13 June 2007

Me talk pretty some day

Preface: I want to make it clear that I have no delusions that I speak any foreign language fluently, and I butcher the German language almost every day. I respect anyone that tries to get by, whether in everyday life or just on vacation or whatever, in a non-native language.

We see a lot of t-shirts with English words written on them, most with questionable meaning. (Nothing is percolating into my brain at the moment, though... It is hard to remember nonsense. Unless it's Jabberwocky.) Sometimes I just stare in disbelief that someone would actually wear such a thing. Take this "lovely" belt buckle as an example.

Ignore the stylish graphic for now. The words read (with the line breaks)

Gas Grass or 
Ass Nobody
Rides For

The designer apparently never heard of punctuation. Would it hurt to throw a comma and a couple periods in there?

OK. It is inconceivable to me that someone would actually pay money for that and wear that. So far, I haven't seen this in the wild, just in a store window. I guess nobody wants to advertise that they give free rides to Ass Nobody or Gas Grass.

The next example of something I would never wear is this lovely t-shirt. Jeannette has actually seen someone wearing this one.

It reads "*L.A.* Cocaine Business"
When we saw that in the store window, Jeannette and I had the discussion that pretty much hit these points, in this order.
1) I don't want to wear that. Ever.
2) I do want to see someone wearing that while trying to go through customs at some U.S. airport. Or Singapore.
3) Don't people in the "Cocaine Business" call it "Blow"?
4) Isn't your business just another word for your job?
5) So, based on 3 & 4, shouldn't it read "L.A. Blow Job" ?
6) Now that's a completely different image.
7) I imagine a film. There's a couple of guys trying to make a living (in L.A., of course). They have gotten themselves involved in the seedy underground. At least one of them is an immigrant and doesn't speak English very well. This English as a second language character makes arrangements for the two of them to deliver cocaine for the local drug kingpin, with the assurance that if they do this one right, they would be trusted to do more. When he excitedly tells his buddy about their new employment opportunity, he says something along the lines of "It's a blow job! And if we do it right, we'll get to do more blow jobs all over L.A.!" Haven't decided what the response will be yet. That's why I'm not a scriptwriter.
8) It seems like it could be something said by one of the dumb thugs in the excellent German movie Knockin' on Heaven's Door.

OK, we'll that's it for today. And in case you don't know already, I borrowed the title of this post from David Sedaris. He wrote a book with the same title. He used it first. And he's funnier than I am. Usually.

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