Upon learning of the long-overdue death of Missouri-born bullfighter Patricia McCormick, I worked diligently to perfect my sewing skills, hopeful that her family would consider donating her ugly carcass to a magic-based reality TV show I’d quickly conceived.
In an obituary that appeared in Texas Monthly (and in a slightly different form in The New York Times), Texas-based writer Bryan Mealer explained that McCormick’s “love of the sport came during a vacation to Mexico City when she was seven years old” after which “she staged mock bullfights in her yard using neighborhood kids.”
If only the aspiring terrorist had stuck to torturing her consenting peers.
McCormick lived longer than many of us would have liked. The Daily Telegraph (London) reported that after she was gored during a bullfight in Ciudad Acuña, McCormick “received a letter that read: ‘I’m sorry the bull didn’t kill you.'”
I, too, am sorry.
Mealer’s Texas Monthly piece tells us that “McCormick had her bullfighting debut on September 9, 1951, in Juárez. According to the Big Spring Daily Herald, a bull trampled her twice and tossed her on its horns before she managed to plunge the estoque between its shoulders. … Reporters also noted that after killing the animal, McCormick, her clothes streaked in its blood, knelt down and caressed its head.”
Needless to say, news of the twisted psychopath’s natural death was somewhat bittersweet.
Before reading that her shriveled remains would be cremated, I tried unsuccessfully to convince McCormick’s relatives and officials in Del Rio, Texas, to send me her lifeless corpse. My plan, I explained, was “to stuff … (and) turn the deceased into a life-size voodoo doll.”
There was no doubt in my mind that at least one forward-thinking Hollywood producer would see the value of a magic-based reality TV show in which I’d regularly bleed McCormick’s loathsome memory.
In a pitch letter I’d started drafting, I promised that “with enough practice, I’ll eventually be able to use my life-size Patricia McCormick voodoo doll to slaughter the world’s most popular matadors on their own killing floors” and promoted my widely shared desire to “let the barbarians who cheer them on watch their murderous heroes get brutally tortured and slain by the badass measures of karma they’d so shamelessly tempted.”
And for those who might be outraged by what they perceive as a savage blood sport, I suggested “marketing the show as an unprecedented glimpse into a misunderstood cultural tradition.”