Tag Archives: elderly

Watch Your Mouth, Sonny


I really should learn Spanish.

About all I know is hola, adios and Lo siento por los perros (Sorry about the dogs.).

I could have used a Spanish lesson today, at Ralph‘s. Mom has taught me to appreciate the affordable things in life, and I’ve found a wine so cheap I’d hesitate to call it low brow, lest it imply it’s got a brow. It can be found at your finer 7-11s, Circle Ks and Kum & Gos (a real chain, I swear.).


I was looking for my cheap swill today when a woman tapped me on the shoulder. I turned to find a diminutive elderly Hispanic woman, saying something in Spanish. She didn’t have a shopping cart, just a five-pack of Bic lighters in one hand.

She said something that I assume was akin to “Would you please help me reach something?” But knowing nary a Spanish vowel, she may have been saying, ‘Yo, gringo cracker, I need something.’

And after what happened, I kind of hope she did.

I shook my head at her words, told her I didn’t understand Spanish (oh yeah, another term you have to know here). She took me by the arm, led me to the Coors beer refrigerator, and pointed to drinks on the top shelf, beyond her reach.

Already, I was tickled at the notion that granny needed to get her drink on. Then I fell more deeply for her.

I touched a 12-pack. 12 packShe shook her head, nodded left.

I touched a six-pack. sixpackShe shook her head, nodded left.


Finally, I touched a tall can of Coors light, the biggest can in the fridge.


She nodded, beckoned for it. I brought it down, then asked the final word I know in Spanish: “Uno?”

She nodded and, without word, padded toward the checkout. Bics in her left hand, a Coors Light in her right. And my mind collapsed on itself with questions: Was she getting it for her husband? (Probably not, unless she’s put him on a limit.); Was this her way of unwinding?; does she enjoy the NFL playoffs with some smokes and brew?

I knew the answers none, but it was fun to picture her kicking back, making smoke rings and burping. And reminded me; I’ve got to learn the Spanish translation of “Ma’am, you are one of the coolest badasses I ever met.”


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