Hilarious reading of a marginal tale


The day had started to Mari full of chores.

Those days when tasks exceed the daily limit of productive hours and make the daily life of a modern woman an endless rat race.

Mari lived alone and was responsible for the education of her three daughters. She was mother, housewife and professional – a journalist in an advisory of a state agency. The restless woman fulfilled her daily journey according to the steps outlined in her guide book, which was meticulously updated every night and carried with herself during the day to prevent some forgetfulness of what she should accomplish.

Woman fulfilled

At work, between a phone call and another, used to write articles, mark interviews, read the main news of the day, organize events and “zás-traz”, the morning passed and the time to get the brood in school aroused that swirl of actions.

The order was to get home, have lunch and return to the company. Especially today the day promised to be different, with something hanging in the air.
– But, my God! – Exclaimed annoyed, when she sat at the table for lunch with the kids. I forgot to stop at the bank – recalled.

She needed to figure out how to apply the money from the sale of the beach house.

– This money came just in time! It’s giving me a break in the budget and making me calmer about the children’s education for the future. Who knows I don’t have to work so hard in the next years – dreamed between a forkful and another.

– I will eat quickly and take a bit of the time I have for lunch to talk to the manager – confided to herself and made a warning in her mind: eat fast is not good for the body.

Hesitated, shrugged her shoulders and thought: but what is the body of us but a punching bag we keep doing everything we think mercilessly and only stops when it complains and get sick.

And there she went, in the certainty that the only option to her life was to walk faster and perform more tasks in the shortest time. The meeting with the bank manager was productive and the conversation got a direction to better apply the money. She knew it was necessary to use all her creativity in the pursuit of “filthy lucre.”

II – Tale of the Ticket

Even though she was rushed and with the task schedule in the head, Mari was caring and always gave information gently, if someone approached her on the street.

– Hi lady! Can you give me some information?, called her. Where is this street? – He pointed with his finger to what was written on the piece of paper already half crumpled from his pocket.

She looked at the address. Thought and thought and said she did not know that street even knowing the neighborhood. Kind of hasty

She looked at the address. Thought and thought and said she did not knew that street even knowing the neighborhood. Half hasty, called the first man who went to her side to help. A guy dressed in a brown suit, good looking, brown, with a pretty face.


– Could you please help this gentleman – pointed. Do you know this street here? Asked to the men and took out saying: I am a little late to work and I got to go walking, see you soon, I am going…

– No, no, calm down, wait a minute because I also don’t know this street and I think this gentleman is from the country and is lost here in the city, said the men in the suit trying to avoid her to go.

In this buzz-buzz of wanting to go and the other holding – no I am going, no lady, stay here and help – the hick, chubby and small, with the face of someone who is lost in the world, like the dog who “felt from the moving truck”, soon stopped both, specially the woman who was trying to sneak out.

– Please help me, begged. I don’t know nothing of Curitiba. I live at Pinhais and I am here to look for a guy who bought a bike from me and still did not pay me a penny! Just left this address and this ticket (a lottery ticket) and I want to give it back and receive the money – said humbly the hick.

Of course it was all staged and that was when the “pig began to twist the tail”, as the prose counters says in a mate meeting. The guy with suit, very cocky to mediator, said to Mari:

– Look! A lottery ticket!

How about going to that lottery house there, pointed him (the lottery was close to where they were and even that was premeditated). Let’s see if this number is not winning!

Evident that Mari started to get curious.

This terrible curiosity that kills us. Especially for her, curiosity was a virus that would not let her alone, but which helped her a lot when filled the role of reporter in interviews and writings. She went along with the guy in the suit and the hick to the lottery shop.

Interesting that the tidy guy even went to the cashier, but direct to the board where the winning numbers was.

– For god sake! – exclaimed. This is a lucky man! His ticket is the first prize. Won one million of reais – said the man in the suit.

Immediately Mari took the ticket from the hand of the man and also checked the result. By the board she identified the number, which was the same that was in that paper which was in her hands and had no doubt, the man really had a winning ticked. Thought soon in a good article to sell as “free-lancer”.

After all is not always that you find someone so “lucky” and with such a picturesque story.

However, she neither had time to think and say something about, the “humble”, in quotes, because later she would figure out that of humble he had nothing; the hick, with the straight face of the world, of a poor and helpless, said to both that he would give a lot of money if they helped him to receive the money without any problem, by the fact that he was really afraid of big cities and of being robbed.

