Take Cover When Stupidity Tries to Habla Español

Today while shopping at Macy’s, I noticed a nice, young employee, very professional looking, ably assisting a couple (in their sixties or so) in the housewares department.

The employee calmly explained about the many different brands of pots and pans the store carried. He spoke English with just a hint of a Spanish accent. He appeared as though he could have originated from a Latin American country.

I happened to be in the same department and paid scant attention until I heard the lady that he was assisting speak loudly in her very own version of Spanish,

“Necisitoe comprarey uno…. ser-vice….. plat-ter,” (Translation: I’d like to buy a service platter)

I spelled the Spanish words phonetically so that you, dear readers (especially those of you who speak Spanish), can appreciate how off her pronunciation was. When she said “service platter,” she enunciated the words very slowly and with great relish. Did I mention that she spoke in decibels reserved for those standing on an auditorium stage, speaking to a large crowd without benefit of a microphone? The young employee was not deaf. And we were the only people in that section.

“Por favoray, donday estaw uno forko setto.” (Translation: please give me a set of forks)

At this point, she suddenly decided to end all remotely English words with a vowel sound, preferably the long o. What fascinated me was that although the employee continued to respond to her in perfect English and in a perfectly relaxed manner, the woman persisted in her irritating imitation of Spanish enhanced with smatterings of broken English.

“Tu conocey where-o the knife-os are-o?” (Translation: where are the knives?)

My own Spanish is halting and I wouldn’t dare try it on a Spanish speaking person without at least an apology, an explanation or a paper bag over my head. After all, I’ve got a reputation. But this lady wouldn’t give up. This stuper (short for an unstoppably stupid person) had plenty of spunk.

“Donday estaw any pop-corn-o ma-kers-o?” (Translation: Do you sell popcorn makers?)

As I left the department, the conversation continued with the employee, totally laid-back in his responses, and the woman, bent on brutalizing two of the country’s most popular languages, again leaving me with the age-old question that one must ask whenever encountering a nonsensical scene of stupidity: why?

Please think.



8 Responses to “Take Cover When Stupidity Tries to Habla Español”

  1. Sarah says:

    Stupidity has no limits, does it?

  2. As someone who worked in retail for too many years, I’m sure the guy was used to stupers. It probably gave him an amusing story to tell everyone he knew. And, the lady was probably delighted that she had the opportunity to use her Spanish in a real world setting.

    And, from my experiences in Anthropology, people in other countries usually have the opposite reaction to Americans trying to speak other languages than we do with people from other countries trying to speak American. Instead of showing disgust for any language faux pas from the offending party, non-Americans usually are amused by the transgression and the strange American.

  3. Jillian says:

    Hahaha. Amazing. AND the employee was responding in perfect English. What a shame!

  4. dawn says:

    Why? Because they are everywhere and insist on making their presence known.

  5. Suzie says:

    This lady probably thought she was speaking Spanish so well; perhaps she was showing off(:

  6. Agnes Mildew says:

    I always try out a few words of a language to a native speaker if I possibly can. It affords them so much hilarity and I do love to put a smile on another’s face. I must admit that I NEVER raise my voice, though…that is way too patronising!

  7. Keli says:

    It most certainly does not.
    I can’t say the lady looked delighted, more like delusional, but you’re right, I’m sure. The employee (as well as myself) were definitely amused.
    It was weird stuff, all right.
    Right as usual!
    I think she was a show off as she evidently believed she spoke the language fluently.
    This stuper, being clueless, fortunately did not come off as patronizing; just idiotic.

  8. Jennifer says:

    You CAN’T be serious! Where do you findey-o these idjitos?

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.