I never thought I’d see the day. This week I saw a headline about the United States that read: “An Empire Has Fallen.” Conversations over the past few days have involved the phrase, “I hope the election can unfold without violence.”
Dear America, what has become of you? As often as I have resented you for being bigger, better at the Summer Olympics, and more replete with winter sunbathing beaches than my Canada, more often I have admired you. Oh, how I want to do so again.
I can’t bear to think about the election. It’s so out of my control. I’m distracting myself with happy thoughts. Like rubber boat, for instance.
Recently, on The Spectacled Bean blog, Ally asked the question: “Of all the words in the English vocabulary which ONE is your favorite?” (Something to ponder.)
It reminded me of an experience I had way back in 1980 when I was an exchange student in Mexico. I went to an all-girls, Catholic high school. (Quite a change for me. This Protestant girl did not know a Hail Mary from a Hall Monitor.) I was learning to speak and write Spanish, but the girls there loved to practice English.
One day, in a book we were working on together, we came across a picture of a rubber dinghy. The girls asked me how to say it in English.
“Rubber boat,” I replied.
They fell apart laughing. To a Spanish ear, that sounds hilarious.
“What?!” they said. “Say it again!”
“Rubber boat,” I repeated.
They howled with laughter, even louder than before “Again!”
“Rubber boat,” I said.
The more I said it, the harder they laughed. Then they tried saying it, and I couldn’t help laughing at them. Soon all of us were gasping for breath with tears running down our faces.
Ah, such a happy memory. I’m going to ride it into this week. America, I’m pullin’ for ya.