Often when I perform a story before an audience, the tale I tell brings memories to people of their own stories. One of the thrills of my job is when audience members approach me after the performance to tell me a tale. For me, this is a high honor, because I know that I have touched these people on some level.
Today, two of my blogging friends touched me with posts. They made me laugh, and caused me to think. They reminded me of stories of my own. I’d love for you to see their work, and because this is my house, I get share the memories they triggered.
I was searching through some of the entries to Darren Rowse’s Group Writing contest at Pro Blogger, and stumbled on a post written by Sognatrice at Bleeding Espresso. I decided I wanted to see what she had to say, since she had entered the This Blog Blows My Dress Up Contest, and I find her quite funny. I wasn’t disappointed.
Sognatrice is an ex-pat living in Calabria, Italy, and she talks about life over there. She listed The top 5 italian words you really don’t want to mispronounce. After reading her post, I’m not sure I should ever try to roll my tongue around the Italian language. It sounds like I could get in deep trouble just ordering pasta!
In Texas, the Spanish language is the foreign tongue we encounter the most often. A friend of mine, whose Texas twang is much worse than mine, moved to Mexico City with her family to live for a year. “M” was armed with a very limited knowledge of Spanish which, when spoken with a Texas twang, was almost unbearable to the ear. In Mexico City, they could afford to hire a maid and a chauffeur who both spent most of their time trying to correct “M”s horrible pronunciation.
One day, “M” decided she wanted to get some toys for her children. The chauffeur drove her to a local store, and offered to go get the items she wanted, but “M” said, “No, I want to do it myself.” He followed her inside anyway. She marched proudly up to the counter at the toy store and said, “Yo quiero dos cojones.” Imagine her surprise when everyone in the store fell over laughing! The chauffeur was red-faced and rushed my puzzled friend out to the car. She asked him, “What did I do? I just said I wanted two balls.” He answered, “No, Miss. You wanted dos pelotas. The two balls you ordered they don’t sell at a toy store.”
The Freelance Cynic had a post called Building Bridges about the discomfort of dealing with “Beggars and Charity Canvassers” as he walks down the street. As always, I found his post witty and wickedly funny. And, it triggered a memory of a time that I took two young friends from a local children’s home on an outing.
The boys wanted to go to Chuck E. Cheese’s, “where a kid can be a kid.” My children were grown, and I had hoped never to go to this place again. If you’ve never experienced it, you aren’t missing anything! It’s a pizza restaurant/arcade. It’s a playground/carnival. It’s loud, expensive, the food isn’t that wonderful, and children go wild for it. My little buddies had never been there before, so I felt the need to grant their wish.
They had a wonderful time playing, and I had so much fun enjoying watching them, that I forgot I hated the place. When we were ready to leave, one of the boys asked, “Miss Shelly, can we take this pizza back so that we can show all the kids we came here? We didn’t spit in it or anything.” We packaged up this pizza, because obviously it was a major symbol for them of how special they were to have gotten to come to Chuck E. Cheese’s.
As we drove back to Denton, they chattered on about how everyone was going to be jealous of their pizza, and how they couldn’t wait to show off. When we exited the highway in Denton, I could see a beggar standing at the intersection. I tried to maneuver to the other lane, because I knew I wasn’t about to open the window to hand this man money. He probably made more money than I did by standing on that corner begging. But, I wasn’t fast enough and we pulled up at the light next to him. The scruffy man was holding a sign that said, “Hungry. Plez Help.”
The boys read the sign, and one said, “Miss Shelly, he’s hungry, can we give him our pizza?” Those big-hearted little buddies of mine were willing to give away their “prize” to help a needy person. Feeling very guilty for being such a jaded person, I nodded and rolled down the window. The boys handed the pizza out the window and said, “Here Mister! You can have our pizza! We didn’t spit in it or anything!”
Those boys have hearts as big as Dallas.
Thanks, Simon and Sognatrice. Your posts were excellent and triggered some memories I enjoyed.