Thursday, December 18, 2008

Pants Down

Nacho and I typically watch the evening news as we have dinner. Last night I wasn’t paying all that much attention to the current story. Something about politics with video of the big guys arguing in the senate or the congress, or whatever it’s called. Regardless I was already bored with it. Then I heard the leader of the opposition, Mariano Rajoy, say, “Ha habido una descomunal bajada de pantalones para aprobar los Presupuestos.”

For you non-Spanish speakers, more or less what he had said was that President Zapatero had “lowered his pants” in order to get the approval of the proposed budgets. Perhaps now you see why my virginal ears, pun intended, perked up. (Yes, this expression implies exactly what you think it might be implying but at the same time are certain it couldn’t possibly be implying. After all it was shown on TV and no one was upset...) Granted, this is not necessarily an uncommon phrase in normal conversation. And with the way gruff old Spanish engineers talk, I wouldn’t be all that surprised to hear it in my daily work exchanges. Although I do think that even the gruffest old engineer would think twice before using it in a young woman’s presence at the office. But is it really appropriate lingo for such a high-ranking politician to use when addressing the Congress and the Prime Minister?

Admittedly, I might be more sensitive to these things because, although I long ago crossed into the “fluent” category with my Spanish, certain expressions still catch me off guard. Because they are not innately a part of my vocabulary, I usually end up delving a tad too deeply into their “true” meanings. A Spaniard probably hears this line and simply understands Rajoy’s message. I, on the other hand, am having an impossible time getting the image out of my head.


P.S. The politics behind all of this are more or less irrelevant to this post but if you are interested… basically the report is that ZP has agreed to certain concessions to PNV, the Basque political party, in exchange for their votes in favor of the budget proposals. Rajoy believes this goes against what is “best for the Spanish people.”

1 comment:

JustMe said...

OK, I too am shocked. Maybe that's what you get when you are an old culture.