Saturday, September 26, 2009

A little something to think about

Three grass widows got together last night to break bread. Actually it was shrimp gnocchi in a tomato cream sauce but, well, whatever. With spouses in Hungary, Dusseldorf and Puglia, Claus, Ralph and I shared a lovely evening of food and friends.

Ralph doesn't like speaking English. I don't know how to speak German (apart from, of course, "lecker!" or, my favorite, "kostlich!".) We spent the evening speaking Italian. An Italian would probably disagree, but to us it was Italian. We understood each other...well, sometimes Claus and I had a tough time comprehending Ralph (in any language) but that's just a Ralph thing, nothing to do with language skills.

We spoke about music and movies, families and house projects. We made plans to go to a flea market tomorrow. You know, normal dinner conversation among two Germans and one American speaking Italian.

At one point Claus brought up that famous myth about America almost being a German speaking country. If you don't know it, you can read about it here

Then the dude got a little philosophical, "how would that have changed the entire mentality and outlook of your nation, Lynn? Just imagine the effect on America as a whole, in every aspect of life, if the forefathers had voted German as the official language? Wow."

(Actually what he really said was something more like this "how change all think and look of peoples of your country, Lynn? You imagine the effect of America of all ways if America's daddies make speak German the Americans" - none of us are so fluent with the subjunctive or conditional tenses in Italian...and for a couple of us, the simple past tense ain't so simple either...but I digress)

Wow is right. Give that a little ponder.

Then, try to picture all the Cubans in Miami speaking German. Or a Texan oil man. Or a Chicago Puerto Rican. Or a New Orleans jazz singer. Or a Wyoming rancher.

Yeah, that had us laughing, too. Rolling on the floor laughing, actually.

Now ponder this: why is that so funny?

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