Over pizza a few nights ago with band members, Barry got us all going on skewed translations. Like the time he and his wife Sarah came across camarones abusados [cahm-ah-ROAN-ace ah-boo-SAH-doce] on the menu in a gringo-owned restaurant. A gringo who didn't yet speak the language. Abused shrimp? What he was offering was Battered Shrimp or Camarones Empanados. So close yet so far away. It's so funny, he should keep it.

Legend has it, this is frequently overheard around these parts:

Gringo customer: "Do you sell toothpaste here?"

Spanish-speaking clerk: "Yes, we have Hang Yourself toothpaste." And he leads the customer to the coal-GA-tay, er, Colgate.

Colgate is a colloquial expression from the verb colgar, to hang, with the imperative ending, plus te meaning you. So hang yourself. Although I didn't find the conjugation colgate at Verbix – Verbix says it would be colgaste which, of course, ruins the joke – I did find plenty of reference to the Colgate story and local use of colgate.

skimo pies.

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