He spoke with his eyes half closed, those little eyes of raptor trying to give the connotation of being steeped in terror, but which left him with an even more deformed face.


Holy ingenuity of the modern and independent woman, with no time to read the police pages – which incidentally, was not her favorite cause. She preferred the playful side of life – and soon offered to give them a ride, both to the hick as for the man in the suit, to take them to the bank.

And that the hick don’t worry about the cash reward because she did not want any part of the award, but only to see if he really won the lottery and had the protection and due orientation to manage the amount.

I think the lady was still half stunned and had no idea what she was doing, so perhaps did this proposal so unusual to strangers.

Can someone in full 20th century – the history is lived at the end of the 90s – think this way, a journalist, enlightened, knowing the dangers of the modern world.

Clearly it can be this way. Mari was like that. Offline, clueless in that exact moment of the proposal that the man was making to her, and she doing another absurd proposal insisting in the invitation to take them to the bank, in the center of the city, where she knew the manager, who could guide the man in the best way.

– No, no – said the hick. I am not taking a ride with you while I am not sure I can trust you, completed.
– What the hell this stubbornness of this man, she thought.

In that conversation that the three, all trying to convince each other what was more interesting for each one, Mari probably did not understand very well what the hick meant to say and took sometime to realize and react to the weird proposal.

Thus, the colloquium senseless, of I am going only if you prove me I can trust on you, etcetera and so on, lasted almost 30 minuts and the woman, so envolved in the trama she was, had forgotten the commitments and the work.

In a certain moment, even the man in the suit, already allied with the hick, and doing crazy for money, said he agreed to go to the bank and give all the money he had for the hick and prove his suitability. Mari stopped and was still forced to listen the impatient voice of the hick.

– Then, lady, said, now ansious and impatient for a urgent position of Mari – I can´t accept the ride and get my award because for this you need to give me your money and give me proves that you are reliable.

This phrase was like a punch in the stomach of the woman who nearly fell off in her blue clogs.

Look at which point the petulance of the citizen reached. Of poor and hick he had nothing. He had actually an amazing scent, or a good team of sniffer to approach someone with money in the account. Mri was with the money from the sale of the house – the tranquility of her life for the next years.

The two probably knew something to reach her so safely (some according with people from the bank, who knows), with those little bird of prey eyes, huge nose, clumsy body, small stature, fat and with grimy clothes and make such a indecorous proposal for a modern woman, independent, enlightened and terribly altruistic.

So altruistic that it was already a defect, not a quality.

The worst was to enjoy the other guy pretending being dead, starchy on his side, asshole, agreeing with everything and also in the expectation, waiting ansiously the answer of Mari, who seemed to be waking up and returning to the Earth, to the cruel and real world.

– Sir, said, looking firmly in his tiny eyes, from that bird of prey, with the raised fingers, position of defense in those high heels of vain woman, which left her wih the double of the hick size, pointed to his nose and said strongly: to trust people is enough to look deep in his eyes, penetrate his soul and see if it is clean or not!

Actually, that momentary inpiration did not came in her mind.

Recalled a friend journalist who in this same day had spoken about the importance of people who stare without fear. In his opinion, these people who look in the eyes are reliable.

But Mari did not gave up and continued in her speech in name of the moral and good manners.

– And also have mercy, I am in front of two big guys. Types called males, it seems! What a little shame! – grimaced and look from up and down the two men.

– Impossible to conceive that this two figures like you has the audacity to say that do not trust a woman! Specially me, worker and hones! Me – stressed in a tone of disapproval – who keep three daughters without asking anyone help, have to prove I am reliable! Holy patience, come on, come on, show me you your ID card! Already!

For Mari’s surprise, the two came out in a magic second and left her alone, stand in the middle of the sidewalk, half dazed, not believing in this absurd colloquium and that even after, going to work, keep wondering if it was real or not. Arrived in the room where she worked, where also worked four more civil servants, telling the story and saying that maybe a hick has won the lottery. Clearly Sonia broke into laughter, one of the companions of room.

– But is not possible that you don´t know the “Tale of winning ticket”, very old, in which the main victims are people who receive their salary in the bank? Look, you got lucky because people give everything, such is the skill they have to pretend the situation. Says it is amazing how they act representing the story. Still can copy exactly the winning ticket of the day without any defect. They are brilliant minds in this street performance, she said in mockery.

