Thursday, August 16, 2007

Las Cucarachas

This probably goes without saying, but hearing a Mexican say "la cucaracha" is pretty damn funny. Just as I had to live on West 57th St. for almost two years before someone asked me how to get to Carnegie Hall, it took 15 months here before I finally heard my first "cucaracha".

Okay, it wasn't quite as joyous as the Carnegie Hall thing (I delivered the answer perfectly deadpan, just as I'd rehearsed it, and sauntered away knowing in my heart that New York would never get any better than this) because it was coming from the gardener (look, she came with the house, alright?) who had discovered a bunch of the filthy beasts scurrying under one of the plants. There were not many cucarachas, she said, but still she was worried about these cucarachas because the last thing you want is for the cucarachas to get into the kitchen and then your house is infested with cucarachas. The solemnity of the occasion - she proposes blitzing the house with a number of chemicals banned in the US since the publication of Silent Spring - was undercut by the fact that every time she said "cucaracha" I began giggling uncontrollably. She was baffled, of course, and assumed that I just didn't understand what cucaracha meant. So she went into a long explanation of cockroaches which obviously required her to use the word cucaracha a half-dozen more times. At that point, all was lost.


Anonymous said...

You're a mean, funny bastard, Frank.

Anonymous said...

Max Roach died today. Any more stories, funny man?

Burro Hall said...

Sorry for your loss, Franker, but if there's a Jazz/Bebop/Improv Heaven, the house band just got a hell of a drummer.

If the Mexican papers call him "Max Cucaracha" tomorrow, I'm outta here.