When I was in the seventh grade, I lived in Fort Worth, Texas. I attended Wedgwood Middle School and took Spanish. I was a terrible Spanish student, though I quite liked my teacher, Señorita Flores, who looked like a cross between Lily Tomlin and Rita Moreno. But I had come from North Carolina, where there were no Spanish classes and I thought it would be fun, like art class. I didn't know you actually had to learn it and I think the window had already closed on the new language thing for me. All I ever learned to say was "Cuando arrelgran me cuarto! No encuentro nada! Tia Luisa!" which might (or might not, shut up) mean "My room is a mess and I can't find a thing! Aunt Louise!" I don't even have an Aunt Louise so how dumb is that language?
But! We went on a field trip to Mexico! Can you imagine? Two teachers and thirty students on a bus, across a national border by dark of night (they woke us up and we had to go into a sad green room and get the fuck scared out of us by the Mexican police) and then in the lovely city of Monterrey for three days? It just seems crazy and un-doable now. Like it sounds illegal or something. The other teacher was the eighth grade Spanish teacher, Señora Ornelas and she was one miserable bitch, let me tell you. All of the meals were orchestrated and planned and they were all in the dining room of the Gran Hotel Ancira, which seemed fancy to my seventh-grade eyes but was probably just a normal hotel. All of the meals involved roasted chicken and one night there were a couple of us who wanted to try other things, you know, like MEXICAN FOOD. Señora Ornelas shut us down right quick and told us we were going to eat the roasted chicken because it was already PAID FOR and we were GOING TO LIKE IT. And she said it all in Spanish, and when I was later given a D on a Spanish test in the eighth grade, I tried to argue that a D simply wasn't possible because I had understood all the words Señora Ornelas had said that one time in Mexico. Señora Ornelas said "DG, you've made your bed and now you must lie in it." And I said "I choose to sleep on the floor." I was then sent to the office where I was paddled by the vice-principal, after which I vowed revenge against Señora Ornelas, a vow I have kept close to my heart all these years later and I swear to you if I ever lay eyes on that beady-eyed Señora Ornelas again, I will give her a piece of my mind. In fluent Spanish: ¡Tu cara de madre estas mismo mi culo!
ANYWAY. The day after being denied authentic Mexican food, we went to the neighboring town of Saltillo, where Señora Ornelas rode a sombrero-wearing donkey. Like most people who choose to ride a donkey, she looked like an idiot.