a wandering woman writes

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Madam, there's a tree on your roof

Ah, the universality of humor.

I remember telling Nomadita about my Dad months ago. I don't remember why, maybe we passed a car with a bike on it. Or a piece of furniture.

My father had a habit. Passing a car with a Christmas tree tied to the roof, or a bike on a roof rack, or skis, or with a huge board sticking out the window, he'd inevitably tell my brother and me:

Roll down your window, will you? And tell that lady she has a tree on her roof. Poor thing. Big tree, too.

Hey lady, there's a Christmas tree on your roof!! A TREE!! On your ROOF!

Yeh, I know, we'll hope it's not genetic.
I never knew whether to be mortified or amused. Mostly I just laughed as hard as I am this morning, alone in Salamanca with my cafe con leche.

So, back to universality.
What happened to Nomadita and me in tiny Cabezuela del Valle in Extremadura the other day, during our excursion to see the cherry blossoms?

Well, as we slowly and carefully pulled the car out of the last driveable street before Cabezuela turns into her narrow judería, an older man began to gesture at us. Vigorously. He said something we couldn't hear, then said it again, while continuing to gesture. I rolled down the window, he spoke, and Nomadita fell into a gleeful fit of Spanish laughter.

Took the americana a few minutes to get it. I was sure he was using some colloquial expression I didn't know. What did he want to tell us? What was wrong?

Picture a lovely white haired old man in a cap, smiling ear to ear, a sparkle in his eye:

¡Las ruedas! ¡Van dando vueltas! ¡Chicas, las ruedas van dando vueltas!

Rough translation:

Your wheels, girls!!!! They're turning!!!

Hey lady, your wheels are turning. In circles.



  • He sounds delicious!

    By Blogger woman wandering, at 9:17 AM  

  • JAJAJAJA!!!!

    ¡Qué cachondo, el abuelete!

    By Anonymous Pato, at 5:23 PM  

  • Your dad and mine seem to have been cast from the same mold... and apparently the old guy, too!

    But I'm afraid it is genetic, at least in my case... for my dad's birthday last week, I got him a card with a little lawnmower on the front that said "Happy birthday, Dad..."

    and inside... wait for it...

    "And many mower."

    The scary thing is it cracked him up as much as it cracked me up in the store. My mom just looked on and shook her head.

    By Blogger Angie, at 5:51 PM  

  • I think I don't quite get it...

    By Anonymous Alex, at 8:38 PM  

  • Remember doing that as a kid!
    "Er Ruda Dor! Er Ruda Dor!"
    Colloqual Algerian Arabic.
    Shows where Spanish has evolved from.

    By Blogger cream, at 12:38 AM  

  • Oh no, cream, you too?

    Alex, maybe you were blessed with a family in which every sentence didn't automatically become a play on words---or a "bad" joke? I have a cousin who lives for the moment when someone mentions Baroque music, just so he can ask-- If it's baroque, how can you pul-lay it? My dad and this old man (and young cream, it sounds like) just had/have a way of making the ordinary and obvious, funny----just catches you off guard, I think.

    By Blogger wandering-woman, at 11:36 AM  

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