III – Late justice and failed

Mari bluntly called Lucy, her friend and lawyer, and ask her directions to the event. Explained that she had no financial damage, just lost her time and was eroded by hate for herself, for being so silly to hear that pile of lies.

Lucia said the best thing to do was to file a complaint and avoid the shameless of the liars articles of the government saying that the city had no security problems and had lowered the crime rate.

– It’s because nobody gives complaint.

You know that the police do nothing and then things happen and there is no record and police report and the politicians take advantage of such data liars, justified Lucia.

The argument of the lawyer complaints about the not left her outraged and gave life to her idealistic spirit. Mari incorporated the righteous and more than fast called the police station near the neighborhood where the incident happened and asked the police to check the location and try to catch embezzlers in the act. Of course nothing happened because the law enforcers were without car and could not leave the district.

Sounds funny, but it’s true.

Exactly, at this point, is starting the other side of the story. Here that makes hilarious for some and tragic for others.

In fact, the police can not help, although he suggested to Mari register the story in the larceny delegacy, what she did and where she left some hours of impatient and nervousness when the scribe, with more villain face than polive in the conception of the young lady, who had never been in such a hostil place as a police station and faced the famous “cops” with “bad face” and still dressed in plain clothes.

There, she recognized the picture of the hick in the list of fugitives.

So easily. I think it was because she looked so much for those eyes of that bird of prey, shameless, and recorded his picture in the mind easily. But the guy in the suit was not on the list.

This is that man, said the policeman quietly and added saying that the police could never put him in prison because no one had reported him directly.

– Meet him always at the fair accompanying his wife and parading a tremendous big car, the policeman said.

The poor, at this point, almost died of fright, opened her eyes wide and was stunned to imagine the scene: the bastard out shopping with his wife in the fair and the policeman complimenting the figure, in perfect harmony.

Left the station and thought that the mission was accomplished and the case closed. But what was her surprise, certain day, when get to work the phone rang and it was the delegate of larceny asking if she could give an interview about the coup, to the Educational TV, because would greatly help to prevent people from falling in the tale and to arrest the criminals.

Mari volunteered to do the interview and there she goes meeting the request of the delegate, more affordable, different from other man’s law mean face.


The “chief of police” explained that this coup, as the duck, the ring and many others which occur, are still difficult to solve because often people who have fallen do not give it complaint, because they are ashamed of themselves . Said the sister of one judge had given all the dollars they had saved at home and even invited the bastards to have coffee with her in her house.

The delegate said that what she was doing was more than a service to the community, it was a good deed to alert on the issue. The situation is dubious in legal proceedings on various aspects, considering that asks who is the villain of the story in the process. Who wants to fool anyone. In fact the two. Both the victim and the marginal indeed, for the simple reason that one wants the money from the other.

Thus, ended the story…

Ended? Certainly is not ended. About three years after the event, the bell rang at Mari’s home. It was a judicial officer delivering a intimation to testify against the man who had tried to pass the “tale of the winning ticket.”


Mari felt terrible reading the paper, in an arcaic language, that full of numbers, law, that the judiiary uses to impress the people. The intimation was to be there in one day, one hour, in the criminal court or something, to recognize the accused, and if not would be framed in such article and could face sanctions provided by law. It was all what was missing!

– I am not going, thought… and called to the place saying she would travel.

– If you do not attend will be subject to sanctions, said the person on the other side treating her as if she were committing a foul and pouring into her ear a number of threats based on the law, articles, codes, numbers, and the whole thing legal in case of non-attendance to an intimation.

– Damn, now I became villain of this story, and what is worst, I have to look again that horrible creature. No way out, she went to witness.

Witnessed? Nothing! Waited, waited and suddenly warned that he, the villain, had not appeared and that the hearing would be transferred to this day, next year.

And so it was. On this day, the next year, Mari was there to testify in the criminal court against the trustworthiness of a street artist, who only made her the sin of filling the sack of so much lie and try to take all her money. But in a good way, without attacking, only with staged and fake.

Then wait, wait and nothing. This time, was the bad guy and the judge who had not appeared, and the “maledetto” meeting was moved to the end of next year (that’s without counting that this was already the third year of Mari and for her luck the meeting did not became effective). The intimation appeared. Mari was going to testify and nothing.

When it was not the villain, was the judge who did not appear and thus the process was dragged in a lethargy unprecedented, indeed, in a delay so common in Brazilian judicial life. She was already hating all the judges, lawyers and prosecutors, and even finding this such a tremendous mocking hick who wanted to deceive.

