I finally went to Hooters for the first time in my life. Why? Would you believe for the chicken wings? All my friends who went to Hooters always say that they only go because they have the best chicken wing. We went to the one at 8225 W. Higgins Road in Chicago. Well, my high school friends wanted to get together for a little reunion. But we didn’t go to just any high school. We went to a Roman Catholic seminary! Divine Heart Seminary in Donaldson, Indiana. And there we were sitting in Hooters! By the way, the chicken wings did live up to their famous reputation. I even have a picture of me with a Hooters waitress. And that was before I started drinking. Now that I think of it, anyone who attended a seminary had to have considered becoming a priest at one time or another. It felt great to see everyone again. However, I’m not sure if I’ll ever go to Hooters again. Next time, we’re meeting at Chi Chi’s!
Yes, I mean Chi Chi’s as in the restaurant and not chichis in Spanish as in … Well, you know what I’m referring to. That’s right, female breasts. In English, they would be boobs, boobies, etc. So I always wondered why the Puerto Rican golfer liked to be called Chichi Rodriguez–of course, I had a few unsavory ideas of my own. As a Mexican, I have to ask: Why would anyone name a restaurant Chi Chi’s if they don’t specialize in dairy products? So one day, I’m driving down LaGrange Road in Orland Park with my three sons and I notice that I’m rapidly approaching Chi Chi’s restaurant and I instinctively start thinking about chichis (in Spanish) and some of my female grade school classmates who had big chichis. The girls who envied them called the girls with the big chichis, chichonas. Suddenly, I remember that I’m driving in my minivan with my sons and we’re rapidly approaching Chi Chi’s. Since I’ve driven this way many times before, I know the restaurants in the area fairly well. I dread what is soon appearing. As soon as we’re in front of Chi Chi’s, we will be right across from Hooters! I feel so guilty about exposing my sons to this. I tell my sons not to look out the window. I’m embarrassed because I have my sons with me and I’ve been having impure thoughts about chichis. What kind of father am I? I have brought my sons to this place where we have Chi Chi’s to the left of us and Hooters to the right! Of course, they’re too young to appreciate this cosmic moment.
Sometimes when I teach my Spanish classes, students will ask me how to swear in Spanish. They express disappointment when I inform them that I will not teach them how to swear in Spanish. However, whenever I ask who knows how to swear in Spanish, at least half of the students always raise their hands. “If you want to learn how to swear in Spanish, see these students after class,” I tell the inquisitive student.
Occasionally, students will ask me about certain words they heard someone saying, but then couldn’t find in their English-Spanish dictionary for some strange reason. These words are invariably profanities. The word “güey” is a common topic in class because some Mexicans use it so often–so frequently, that students think that it’s okay to use it in any context. However, under the wrong circumstances, “güey” is an insult that could result in physical abuse to the speaker. Literally, “güey” means ox. That doesn’t really sound so insulting, does it? In Mexico, “güey” has been used as an insult for so long, that it no longer even refers to an ox. To put it in perspective, think of the word that refers to the female dog: “bitch.” That word has become so offensive that I would never call any self-respecting female dog a bitch. It’s that bad! So, remember: “güey” has the same negative connotations as “bitch.”
A few years back, the Mexican restaurant Chi Chi’s had a radio commercial with the following dialogue: “No way!” “Yes way!” “No way!” “Yes way!” And when the commercial was over, the announcer said, “By the way, never say way to a Mexican.” But I’m sure he really meant, “By the way, never say “güey” to a Mexican.” I think that’s good advice everyone should follow!