All of the stories that follow are true. The were relayed to
me by personal friends who had the experiences I am going to
describe. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.
A friend of mine,
named Wilson, owns a large van which he drives down to Mazatlán
every winter from Minneapolis. One winter he came down, and the
handle that rolls down his window broke off. When he got to
Mazatlán, he decided to take it to a car shop and have it replaced.
He was told that they didn't have the part, and he would have to
take it to the dealer. He took it to the dealer, and was told that
they would have to order the part, could he come back in two weeks.
Two weeks later he returned, and again explained that he want a
window handle for the drivers side on his van. They said leave the
car overnight, which he did. He returned the next day and found
that they had put a window handle on the drivers side, but the
problem was they used the window handle from the passengers side to
do it. He had, if not a cow, at least a very large calf. The
manager said, calm down, I'll take care of it right away. He went
over to another van that was in the shop for repair, calmly removed
the window handle from it, and put in into Wilson's van. Wilson
watched in astonishment, but drove off the lot a happy man.
My friend, Ron, is very
particular about how he wants his eggs cooked. To that end, he
travels with an egg timer wherever he goes. One morning he ate at a
local restaurant, and carefully explained to the waiter how he
wants his eggs cooked, and insisting that the cook use the egg
timer to get them precisely how he wants them. No problem, says the
waiter. One two and a half minute egg coming right up. (Or
something to that effect in Spanish.) Ron sits back and starts
reading the newspaper. Twenty minutes pass, and no food arrives.
Another fives minutes goes by, and Ron decides to go to the kitchen
and check things out. When he arrives he sees the cook staring at a
pot of boiling water. He goes over to the pot, and there is his egg
and his egg timer, bobbing up and down in the water.
Many verbs in
Spanish have what is known as the reflexive case, where you attach
an "se" to the end of the verb and then the verb reflects back to
the speaker. This can be very confusing for a novice Spanish
student. My friend Paul was learning Spanish, and was quite proud
of his progress. One day, while he was staying in a hotel, he found
the maid in his room cleaning up. He was on his way out, and in the
best Spanish he could muster, he told the maid to clean up the
room, and he would be back in an hour. While driving to his
meeting, he realized that he had unintentionally used the reflexive
case while talking to the maid. To his horror he realized that what
he actually said was: Clean yourself up, I'll be back in an
Quote of the day:
Men, like peaches and
pears, grow sweet a little while before they begin to
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
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