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Grandpa got run over by a taxi   Leave a comment

We love to sit around the table at the milonga and listen to grandpa’s stories of the old days. The formative years of the tango, as he calls it, when men danced with women and age was not a reason for discrimination. Everyone knew somebody, even when they all went by their first names, and nobody knew where anyone else lived or what they did for a living. They abode by a code of conduct that had been brought from far away lands by legendary members of the “milongas porteñas.” For grandpa, the nineties were the golden years of tango in North America. He even calls himself a proud member of the class of 1995, when Stanford University in Palo Alto, California declared that 1995  was the year of the milonguero.

It seems that when a person ages, time passes by a lot faster and the pace of progress can be overwhelming for people who belong to  the last generation that listened to the radio. These people have an uncanny power of imagination, can visualize many things, and are able to think and comprehend concepts in a very complex manner exercising their brains at full capacity.  I’ve seen grandpa shake his head in disbelief seeing guys perched on a dark corner watching You Tube videos in their miniature screens. A man formed in the gracious and romantic art of glancing, raising an eyebrow, and nodding the head to engage a female into accepting an invitation to dance, he gets unsettled by the sight of females reverting to a primal state using their thumbs to ferociously send text messages on their phones at a milonga.

Imagine the surprise when the other night grandpa borrowed my iPhone and texted “Next Tanda?” to the lady across the table. Her eyes lit up with mischievous pleasure, and texted back, “Yes” and continued thumbing her phone.

The current tanda came to an end, the cortina ensued and the next tanda began. Grandpa got up, gave a kiss and a hug to a friend who had stopped by the table and began to go around the table to meet the texting lady, who was already up bright eyes and bushy tail. Suddenly her face went ashen in a panic sort of way. A guy was rushing across the floor heading in  her direction. She looked at my grandpa and said something like, “Sorry, I had promised him a dance on my way to the bathroom.” I was afraid that grandpa was going to live up to his reputation of making women cry, but he simply said, “Yes means yes,” and added, “Go and dance with him.” At that moment I fell very proud of the old man.

As he sat down hiding his hurt pride with a sweet smile, grandma leaned over and whispered in his ears, “Don’t worry, honey, don’t take it personally. That’s her taxi and she pays him to dance with her,” and then kissing him softly added, “You just got run over by a taxi.

Posted July 2, 2011 by Alberto & Valorie in HOME, Humor

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