In the meantime many waters rolled in the life of Mari, who until a strong depression was the victim for a while. Down the road, was intimated to testify again against the hick. Is called in a room where the judge, something monumental in size, broad shoulders, big hands, full of giant rings, horrible and gross, said her to “shut up” because it was not time to talk and should only speak when she ordered .

villain of the story

That was how the beast was manifested with her employees, especially Mari who looked more like a worm disappearing beneath the table that separated the great lady of the poor woman, no doubt, now who looked more like the villain of the story was she, the modern and idealistic women.

If she opened her mouth again to try to explain that no longer wanted to testify, because itshe had not been stolen, she was only helping and the atmosphere was damaging her, could even be arrested for disrespect to authority. Madness! More than quickly shut up.

And for the last time, say by the way, last time that Mari attended the scene to witness, after four or five years of trying to arrest the villain of the tale of the winning ticket from Curitiba, found only a woman of Japanese descent, merchant, who was also there to testify because she, yes, fell in the tale and gave R$ 5 thousand to the marginal.

Again, the audience did not happen and there, Mari, impatiently said he wanted to remove her name from the process.

I’m not in good health.

I no longer want my name in this process, because I have not lost anything and I am to the “Adam’s apple” so much come and go without anything happens. This marathon without winners is making me ill – recognized.

– Howwww!!, The prosecutor emphasized, elegantly dressed, powerful voice, the type style “I am the good, I am the good”, protected by a table separating them. Howwww!! Spoke loud and extended his nostrils, leaving the show by those huge nasal holes sentencing. You do not want to cooperate with the security of people’s lives. A situation that can happen to everyone and you are letting criminals unpunished without the help, the prosecutor said in a threatening tone.

Mari did not gave up and insisted on the fact of no longer being a witness in the case. After a exhausting palaver, the prosecutor arguing on one side and the woman begging from the other, finally, the man of justice agreed to accept a report from a psychologist and physician attesting to the health of witnesses.

Tho make the long story short, until today is not possible to know if the criminals were arrested. Actually, Mari never wanted news about the case.

A story so bizarre, with amazing cartoonish characters to stories in comics, focused on pranks, that recall the famous stories of Pedro Malazarte (comic opera Brazilian by Camargo Guarnieri, with libretto by Mário de Andrade, who debuted in 1952, in Rio de Janeiro).
This, yes, it was funny.

I remember my father, who put his children in a circle and everyone enjoyed recounting the adventures of hicks who loved to play tricks on people.

In fact, the “tale of the winning ticket” is a spectacle, especially with this approach, in which Mari is the heroine, whose benevolence becomes maudlin of so much listening tall tale.

Proven marginals are fantastic in the action. Can you imagine how these guys rehearse to perform in front of the victim and are synchronized with the team, considering that you are never alone in an action. Always need more people working in the rear.

So hard to live in marginality, I mean, so much talent to live in marginality, it is a waste!

Probably would attract much public in genuine cultural spaces without running the risk of seeing the sunrise square.

Mari should, yes, thank her guardian angel and not exploit it especially because he lives in Brazil. A third world country, from samba, football, joy, where everything is possible, even a reputable citizen who collaborated with justice be treated as a villain.

Perhaps, in this show, the more coherent was really the delegate who, by experience, knew the bastards took his sleeping hours with the “gotchas” to deceive another “greedy” who was also wanting to earn some money without much effort. For feeling helpless in his mission of lawman, believed that disclosing, at least, warn that the story was just a figment of talented actors, with brilliant minds, however marginals, who from test to test, from street to street, passed the hat, oops, no … not true.

Stole the scene, also, not.

In fact, no one stole the scene of this crazy show, that to succeed would require the presence of all the stage of life, so that way, it would be pretty hilarious: the hick, the guy in a brown suit, officers quiet, the delegate (easy warn and say that can not do anything), the judiciary dragging all processes with the belly, ambitious people and also credulous, to be complete the team and orchestrate this horrible opera – which is not the same as pure and funny comic opera of Pedro Malazarte.

It is hilarious, yes, with that sour mood of the sad reality of Brazil, who makes the good faith synonym for stupidity and feeds trickery, supported in a legal system inconsistent, slow and arrogant.
Bravo! Bravo!

*True story that occurred in the 90s with the author’s site

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