Last night over dinner I asked my babysitter if she was learning any Spanish. She said, yeah, a bit, but not that much since she only hears it around her boyfriend’s family. I told her I knew how to say “thanks” and count to ten, but that the only real phrase I knew was “kiss my ass,” the result of a cruel joke played on me at BYU by a guy who had just returned from a mission to Chile. He worked with me at a bakery and I asked him how I should greet Spanish customers. I thought I was asking, “How are you?” but I couldn’t get the pronunciation right so it most likely came out sounding like, “Pinch my booty?”
And then I remembered the “Sesame Street” episode I TiVo’d last week, the episode sponsored by the letter U and the number 11. Throughout the whole episode a wolf is chasing three pigs around and huffing and puffing and blowing everything down. Elmo and the turquoise Spanish monster (I don’t know her name yet) are setting up blocks in the shape of the letter U when the wolf runs by and huffs and puffs and blows the letter down (can you say, “perpetuating wolf stereotypes,” because my hate-mail is already written). Turquoise Spanish monster gets pissed and lets out what I think is a string of obscenities in Spanish, and then she goes, “Yo tambien very angry!” Your tambien, it’s angry!
I turned to my babysitter and asked without prefacing anything, “You know when the letter U gets blown down, what the hell is that monster saying?”
“I’m not sure about all of it, but the last part goes something like, ‘Our poor letter U.’”
And then we sat there for a second thinking about the scene and she said, “Do you realize that you just asked me about the letter U getting blown down and I knew exactly what you were talking about?”
“Well, I’m married and beyond the point of having to impress potential dates, babe. You’re on your own on this one.”
“How do you say, ‘Kiss my ass,’ again?”