Monday, April 24, 2006

I Know ...


Enough already!

I know that "Puta" is Mexican slang for whore. I was going for the stupid white guy joke. And for the record I knew what "Puta" meant long before some of you were born.

That's because I'm an old guy.....

So I'm going to tell you a little story about my past. That will explain why I know what "Puta" is. And because I have to make everything into a story it's going to take me a while to get there, so bare with me.

Most really good comics are very well read individuals. They are very bright and know a lot about what is going on in our society. They have a natural curiosity when it comes to the things they do not know about.

Unfortunately I am none of these things. I am not well read and I could care less about what is happening outside of MY world. I don't read the paper and I generally have no idea of what is going on. If someone ever launches missiles at us everyone else will be in a bunker and I'll be out driving around thinking "Man the traffic is light today".

The only thing I have over most of my fellow comedians is that I have had more jobs than most of them. My life experience is very diverse.

And it was at one of my old jobs is where I learned Mexican slang.

It was 1976 and up to this time I had been a paper boy, concession stand clerk, janitor, dishwasher, cook, fork lift operator, magazine salesman and worked at a submarine sandwich shop. I was barely 19.

I was working 2nd shift in the factory that made hydraulic tubes and fittings for big equipment. The dirtiest job in the place was washing all the parts. It was because they had to be washed in acid baths and rinsed of. It was hot, humid and grimy work.

Well that work fell upon a group of Mexican guys that barely spoke English. And they hated every white guy in the place except me.

I never really understood why but these guys invited me into their group. The leader (if there was one) of this group was this really old Mexican guy named Emil. Now Emil didn't have but 3 or 4 teeth and was well into his 60's. He also spoke no English. So I would yell "Hey Emil" and his response would always be "aaayyyyyyyyyeeeeee".

And every day Emil's and some of the other guy's wives would make a great Mexican feast that they would eat for dinner. So I got to throw my money in with everyone else and eat some great AUTHENTIC Mexican food. To this day I am a real snob when it comes to Mexican food. I know what the real thing tastes like.

So I would sit at the table with these guys and they would just be talking amongst themselves. I never had any idea what they were talking about. I was really just the token gringo.

They are the ones that got me eating hot peppers. And they would move me up a little at time. I never knew what they were giving me to eat. I just trusted that they knew what they were doing. And just when I was feeling confident they would slip me in a pepper that burned all the way down. It would cause my ass to burn for the next 3 days. And they would have such fun doing it.

The entire time I worked there all the Mexican guys would walk up to me and tell me to go over to one of the other guys and say something to him in Spanish.

And they would never tell me what I was saying. And I knew whatever I was saying was was not good but I would do it anyway because I knew it was amusing to them. Besides that whatever I was saying wasn't getting me in any trouble. They would just laugh and respond to me in Spanish and I would have to go back to the first guy to get it translated. Then I would find out what hell I was saying.

So over the course of time I learned all the great slang like Puta , Y Tu Mamá También, bacalao, pinche, chingate, and all the other the other words and phrases that make the Mexican slang such a glorious thing.

So could I read the Spanish on the menu at a Mexican restaurant? No, but I could call the waiters mother a filthy whore without any problem.

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