Author Archives: andresir

A Riddle About A Spoon

¿Qué compras para comer pero no te la comes? Una cuchara. (What do you buy so that you can eat, but don’t actually eat it? A spoon?)

My mom would hear riddles like these growing up from her parents and aunts and uncles.

I myself would also be told these kind of similar riddles in Spanish and my sisters would already know all of them and I’d be struggling to figure them out much to the enjoyment of my family. These kind of riddles are a very recurring element within the types of things circulated around my family.

Random Little Puzzle Game

The puzzle consists of a box drawn onto paper. It contains four columns with the middle two having three sections and the first and last sections having just one in the middle. The point of this puzzle is to fill the boxes with number one to eight. The only rule is, the numbers cannot touch the one that comes before or after it. For example, the number five cannot be placed above, below, or diagonally to numbers four and six.

My dad taught this to me, and he was taught by one of his uncles who would make a competition of it saying the fastest to solve the puzzle would get some sort of prize.

When he taught me the puzzle, he promised to give me ten dollars, but only if I did it before the end of the day. I could not do it, but I did eventually and could not help but be proud of myself. I sometimes go a long time without remembering this puzzle causing me to forget how to solve it and I do it again for fun. Since the last time I played it, I’ve figured out a pattern behind it. It simply serves as another part of the things my dad would hear and gather from his relatives back in Mexico. I can tell it means something to him when people engage in it, probably also to make fun of them for not being able to get it.

Joke About A Moneylender

A man from Mexico borrowed money from a wealth rancher who would lend with high interest rates. The man went to work in the U.S. and there he had hoped to make some money. He told one of his friends that he wanted to buy a meat grinder. His friend, confused, asked why and to that the man responded: “to kill that s** of a b****”. 

This story was one told at a party where people would sit by a campfire, put some old music on a record player whilst drinking beer. My dad probably heard it from one of his cousins who was likely drunk.

 I thought this story would be a story about a hardworking man pursuing financial stability, but when I heard the part about the meat grinder I was shocked and burst out laughing. I remember a time when I visited the place my parents were from, in Mexico, and whilst walking around my dad pointed out an abandoned house, of a bitter old family who were wealthy, cheap and bitter who also lent money. I couldn’t help but think if they were the inspiration for this joke told not too far from where they lived within a gleefully intoxicated gathering. 

Proverb About Timeliness

El que tiempo agarra, tiempo le sobra – (The one who makes time, has time to spare)

My mom would tell me this every time I was late for school or was in a hurry. It’s much like the Spanish version of “the early bird gets the worm”. My mom said her parents would tell her siblings the same thing and eventually my mom picked up on it to tell her own tardy children.

I myself would find it tedious because my mom was right. I’d be rushing and hurrying out the door going to school in the morning and she’d often bid me goodbye by saying this old proverb. And now still, when I’m running late, I hear it in my mind in her voice. My parents are big on timeliness and tend to sometimes go overboard on being so. As such this expression serves as a kind of thing to live by, which admittedly, is true.

Proverbs Catholic Grandmothers Say

“Dios Por Delante, Todo Sale Bien” (God in control, all will be well).

My mom told me that my great-grandmother would often say this phrase. It is obviously based deeply within religion and proverbs like these were ones often told and frequently said. They were said in a hopeful context centered in the belief of a higher power. And with said belief and manifestation of faith, good fortune would also be summoned.

I’ve heard very similar proverbs be said be my grandma, my mom, and other relatives indicating that same sense of hope according to their faith, something that’s very big amongst Latinamerican cultures. These are said very often and in many scenarios. For example, one would say “I hope I get the job” and then someone would say one of these proverbs indicating luck and good things.