The other day I was bagging up some blueberries for breakfast. I use the frozen ones that I get over at the Sam’s Store. Every week, I bag them up three spoonfuls at a time in those cheap, cheap sandwich bags. Those I get over at the Hch-E-B. Blue berries in my cereal or grits, ya just gotta love it.
Finished bagging, I was a’gandering at the box while gettin’ it ready for the recycle bin when I noticed that it had the how-to-use instructions in both English and Spanish. Well, how about that?
How to use: Como usar. That’s pretty simple I thought to myself. #1-Tuck the flap inside the bag. (Meter la lengueta hacia adentro de la bosia.) I thought it odd that the instructions didn’t even mention to insert the sandwich into the bag first; the picture showed the sandwich inside the bag so I assume the bag company pretty much figured that we could get that part on our own—both of us; English and Spanish. #2-Fold cuff over end of bag. (Doblar la solapa sorbe el extremo de la bolsa.) I was gettin’ that bosia bag link like you can’t believe. I did have some problem with the extremo; I couldn’t for the life of me figure how that worked it’s way into the mix. #3-Sandwich is locked in. (El sandwich queda seguro ademtro.) I got it now.
I thought to myself: “This Spanish is not as hard as Rush Limbaugh makes it out to be. I can do this, probably to the extremo.”
Right then and there is most likely where I took my first wrong turn.
I thought to myself out loud: “The next time I have the opportunity, I’m gonna press 2.”
It wasn’t half a day before that opportunity dropped right into my lap. Those timeshare guys called again. Several of them call the house every day. Oh, it’s not always the same company calling, but its timeshare guys all right. They want to either help me sell one of the three I have or help me take advantage of another good deal that has just suddenly become available. Actually one of the three was sold a long time ago—but they keep calling.
Well, the phone rang and I picked it up and answered. Almost immediately the voice says: “Press 1 for English or 2 for Spanish. Man, here was my chance to try out my newly developed skill. I hit that 2 as fast as I could. I didn’t want them to think I was wavering—cause I ain’t.
The next thing I know some guys comes is on the line and is rattling off some las and comos and manyanas and throwing a couple of hăbles here and there at me. Before you can say Spanish ain’t that hard, I was pressing my responses. We were flying through the conversation at warp speed—Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock woulda been damn proud of me. I was pretty able to keep up and thought I knew just what was agoin’ on; b-e-l-i-e-v-e me. Less than ten or so minutes later, a couple of credit card number checks and I’m off the line proud as hell that I have finally sold one of them timeshares—I think it was the one in Branson.
I was real damn proud of myself. So proud in fact that I deserved a couple pats on the back and a big ole glass of iced tea. I proceeded straight to the fridge and por’d me one.
Deciding to take the wife out to a movie that evening I called up the movie theatre that afternoon and got one of those recording thingamajigs, just as you might expect. I again decided that I would try my new found skill from another direction. It ask and I pressed 2. The device ran through a list of movies and I kept apressin’ responses ‘till it ask me for my credit card number and before you can heat a bowl of chili, I was set.
The tickets were there awaitin’. The movie was just as I imagined and we both enjoyed it immensely. I gettin’ good at this.
The next morning, not very early mind you, I realized that I was outta that Frontline ointment to put on the dogs for this month’s flee dose. I got on the land line, ya know that’s what they call it now—it’s not a phone anymore. So anyway, I ring up one of those suppliers that ya get a flyer for in the Sunday paper. The machine on the other end picks up and the recording says: “Thanks for calling, press 1 for English or 2 for Spanish.”
I’m so confident now that I had hit that 2 before the voice had even finished the instructions. I was keen to give it another shot. Newt Gingrich ain’t got nothin’ on me!
This time its a lady is on the other end of the line. She starts off with one of those hăblas and I’m a si’ing her right back. She takes off rattlin’ questions at me a mile a minute with me throwin’ in a si every now and then just to keep her honest. I have to pull out the ole credito cardo at least twice but have absolutely no problemo getting’ the numbers across to her—this is easy, ya oughta try it. I think I took these guys to the cleaners on the price of that Frontline ointment. I can’t get this stuff anywhere near this cheap at the Sam’s store or my vet.
That afternoon I took the opportunity to call down to the Paramount Theatre trying to get me some of those Garrison Keillor tickets for the show coming up in March. Again, I get that answering machine thingy—don’t anybody work at these gal darn places anymore? Well, it said the show was sold out but if I wanted to add my name to the automated waiting list just in case there was a cancellation, I should hang on and follow the instructions; that I did. A new recordin’ starts right away and just to show off my savör fairé I hit that dang 2 again. I hăblaed every question with a punch here, a stab there, did the obligatory credito cardo check and BANG I was on the list.
Just yesterday a tractor trailer-load of Frontline showed up in the driveway and the driver hăblas me a time or two while I’m atrying to tell him that I have only the one Blue Tick, a scruffy mongrel and no place to store a trailer load of Frontline—‘sides that’s enough for every pound-hound in the county plus the four neighboring counties as well as far into the next year.
While I’m arguing back and forth with the guy, my cellular starts avibrating in my pocket. I wave off the driver for a minute with an hăbla or two and try to comprehend just what the guy on the phone is trying to tell me. Best I can tell as I’m not fur real sure—he’s hăblaing faster than I hear—but it seems I have just purchased a $1.3 million dollar condo in some place called Kabő San Luki or the such—I don’t even know where that is. Where’s my National Geographic world map when I need it?
Things just seem to keep on getting worse. In the last few days I have been contacted by some guy at the FBI is calling ‘bout some money laundering scheme connected to the Fitzgerald Theatre in St Paul, Minysoter; the Texas State Attorney General asking somethin’ ‘bout franchise taxes I owe for two or three movie theatres I seem to have purchased; one in El Paso another over in Juarez and somewhere called Vera Cruz. All this time I thought Vera Cruz was just my massage therapist’s name. Man, how did I get into this fix?
Man! Pressin’ 2 just ain’t as easy as ya might think! Oh, here comes my public defender—I hope he has good news. Ya know, if I ever get outta here, I just might have that darn phone taken out completely—at a minimum, I’m takin’ the 2s off every darn phone in the house.