Marta learns English insults from TV. "Pedophile."
Squeezing her head out the window--we can open it just a crack--she adds "What is a flying fuck?"
It's too cold to smoke outside. Afraid of setting off the fire alarm, we resort to craning out the kitchen window. Anyone watching--and there's always some one--would see two asphyxiated chipmunks, cheeks squished between glass.
"It's an expression." I say. "It means not to care. Like, 'I don't give a flying fuck about your ham.'"
"Punta." She uses the mild Spanish word for slut. "My ham is tasty."
Marta raves about Spanish ham, a glorified raw bacon. Curiosity drives me to break vegetarianism . The ham tastes like stale Crisco.
"Does the fuck fly in an aeroplane?" Marta persists. "Where does the fuck get his--her--" She struggles with the masculine/feminine dilemma, remembers English is supposedly gender neutral. "--it's wings?
Our breath is thick in the humidity. Before coming to Wales, I didn't know it was possible for a place to be simultaneously cold and humid.
"Tu eres más feo que el culo de un mono," says Marta. "You are uglier than the butt of a monkey."
Spanish is a dirty language. "More."
"Yo cago en la leche de tu puta madre. I shit in your whore mother's milk."
Many Spanish insults are family based. Later, I learn Tu hermano no tiene la ingle , or 'your brother has no groin', as well as La concha de tu madre: Your mother's cunt.
Cunt. A good word, probably old-english judging by the vowel. I often wonder what makes a word taboo. Is it purely the sound, or is there a larger history at work? In Spanish, insults concerning shit are the most offensive.
"Cagaste y saltaste en la caca," says Marta. "You shit and jumped in it."
In English, anything connoting strong sex--a fuck or a cunt--is censored from daytime TV. Both words have prominent "u" sounds, but the Spanish word for shit--Mierda--is beautiful. I imagine an English audience applauding the word in a Spanish opera:
I return to my room and eat a banana to cover the taste of ham. What if 'banana' was a swear word? What if 'if' was worse than 'cunt'? What if censorship becomes so out of hand that--forbidden to use even articles--we are forced to communicate in chirps and coughs?
In the future, a wink will mean the same thing as 'fuck you.' And don't even think of sneezing.