Tuesday, February 14, 2017

A Miscommunication with Herminda

Considering that I already communicate with Herminda at about 7% mutual comprehension (generous), it was probably not the best idea to up and complicate my life through what is turning out to be major construction and the introduction of yet another animal.

On Herminda Day (better than Christmas), Herminda usually arrives around 8:00 AM. I'm typically gone by then, and she's typically gone by the time I get home from work, so it sort of feels like magic cleaned my house. But, like, magic that costs money. And doesn't speak English. And sometimes puts spatulas under the bathroom sink.

But last week I felt like I needed to greet Herminda when she arrived so I could explain why my life is such a mess right now.

I had practiced saying "I have a new dog" in Spanish, using a full 22% of the words I remember from watching Sesame Street in the 80s. And I delivered this phrase with aplomb.

And then Herminda yelled out, "DONDE ESTA OLLIE!?"

Ollie was not at my house. He very frequently is on Herminda Day because Herminda loves Ollie so I tend to keep him on Herminda Days so they can hang out. Ollie hates Herminda because he's racist and ageist and probably sexist. But we've already discussed that at length.


I didn't keep Mr. Ollie Pants last week because Mr. Pants also, at least at that time, appeared to hate Mr. Duncan Doodle. And I know what you just said out loud: "HOW CAN ANYONE HATE DUNCAN DOODLE ELI'S HAIR SHOULD BE OUR NATION'S CURRENCY!"

But I can't really blame Mr. Ollie Pants. Because Duncan's only way to interact with Mr. Pants up to that point was to climb onto Mr. Pants's back and constantly bite his face.

I have learned from several prior relationships that this is not good for building rapport.

To his credit, Mr. Pants would sit stoically for upwards of 5 minutes while this happened until finally snapping and barking so fiercely that Mr. Duncan Doodle would have to hide behind furniture to escape.

Their relationship has since improved some. Mr. Pants has gone from loathing to general apathy. Sometimes Mr. Pants even deigns to snuggle with Mr. Doodle when he's tired enough not to put up a fight.


We're hoping that there will be some kind of kinship by Memorial Day.

But the point is, I couldn't leave Mr. Pants and Mr. Doodle alone with Herminda. And I can hardly leave Mr. Doodle for very long anyway because he has to go into the cage and I feel bad about it since he needs to pee every 12 minutes on the dot.

So there I stood, wholly incapable of properly answering Herminda's query in a language she would understand. Hashtag nevertheless I persisted.

I tried to explain to Herminda, as I have in the past, that Mr. Pants doesn't actually live with me. He lives with Matt. He only visits me. This is not actually my dog, despite the constant proliferation of dog toys and dog food and dog leashes and framed pictures of me with the dog spread throughout my house.

But something must have gotten lost in translation.

Because just following this sentence, which I said out loud: "No tengo Ollie; Ollie bye bye."

Just following that sentence, Herminda dropped her purse, clenched her heart, and weepily exclaimed, "Poooooooor Ollie."

I understood from this that Herminda believed that I had just told her Ollie was dead and that Duncan was a replacement dog. I failed to fix this misunderstanding by saying, "Ollie es bueno. Muchu bueno."

Herminda pointed at the sky, and continued in her weepy voice, to say "si. Ollie es bueno. Lo siento. Lo siento."

Eventually I left because I figured the longer I stood there with her the more people she would believe to be dead.

Herminda is coming back next week and I'm now considering draping Mr. Pants in a ghost costume and setting him loose in the house that day.

Also, please check out this very important video about how Strangerville Live is somehow NEXT WEEK. Get your tickets while you can!


~It Just Gets Stranger

19 comments:

  1. I'm simultaneously impressed with your collective mad dancing skilz and smh at the hipsterness of it all (and I don't smh). And feeling conflicted as no way to attend SLive thus sad yet if could would worry that I'd be the oldest in the room. And now realize this comment is all about my feels and I have descended into millenialism myself. Well played, Master Eli, well played. And get off my lawn. This was all cheaper and lasted longer in my day. :)

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    1. "SLive." How do you pronounce it? is it like "es-Live" or just one syllable "slive." Either way, I love it. I'm going to use this new hipster phrase today. "Are you going to Slive next week? It's the coolest show in town."

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  2. Um, can we get refunds if we already bought tickets for next Thursday? No one warned me that there might be interpretive dance.

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    1. You break it you bought it, The Suzzzzzzz.

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    2. A refund because there is interpretive dance? I have to believe you are joking as I live clear across the country and feel like I need to immediately purchase the remaining tickets and figure out some way to fly across the country and bring oodles of people to see this. Honestly, Eli, I do a mean interpretive dance to Bon Jovi's complete collection. Also I use ribbons. Is there a way I can be incorporated into the show? Asking for a friend. That friend is actually me.

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    3. A refund - No. But I'm pretty sure to could scalp them for 56 times their original value. . . . .

      Not to be confused with scalping Eli for his money hair - which I think we can all agree is a bad idea . . .

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  3. I need to point out that your hair cannot be our national currency, or you would soon be bald and then we would be in crisis mode and have at least 3 weeks of mourning (which I can't possibly fit into my schedule right now). Can I suggest instead that we declare your hair a national treasure that is to be protected and admired at all costs?

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    1. Britni puts up a fair counter argument

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  4. climb onto Mr. Pants's back and constantly bite his face.

    I have learned from several prior relationships that this is not good for building rapport.


    Eli speaks truth.

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  5. Eli, repeat after me "Ollie está en su casa hoy." You can say that anytime Ollie is not there.

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    1. Okay my spanish isn't stellar so I may be wrong, but are you having him tell herminda that ollie is at her house? I mean I'm sure that will be a fun conversation, but still a bit confusing...

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    2. I think maybe "Ollie está en mi amigo Matt casa hoy." might work a bit better.

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    3. Ok, not to get grammar crazy in another language, but trust me: "Ollie está en la casa de mi amigo, Matt. Todo es bueno".

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    4. You would say: "Ollie no está aquí. Está en la casa de mi amigo Matt."

      Or in the case you would like to explain that perhaps he doesn't live with you: "Ollie no vive aquí. Vive con Matt."

      And to explain that everything is okay: "Todo está bien" ("Ollie es bien" would indicate that that he is a good dog as opposed to being unharmed.)

      And to explain that he isn't dead: "Ollié no está muerto."

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  6. Was Ollie killed in the Bowling Green Massacre? Too soon?

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    1. The sinus enema of the day goes to The Suzzzz.

      Warn me next time, will ya?

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    2. Which part of Sweden is Bowling Green located in?

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    3. I believe somewhere between the fjords and the arctic circle...

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