Do I REALLY Need to Have “CALIENTE!” Stamped On My Coffee Cup Lid? Yes, says America and here's why.
Friday was one of those mornings—I forgot to set the alarm… overslept… couldn’t find my keys… you know how it goes. So instead of making
coffee, I decided to go to McDonald’s drive-thru. I zoomed through and got a medium coffee with cream and one sugar. Got to the office, and rushed
to my desk. Ryan and Claudia, my two assistants (I call them work horses), looked up and nodded. I caught Claudia checking her watch and smiling up
at me giving me some kind of look. Oh, I know that look. It’s the same one I give her when she’s late. Whatever.
So, OK. I sit down at my desk, ready to open a plethora of emails and get my two kids with attitude out there workin’ and I glance down at my
coffee cup lid. Looking back up at me, I see CALIENTE! In caps no less! And with one of those cute little upside-down exclamation points! WTF?
“Ryan! What the hell country are we in?”
“Last time I checked, it was the U. S. of A,” he calls to me over his shoulder, never wavering from the Freecell game on his computer.
, I think to myself, why the *snip* am I seeing Caliente! on my McDonald’s coffee cup?
I mean really. Why AM I looking at Spanish embossed on a plastic coffee cup lid when I am living in the Midwest of the United States? OK, if I was
a mile from the Mexican border, maybe. MAY-be. The United State’s mother language is English, right? (Well, American English, if you want to get
technical. The Brits don’t like it when we both claim the same language. And really, who can blame them?) Sure, sure, I know there are waves of
Mexicans streaming into the US all the time, increasing our population every day. And hundreds of them streaming in are pregnant, soon to have their
‘American’ babies born here. Of course I know it—it’s a big political and economic issue, and everyone knows about the immigration
controversies (especially around reelection time). But is that really a reason to start printing things on coffee cups in Spanish?
Now, unless you crawled out from under a rock, a few years ago here in the US, some woman burned herself on a cup of McDonald’s coffee and ended up
suing McDonalds for millions. And I mean MILLIONS of dollars! (I’m still kicking myself for not thinking of THAT get-rich-quick scheme.) I think
she’s living in some villa in the south of France now and the price of every single Quarter-Pounder-with-cheese that you are buying instantly went
up 10 cents to make up for those lost millions. So McDonalds, and everyone else for that matter, started covering their ass and plastering HOT! all
over their coffee cups… and now evidently, as I look down at my cup, CALIENTE! as well.
I had to shake it off and get to work. At lunchtime I would get my mind off the Spanish language infiltration and check out the lawnmowers at Sears
over at the mall. Yeah, good plan. So, come lunchtime, I shoot off to Sears for some diversion. I mean, shopping for a lawnmower at the great
American department store… how American can you get? Trouble is, you have to traipse through every department in order to get to the back where the
tools and lawnmowers are. So, I start my stroll through the store. There’s the ‘Ninos’ department, and there’s a sign for ‘Caja
Registradora’ and there’s the ‘Caballeros’ department, and... HEY! WTF? OMG, that’s the second time I’m saying WTF today! But it’s
true! Sears, the great American department store has gone---well, they’ve gone Spanish! Just like McDonalds! They’re catering and kowtowing to
a whole Spanish speaking population that either can’t or has absolutely zero desire to learn the language of the country that is feeding and
Isn’t that called enabling? Aren’t we enabling them? Not giving them the incentive to even TRY to speak English? What kind of respect do they
have for this country? Thumbing their Spanish-speaking noses in our faces: We don’t need your stinkin’ language. (God, when we went to Paris
last summer, we got those CDs and I played them for 2 months just so I could try to speak a little French. And that was for a 10 day vacation!) Now
I know there are millions of native Spanish speaking folks who do learn English. More power to them and I praise them for it. English is actually
one of the most difficult languages in the world to learn. (And if you want proof, just look at all the misspelling and misuse of apostrophes here on
ATS!) But as I walked through the store, I realized there are so many Spanish speaking people who make no effort. None!
And why should they when Corporate America says it’s OK not to? I pushed my hands into my pockets as I walked through the store, feeling a couple
dollar bills sitting down in there. And then, quite suddenly, as I gripped those few American dollars I had in my pocket, it dawned on me. This
isn’t about language at all! McDonald’s and Sears don’t care if you speak English or Spanish or if you can only point and grunt.
especially don’t care for those thousands of homeless Mexicans coming to this country without a peso in their pocket. But there IS a whole
population of Mexicans who’ve come here in droves so they take part in brand-new American legislation where they finally have the chance to clean
someone’s house in Texas without anyone being arrested, just so they can feed and clothe their family. And then when they get paid their
sub-standard wages by those perfumed Texas housewives straight from the beauty parlor, that’s where their good friends, McDonalds and Sears step in.
“No need to learn English in our stores, amigos! We speak YOUR language. And we know you’ve got some cash in your pockets—and now, you’re
speakin’ OUR language. What’s that you say?? Oh don’t be silly--*snip*English lessons. Wouldn’t you rather have a new pair of Nikes or a
super-sized Big Mac value meal?”
So, don’t get mad at the Spanish speakers when your menus and signage are infiltrated with Spanish in a country that prides itself on its English
speaking roots. Don’t get pissed at the Mexicans when your bank’s automated call system tells you to press 3 for English. That’s wasted and
misdirected anger. You’ve got to get mad at Corporate America for being enablers. (Not to mention our legislators who tell us that what Corporate
America is doing is good. Good for us and
good for our country. And they say it because of the dollars that McDonalds, and other companies
like it, presses into the palms of their hands under the table.) And we, like mindless hypnotized drones, nod our head dumbly and go along with it
while blathering words that corporations subliminally put in our heads: “I don’t mind it at all. In fact, I LIKE it.” And we truly believe
when we say it! Corporate America says it’s OK not to make an effort to speak English because in the end, they don’t really care about
language at all. They don’t care about the U.S., Mexico or any other country. They don’t care about you, or me, our safety, our welfare, who we
are or where we come from. There’s only one thing they do care about.
And it’s green…
but it’s not a green-card.
Mod Edit: Profanity/Circumvention Of Censors – Please Review This Link.
on 3-4-2011 by GAOTU789 because: (no reason given)