him, while, according to witnesses, he giggled like a little boy and half their children yelled "Run Poppi run!
" and the other half yelled "Get him Momma, get him!"
Fortunately for Hector, he never stumbled or fell and the matches kept going out when she threw them. He eventually fled the scene and went somewhere to get cleaned up. The next day he attended the wedding of his rumored daughter Maria to young Victor Cruz, and didn't return home for a week, by which time, all was forgiven and Coca welcomed him back.
The story was told to me by Coca herself, tears streaming down her face, and corroborated by Jose Castillos, one of the witnesses and the teenaged son of family friends, a doctor from Colombia and his wife. I'm sure Jose was a credible witness because in time he went to college and then med school and earned a medical degree in psychiatry. In his spare time, he performed as a motorcycle stunt driver, using the stage name "Jose Canuc
" (Get it? Jose Can U C
) He was wearing American Flag festooned helmets and jumpsuits long before Evel Knievel became a household name.
Yea, she was awesome alright. The way BabaYaga, Morgan Le Fey and Attila the Hun were awesome.