I was talking with my gardener using my version of the Spanish language.
He’s an old guy of sixty-four who looks like seventy-four and he says, you know I used to work in Houston.
Oh yeah, says I. Doing what?
Well, I was young then and I worked in a bar. I’d do whatever they told me, I was the Mexican and it was always pretty busy and I got a share of the tips.
When was this?
In the 1980s.
And then he kept digging and I kept killing grasshoppers with my hands. I went for the big ones that bit like small dogs on the loose.
All of a sudden he says, hey, do you know what it means to be 86?
You mean in a bar, right? He nods. Well, that means to be kicked out and you can’t come back …86ed.
Yeah, he says, we had a lot of 86 and they were wadush.
I looked at him with a face all pursed up and said, wadush?
Yeah, they were wadush. They were 86. Is that correct?
And I said, sure that’s correct. We say, he’s 86, wadush.
He laughed and so did I and then we kept working as the dust blew all around and the grasshoppers were thick.
Late that night I woke up like a shot. Wadush, I said out loud. What, muttered Genevieve.
Wadush … somebody got 86ed and what a douche … what a douche they were.
Go to sleep, says Genevieve and it took me a while to get back to bed as I rolled the whole thing over in my mind while sipping a Kahlua, cocomilk and lime and I could see some Houstonians face.
Heading home to kick in a door or yell at the neighbor, beat the dog or throw the cat as far as he could.
What a douche. Indeed. What a douche.
2 thoughts on “Speaking Of That”
I was thinking it was like Jack Black’s “skadoosh”.
I recall using the word “bush” to mean lame, crappy or beneath us. We had a lot of derogatory slang back then. The British still use a few of them. You rarely hear the word “twat” anymore. I say “bitchin” from time to time.
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The term douche always reminds me of a great Chekhov short story “At Christmas Time.” In fact I’m wondering if that’s how the term got it’s derogatory connotation. Probably not (not that many Chekhov fans out there. ) I love the dark whimsy – can see the scene playing out. A slow dark dance around the edges.
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