June 4, 2007

What Those Spanish Futbol Announcers Are Really Saying

Preferatory comment:
I recently spent nine days in Guatemala.

They speak Spanish there.

I do not.

I attended classes for five hours a day, getting one-on-one instruction in Spanish. I went from absolutely no Spanish to conjugation of past tense verbs in thirty hours.

Just when I thought all was going well, and I was starting to understand some of what people were saying around me, I watched a football ("futbol" in Spanish, "soccer" in American only) match on television.

I realized then exactly how little I could comprehend. Listening to speech that attacked me with the rapidity of the small-print hawkers appended to the end of radio advertisements for car dealerships, I found myself completely without a footing.
The context seemed obvious enough: the football game. After a short while, however, I realized that maybe this announcer wasn't talking about football at all.

I would never know. I could never hope to follow the pulses, pops, slurs and undulations that made up his speech. He could have been saying anything at all.
Like this. Here follows my "translation" of the audio commentary given during just a couple minutes of that football game:


"Good evening folks. Hard to believe I turned forty-eight today. That's right, it's my birthday, and it's the biggest football game this city has seen in eleven years. As a dedicated fan, of course, I have to count this as a great gift to me. I am so grateful for this gift, because, now, with the kids out of the house, and a wife who essentially stopped talking to me five years ago, I am pretty sure I would not see any sort of gift from my supposed loved-ones.

Not that I can blame them entirely, when's the last time I remembered their birthdays? It's so hard to remember anything these days with the constant influx of hard alcohol pickling my brain and liver. But, better pickled than in pain, I always say. Yes, I realize that my heavy, heavy drinking, and really, I'm completely fucked-up right now, has contributed mightily to my abandonment by my own family. I have a serious problem.

Don't judge me by this, though. Who among you can say that you are above addictive behaviors? We all have our means to comfort our dread of the real; our existential malaise that can overcome us at even our strongest moments. I mean, look at me, I'm at the top of my game in many respects: a well-known announcer of football games, paid obscenely well, access to power and opportunity are mine, yet... I am unhappy.

I suspect that there may be an answer to what troubles me. Lord knows I've tried virtually everything, but I guess none of that worked. I am looking for a sort of salvation and.. and... and... GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO



Now, where was I? Ah, yes... salvation..."

No comments: