GCSPrank Is Here

For people who spend the day saying and writing things that others accept, while thinking things that are infinitely more interesting.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005


A missed backhand volley got the ball rolling. (I pun because I can.) A stream of self-directed cursing came pouring out in my rapid-fire Spanish: Me cago en la crica de Marta. Don asked me what I had said and when I translated it—when I actually grokked what I’d said—I was appalled. But in the mysterious way that curse words from another language are picked up quickly, the phrase stuck and was used whenever needed.

Another time, on another tennis court (what is it about those fuzzy balls?) I said Me voy a patear el culo, to which Bill asked “What about your cooler?” So “cooler” became our catch word for “butt.” It backfired on me one summer day when I saw a big handsome guy walk into Mr. Quik with his cheerleader-pretty girlfriend and requested “Ten pounds of ice for my cooler.” I spewed Coca-Cola all over the floor just trying to imagine how big that bee sting on his ass must have been. He thought I was crass. She laughed with me or at me. Who knows.

Another time, Bill and I were with the pseudo-Freudian Tim climbing a watch tower in some forest. Tim was practicing his Spanish with me and was inviting me back to his house to drink café bueno. Bill piped up “You’re doing what with guano?” Cracked me up. So “guano” was good. Probably still is.

One day Bill suggested we make up words that sounded like Spanish. Yes, your tax dollars as college grants at work. We came up with several, but the only one I remember was mejoni. It meant whatever we wanted it to mean, and to this day, it’s the word I use to deliberately confuse people who actually speak Spanish.

But the Acme Moment belongs entirely to Don. We were working a blood drive, me on the blood bags and Don in the snacks area. I had noticed students from La Tertulia, the Spanish club, meeting behind the snack area. At one point, Don tried to pour ice into a cooler (don’t giggle: a foam ice chest) and some of it dropped on the floor. I smiled. Don could be adroit and clumsy at the same time, sometimes in rapid succession. With no wasted motion, he collected the stray ice and I went back to handing out blood bags.

A few minutes later, he came over to me and said: “You know that phrase you taught me? Well, when I said it, those people over there gave me the strangest look.” I almost fell out of my chair laughing, imagining the look on their faces as they saw Don—-a blondish über-gringo-looking guy—-spewing one of the vilest phrases it has ever been my misfortune to utter. Repeatedly.

I explained and Don didn’t even start to blush. Cool.


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