I didn’t want anyone to know that when I watched American T.V. shows, I didn’t get all the jokes. I relished “I Love Lucy” on Saturday mornings and Warner cartoons on school nights after chores and homework. I smiled, imagining myself working in a chocolate factory like Lucy or digging a tunnel through the Earth like Bugs Bunny. They were easy to get mostly, until the audience in the show roared with laughter. What did he just say? Why was it funny?
People on T.V. were white and wore crazy clothes. The kids had their own rooms with boatloads of toys. The girls went out on dates with boys and kissed them on the mouth. The dogs sat on the living room couch like kings. No one yelled. No one cried. It was all fun until that pause, then the entire stage shook with applause and I’d feel alone.
If Sally, my American neighbor, were watching with me, I’d laugh along. Once, she rolled her eyes and accused me of only pretending to get it. I told her to shut up.
“What was so funny then?” She asked.
“Well what did you find funny?”
“The part where he slaps the girl on the butt.”
“Yeah, me too.” Then I felt nervous; my heart pumped faster with each lie.
My parents didn’t watch these shows. One, grown-ups were boring and two, their English sucked. My mom’d even turn her nose up at the loud and unladylike women in shows.
I’ve been keeping scratch paper near the T.V. If someone said a terrible cuss word or an insult, I’d jot it down. At school, I used it against the kids I didn’t like. Then I’d watch their faces and wait for their comeback. It was a tough world. If people thought you were stupid, they’d walk all over you. In a fight, the best insults won. I’d keep on keeping on until one day, I’d know more than Sally.
updated by @americymru: 11/24/19 06:16:51PM