Sunday, January 29, 2012

Learning Another Language - Sarcasm

Even though the boys' father was from the Dominican Republic, they have learned very little Spanish. That's because my sister took care of them 99.99999% of the time until she died and she didn't speak Spanish. One night as I was tucking the little one in bed he asked me what is a coño?

"Where on earth did you hear that word?" I asked.   

"My dad called us coños," replied the little one. 

Nice. It means "pussy" but I didn't tell him that. I just said it's not a nice word and we are not going to use it. Hopefully, he'll forget that word soon.  But I am not perfect.  I've been known to let loose a few bombs on occasion. It's not part of my everyday vocabulary, but I remember my older boys running for the hills when mom was mad. And they knew when it was time to scatter by the amount of sh's and f's peppering my tirade. 

I've been known to speak Sarcasm too.  That's why I should never be allowed to teach a kindergarten class. They just won't get it.  Today the boys were fighting over which stool to sit at the kitchen counter. After listening to about 5 minutes of bickering (damn, I have patience!), I finally snapped, "Why don't you two fight about something dumb instead?"

It shut them up for about 5 seconds while giving me the deer in the headlights look. To which the little one said seriously, "We are fighting about something dumb."

Ya think? 

I got a laugh out of the older boy. 

So later I was cleaning out my desk when I ran across some handwritten quotes that I used to have on my desk back in the day I worked in a computer/network department.  Here's a bunch of my favorites:

  • Well, this day was a total waste of makeup. 
  • Does your train of thought have a caboose?
  • Did the aliens forget to remove your anal probe?
  • And your crybaby whiny-ass opinion would be...?
  • A PBS mind in an MTV world.
  • Okay, okay, I take it back. Unfuck you!
  • Too many freaks, not enough circuses.
  • I thought I wanted a career. Turns out I just wanted paychecks.
  • How do I set a laser printer to stun?
  • What am I? Flypaper for freaks?
  • Ahh, I see the fuck-up fairy has visited us again. 
  • Yes, I am an agent of Satan, but my duties are largely ceremonial.
  • How about never? Is never good for you?
  • I like you. You remind me of when I was young and stupid.
  • I'm already visualizing the duct tape over your mouth.
  • It might look like I am doing nothing, but at the cellular level I am really quite busy.
  • Any connection between your reality and mine is purely coincidental. 
I probably won't be using most of these on the nephews, but I can't promise on one of those frustrating days that one or two might not slip. 

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Comparing Apples and Oranges

Where am I living now?  Here's some clues.

1. No dogs or cats roaming freely on the streets.
2. If more than one car pulls up to a 4-way stop nearly the same time, all cars will wait at least a minute or two before pulling ahead.
3. This is considered a racy joke - What did the plow say to the tractor?  Pull me closer, John Deere.
4. People are taller than me and I am 5'8".
5. Most women wear faux fur boots without a heel. 
6. I haven't seen any boob cleavage, male or female.
7. People are talking about how warm the winter has been with highs reaching into the 40's.
8. No vendors selling anything on the side of the highways. 
9. Finding produce such as jalapeños is not always guaranteed.
10. And (oh, the horror), I can't find any fresh corn tortillas.  

I am having serious tortilla withdrawal symptoms.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Mother Goose the Racist

I was unpacking my books that I hadn't seen for a while here in the frozen tundra called Iowa when I ran across this colorful, friendly looking book that looks ever so inviting to children.  I don't remember where I got this book or how long I've had it,  It's copyright date is 1931.  Contrary to the popular belief of my nephews I AM NOT THAT OLD.

So I'm flipping through the book reading about Humpty Dumpty and Little Jack Horner when HOLY COW I found this.

We used to recite it back in the 60's. And we really used to say it complete with the N word. Before you all start beating up on me (notice the ya'll has been changed to you all now that I'm back in Iowa), we hardly understood the significance of what we were saying at age 5 or 6 especially since the metropolis of Swisher, Iowa had population of 500, all of them lily white like me.  I do remember that sometime by the late 60's, probably not coincidentally about the same time as the civil rights movement, Martin Luther King's speech, and the Black Panthers' Ten Point Program, we were informed to change the N word to tiger. 

Even so, when my book fell open to this page it shocked me.  And jarred my memory of the days when we used to recite it.  And a good reminder of how far we've come since 1931.