Pidgin Pigeon

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When I moved to Mexico almost three years ago, I shared the above parrot’s desire and inability to communicate with the locals in their native language. I quickly developed a kind of pidgin Spanish that usually got me what or where I wanted, but it was usually an idiotic and embarrassing struggle. Once, when trying to tell someone my dog was afraid (miedo), I said my dog has shit (mierda). I have miedo that I still say that kind of stupid mierda more often than I realize.

Bi- or multilingualism is fairly common in Europe (and, I’m sure, other places) but in the U.S. where I grew up, it is not. And decades ago, when I was a kid, it was even less so. To this day, many Americans are paranoid, xenophobic cranks who insist on English being spoken everywhere and resent even signs in other languages, as though English were proprietary to the U.S., as though the language they all speak is “American” not English.

I have never been that person. Since my teen years, I’ve wished I was bilingual. Listening to an English speaker converse in another language has to me always seemed like a magic trick. How are they making sense out of those random mouth noises?! But my family was not bilingual and though I was offered Spanish classes in middle school, it was an “elective” and so you had to choose to take it. In my school, we had five required classes each semester and one elective. Was I going to choose a class that required a lot of studying and hard work to pass, or maybe something less grueling? The answer was even easier than it sounds: art was also an elective. So I took art class, which, unless I want to simply draw pictures of things I want to say to people, doesn’t help me communicate.

All that is by way of saying that now that I’m 60 and trying for the first time to learn a new language, I can see that it is anything but a magic trick. It’s hard work. Still, I persist and I’ve made great progress. If I live a normal lifespan, I should be fairly bilingual by the end of it all. Wish me suerte.

Now let’s see what languages Wayno used in his cartoons last week!…

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When asked if I have any phobias, I’ve decided to start telling people I’m afraid of widths. (Unless they are extremely wide.) I’ll let you know how it goes.

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This cartoon is a little deceiving. See, the dog is actually her husband in a dog suit and this is part of their sexual cosplay. I know. It’s pretty creepy.

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I’m grateful that he doesn’t get his ideas on the toilet. Personally, I don’t get ideas about art or cartooning while I’m in bed but I’m not above using the occasional bunny slipper to get the creative juices flowing.

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I don’t know how this guys does it. When I get drunk enough to be arrested, my neatly-folded pocket hanky is the first thing to get disordered.

This tiny pocket square commanded the attention of Wayno, too, on his blog. He explains it nicely. Pop over, check it out, come right back!

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I like that even on this planet where hulks are the norm, they still opt for torn-sleeved shirts. #RipItGood

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This show was previously called “Who Gets To Keep Their Dope?”

And that’s how our Powerpoint Presentation ends, Jazz Pickles; with no power and no point. As you slip out of the conference room, please consider helping to keep the campfires burning here at Rancho Bizarro by patronizing one of the links below. All of us at Rancho Bizarro will prance gleefully at the news of your support!

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Dan Piraro37 Comments